Harvest Moon: A world - a game the world doesn't need - our test

Harvest Moon: A world - a game the world doesn't need - our test

Harvest Moon

In itself it is commendable to fertilize long-established series with a bit of innovation. However, there are few genres in which tradition and predictability are as important as with farming simulators - fans have a certain expectation when they take over a run-down farm again. Now that the studio behind Harvest Moon has developed Story of Seasons, Natsume's Eine Welt tries to show that the old Harvest Moon tree can also produce tasty products with new gardeners.

Table of contents

1 Remaining modest 2 The trouser fly 3 On the roller 4 If the farmer lacks patience ... 5. . . One world is to blame However, the project fails enormously, and for a variety of reasons - the roots are rotting here.

Remaining modest

One can certainly ask oneself whether one Character editor needs when the customization options are limited to six skin, hair and eye colors. But compared to the other game fun stumbling blocks, this fact is negligible. As men or women, Eine Welt sends us off to look for potatoes in the wilderness, Mutti is hungry.

Recommended editorial content At this point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. Since mankind has stupidly lost the knowledge of agriculture, we have no choice but to stomp through the pampas for good luck. Thankfully, however, we are the protagonist of a video game and thus the chosen one, which is why we not only have a mysterious tome in which all the farmer's wisdom from the past can be found, but can also talk to the harvest spirits. Wichtel Vitae explains to us that we have to revive the goddess of the harvest, for that we need six MacGuffins, uh, sorry, six medals. They are everywhere, which is why we say goodbye to mom straight away and take our legs in hand to comb through a world for medals.

The trouser rack

The watering can is empty - again! You should get used to the sight of this text box because you will see it often. Source: PC Games We have to admit to this prelude that we are not inheriting and rebuilding our grandfather's farm for the hundredth time. But different is not always better, because the way farm and agriculture are handled in One World is just strange. With a technical device that our no less strange neighbor Doc Jr. turns on, we can plug in our farm and set it up in other places. But don't expect too much: the game determines where we can settle down, and Harvest Moon doesn't offer an open world either. Instead, we wander through rigid corridors and a best-of of the interchangeable video game environments. We do not decide where to plant vegetables and fruit, the fields are determined beforehand. We can't even pull out the hoe and other tools manually, this happens automatically when we stand in front of a field that has not been tilled.

The interaction with the stable residents is very simple. How much the animal likes you has no influence on the quality of the respective products. Source: PC Games Lovingly designed vegetable gardens? Not here! And that wasn't all: for a very long time we don't even decide what to plant. In One World there are no seeds to buy, we get them individually (!) From harvest spirits. These harvest spirits lurk around the map, we have to loll around, speak to them, and then still have space in the inventory - if not, the seeds expire because it is not possible to throw objects out of the backpack. The result is pure horror for ambitious farmers: Everything grows criss-cross on the farm, because you don't know beforehand which seed the next imp will give you. The seasons also only exist pro forma: In spring, for example, we grow pumpkins.

Alone through the valley of death: The desolate surroundings nip the desire to explore in the bud. Source: PC Games It's tiresome to compare every farming sim with Stardew Valley, but titles have to put up with that if they don't even come close to the quality of one-man indie production. Even comfort features have fallen victim to the red pen: There is no display that shows how much water is left in our watering can. So when we water the fields, we count like an idiot or are repeatedly torn from work by an annoying text box when the jug is empty. A conscious design decision, misunderstood minimalism? Incompetence coupled with a lack of money and time? If only we knew that.

On the Roll

Fishing belongs in pretty much every farming sim. You can also cast the leash in Eine Welt, but this secondary activity is hardly fun either. Source: PC Games Since the usual farm work is so rudimentary, you might think that there is more to do elsewhere in the game. But that's only partly true - of course, in order to get new seeds, we inevitably have to walk around the area on shoemaker's pony. Thankfully, after completing the first area, we can access a fast travel system so that we can save at least a little bit of time. And stamina - that also decreases when you just walk around! We passed out a few times on the way home from exhaustion, also because the stamina bar in the form of a heart display is terribly meaningless and imprecise. All of these are not circumstances that make permanent hiking attractive. Apart from that, side tasks and the course of the story are tiring and trite. Would you like some examples?

The cows of the farmer next door are sick, bring them grass. Supporting character XY, who doesn't even have a name, needs three eggplants. Give the guy wood on the beach so he can fix the jetty. Of course, that doesn't motivate you to delve deeper into the unbelievable world in which farms are teleported in trouser pockets, but nobody knows how to stick a potato in the ground. You can make friends with some of the internally dead inhabitants of the world, or hang out with them (even if only in a hetero constellation), which may be interesting for objectophiles. Friendships open events in the game world, which are also disappointing and not worth the effort.

Tasks from the quest generator: This NPC doesn't even have a name and wants wood from us to repair the bridge. To fall asleep! Source: PC Games In the meantime, word has got around about large AAA productions, the information has not yet reached the developers of Harvest Moon: A large world should not serve an end in itself, but also have something to offer. In Harvest Moon this is not the case, neither visually nor in terms of content. A flat, cheap texture stretches from the right to the left side of the screen, now and then you can see trees and stones distributed in an uninspired way, otherwise unimaginative emptiness and boredom. Harvest Moon looks like a mobile game, the buildings are out of focus, barn animals have no collision query and overlap with our character, the design of the characters is so interchangeable that we have all met NPCs a thousand times in other titles and afterwards immediately forgot. A graphic with this lean level should at least run smoothly, but far from it. Harvest Moon: A world jerks, even the background music stutters, sometimes the environment is reloaded while you march or gallop through the wasteland.

If the farmer lacks patience ...

No open world: the new Harvest Moon limits your walking routes to narrow corridors, the different areas look interchangeable. Source: PC Games Farming simulators are at their best when it comes to motivating players with a variety of goals to stick with it. This ranges from short-term projects (harvesting the field) to long-term plans (improving tools, expanding the farm). Due to the extremely limited possibilities for designing your own farm, many aspects are already missing in One World in the first category, it never feels like it really is our farm, we are always just passing through. But even in the long run, the game offers too few reasons to stick with it, quite apart from the technical flaws. The residents of Stardew Valley aren't the most colorful or multifaceted characters a video game has ever seen, but they are still a thousand times more complex and interesting than any character in Harvest Moon.

Why should we care about reviving the Harvest Goddess? The people seem to be getting along pretty well. It's frightening how little there is in Harvest Moon: One World and how unbelievably this poor content is stretched: Everything is far too expensive, too many features only become available very late - probably too late for farmers with little frustration resistance. Well, we can cook and fish - but that's just more fun in other games. In the menu, all buttons (here the calendar) are almost completely blank before you select them by pressing a button. That seems unfinished and unkind. Source: PC Games

. . . It's a world to blame

Confusingly, Harvest Moon explains the simplest tasks too extensively (all interactions with animals are limited to exactly one push of a button, but we still have to prove this "skill" in a tutorial), but other mechanics are at all not explained and you have to somehow figure it out yourself. For example the vegetable mutations - there is a certain probability that the cultivated species will change depending on the location of the field. However, especially with fields away from the farm, it is impossible to tell from the surroundings what kind of soil it is without potentially wasting a valuable seed. Is the field on the beach considered a beach field? Or does the grass around the outside indicate that it is a field of meadows after all?

The unfortunate design decisions in the game make one concerned, so it is not surprising that the Season Pass and DLCs are already waiting for farm idiots, There were obviously enough resources available for their development, while the previously planned gay relationships had to be canceled due to the corona pandemic. Obviously, then, where the priorities for Natsume were in the development of Harvest Moon: by no means fulfilling the player's wishes. Anyone who knows a little about the field knows it anyway, but until a better game appears, we have to say again: Nothing beats Stardew Valley. But Story of Seasons also delivers a better farmer game this year. We do not include the price of games in the rating, but it should be noted: For the content, Harvest Moon is: One world too expensive, you should think carefully about the purchase even with a discount.

My Opinion

By Katharina Pache

Chief Editor

[email protected] There are browser games with more content and charm than One World. Normally I can still find something good in even the biggest gaming disasters, a loving detail, the story, an amusing dialogue, the hero's outfit, if you like. Here I find it difficult to discover positive aspects apart from “after all, you tried to do something new”. Harvest Moon: A world has no soul, technically it whistles from the last hole, who has the need for a farming sim, there are umpteen better games to choose from, some titles that have been a decade or more under their belt. If it came out that a world was programmed by an (incompetent) AI, it wouldn't surprise me, it almost feels as if the dead game world is draining the joy of life. Otherwise I am happy if I never read “Your watering can is empty” again and have to make a pilgrimage from pixie to pixie to stow individual seeds in my ugly inventory like a beggar. I'm sure whoever thought this mechanic was a good idea will tear the pages out of books as they read instead of turning the pages. Harvest Moon: One World (PS4) 3/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Harvest Moon: One World (NSW) 3/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons One Few new ideas Lousy technology Incredibly limited farming mechanics Dead, empty, far too big game world Boring missions, characters and story Looks unfinished and exudes lovelessness Content is terribly stretched Looks terrible More pros & cons ... Conclusion This farm is flourishing all frustration - loveless farming sim with many errors

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