A Futuristic Harvest Moon
|Platform(s)||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2|
Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (イノセントライフ ～新牧場物語～, Innocent Life: Shin Bokujō Monogatari), also known as Harvest Moon: Innocent Life, is a farming simulation video game for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). It is a spin-off of the Story of Seasons series of games, and was released on April 27, 2006 in Japan and on May 15, 2007 in North America.
A special edition of the game was released for the PlayStation 2 (PS2) called Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (Special Edition) (新牧場物語：ピュア イノセントライフ, Shin Bokujō Monogatari: Pure Innocent Life) on March 29, 2007 in Japan and February 12, 2008 in North America. Apart from minor changes, the PS2 version is essentially a port of the original.
The game takes place on the relic-filled Heartflame Island which can be explored by walking or riding on a buggy. Players have the ability to explore the island's ruins and even visit a volcano. All these areas have their own terrain and resembles a tropical paradise. In order to explore all over the island the player must collect jewels and break the seal.
Aside from growing plants and raising livestock, the player has weekly requests from Volcano Town for help with a job.
The game features a new art style that steps away from the traditional style of the previous Harvest Moon games. It focuses more on solving a main storyline like traditional RPGs, rather than concentrating on farm works. The concept used in Innocent Life would be continued on the Rune Factory series, which also involved ARPG battles. However, the removal of the marriage system in this installment also departs from any previous or later game in the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons series except for Harvest Moon GB, Harvest Moon 2 GBC, and Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland
Reviews of the title were mixed, with reviews ranging from 85% to 40%. IGN rated the game at 6.5, or "passable", saying that the story develops slowly and the gameplay strays too far from Harvest Moon's traditional farming focus.
While this is deemed to be the "Special Edition," there are practically no true extras in the title to make it stand out as much stronger than the PSP version. Apart from a few new tasks given to you and a dictionary that defines practically everything within the game, there's very little that is new to the title.
Compared to other Harvest Moon titles, this one feels like it strays pretty far away from the franchise's formula. The inconvenient truth is that while you still harvest crops, the farther into the game you go, the less important farming becomes and the more island exploration takes over. Unfortunately, the unbalanced level of exploration, slow development of the story and nonsensical character development (coupled with his virtual isolation) makes the game one of those titles that appeals to an even smaller niche of this niche genre.