I’m here with an update of Kris’s challenge to me… which was supposed to be the end of October, but better late then never, right?
Kris challenged me to play Harvest Moon: Light of Hope for the Nintendo Switch. She wanted me to complete the main story line, which… I did not do.
I was supposed to have the month of October to complete this challenge and instead we’re in the beginning of December. I had plenty of time in October and the November was hectic with NaNoWriMo and holidays and other obligations. So, not only did I miss the deadline, but I still didn’t even complete the challenge.
Harvest Moon is a series I’ve always wanted to get into. However, whenever I play the games, I get bored really quickly. I don’t know why since it’s similar to Animal Crossing and I love that. Still, no matter how hard I try, I was never able to get into it.
I love games that are driven by story with a few exceptions (Animal Crossing being one of them, of course.) Harvest Moon: Light of Hope has a story, but… I don’t care for it at all. With that said, I had a hard time getting into the game and I didn’t play it for a long time because I kept putting it off. Hence, the extended deadline and why I still haven’t completed the story.
Cons of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
1. The beginning of this game is so slow.
The story definitely drags in the beginning and it takes a while for you to finally get into the game play. I just wanted to start my farm and casually play the game. There are sprites who come to you and ask for your help in addition to the townspeople. You have to rebuild the town and island before it sinks into the sea. In order to do that, there are five tablets to be found and collected to bring light and energy back to the lighthouse. The first tablet is handed to you pretty much. Each tablet gets “harder” and “longer” to get than the last.
This is all well and fine but I had nothing to start off with. I don’t expect to start the game with 10,000 gold, but to rebuild houses and bridges you need a certain amount of certain materials and so much money. I needed to spend money to get the materials, such as seeds for certain crops, and then I needed to hold onto those crops to build the house but in order to make money, I needed to sell those crops. It was a vicious cycle.
Honestly, I spent the majority of spring – the first season in the game – waking up, watering my crops, and then going right back to bed by noon because there was nothing else left for me to do. I couldn’t fish and the mines weren’t fixed (because I needed to fix them) so it was long and annoying.
2. Loading screens & cut scenes.
Speaking of slow…
3. There’s no direction.
Yes, I needed a walk-through for this game. There are so many things to do but I had no idea what I needed to do first to move on with the game. If I didn’t look it up, I certainly wouldn’t have the fishing rod or the mines and hammer, or even the third out of five tablets.
The island is huge and there are a lot of areas to explore and houses to rebuild. I could have just gone through them all one by one and check out which materials I had and could get versus what I couldn’t. But the beginning was slow enough, I just wanted to move on and be able to build my farm and have a casual play through of the game.
Granted, this is supposed to be a casual simulation game but if there’s some sort of story, I’d like to know what to do or where to go next.
4. I didn’t care about any of the characters.
None of the characters appealed to me at all. They didn’t seem to have any depth to them at all. No, I didn’t try to marry anyone or give anyone gifts, but I didn’t care to either. The sprites weren’t much better. They were cute, but they were also pretty annoying.
Pros of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
1. The game did pick up.
Once I opened the mine, got the hammer, and got the fishing rod, I found myself being able to do a lot more. My character was actually staying up until midnight or so doing things and I even found myself playing on because I wasn’t able to get everything done I had wanted to in the previous day. So, the game did pick up a little for me and I certainly enjoyed farming, mining, and fishing. If that was the whole game, I’d be much happier.
2. Requests from the villagers.
I’ve always loved doing requests for the CPU characters. Waking up and having mail in my mailbox giving me a small goal or side-quest to aim for a new material or such is always a good time for me.
3. The music and sound effects were good.
For a casual simulation game, the music was relaxing and certainly on-point for certain characters. (I’m looking at you, Doc.)
I listed the pros last to end this post on a high note but, as you can see, this game has more cons for me than pros. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to this game to complete the story and possibly get to know the characters well enough to marry one of them, but I can’t see myself getting back to this game anytime soon. It was just okay for me.