Harvest Moon: One World Review

Debuting on the SNES in 1996, Harvest Moon ( Bokujō Monogatari in Japan) was one of the first iconic representatives of the farm simulator genre. Since then, the series has developed successfully on a wide variety of platforms, both stationary and portable. Carefully developing existing gameplay concepts based on calm, methodical care of a virtual farm and communication with various side characters, the franchise taught ordinary players and even critics to love themselves for who they are, and the authors did not need to come up with something completely new every time to attract an audience.

In 2014, the company The Marvelous , Japanese hostess franchise, to terminate the relationship with the publisher Natsume , which was responsible for the release of a series of games Bokujō Monogatari branded Harvest Moon in the US, and to drop the name “Harvest Moon”, as the brand owned by Natsume. The new Western title for the main Japanese series is Story of Seasons .

In turn, Natsume, having the rights to the Harvest Moon trademark , continued to work with it, and now publishes its own games under this brand.

Harvest Moon: One World, released earlier this month on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 consoles , is a Natsume game.

I want to say right away that the developers related to Harvest Moon finally relaxed and, without noticing it, began to simply hack, which is especially noticeable in comparison with cheerful, young competitors like Stardew Valley . Before us is a project that in all respects should have been released on mobile devices, not on consoles – this is felt literally in everything, but first of all, primitive graphics and poor technical execution are striking.

Each time you start the game, it takes more than a minute (!!!) to load the start menu, and at the same time it is completely incomprehensible why we have been waiting for so long. The visual design is depressing: nondescript, as if drawn with a clerical marker, textures, low detail, primitive animations, small, narrow locations, the absence of any bearable shadows and lighting effects. In a project where the most important role should be given to the beauty of nature, cultivation of the land, observing the growth of crops and contemplating life, the authors managed to make the world around us static and plastic. And although the style of Harvest Moon has traditionally been quite ascetic, One World looks rather empty, without any hints of aesthetics. On top of that, it’s worth mentioning the unstable frame rate: the image at times seems to start to stutter out of the blue.

Shaking the ashes from our heads, let’s think, maybe One World received some interesting solutions in terms of gameplay?

Before embarking on a journey, the game invites you to create a character in a fairly sketchy editor. Next, you will find about a twenty-minute prologue with an explanation of the basics of agriculture and a very conditional plot plot, following which the Goddess of the Harvest suddenly disappeared, leaving the world without knowledge of agriculture, and you should definitely go on a journey around the world in search of small wandering lights that store information about various seeds … The main innovation of the gameplay is the ability to shrink your farm into a small ball and carry it in your pocket until you like a new place. Considering that the whole game is devoted to a journey in search of new types of vegetables, fruits and animals, such mobility would seem to be beneficial, but in fact, coupled with the excessive transience of the in-game day,

The basic mechanics of the game have been simplified to the limit. For example, all actions, such as weeding the garden, planting vegetables and watering them, are carried out with just one button, and you do not need to go into inventory to manually select the necessary tools. Convenient, right? At the same time, the game has an extremely strange detection of interaction with objects. Let’s say you decide to pick up an acorn from the ground, but it’s not enough to get close to it – the trigger is triggered only if you stand exactly opposite the desired object, at a well-defined distance. At first glance, this is not too much of a problem, but when you need, say, to water several adjacent beds, such absurdities begin to be very annoying.

Perhaps the most interesting part of One World is exploring new regions, each located in a specific climate zone. Visit exotic beaches, grassy hills, snowy mountains and even the desert – special species of animals such as camels and deer are found everywhere, and special types of plants grow that can be harvested and subsequently grown on the farm. True, you are unlikely to have enough fuse for a long time – the game is sorely lacking in depth, even taking into account all the additional activities, such as mining valuable ore, fishing, horse racing, and so on. All these activities seem like a meaningless formality.

As before, you can have romantic relationships with characters of the opposite sex, but even this part of the game is boring – the essence of courtship is reduced to a series of tedious tasks like “go-fetch.” In general, there are very few unique heroes in the game, and most of the side characters do not even have their own name, not to mention some interesting stories and quests.

Harvest Moon: One World turned out to be an extremely weak, passing project, of interest only to the most dedicated fans who are not afraid of disappointment. The rest should wait for the new part of Story of Seasons.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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