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About the product
- Take control of a farm and try to keep it from being overtaken by a heartless corporation
- Grow and cultivate crops, rear a variety of animals, and mine for precious gems
- Make friends and woo a potential wife
- Build your relationship with villages by helping them achieve their goals and dreams!
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The tranquil town of Leaf Valley is scheduled for demolition! The heartless Funland Corporation is going to bulldoze the town and replace it with an amusement park unless it citizens can find a way to stop them! You’ll need to grow crops, raise animals, and mine ores and gems to help save Leaf Valley and your family farm. With a branching storyline and multiple endings, how you choose to save the town is up to you!
The tranquil town of Leaf Valley is scheduled for demolition! The heartless Funland Corporation is going to bulldoze the town and replace it with an amusement park unless its citizens can find a way to stop them! You'll need to grow crops, raise animals, and mine ores and gems to help save Leaf Valley and your family farm. With a branching storyline and multiple endings, how you choose to save the town is up to you!
Natsume brings its quirky farming franchise to the PSP for the third time to once again let gamers cultivate crops, friendship, and love in Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley. Players take on the role of a young man who has come to the quaint town of Leaf Valley to assume control of his dead grandfather's dilapidated farm. But as soon as gamers arrive, they learn that the farm has already been purchased by the Funland Corporation, with the intention of turning the entire area into an amusement park. In order to save the farm, players must raise fifty thousand dollars in two years by growing and harvesting crops, rearing animals, mining precious ores and gems, and taking on part-time jobs. As is the case with almost all Harvest Moon titles, Hero of Leaf Valley places a great deal of emphasis on relationships, both platonic and romantic, and the love and life choices gamers make will ultimately determine what conclusion the game offers.
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First and foremost, you notice the crisp, vivid and beautiful graphics. Now, for a portable, the PSP is no slouch, but many games just don't push the little guy to its full potential. While I'm not saying that HoLV is a new coming in graphic technology, it does the PSP justice. Buildings and characters are well-modeled and the landscape is verdant and lively. All in all, HoLV looks beautiful, a nice plus.
Sound wise, the game doesn't fare as well. It maintains those cheesy, cheerful tunes found in each game, the relaxing and languid ones. They never get to the point of excruciating annoyance, but they are always reminding you that you're playing a Japanese-designed farming game. While none of the Harvest Moon's have voice acting, the absense of anything remotely human when talking to the other denizens does get a little... cold. Sure, the footsteps and rain, as well as animals all sound nice, but I don't know too many mutes who can convey such speech. And their lips don't move. Hah.
Now, the most important crux of the game: gameplay. And, unsurprisingly, it plays like a well-tuned Harvest Moon game. Question: have you played any of the more-recent console iterations of the game? Yes? Well, then there will be few surprises. Farming is still fun in that monotonous, relaxing sort of way and tending for the animals is as easy as ever, an oxymoronic statement if I've ever said one. And HoLV tends to favor relationships and friendship with the neighbors more than previous installment. This livens things up away from the farm. Also, one of the newer aspects is the 'part-time job' option. Leaf Valley has six jobs to work, in addition to your farming, with ample rewards for completing these tasks. Working for the farmer, you may just earn a horse for free in due time, or extra recepies while slaving away in the mansion kitchen. And, if completed successfully, the payment isn't bad either. And you need all the money you can get, because in two years, 50,000G is due.
Let me explain the story. The land of Leaf Valley is schedule for bulldozing and Funland wants to build an amusement park. So you, being the plucky hero (it is in the title) have to collect funds. Or, perhaps there are other ways, such as befriending the town people. And a wife never hurts, either. This is different from previous entries, and it maintained my interest, which is hard. Believe you me.
Overall, HoLV was a very pleasant surprise for a Harvest Moon game. While I am the perennial fan, they have slowly... well, the last few completely failed as games. This one tailors itself to fans moreso, but it is still accessable and fun. It has found permenant residence in my little PSP collection.