Harvestella PC Review | Invision Game Community

Harvestella PC Review | Invision Game Community

Harvestella is the newest RPG to make its way out of Square Enix’s doorstep, developed by Live Wire, who have previously worked on Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights, another game with Quietus as a concept in it.

With the shared concept of rain of death, Harvestella combines RPG with farming simulation akin to series such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, leaning on Rune Factory’s combat to give the game a bit more energy than your sedentary farming sim. But is the combo a good mix?

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Season of Change

Harvestella starts with a short cutscene as we make our protagonist and get dropped into a dark and sombre local that has falling tufts of darkness. This Quietus is a main event within the game’s lore which is explained to us by the village doctor, Cres. Whoever it touches falls into a deep slumber and eventually death, but not us.

As the amnesiac protagonist, we are protected against such harshness, though in payment we must now explore the world, meet a colourful array of characters, and recover our lost memories. There are certainly no themes of time travel, alternate realities, or dream states at play, no siree.

Harvestella’s story is mostly explored via the RPG and combat side of affairs, as we work our way through several chapters we investigate the crystals that produce the seasons and figure out what is tampering with them. The farming side of the game brings with it little to no story at all, mostly just giving you faeries from completing story chapters to make farming easier.

Your first run of Harvestella will last around 50 hours, depending on how much time you spend on your farm and side missions. There’s also the case of optional dungeons, collectables, friendships and more to bump those rookie numbers up to almost double that.

Multiple playthroughs can be warranted, as you can play the game with varying classes or choose other characters to focus your attention on. However, a lot of your choices or branching paths come about towards the end of the game, so generally, a full playthrough only nets you some different dialogue along the way during conversations.

Hello Little Croppies

Harvestella is a half-action RPG, half-farming simulator. If you want to experience the story as stated previously, you’ll have to focus on the RPG side of things. You move around in normal 3D movement and can swap between three classes on the fly, changing your set at save points. Each class has a main attack and up to four skills to use in combat, though everything takes varying amounts of stamina to use.

Stamina is recovered over time as long as you got some food in your stomach, whereas cooked meals can recover a set percentage of stamina on consumption. With every action taking stamina, outside of normal walking, you will be juggling food and drink as you try to maintain the ability to do anything of substance.

With said stamina and classes, you’ll be fighting monsters within exterior and interior dungeons, ranging from normal deers to goblins and crabs. Alongside the normal enemies are FEARs, elite foes with higher stats that require a lot more planning to take down.

FEARs and bosses also allow the player to engage with the “break” system, where you hit one of four weaknesses each enemy has, and after enough hits you “break” them, dealing more damage with following hits. If you do two adjacent breaks you can then unleash partner skills, from Emo’s party heal to Aria’s beam blasts.

The farming side of Harvestella is rather similar to any other sim in this genre. You plant fruits and veg, water them over a few days, and then harvest the rewards. You can ferment and juice your produce to grant higher profits, or to use as ingredients in better meals for combat. Your farm will later unlock water and cave biomes, allowing for specified crops that don’t need tending.

Unlike some other farming sims, you don’t have any debts to pay or any deadlines for farming. You’ll mostly be using your profits to expand your farm or buy pens for animals, though all of these upgrades are set in place, the farm not being customizable aside from where you place your fermenting barrels and other objects.

Quietus Down

The music within Harvestella is rather calming and fitting to the areas you’ll find yourself within. However, the game does overuse the concept of keeping the area music for combat when you’re introduced to new dungeons. It has a great track for the tower of illusion, and some good boss music, but other than that no track really stood out to me.

Moving from music to sound, I hate the voice acting in this game. If you can call it that. Harvestella features almost no voice acting, all dialogue is just text for you to read, instead, the game features greeting and battle quotes.

While some of the bosses have amazing vocal performances in combat, the faeries are so mind-numbing and annoying that I and many other players have relented to muting the game. They are designed to sound like toddlers who are both sick and tired, with raspy voices full of air and boredom. Until you use their abilities on the farm, when they spam their voice lines over, and over. You can’t lower the occurrence of these lines, so it’s either all or nothing.

Harvestella is designed in such a way that you can take it at your own pace, like many other farming simulators that lack deadlines. You can amass a fortune of money via farming before going out on a roleplaying romp across the world, or you can almost forget that farming exists and just play the RPG. Even when characters are in danger, you can leave them for a whole season whilst you prepare.

This ease of play affects the difficulty quite a bit, as you can build up a big stock of food and drink to heal you in the dungeons. FEAR enemies will eat through your supply of healing items, so a prepared adventurer can take on ones far beyond their level, while those who want to rush will find a hard challenge ahead.

While the overall feel of the game is enjoyable and fun, the detachment of the two halves can give quite a jarring contrast. Someone can be kidnapped, or dead, yet you’re allowed to just not help them. This is made weirder when characters will look like they are rushing in dungeons, when you slept for a week for some crops to grow.

The game is also overly simple. There are no advanced farming tactics, aside from unlockable skills to speed it up. You cannot edit the farm in any fashion, there is virtually no character customisation out of two body types, two hairstyles, and a handful of hair and eye colours. This is inexcusable when your class changes your clothing in dungeons.

This simplicity is also prevalent in the RPG aspects. You cannot edit your stats, there are no different weapons or armour, and you cannot control your companions at all. All you have is two rings to grant some bonuses to your damage and health, while your companions auto-level with you and stand around until you hit something, even if you or they are hit. It would have felt so much better to have some form of gambits from FFXII or minor AI tweaks like in the Tales of series.

If you’re looking for a game with a lot of customizability and advanced control, then Harvestella is not for you. It is a simple game through and through. The number of systems you cannot edit makes the game feel rather confined, outside of combining the rings and friendship bonuses to help certain classes.

Overall, Harvestella gets a 7/10. It is a very fun game that nails the calming farming simulator lifestyle with some adventure thrown in. However, the RPG aspects fall apart after enough playtime is thrown in to show how barebones it is. The lack of voice acting makes it hard to grow attached to any characters, while battle quotes are overused and grating. There are a few glitches here and there, with one crash from my playtime, but the game is generally stable.

Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Developers: Square Enix, Live Wire Inc.

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