Challenge Complete: Harvest Moon Light Of Hope

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

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?

Gaming Challenge: Harvest Moon Light of Hope | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

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.

Here’s why…

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.)

Overall…

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.

Have you played Harvest Moon: Light of Hope? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!

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[Review] Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Harvest Moon | Light of Hope | Review | Game Review

Title: Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
Developer: Natsume
Publisher: Natsume
Platform:
PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4
Category:
Role-Playing, Simulation
Release Date:
May 29, 2018 for Switch/Playstation 4 in NA; November 14, 2017 for PC
How we got the game:
Bought it for the Switch

krismii
Harvest Moon has been one of my favorite franchises since I was introduced to Friends of Mineral Town for the GameBoy Advance way back when I was in… I dunno, the beginning of high school? It was a long time ago, let’s just say that. I feel as if the older titles in the franchise better capture what Harvest Moon is supposed to be about, and I think that Light of Hope recaptured that.

gameplay

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope operates in a similar way to the majority of the other games in the franchise. As one of the main objectives of the game, you spend much of your time cultivating a farm, growing crops and raising livestock. Fishing and mining are also two activities that you do in order to help improve both your farm and the island itself.

The controls for Light of Hope are, actually, fairly simple. With the Switch controls set up the way I had them, usually in the Switch’s handheld mode, you move your character with the left analog stick and the A button on the right Joy-Con was your main action button.

A cursor — usually a little leaf or a green square if you were by a farming spot — showed you where you could make an action. The green leaf was used basically to indicate who you could talk to, while a green square would indicate what tool you could use. There is no switching tools around in this game. Instead, the game is smart enough to know what tool you need based on what you were facing. If there’s a tree in front of you, you’ll automatically use the ax to cut it down. You’ll swing your hammer if you meet a stone. And if you were facing a spot where you can grow a crop? Just stand there and hit A as your character automatically tills the spot, plants your preferred crop, water the spot, and toss on some fertilizer.

Of course, sometimes this hiccuped a little (yes, I know I patted and brushed my cow already, can you please just automatically milk it now?), such as if you suddenly moved your character and they’re tilling the next spot of grass instead of watering the potatoes, but it works well enough for me.

While you’re improving your farm and completing the story, you’ll also be making friends and wooing potential spouses, as you do in most Harvest Moon games. Talking and giving gifts to people improve your friendships, potentially unlocking further activities or pieces of the story. Many of the NPCs are in charge of shops on the island and you can sell products that you grow on the farm directly to them rather than stuffing them in the shipping bin. Some stores will pay you more for certain goods — such as the restaurant for fish or the flower shop for, well, flowers — than you would receive when shipping them.

All in all, the game play and controls are pretty smooth on the Nintendo Switch.

graphics-music

Light of Hope’s graphics were rather charming. Full-bodied sprites moved fluidly across the Nintendo Switch screen, and the animated expressions while characters were speaking to each other definitely amused me!

I almost always enjoy the music in Harvest Moon games, and Light of Hope was no exception. The seasonal music is always relaxing, especially in winter. Most of the tunes are updated versions of music from past Harvest Moon games, which just makes me enjoy them all the more.

storyThe protagonist of the game washes ashore a mostly-deserted Beacon Island in the middle of a storm. After being rescued by a couple of the last remaining inhabitants of the island, the protagonist decides to stick around and help draw back citizens to the island by farming and rebuilding the shops.

Beacon Island is home to a majestic lighthouse whose eternal light has vanished, the catalyst as to why many people abandoned the island. The protagonist vows to figure out why the lighthouse went out and to restore it once again.

The story reminds me of a cross between Animal Parade and Sunshine Islands. Restoring the lighthouse’s light comes down to finding the the lighthouse tablets. The game itself pretty much carries you through the story, so there is no literal searching for the tablets. NPCs will guide you through the chapters, giving you hints (or just outright telling you) what items you need in order to proceed. The story can take as little as 10 hours as long as you are able to find and/or save the necessary items you’ll need in order to find the stone tablets.

After the tablets are replaced in the lighthouse and the light is restored, the story ends. The protagonist is now able to continue raising their farm, expanding their house in case they want to marry an eligible candidate, as well as unlock special livestock and crop seeds.

The story itself isn’t much, but the many interactions between the player and the NPCs were cute. The only thing I found odd about the story was at certain parts where NPCs would “wait” in an area for the player to return with specific items to help move the story along, even if it took the player a couple of seasons to find the items.

replay-value

Most Harvest Moon games have plenty of replay value if one considers the different spouses one can woo and the multitude of ways one can arrange their farm. There are three save files per profile on the Switch, so if you’re the type to try to marry every potential spouse, go for it. Light of Hope also has multiple farms on the island as well, allowing you to experiment with different plants and crops.

It’s a charming, relaxing game that has plenty of potential for multiple play-throughs.

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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