Harvest Moon: One World – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation
Developer: Natsume
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Platform: Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Switch

Harvest Moon: One World – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Concept, Relaxing
Bad: Unpolished, Very basic
User Score
1.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.7/10 (3 votes cast)

The Harvest Moon series is one that is already around 25 years old. The original Harvest Moon game was released in 1996 for the Super Nintendo, and was loved by many. After that, many entries in the series followed, stealing the hearts of many gamers, young, old, male or female. This open-to-everyone series is still quite popular, even though the last few entries have been toned down a bit in terms of quality, or at least the graphical prowess. We would also like to mention that the original Harvest Moon series has also been renamed to Story of Seasons. Now, Harvest Moon: One World, developed by Natsume, who has retained the rights to the Harvest Moon name, has been released. This new title presents us with a mobile farm, while we attempt to resurrect the Harvest Goddess. While both named franchises are similar, there are clear differences as well.

Story

You’ll be dropped in a world, where everyone is eating very bland food, simply because the Harvest Goddess is no longer alive. You, however, can see small harvest sprites, something no one else can. Because of this, you get tasked with resurrecting the Harvest Goddess. The plot thickens as you go, and like in any other Harvest Moon game, you can match up with bachelors or bachelorettes, depending on your gender, and start a family.

Graphics

One World is not much to look at if we have to be perfectly honest. The game looks like a poor 3DS port, and even then, the handheld actually had prettier titles than this one. The overall world looks empty, the textures are almost non-existent, the animations are wooden, and there are many clipping error and character pop-ins. The latter may surprise you at times, where you are standing on an empty piece of land, only to wet your pants when a random villager pops up out of nowhere. Sometimes the entire environment turned black, almost like inverting the colors. When playing in docked mode we also had a lot of frame drops and screen stutters. Nonetheless, the bright and colorful world and the simplistic designs will still entice a younger audience to press on. Not all is bad but the game just feels like it’s a rudimentary version of an unfinished game.

During conversations, the format switches to a visual novel-esque format, where the characters are somewhat animated. The animations are again rudimentary, but the feelings of all the different ‘cast members’ are properly portrayed.

Sound

The sound design is also not that much to write home about. You’ll notice that everything is functional; there is a backdrop that sometimes accompanies you, but mainly it’s just the sound effects in the foreground. Sadly, the game does not have any voice acting, which would actually immediately boost the quality of the title. Even ‘childish’ voice acting that sometimes comes with games such as this, would have actually added some charm to the somewhat bleak design of this Harvest Moon.

Gameplay

Harvest Moon: One World is, like its predecessors, a simulation title, albeit one not to take too seriously. You’ll occupy yourself building up your mobile farm, harvesting crops, tending to your animals, exploring the world, completing tasks for the villagers of the different regions, and so on. Overall the offset is quite simple, but you’ll have to perform a fair number of tasks each day, which eventually boils down to becoming very repetitive. Of course, this is not really an issue if you’re into ‘simulation’ games, or have played other games in the series.

Even though the mechanics and controls may be extremely clunky at times, the overall gameplay is still quite enjoyable. Despite being empty, you’ll have a fairly fun world to explore. Exploring is limited, however, as you’ll have to take into account the energy you have each day, and this limits your actions. You’ll have to make choices between maintaining the fields, tending to the animals, and then of course trade and collect seeds. Eventually some days you’ll just do the same things over and over again, to achieve certain goals or to collect enough crops. That being said, the somewhat repetitive grind can actually work in a therapeutic fashion. The newly added mobile farm is also a nice concept but doesn’t feel fully fleshed out.

Conclusion

Harvest Moon: One World is a bit of a mixed bag. The game has nice ideas, a fun concept and has a lot of potential to become a great Harvest Moon game. Sadly, the graphical quality and the sound design are subpar, and sometimes just downright awful. We did enjoy the overall gameplay loop, which was relaxing at times if you don’t mind doing menial tasks and grinding to reach certain goals. We do feel that this is a very big dip in quality, even compared to the original 1996 title, which was limited to a device that could only handle 16-bit graphics and chiptune music.

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Rating: 1.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
Harvest Moon: One World - Review, 1.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Garden Story – Review
    September 1, 2021, 00:02

    […] Garden Story’s title brings to mind games like Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley, you’re looking at an old-school Zelda-like RPG, rather than a farming sim. As […]

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