In Brief: Harvest Moon: Pocket Ranch

click here to go to the developer’s website

This is technically not part of a series of articles I’m doing that covers the entire Harvest Moon franchise, but you can still read what I’ve covered over here.

I keep meaning to add to my Harvest Moon coverage, but the next game I want to talk about is Rune Factory Frontier, and that game is a serious time sink.  I’ve played 60 hours and am only in my first fall.  Each in-day game takes me an hour of real time, and of course I need to be able to play about a week in one sitting to make progress.  It’s an ugly cycle, but RFF is worth it.

That game is old news to Harvest Moon fans at this point.  Brand spanking new, however, and completely unexpected, is Harvest Moon: Pocket Ranch, available for iOS devices.  Ushi no Tane was the site that broke the news and provided the links where Harvest Moon fans can get in on the beta version.

I suspect this is the US adaptation to the recent Japanese release Minna de Bokumono, an online Harvest Moon game that is browser-based.  The two aren’t very similar, at least at this stage in Pocket Ranch’s development, so maybe this is an independent game and there’s still a chance of the browser-based version coming out here.  Minna de Bokumono seems to be driven largely by farm-based quests assigned by the Harvest Goddess and carried out by a team of harvest sprites in a large island farm, whereas Pocket Ranch is more about maintaining your little plot of land by your lonesome with your harvest sprite avatar and occasionally getting a little help from your friends.

… continue reading this entry.

REVIEW: Guardian Heroes


Months ago, I covered Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder. I’ve since  been replaying other beat ’em up favorites—(un)coincidentally all fantasy themed: Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom/Shadow Over Mystara, King of the Dragons, Three Dirty Dwarves, and Guardian Heroes (reason #1 I bought a Saturn). Developer Treasure are fan-favorites for their inventive games (my opinion: gimmicky memorizers). Thankfully Guardian Heroes eschews typical Treasure tropes (over-frequent bosses, mini-games), even if the sequel Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA) doesn’t…but that’s another wretched story.

… continue reading this entry.

BLOG: Howdy


It’s been awhile, but it’s not that Wanda and I haven’t been gaming. I’ve been flipping out over PSP–Ys Seven, Ys: Oath of Felghana, and Tactics Ogre. Or getting spanked in Dominions 3 play-by-email. And I’ve been involved with the OHRRPGCE community, making games and writing for their webzine Hamsterspeak. Plus, new Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup revisions keep coming out…

Wanda’s been working hard too, flirting with babes in Rune Factory Frontier and playing Warren Spector’s boring new Mickey game, as well as Pokemoning (lots of this) and Dragon Questing.

On the contrary, we’ve been gaming too much to do anything else. Hopefully Wanda and I will get serious and update again. But with Pokemon Black and White coming for Wanda and me restarting (god damn) Valhalla Knights again, maybe not.

We’re glad to see you again.

REVIEW: Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder


An arcade exclusive never ported, I was stoked to spot Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder in an arcade. Golden Axe is a forgotten Sega franchise favorite. As a kid without a Genesis, I played the Target display model regularly, set to reboot every 2 minutes to piss off loiterers. So obsessed, I whipped Golden Axe 2’s 1st level hundreds of times and filled notebooks with drawings of the hooded Jawa-wizards.

… continue reading this entry.

REVIEW: Puzzle de Harvest Moon

this article is part of an ongoing series examining the entire Harvest Moon franchise. see the main article and index here.

 

I always assumed this was part of the 10th Anniversary reboots that included Rune Factory and Innocent Life.  It’s entirely unlike any other Harvest Moon game, using a Harvest Moon skin for a puzzle game that I’m told is similar to Panel de Pon.

QUICK FACT: Bears almost no resemblance to a Harvest Moon game, save for the fact that you do farm as part of the puzzle and you play against Harvest Moon characters.
QUICK FACT: The only Harvest Moon that is a North American exclusive.
QUICK FACT: It’s terrible.

GAME LENGTH:  There’s no story mode.  There is a multiplayer mode for wireless versus play with a friend, and a single player mode with four styles of play.  You can play and beat all the characters offered (12) and you can play 4 minute, 6 minute, or 8 minute modes.

… continue reading this entry.

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