Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl (PSP)
Be the person you want to be in this farming adventure. In Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl, you must choose between Destiny (playing as a boy) or Fate (playing as a girl). While the farming chores are similar, your life, goals, friends and future family depend on how you help and interact with others in this wonderful world. Non-linear, real-time game play allows for a wide assortment of events. Compete with villagers in challenging festival mini contest. Play as a boy or a girl – two games in one.
Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl is a bundle of two games–Harvest Moon: Back to Nature and the previously unreleased-in-the-US Harvest Moon for Girls, both badly ported from the PS1. Except for minor differences, most notably the protagonist’s gender, they’re actually the same game. Though this is a direct port of a pair of games that are roughly seven years old, the series has gone out of its way to evolve as little as possible over time, and as a result the simple yet surprisingly deep gameplay is functionally the same as in nearlyevery other entry in the series. This, of course, will be comforting to the stalwart fan community hooked on its quirky combination of farm RPG and dating sim, but it’ll appeal little to virtually everyone else.
Harvest Moon puts you completely in charge of planning and maintaining all aspects of a farm, from the fields to the livestock, while trying to remain fiscally sound. The four seasons, each of which is composed of 30 in-game days, are punctuated with various local events for you to participate in so as to take your mind off your daily chores, but neglecting them for too long can prove detrimental. Your field needs to be weeded and plowed so you can plant crops, which must be watered and harvested, and your animals need to be fed and shown that you love them through regular care; but be sure not to go overboard and forget about your own health, as you can only work so long before collapsing from exhaustion. Once your tasks are done, the day is yours to spend as you please, though most likely your pursuit of a suitable partner and, ultimately, your marriage, will generally take up your free time.
It’s one thing to re-make a game, overhaul some of its art and gameplay elements, and release it on a current system as the same game (think: Final Fantasy III), but it’s a horse of a completely different color to take an old game, make zero significant changes, and then repackage it as new. That strikes us as misleading, to say the least. However, if you can overcome that fact – or go into your purchase armed with, or precisely because of, that knowledge – then Boy and Girl is actually a fantastic, if dated, game. There are a few quirks with the port, such as unusual moments of lag and imprecise controls with the PSP nub, but overall, the game is the same as the original.
You start the game as a boy who inherits his grandfather’s mess of a farm and has to revive it within three years in order for the residents to accept you as one of their own. Or, if you play the girl version, you obtain the exact same farm after being found on the town’s beach with no memory of your past. In either case, your job is to farm your way to prosperity by planting seasonal fruits and veggies, mining for upgrades in a local cave, and raising livestock for eggs and milk, find a spouse, and make a life for yourself. Along the way, you’ll encounter elves, town festivals, a bit of fishing, and more.
Genre: Fantasy RPG
Developer: Marvelous Interactive
Release Date: Jul 31, 07 [North America]
Perspective(s): First Person
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