Old School RPG Corner: Harvest Moon 64.
(AfroGamers.com) I very rarely sit down for long periods with chill games. Personally, I love games with some challenge to keep me engaged and wanting to improve. Chill games don’t really hit me with that so I can be dismissive of them. There are a handful of chill titles that I’ll sit with and Harvest Moon 64 is one of them.
The Foundations of Harvest Moon
Now this is pretty much the O.G chill game. The Harvest Moon series started in 1996 on Super Nintendo. A farming simulator, you are tasked with taking over your grandfather’s farm which has fallen into disarray.
It really makes you wonder if the original Harvest Moon took place in some kind of hellscape where it had good weather most of the time. I’ll get back to this but just the state you find your grandfather’s farm in is horrible.
Seeing it also makes you wonder when did he pass exactly and how long has the letter been en route. The fields are overgrown, there are tree stumps here and there, literal boulders, and—it’s just a mess. So, your task is to clean up the farm, plant crops, make money, rebuild the homestead, tend to your animals, harvest in the woods during the fall or winter, and get married in a period of a few years.
In doing so, you’ll be a part of the community. Other characters have birthdays, favorite foods and gifts, and there are community events. So, it would be easier to just tend to your farm and dismiss the rest of that social nonsense but that gets boring fast.
Harvest Moon 64
That brings us to Harvest Moon 64. Released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Harvest Moon 64 featured all of things that made the original so fun but now in 3D. Not only that, the player can have a kid after getting married, the dog and horse you would gain in Harvest Moon can now take place in races.
There are recipes that can be cooked in your kitchen—oh yeah, you get a kitchen now in this game. Beyond this, you have more events, cooking contests, fishing contests, and other activities. There is a ton of things to do in this small town and with each future version of Harvest Moon, you’re given more to do but it also becomes much more involved.
Harvest Moon 64 did suffer from some issues in development. The music could sound choppy at time and the music was limited. You would also deal with glitches at times. It should be noted that for most games on the Nintendo 64, you would run into one or the other of these issues and you were just stuck with it since these consoles didn’t have an update for games or the system.
As you can expect, it’s how we ended up games that were either bad but serviceable or so bad it should’ve gone in the trash from this period.
Overall, HM64 allows for a lot more stuff than in the original and as a chill game, it was the gold standard. Even though its flaws were obvious, the gameplay delivered in spades to the point you would play the game for hours and the flaws seemed to disappear.
This will always be the strong feature of any game because you have a gorgeous game with a great soundtrack but it would be a garbage game if the gameplay and story isn’t there. On the flipside, a game with graphical and music flaws can still be a good game if the gameplay is there.
Harvest Moon 64 embodies this meaning you’ll get a fun and mildly challenging experience out of it.
RATING: 8.0 out of 10 (Recommended)
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.