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  • Crops and love. That's pretty much what the Harvest Moon series boils down to. And spinning

  • about twenty different plates in order to get the "best" ending. And trying not to tear

  • your hair out when one facet of your grand agricultural-slash-romantic plan falls apart

  • because you didn't get X item at Y day under Z conditions. Still, it's been Natsume's prime

  • cash cow (COW, get it?!?) since the 16-bit days, making one wonder, just where the hell

  • are all these abandoned farms, anyway? Every single time, it's an abandoned farm handed

  • down from your grandfather. With a contingent of gnomes there to critique your progress,

  • and a Harvest Goddess to gripe ironically about her goddessness.

  • Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley is an enhanced port of the PS2's Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland,

  • featuring a similar ultimatum: Round up 50,000 simoleons in two years, else the entire village

  • is getting razed to build an amusement park. (Which is kinda down there on the list of

  • "Sinister plans," I mean any situation where funnel cake is involved can't be that bad,

  • can it?) If you can't do this, there's something wrong with you on a basic level; even if you

  • leave the farm completely fallow and just do two years' worth of part-time jobs, you

  • can easily drum up enough cash. But that's just one way, JUST ONE WAY, to go about it.

  • In truth, there are 16 other endings that you can get depending on who you befriend

  • and which events you see... and, fortunately, there's a NewGame+ option that streamlines

  • the process of seeing all of these by allowing you to carry over your various upgrades and

  • developments.

  • Now, I enjoy Harvest Moon, and I like the multitask-centric kind of gameplay that it

  • brings with it... but honestly, I found playing this particular version to be kind of a chore.

  • First of all, the load times are unbearable, especially given how small each particular

  • chunk of Leaf Valley actually is. You want to get from your farm to the coastline for

  • some fishing? Prepare to spend about 40% of your time walking, and 60% staring at a blank

  • screen while the audio abruptly cuts out. And that's a shame, because the music is one

  • of the better parts of this presentation, regardless of how much it seems to bite on

  • Epona's Song from Ocarina of Time. The controls, similarly, are finicky to the point of frustration,

  • with your hero often being a pixel or two away from the "correct" spot to take an action,

  • or occasionally jumping over a fence for the heck of it, or picking up exactly the wrong

  • thing at exactly the wrong time. A number of interesting mini-games help to balance

  • out the experience, like the chain-reaction mining challenge and the requisite fishing

  • sim, and of course there's a village full of bachelorettes to woo. But it'll take plenty

  • of patience - and a tolerance for load screens - to convince that cute maid you're the one

  • for her. Patience and fish.

Crops and love. That's pretty much what the Harvest Moon series boils down to. And spinning

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B2 harvest moon leaf valley farm fishing

CGR Undertow - HARVEST MOON: HERO OF LEAF VALLEY review for PSP

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/02/28
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