T-McBee’s Favourite Things in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

HMBTN_Favourites copy

This is T-McBee here with a new Favourites video game list. In this new article, I’ll be covering a game that even though I prefer the N64 version a little more due to nostalgia purposes, the PS1 port had more accessible assets and elements that the N64 one didn’t have. That game is no other than Harvest Moon: Back to Nature.

HM_Boxart

 The first time a friend of mine introduced me and my closest friend Harvest Moon for the Playstation 1 back in high school, we immediately got hooked right away. My closest friend hogged the game when we first saw the game, which left me watching her play the game until I decided to play more Harvest Moon 64 instead. But now that I own a PS3, I downloaded Harvest Moon: Back to Nature on the console in 2012 and got a chance to play it on my own. There are some things in the game I find rather dull at times, but it sure has some great features that keeps me still playing.

Now please keep in mind that these choices are just my personal preferences. So don’t go a-wall crazy if you don’t see your favourite moments and things from this game on my list. Now without further ado, grab all your farming tools and crops to keep this list alive and well. So let’s get started!

Growing and Selling Crops

HM_BackNature_Crops

Growing and selling crops on your farm in Back to Nature progresses your game for the better. Not to mention it’s really fun with the variety of crops you can grow. Sure, there were tons of foods to grow and sell in Harvest Moon 64, but Back to Nature had a few newer crops that you can grow, water and sell, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots and onions.

Make sure you’ll leave much space on your farm for crops because you’re going to need it.

Super Market

HM_BackNature_Shop

One of my favourite places to go in town has to be the Super Market owned by Jeff and Sasha. Not only it’s a place to buy all the crop seeds you want for your farm, but also food ingredients like bread, flour and oil for cooking purposes. It’s absolutely the one place you’ll be going to more often and it’s convenient! I like convenient places. 😀

Mining

mining_HM

Oh my god! Mining in Back to Nature was so much better than in Harvest Moon 64. There is one mining cave that’s open every season by the water fall. The other cave near the mountain top only opens in the Winter, where you can get more valuable ores than in the other cave.

saibara_HM

Grabbing ores and diamonds were helpful to make money off off since they earn quite a lot (especially your first year on the farm). Getting ores were surprisingly useful when upgrading tools and getting useable items from the blacksmith Saibara, though it takes days for him to improve  your tools and purchasable items at his shop. I need my watering can to grow my crops!

The Cheese, Yarn Ball and Mayonnaise Makers 

yarn-maker

mayonnaise-maker

If you’re fed up of selling eggs, milk and wool in your farm, then you have the option to sell mayonnaise, cheese and yarn balls if you got these three making machines. This gives some diversity in selling your shipments and I believe selling these items gives you more money. The only way to get these makers is give the green ores to Saibara so he can make them for you. Great!…Got to wait for days to get these makers, huh?

Cooking Up Recipes

cookingHM

Something I wished that Harvest Moon 64 had in the game. If you have a kitchen in your house, then the first thing you want to do in a kitchen is to cook food. This was one of the selling points for me to appreciate Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. Trying to make recipes with foods like your crops, cooking ingredients and other eatable items was a nice  fun addition if you wanted to take a break from farming and other tight occupations. Besides having a kitchen in your home, you need to buy kitchen utensils through the Inn’s phone if you’re desperate to cook in the game.

HM_Chef

Also adding a new recipe adds to your cookbook becomes part of your game progression in making your farm successful. Think of it like pre Cooking Mama, but playing as a male farmer to make these delicious dishes. You see! Guys can love cooking too. Don’t expect a lady to make food for ya.

Sub Screen of Farming Progression

harvestmoon_pausemenu

Something I also wished the N64 Harvest Moon had in that game. The sub screen menu that tracks your progress in Back to Nature was a smart idea to have. These screens displays your gameplay progression like crops/food shipment, love affections on raised animals and your family (if you plan to get married and have a kid), the money you make and spend in a season, and the upgrade levels of your tools.

Having these sub screens and progression results gives you a better understanding on how well you’re doing on your farm, especially raising animals like chickens, cows and sheep with the things they produce in size once you show a lot of affection to them.

The Season Music Themes

HM_Soundtrack

The season theme tracks in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature were pretty memorable, catchy and rather soothing to listen to in this game. Each track were nicely composed and didn’t sound completely loud or sometimes annoying like in the N64 version. I love the Spring and Fall music tracks the best in Back to Nature.

“Ahh Spring, Gotta love that cheery and peaceful vibe.”

“I just want to do the Salsa when Summer is around he corner!” 

“I feel motivated and working when Fall arrives!”

“Why so depressing Winter?”

Interior Environments

Interior_HM

Though I somewhat found the outdoor environment in Back to Nature rather dull, the appearance of the interior environments were pretty roomy, making you feel like you were at home. I just like the cozy look, colour and details that were put into these interior locations. Here are some other interior spots in the game that were nice to visit.

Church_HM

“Oooooo…pretty looking church. A great place to get married and location at the Music Festival”. 

HM_Library

“The Library in this game has a upper level and lower level floor. Book readers will love this place for sure!” 

HM_bedroom

“My new bedroom is all decorated in pink. Pretty! It’s even got a cuckoo clock.”

Story Intro

Intro_HM

One of the most unique things to start this game up and make a new file of was the game’s story intro. It has this nostalgia vibe of your character thinking about the past when he visited his grandfather’s farm as a young kid. It was pretty clever to show these flashback scenes in a sepia scheme where it wasn’t only showing the fun and sweet moments with your character on the farm, but also meeting a young girl that could possibly be your love of your dreams.

I guess I liked this intro a lot because it reminds me of making friends at a young age, as well as my grandfather who has a occupation as a farmer in his home country (though it’s not combined together like this game intro).

“It’s a cute intro. That’s all I gotta say.”

The Sheep and Cow Festivals

fall_sheep_HM

summer_cow_HM

One of the most important festivals if you’re raising cows and sheep on your farm has to go to both the Cow and Sheep Festivals. If you’ve taken your time affectively to feed, love and brush these animals every day (as well as milking the cows and shedding the sheep), you will win the festival. This make the chosen animal for these festivals produce either golden milk for the cows or golden wool for the sheep. Selling golden shipment like these will get you more money. So gamers, take care of these animals wisely!

Tomato Festival

summer_tomato_HM

Though I haven’t won this festival yet, but the concept of the Tomato Festival was entertaining. Just the idea of throwing tomatoes at the opposite team was very amusing to be part of, especially showing your competitive side with this fun event. If there was a town member that you weren’t fond of, this is the day where you can throw a tomato at their face.

The Girls and Characters Personalities (Except for Kai)

characters_HM

While the characters overall were just okay in Back to Nature, most of them had welcoming personalities that you were okay talking to. There weren’t too many characters that had very moody personalities you needed to try so hard to be their friends. The N64 version had a few characters that started off with extreme bitter attitudes, whereas Back to Nature had only one or two characters that were difficult to be their friends with. It was also interesting to hear the girls’ and most of the villager’s backstories to get deeper into knowing these characters more.

Kai_HM

The only character that I didn’t care too much for in Back to Nature was Kai. He was just a cocky rude bastard in this game and his attitude didn’t help one bit when I wanted to beat his ass in the Swimming Festival. He only shows up every Summer and sometimes you forget that he’s even in town during that season. So yeah, screw Kai.

Raising Chickens

animal_chickens_HM

Raising chickens is actually much easier to do and less stressful in Back to Nature. Grabbing chicken feed out of the storage and plopping them into the feed box is pretty simple. I’m glad I didn’t had to hold my own chicken feed bag and gently place them in each feed box like in the N64 version.

Overall, raising chickens in this game calmed my experience in Back to Nature. They also played an important role in this game if you wanted your chicken hatch golden eggs after winning the Chicken Festival.

So overall, raising chickens was fun in this game.

Taking Things Out of Rucksack with Shortcut Buttons

itemsholding_HM

Using the R buttons to get items or tools out of your bag was so useful in this game. It’s not like the N64 version where you have to go back and forth to your sub screen items menu in order to select items you want to hold. You’ll be needing these shortcut buttons a lot when doing tasks on your farm.

Jumping Over Static Objects

HM_Farm

The one thing you couldn’t do in Harvest Moon 64 but can do in Back to Nature is jump over objects on your farm like logs, crops, small stones, and weeds. Jumping over things is fun and convenient. Yeah!

——————————————————————————

And those were my favourite things in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. If you want to mention your favourite things and moments from Harvest Moon: Back to Nature for the PS1, you’re welcome to say them below the comments or in the forums at itstailtime.net. Hopefully my lists of favourite things from Harvest Moon 64 will be release very soon. Thanks for reading!

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