|System: PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: ArtePiazza||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Natsume||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon on the PSP was a pretty good game. Sure, it stuck to the generic farm-to-save-the-world plotline that is the cornerstone of the Harvest Moon franchise, but its departure from the series as a "futuristic" title set it apart and made it one of the better Harvest Moon titles out there. There were all kinds of machines and robots that you could use to interact with, and the possibilities for farm growth were much greater in this game than in previous Harvest Moon titles.
I'm guessing that the folks at Natsume have realized that this previously PSP-only title was one of the best in the series and have recently ported it over to the PS2 in the form of Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (Special Edition). But for all points and purposes, the PS2 version is basically the same as the PSP version. It is still pretty fun if you have never played the PSP version, and is definitely worth a playthough if you are a completion-obsessed person when it comes to Harvest Moon. But beware, there are a few pitfalls in the PS2 version of this game.
The game starts you off as an "Innocent Life" model robot. You don't quite know why you were created, but your main job is to go to a very remote part of Heartflame Island and farm amongst the ruins of an ancient lost city. You eventually come to learn, through talking and interacting with various townspeople that the island is facing imminent demise from earth spirits who are unhappy that the residents of Heartflame island have given into the convenience of industry and have forgotten their traditional roots as an agricultural people. This spirit is said to control a volcano on Heartflame Island, and if it gets upset enough, then many people believe that the volcano will blow. So essentially, the plan is to build a robot that can farm very efficiently, and make the earth spirits happy again. So yes, you are farming to save the world. Again.
But the point of Harvest Moon has never really been its most distinguishable feature. Indeed it has always been the farm simulation that has captured the hearts of the Harvest Moon faithful. And, for the most part, this title does everything you would want the Harvest Moon series to do. You start off with an expansive rooftop farm that is in terrible shape. Although there is certainly a great deal of potential, it is bogged down with large stones, and most of it was paved over with ceramic tile. But once you start farming on the small plot that is usable, you'll find that the rest of your rooftop opens up rather quickly. But as I said before, the farm area is huge, and is way too much to deal with all by yourself. And since you are a robot, it's rather hard to recruit a girlfriend to help you out. So what's an overworked android to do? Well, this is a futuristic Harvest Moon, and there are robots and machines that will be able to help you. Though not available immediately, you will be able to unlock robots that will assist you with your chores. You will also eventually be able to get livestock that you will have to raise.