Harvest Moon: One World (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Nayu 16.02.2021 1

Review for Harvest Moon: One World on Nintendo Switch

Set to release on Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch on March 2nd in North and South America and March 5th in Europe, Harvest Moon: One World has farming game fans eagerly awaiting news. Instead of remaining in one town the player is able to travel all over the world. How is taking care of animals and crops compatible with travelling? What new and returning features are in the game? These questions and more were answered for long-time Harvest Moon fan and Cubed3 reviewer Nayu during an online demo presentation, which was hosted on Discord by Natsume Inc. to a limited audience on 4th February 2021. Presenting the demo was Vice President of Operations Graham Markay, Producer Taka Maekawa, and Localization Editor Adam Fitch.

From the first glimpse of new gameplay and during explanations of menus and new skills, the passion and effort that the team have put into creating Harvest Moon: One World is clear. It retains a similar style to previous Harvest Moon games but it looks slicker, better defined. From the multicoloured trees with many leaves to each new crop that looks good enough to eat, the bright and cheerful graphics encourage happiness while playing. Natsume Inc. explained that while farming and building relationships are as always a core part of the newest Harvest Moon title, the central focus in One World is exploration. From the start there is a lot to explore. Specific story events need to be used to unlock certain areas, but their aim with more towns was to make it like an open world. Each player's experience will be different because of the range of decisions the players will make.

Now more than ever before in the series there is less linearity. In previous titles the types of seeds available from the start were heavily limited due to the story. One World has a missing harvest goddess, and introduces harvest wisps who are distant cousins to the harvest sprites. There are hundreds of wisps all over the world and these wisps hold crop seeds. Throughout the game the wisps are hunted down. There is help to find them through a search function which includes searching by type of seeds required. Once the search starts the wisps appear in the overworld as orbs of light, which can then be collected and seeds added to the inventory. The availability of harvest wisps hoarding the seeds removes any frustrations from lack of money at the start of the game.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon: One World on Nintendo Switch

Travelling is fundamental to the way this title plays. Not all areas will be available from the start and the player needs to find towns and villages themselves. Rest assured, the farm will not have to be neglected while travelling. One of the new systems from Doc Junior means whenever the player wants to travel, the farm buildings can be shrunk down to pocket-size, making it easy to carry when travelling. Crops are the sole item that will remain on the map due to mutation needs. Mutations are an important part of One World, as different locations have different types of weather at any one time, meaning a tomato grown on the starting area has a chance to mutate into a new tomato in the beach or desert areas. The new tomato will no doubt be needed in quests and can be used in cooking.

With more than one town to explore, it is important to note that there is an ability for fast travel between towns, which gets unlocked in due course once an area's harvest sprite has been found. Each town has their own puzzles to solve to progress the story. The world map is similar to the one in Harvest Moon: Light of Hope in that it's easy to navigate thanks to the the onscreen mini map. Farm expansions such as making a bigger house or animal barn take a few clicks of a button once the relevant materials have been collected. New elements include palm trees that can supply fruit and be cut for wood, as well as sprinklers - a must-use item so that there is no need to worry about watering crops when gallivanting across the world. Each town will have residents that players can marry and there is a wide variety of personalities so there should be someone to suit everyone's tastes. Interactions use the 3D models which bring more life to the dialogue.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon: One World on Nintendo Switch

As in previous games the animals kept on the farm aren't the only animals. Foxes, cats and other animals can be kept as pets once you find them in the overworld and can, of course, be petted. Picking up the cat for a hug evokes warm fuzzy feelings. Farm animals include everything from the beloved cute chickens which will lay different coloured eggs to the newer varieties like the camel which can be ridden with exceptionally smooth movement. Now more than ever the cows look ridiculously cute, and it is easy to see that time will be spent in-game watching the animals simply be themselves. The windmill makes a return to the farm as a useful feature for making bait and animal feed.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon: One World on Nintendo Switch

Like in previous entries, going to bed makes the next day start and any goods sold earn the player money. Natsume Inc. have kept in mind restrictions on sleep from previous games which required waking at 6AM and going to bed around 10PM to avoid making the player too tired. In One World the time restrictions are relaxed, primarily because some harvest wisps and animals are only available after midnight. Oh, and there is now more than one mine! All the mines are slightly different, and give great rewards for those who make it to the very bottom. After a set number of mine levels have been explored it will be possible to return to certain levels just like in previous Harvest Moon titles. There are bag expansions to collect and several new outfits for both the male and female character which once bought can be changed regularly if desired. The character features, however, can only be tweaked at the beginning.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon: One World on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

It feels like a very long wait until Harvest Moon: One World releases in March. The charming 3D style means that farming, whether focusing on raising animals or growing crops, will provide dozens if not hundreds of hours of enjoyment to both returning and new fans alike. The many towns, each with unique elements, bring a multicultural feel to the game as well as making the world a wondrous place to explore and engage your inner farmer.

Developer

Natsume

Publisher

Rising Star Games

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 05.03.2021   North America release date 02.03.2021   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date 05.03.2021   

Comments

I wonder how this will do, considering how popular Stardew Valley has been so far. It could be a breakout hit if it grabs attention ahead of the new Story of Seasons release.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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