My Guilty Gaming Pleasure
Hiya All! Caelrona here, and this time I’m here to have a chat about one of my biggest Guilty Gaming Pleasures… Harvest Moon. Now I know that Harvest Moon gets a lot of flak from a lot of people, mainly because they don’t see the appeal of raising crops and animals in a video game. To be honest, when I first picked it up that pretty much summed up my reaction as well; “Farm in a video game? I’m too lazy to go weed the garden in real life, but they have a video game for farming.. Ehh.” But eventually one super boring summer spent at my sister’s house, I finally rented Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life from the local movie rental place and gave it a go on my GameCube. Let me tell you, Holy Batman! did I get addicted to that game. I spent hours growing crops, raising animals and making friends with the townsfolk. I ended up married to Cecilia, and was in the process of encouraging my adorable little baby to love animals and crops when I had to return it to the store. I immediately bought my own copy, and when they released a girl version (Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life) I immediately went out and bought it. I eventually got around to downloading the ROMS so I could play the earlier versions on Emulator. My addiction, and guilty gaming pleasure, had begun.
The Harvest Moon series of games runs the gamut of Nintendo consoles, starting at the super amazing Super Nintendo, or SNES, and running all the way up to the current Wii. Natsume also released a few special editions on various Playstation consoles (Ps1, Ps2 and PSP.) No doubt Nintendo and Natsume will continue to cash in on what has become a huge series with whatever future consoles they come out with. Not to mention the spin-offs that came from Harvest Moon’s success. I am talking about Rune Factory and Innocent Life. Rune Factory has successfully (so far) spun off into its own series with various titles available on the Wii and DS consoles as well as one port to the PS3. Innocent Life, however, has been limited to one (not very well received) game released on the PSP and later ported to the PS2.
All of the Harvest Moon games have the central theme of working a farm. The game usually starts with your character inheriting a farm from a relative or old friend and being introduced to the farm life and various aspects of said lifestyle such as growing crops, and raising livestock and animals. Also you are expected to find a spouse and get married (and in some games raise your child.) Each game provides goals to complete or objects to gather. Some titles have a mystical or magical aspect to the storyline where you help magical little spirits known as Harvest Sprites and occasionally the Harvest Goddess.
In recent years Harvest Moon has been the inspiration for several social networking games, most available on Facebook. I’m sure most of you have heard of Farmville, but there are many others such as Country Story, Farm Town, Happy Harvest and even Adult Swim’s very own Hemp Tycoon. If you have played any or all of these then you are aware of how freakishly addictive they are, and if you haven’t… well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Well, there you have it! My Guilty Gaming Pleasure. In all honesty, I adore these games. It might seem odd to see my copies of Harvest Moon sitting all snuggly on my shelf next to games like Dead Island, Legend of Zelda, or Skyrim but I guess we all have that one little Guilty Gaming Pleasure. Besides, there’s more to me than slaying dragons, kicking zombies in the face or playing my Ocarina. Maybe I’ll see you around the farm next time I play Harvest Moon!
Until next time;
Caelrona, signing off! ❤