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Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (PSX) Review

By Foxx

Do you like role playing games? How about simulations? Do you have the strange urge to hop out of bed at the crack of dawn, water your crops, milk the cows, pull weeds, and other such farm related activities? No? Really? Wait, come back and keep reading! It’s not as bad as it sounds! Harvest Moon: Back to Nature is the finest installment in this somewhat odd Natsume series.

You play the role of a farm boy, who had just inherited his dearly departed grandpa’s ranch. You can recall spending your summers at this ranch chasing chickens, riding cows, and meeting girls. This will be a piece of cake… or will it? Upon your arrival, the town mayor informs you that this ranch has been a little run down. The towns-folk have decided that you have 2 ½  years to get this farm in ship-shape, in order to be recognized as the permanent owner. Here we go!

To run this farm, you have a lot to do. The farm has a chicken coop, a stable for cows, sheep and a horse, a plot of land for crops, a pond (for fish), and a small house. Now let’s make some money. Grow your crops (many seasonal varieties) and raise your animals (feed, milk, love); your animals produce eggs, wool, and milk. Sell any of these products for a nice profit.

 “What else can I do,” you might ask. The answer is simple:

 Explore town: Places to visit: hospital, general store, church, library, blacksmith, town square, bar, animal ranch, harbor, etc.

Explore the country side: Forage for nature’s bounty, collect wood, mine for oar, relax in the hot springs.

Participate in town events: New Year’s party, horse/dog racing, holidays, cook offs, dances, etc.

Make friends: Over 50 characters to interact with.

Get married have kids: 5 different lucky ladies could be yours.

 Harvest Moon goes day-by-day. Your time passes in daylight hours. A full day usually takes around 10-12 minutes. That doesn’t sound like much, but you can do a lot in that time. The seasons will change around you and before you know it, you have a new life. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature will entertain even the most skeptical gamer.


These characters have a lot of personality. The look of the whole town gives you an “at home” feeling. The Playstation has better capabilities, but these graphics suit the game just fine.



Cute, but very repetitive. It seems like the music only changes once every season (and seasons are long). You will probably enjoy the tunes, but be glad when that rainy day comes and the music disappears, if for only a fleeting moment.


Game Play:

Fun, but sometimes you have to be too precise. Picking those veggies can be a trick at first.


Replay Value:

This game will take you a while. Once it’s over, a second round will be mostly the same. However, the choices you make affect the story (i.e. the girl you choose heavily influences this). You might not pick it up again right away, buy you will eventually.



The concept may turn off many gamers, but this game is a refreshing change of originality (even though it has been reproduced on just about every platform).




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