Somewhere in Harvest Moon: One World there is a actually attention-grabbing seed of an thought for a brand new tackle farming sims, which might be a lot appreciated after 25 years of very related video games. And in the suitable fingers, turning a farming simulator sequence right into a plot-driven, exploration-focused journey recreation appears like a superb thought. And but One World fails in nearly each option to do something attention-grabbing or modern with this new thought apart from layer it on prime of a deeply mediocre farming sim.
Unlike its quite a few Harvest Moon predecessors and opponents, One World doesn’t have you ever inherit an previous farm in a dying village and spend years rebuilding them, attending to know your neighbors, and customarily settling down. Rather, you’re handed a transportable farm (your scientist neighbor turns up in your doorstep and says “Look, I made you a portable farm” and that’s the tip of the dialogue) within the first 10 minutes and despatched off on an journey throughout its world, by 5 completely different cities with their very own climates, hazards, and issues. You’ll park your farm in a single spot for a season, end no matter native plot is in entrance of you, after which transfer on.But the one world of One World is boring in each manner. Everything appears to be like bland, apart from the named character fashions, that are precisely high-quality. Towns are boring and empty with only a couple similar homes every, the areas between them are principally lengthy and same-ish paths, and the whole lot simply appears to be like flat and easy. There’s no element, no character – simply lengthy stretches of empty house, possibly with a tree thrown in when you’re fortunate.
It additionally generally doesn’t work accurately. Sound incessantly sputters if you’re transferring from space to space. Characters and objects seem and disappear from existence – generally on function in accordance with their respective schedules, however generally simply because they are not loading in quick sufficient. It’s particularly dangerous if you’re driving your horse. As a lot as I despise calling something “X-era graphics,” the GameCube model of Harvest Moon was way more detailed and thrilling to take a look at than this. (But then, that was earlier than the original developer went off to make Story of Seasons instead).The aesthetics of One World aren’t the place the mundanity ends. Unlike different Harvest Moon video games the place you get to know a city of distinct and personable neighbors, there are few precise developed characters in One World exterior of its roster of bachelors and bachelorettes and one different named character in every space. The overwhelming majority of the forged is made up of same-looking people with names like “Awkward Man” or “Thoughtful Woman” whose solely character trait is sending you limitless mail to ask you to carry them random objects. And that’s a horrible thought as a result of once more, these characters are inclined to disappear utterly at sure occasions of day, generally proper in entrance of your eyes, and generally as you’re about to show in a quest.
Harvest Moon: One World Sreenshots
The bachelors and bachelorettes have a bit extra going for them within the character division, however are nonetheless largely fairly samey ultimately. They all care about their respective cities, they want your assist saving them, and so they assume the primary character is neat. For probably the most half, they’re distinguished virtually fully by their appears to be like and what city they hand around in probably the most. Marrying one is inconsequential, seeming virtually like an afterthought gated behind numerous time spent within the extraordinarily boring mines and, for some cause, ending the primary plot – you’ll be able to’t get married till then. You can have a child finally too, however your offspring take after your partner’s aspect of the household in that they do nothing attention-grabbing in any way.
Oh, and you’ll’t be queer, regardless of Harvest Moon’s opponents Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley having acknowledged what yr it’s already. The builders say this function was missed due to COVID-19, and that will probably be current in future video games, but it surely’s nonetheless massively irritating when so many different video games supply it. And since One World would not actually sign to you who’s and is not dateable for fairly some time, I spent numerous time handing presents to Kirsi for no cause.
With an empty world and a soulless forged, that leaves the precise farming to hold One World… and it doesn’t. The Harvest Goddess is, as standard in Harvest Moon video games, absent, which has brought on everybody on the planet to only neglect how farming and seeds work. So as a substitute of shopping for seeds on the retailer, you must hunt them down. Harvest Wisps scattered all through the world will hand you one seed per day per wisp, which means a lot of your skill to really use your farm can be tied to exploring the world.
And just like the exploration angle, One World’s farming has a number of attention-grabbing new concepts which may have made for an thrilling new path had it been dealt with otherwise. For occasion, every crop has sure seasons and areas of the world it grows higher in. You can nonetheless plant crops low season or in different areas, however they will develop extra slowly – or change into completely different crops fully. Eggplant grown exterior of its favored zone may change into a White Eggplant, or a Tomato might change into an Ice Tomato within the snowy area.There’s numerous potential right here for enjoyable experimentation with the place you set your farm and what you develop and when, but it surely’s by no means realized. The drawback with all that is that nothing is ever actually defined. After 20+ hours into One World, with the Harvest Goddess resurrected and the primary story completed, I’m nonetheless not fully clear how they work. There’s no actual log that signifies precisely methods to get which mutations even after you have already obtained them, and even when you plant the identical crop in the identical area on the similar time, it would not all the time appear to mutate. I’m positive there is a trick right here I’m lacking, and whereas mutations are largely inconsequential (I’ve been capable of finding seeds for all of the mutations I’ve made to this point individually as properly), it is actually irritating when you’re making an attempt to develop, say, an Asparagus from common Asparagus seeds for a quest, however preserve getting Purple Asparagus as a substitute and do not know why.
One World lacks clear instruction all through, typically putting you into irritating conditions with out a manner out. One later quest that’s vital to the story wished me to collect 4 of a sure sort of sheep wool… however there have been solely three slots in my barn on the time and so they had been already taken up by a cow, a horse, and an everyday sheep. No matter what, I would want to buy the particular sheep required to get this wool and wait a number of in-game weeks for it to change into an grownup and produce the wool. But I’d additionally both should eliminate one in every of my different animals to create space for it in my barn, or broaden my barn – which I had no thought methods to do on the time. Barn enlargement seems to be gated behind a protracted sequence of fetch quests that give no indication constructing enlargement is on the finish of them.That was only one instance, however this obtuse quest and improve design turned a irritating hindrance repeatedly all through One World, with many development quests requiring particular seeds or device upgrades and no trace in any respect as to the place these could be discovered. Your finest wager, exterior of a information online, is simply to speak to everybody always and repeatedly and do each single quest potential till you unintentionally stumble over the factor you are on the lookout for.
I haven’t but talked about all the various small annoyances that cropped up as I performed, none of that are price a paragraph on their very own however all contributed to my rising ball of frustration with One World. Why can I not have multiple stack of a single merchandise in my storage or stock at a time? Why does my stamina drop always simply from strolling round? Is there any level to giving presents to random anonymous NPCs? Why cannot my canine go exterior? Why does holding my animals joyful seemingly do nothing in any respect, and why do they drop useless after a yr or so robotically?
The finest I can say about One World is that it is high-quality – one thing you’ll be able to mindlessly play on mute with a podcast on and really feel not-horrible about. That stated, with two Story of Seasons video games out inside a month of this and Stardew Valley’s 1.5 replace on prime of that, I can’t consider a cause why anybody who loves the Harvest Moon custom ought to play One World. It’s missing nearly each potential forward-moving function any related video games have, and its makes an attempt at doing one thing new with the sequence are half-baked and irritating.