Table of Contents
Sally sells Seaslights by the seashore
Harvestella takes place in a land the place 4 large crystals often called Seaslights that maintain the world in steadiness and bless the individuals who name this place house. At starting of this story, your character awakens with a customary case of amnesia. After a fast as soon as over by the city physician, they bear witness to a meteor putting simply outdoors the city of Lethe Village. Inside is a mysterious lady often called Aria. A traveler from the long run? Maybe, however her arrival marks the start of a journey that’ll see your hero preventing their approach by way of dungeons in a quest to save lots of the world.
In different phrases, your typical JPRG storyline, however with some farming thrown in for good measure.
You probably have performed Rune Manufacturing unit 5, a sport I’m solely going to say as soon as on this evaluation, you’ll have a good suggestion of how issues go right here. Gamers will cut up their time between tending to their farm, preventing by way of dungeons to maneuver the story ahead, and finishing the various facet quests that cross their path. On paper, it sounds fairly normal for the style. However in play, Dwell Wire has managed to introduce simply sufficient of its personal concepts to make this greater than your common farm sim/RPG.
When it comes to farming, it’s all par for the course. You have got totally different crops that develop in several seasons, you’ll unlock new seeds as you discover extra of the world, and the extra money and time you make investments into your farm, the higher your output will probably be. There are machines you possibly can craft to make cheese, flour, or smoked meat, and sure crops can’t be planted till you’ve unlocked sufficient of your farmland to entry their most popular soil. Some crops, like carrots and lettuce, develop comically quick, whereas others can take far too lengthy to be value it. I’m taking a look at you, Harvestella‘s model of corn.
Fortunately, the sport avoids some points that would have in any other case made for a cumbersome expertise. Whereas your on-person storage capability is restricted, the storage field you’ll discover throughout your farm can maintain an unimaginable quantity of stuff. And you may prepare dinner and craft utilizing components in your storage somewhat than having to hold them. Lastly, in case your on-person storage is full, gadgets you get from finishing quests will probably be despatched on to your storage. Did I simply dedicate a whole paragraph to storage in Harvestella? Sure, I did. As a result of it’s an important aspect that would have gone fallacious in any variety of methods.
In contrast to that different sport I promised to solely point out as soon as on this evaluation, tending to your farm is just about a necessity if you wish to see Harvestella by way of to the top. Your character will take loads of harm in battle, and their power can fade fairly rapidly when you maintain preventing wave after wave of monsters. Rising crops and turning them into food and drinks will make it easier to last more within the dungeons you discover. And given how rapidly time strikes on this sport, you’ll want each second you will get.
Time retains on slippin’ (slippin’, slippin’)
One of many huge criticisms of the demo was that point moved too quick. Whereas it’s arguably a bit slower within the last construct, the clock nonetheless strikes at a hasty tempo. It could actually take a bit of getting used to, and I can think about some folks will probably be annoyed once they see a dungeon checkpoint (i.e. warp level) on the horizon that they’ll have to attend till the subsequent day to achieve as a result of it’s nearly midnight. I’d most likely really feel the identical approach if I didn’t get pleasure from diving into these dungeons as a lot as I do.
There’s an old-school design at play for the dungeons of Harvestella. Their layouts really feel very pen and paper; like they have been all initially drafted on graphing paper. There are shortcuts you possibly can entry if in case you have sufficient time or provides, and everybody now and again, you’ll come throughout little glowing lights that set off text-based occasions that may assist or hinder your social gathering. It jogs my memory loads of the dungeons of Etrian Odyssey, notably when you think about the FEAR enemies you’ll encounter. Like Etrian’s FOEs, these are large monsters with excessive ranges that you just’re conditioned to run from till your social gathering is robust sufficient to take them on. Some FEAR are there to dam your path, others disguise treasure chests you’ll need to plunder. Generally you will get fortunate and sneak previous a sleeping FEAR to take the treasure they shield. In the event that they do get up, simply be sure you get your major character out of their path.
You possibly can take as much as two social gathering members with you right into a dungeon. The variety of accessible social gathering members will naturally develop as you progress by way of the sport. As they’re added to your group, you’ll unlock new jobs you possibly can equip the primary character with. Every job carries its personal distinctive weapon and particular assaults, however the usual assault throughout the board is simply to mash a single button. If there may be one factor that significantly dissatisfied me about Harvestella, it’s the simplicity and lack of creativeness in its fight system. I think about the concept was to have gamers often swap between jobs in battle to maximise their potential for utilizing particular assaults, however switching out and in of jobs isn’t as fluid appropriately. I imply, there’s a cooldown for starters, and when you can improve the job to scale back that timer, it’s nonetheless not as temporary appropriately. And even when you may swap jobs on the fly, a few of them, just like the Mage, simply aren’t enjoyable to play.
Persona goes a good distance
I feel a two-button fight system would have finished a world of excellent in bettering the texture of preventing in Harvestella. A bit extra character in its world and inhabitants would have gone a good distance as nicely. Lethe Village, the city you’ll spend most of your time in, appears to be like like a type of small cities from Ultimate Fantasy that you just’d rush proper by way of to get to the subsequent a part of the sport. It’s far too featureless for what’s the main location outdoors of your farm. Different cities characteristic fascinating design ideas which are hindered by the visuals. Nemea City is known for its year-round cherry blossoms, however they don’t look all that spectacular when their pink hue is washed out by the intense grey and marble coloring of the village. The seaside city of Shatolla ought to be a concord of beautiful Mediterranean colours, however most of its magnificence is washed out and pale.
However even when they’re not all they might be, I did get pleasure from revisiting each one in all these cities if it meant unlocking extra of the story and facet quests. The writing right here is stellar, each by way of character dialogue and the tales they inform. A whole lot of the folks of the world have some unhappy, melodramatic histories that set off the identical, repetitive sorrowful music once they begin dropping that exposition, however there are many uplifting and pleasant tales to unlock as nicely. As for the general narrative, it’s participating sufficient to hold the sport for the 60ish hours required to achieve the top credit, even when it doesn’t fairly grip me as a few of the greatest JRPG tales of the previous have.
If Harvestella is to be the primary of a brand new franchise for Sq. Enix, I feel this sport will get it off on the proper foot. Outdoors of fight and the frustration of the much-hullabalooed Quietus season, this can be a fairly good tackle the farm sim/RPG style with some excellently designed dungeons and characters value caring about. It could be a bit too easy for some, however I’ll gladly settle for simplicity if it’s wrapped round one thing as pleasant as Harvestella.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]