Innocent Life: a Futuristic Harvest Moon
|a game by||Arte Piazza Ltd.|
|Platforms:||PSP, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.6/10 - 5 votes|
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|See also:||Best Portable Games|
Innocent Life is different from the average agrarian simulation, ostensibly because it's set in the future. As a neo-Pinocchio robo-boy, you are tasked with renovating ancient ruins into a giant farm. As you cultivate your farm and make friends with the townsfolk, your "human" abilities (like cooking and loving!) slowly improve. But farming can be tedious, and in some ways, this is a game of order and protocol. Worse, I could never seem to "aim" my actions (hammering, watering, hoeing!) where I wanted. The game itself is lovely, very pensive and philosophical--and really slow. At the outset I was just bored, but as I unlocked more areas and possibilities, I appreciated being able to spend more time doing the sorts of things that appealed to me, being able to plan and spend my days as I wanted. Pm glad I kept at it, because Innocent Life gradually blossoms into a deep, contemplative experience.
Harvest Moon isn't for everyone, with its inscrutable game-play and glacial pacing; a farming game only works if it doesn't feel like, y'know, farming. I hoped by now this franchise would have figured out a way to make watering and harvesting crops more fun and less labor-intensive. And while I appreciate that the manual actually offers great tips and strategy, I have to wonder why they didn't put that useful info into the game itself. Too much of the good stuff (unlocking new areas, upgrading equipment, and raising livestock) happens either by accidental discovery or hours into the game--after most people will have lost interest.
Jenn isn't the only one who can't water crops correctly--my idiot bot must not have installed his eyes, because he couldn't aim in a straight line, either. I also agree with these gals on the pacing--the game starts off way too slow (though I'll admit it does get better), with tons of monotonous tasks that don't make farming seem fun in any way. But the "future" theme annoys me the most. Seriously, making the main character a robot doesn't change the fact that we've harvested this moon before.