Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland
Review By: Darth Phenom

I really don't know how to start this review. Now I'm fully aware, you'd be expecting my trademark opening line involving something about anal rape and/or child prostitution but those fabulous topics seem irrelevant for this particular article. Hmm, let's see. There appears to be a distinct lack of reviews involving games exclusively for Sony's PlayStation2 console so I now present my attempt of rectifying that. First of all, let me warn you. Some (albeit most) of you will have little interest in a game that requires you to do the most mundane tasks imaginable on a farm: watering crops and milking cows. No, not just once in the game, but every single day. I repeat, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I repeat. Yes, the glory of pressing a square to squeeze a cow's udder's can be yours! If somehow this actually doesn't tickle your fancy, I advise you to stop reading now. Bye. There, now I can go back to talking to myself.

It was actually discovering just how much fun it was performing these mundane tasks which got me thinking. In real life, is squeezing a cow's udder going to be fun? Well, um, maybe if you're into that sort of thing but for the sake of argument we will say no. If some clever Japanese (or Senegalese) guy would get off his lazy buttocks and invent proper virtual reality, milking cows would be fun. As would chopping trees, watering plants, swallowing semen, anally raping children... I think I've gone too far. Several of the aforementioned are quite fun in real life not that I have any experience in chopping trees. Now why am I writing this little debate here which could not possibly have anything to do with the game in question. Well, all the other LTM contributors seem to have made a career out of it so I will be jumping on the bandwagon which is drawn by a horse! There is a horse in the game. I know what I'm talking about, me. What does scroll lock do?

Now for the object of the game. Some evil corporation is trying to turn your family's farmland and the neighbouring metropolis into a vile theme park. We cannot allow this to happen, Ross! And thus, the seemingly friendly Harvest Goddess convinces you to do just that because well... you paid good money for the game (I did! Yes! Business expense there, Gringo!) so you might as well do just that. Save the homeland and all. But first you will have to make lots of money like Gringo does. This can be accomplished by planting crops, selling livestock, milk or cheese and of course, by meeting Boris (I forgot his actual name) at the lake when the full moon appears on the 30th of every season. This game must be set on Mercury because each season is precisely 30 days long.

Graphics-wise a rather interesting approach is taken. 2D characters on 3D backgrounds, Josephine! They are clever people, the Koreans. The graphics certainly are quite aesthetically pleasing. You truly feel alive as the seasons switch from summer to fall. Interestingly, one season starts immediately after another ends. For example, it can be summer one day then the very next, all the trees are brown and orangey, as they are prone to be in the autumn. The moon is a funny planet. My only fault in this department comes with Katie, the 16-year-old. My guess is you're supposed to feel sexually attracted to her but it is somewhat difficult when she looks like origami, I mean, a paper cut-out doll. On the whole, the graphics are above average, bordering on totally terrible. Or good.

The audio (funny how this is sounding more and more like an IGN review, isn't it?) is none too painful whatsoever. I can't really think of any tune that made me think of suicide more than I usually do. Peaceful, soothing yet upbeat and none too annoying background music is the order of the day here. Nothing you'd want to buy the soundtrack for either. Perfectly suits this kind of game. Sound effects are pretty much realistic too. And um... that's about it.

Now that all the nonsense is out of the way is time TO PLAY THE GAME. Fear Motorhead, capitalists. As I previously stated, if you find the idea of milking cows daily utterly mundane you won't enjoy this game at all. I do in fact enjoy the gameplay of the entire fucking series a whole lot but I am just very stupid. I think the game is actually aimed at pre-teens but that barely matters to me. I still find it challenging yet highly enjoyable. I find building steady relationships with your animals a truly fascinating, rewarding and uplifting experience. To give an example: at first your horse just ignores you and acts as (s)he was being sodomised if you should have the audacity to think of mounting that muscular body. If you treat him/her the good kindly way by brushing and feeding daily, eventually you will be able to mount. Continue this trend, and you'll be zipping around the countryside as fast as a tank on your mighty thoroughbred. Eventually, you'll be competing with Gwen, the champion! Surely you quiver in fear. Cows are an extremely rewarding experience too. At first, they'll be young calves and not even capable of being milked but you just wait until they grow up and you have yourself a kitchen capable of turning large milk to cheese! You'll be churning out over two grand a day! I'm sure you're sweating in anticipation already.

Now sadly, I must list my faults. The game is limited compared to Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. The only way you can upgrade your farm house is by adding a kitchen. You also can't get married and raise a kid. This disappointed me to no end. I can't understand why Natsume made such a decision to limit the game in this fashion. I believe even the Gameboy Harvest Moon gives you more flexibility although I have failed to play this title. They cut down their costs, those cheap bastards. Also having to push your cows back into the barn on the eve of a rainy day is just retarded. They're harder to menoevre than a broken penny-farthing and as stubborn as my wife. You'll be lucky if you manage to get them back into the barn withfin five hours. Another thing is, you run out of stamina way too quickly. This makes it impossible for crops not to die if you have more than 20. It also takes far, far too long to water the blasted things.

Well, there you have it. If you're not any form of drugs and have an interest in the intracacies of building an agricultural empire, I would advise you to legally purchase a Super Nintendo and the original Harvest Moon game. Or a PSX or N64. I don't know. Just fuck off. The horse needs more attention.

This website is © 2001-2008 Listen To Me. All pictures, sounds and other stuff which doesn't belong to us is © its respective owner(s). Everything else is a free-for-all. Steal anything we created (as if you'd ever want to) and we'll...well, we probably won't be motivated to do anything. But you never know. And yes, that is Colonel Sanders throwing a punch at this copyright notice. SMACK