It’s no secret that the farm simulation video game genre has come a long way since Harvest Moon’s debut. While the popularity of farm role-playing games continues to fluctuate, games like Stardew Valley have since revived the interest of players. Although the Harvest Moon franchise, now known as Story of Seasons, is still alive and thriving, some argue that its peak falls on games that could be found on consoles of the previous generation.
Fortunately for Harvest Moon fans, there is an upward trend in the video game industry as a whole towards the revival of retro games, whether they are remasters on current-generation consoles or full-fledged remakes. One of the recent platforms that makes it possible to access older games is Sony PlayStation Plus Premium. Although its library of classic games is still limited, it has huge potential for fans of old Harvest Moon games.
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How PS Plus Premium Can Become a Paradise for Harvest Moon Fans
After years of pressure from PlayStation fans, Sony has finally added a new level to the PS Plus service, which would give players access to games from previous generations of PlayStation consoles. The specific level that offers access to classic games for PS1 and PS2 is PS Plus Premium, which, of course, is the most expensive. For now, although the game library is still limited, Sony has promised that it will continue to release even more games allowing players to return to their favorite retro games.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, none of the old Harvest Moon games were available on PS Plus Premium. The only Harvest Moon games that players can access via PS Plus are recent recordings made by Natsume, not the original developer. It is worth noting that Harvest Moon games under the Natsume brand are not as popular as games under the original franchise. However, since the original series still has a solid fan base, it’s not surprising if Sony decides to include several parts in the original Harvest Moon franchise. Of course, it would be nice to see all Harvest Moon games on PS Plus Premium, but there are two specific games that Sony should give priority to in the first place, given that they made the franchise popular.
Harvest Moon games to be added to PS Plus Premium
First of all, this is Harvest Moon: Back To Nature, which was originally released for the PS1 in 1999. For the uninitiated, Back To Nature was the first Harvest Moon game outside of Nintendo consoles. Although its story and characters have largely remained the same as those of its predecessors, Back To Nature introduced several quality features that are still used in farming simulators. Given the charming plot and improved game mechanics, Harvest Moon: Back To Nature was remade for the Game Boy Advance and was named Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, which is considered the best part of the franchise.
Unsurprisingly, Friends of Mineral Town became a cult entry, as decades later the game was remade again for the Nintendo Switch and was called Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. While Friends of Mineral Town made Harvest Moon the king of agricultural simulators, none of this would have happened without Harvest Moon: Back To Nature.
Another Harvest Moon game that should be added to PS Plus Premium is Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. Although A Wonderful Life was originally released for the GameCube, it was later ported to the PS2, taking advantage of the console’s high performance. It’s no secret that Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life remains a favorite game for most Harvest Moon fans thanks to the introduction of some realistic elements that are considered ahead of their time. Of course, no game is perfect, and A Wonderful Life has its drawbacks, such as an unremarkable cast of characters and simplified marriage mechanics. However, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Back To Nature will be a great addition to Sony’s growing PS Plus Premium library. Their inclusion would not only make PS Plus a paradise for farm simulator enthusiasts, but could also introduce a new generation of players to the wonderful world of Harvest Moon.