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Tue, May 24th, 2005   #1
Sacred Jellybean
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Default Body Harvest

Here's an old post of mine that I made in Tendo City before this forum existed. I thought I'd re-post it, and make little edits here and there (such as adding a score out of 10, as requested my Barbara EdenMaster & Rtan (I'm too lazy to come up with a silly name for him)). So here it is:

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God damn it, people, you just love to keep things from old beanjo, don't you? Once again, you've failed to let me in on an underrated yet awesome N64 title. CHOKE ON AIR, YOU BUNCH OF NEGLIGENT SONS (and daughters) OF SEA COWS!!!

So I bought this game recently, for a measly 4 bucks (maybe 5, I don't remember - I buy old N64 games all the time). I heard that it was a sleeper hit, and remembered that those who played it and talked about it on message boards had loved it. So I bought it in hopes that it would be another Rocket: Robot on Wheels, a simple yet addictive title hidden among piles of gaming excrimient.

So anyways, who else was left back at the station when the Body Harvest hype train departed? Well, you sure wouldn't have to walk far to get back on it, 'cos it broke down about a mile down the tracks. Because people are dumb.

The graphics of Body Harvest are simple, but they get the job done. Given that the player gets to run around in enormous fields and cities, the simplicity of the graphics can be excused. The game plays a little like GTA, actually (its maker is DMA). You have to jump in and drive random cars travel the map more quickly, which so far (I'm only in the 1946 Greece stage right now, but there are different stages which I assume have different cars) range from tanks to motorcycles. However, the gameplay differs between the two games in that Body Harvest is more oriented towards puzzle solving and bug shooting. The shooting parts have been ridiculously easy so far, but I finally got stuck at one point at the end of the stage where I have to fight this huge, hard boss. Oh, and there ARE civilians running around that you can run over or use as target practice, although if you kill enough, you lose the game. There are a few parts where you even have to save civilians in cities from invading alien insects.

The atmosphere of this game is the best part! The very first feeling I got when playing was that it felt like Starship Troopers in video game form. I'm a sucker for sci-fi, so this enhances the experence all the more for me. The background music is very creepy, and it gave me an uneasy feeling after listening to it nonstop for a span of a couple hours. A game hasn't had that ability to genuinely creep me out since Silent Hill (for PSX). I doubt it'd creep many other people out, though... it's just one of those strange situations where something very simple can make you and you alone feel anxious and panicky.

I have only a few qualms with this game. For one: the save points are spread far apart! This actually only bothered me when I got stuck at one point in the game (this was before I found the first save point) and ended up running around in circles for a good hour and making no progress whatsoever. I didn't want to play the game, but I wanted to first find a save point before quitting. I actually wouldn't have been stuck, had I known that I was actively being given clues via informations transmissions. When an information transmission arrives, an "E" icon appears next to the energy bar, and I could never figure out what that damned E meant until recently, so I just ignored it. Anyways, the player doesn't reach the first save point until 1/4th the way through the first stage. Then, generally, when another 25% of progress through the stage is made, the player is given another save point.

Secondly, if the player dies just once, it's GAME OVER. I've died a few times, mosty by either drowning or a large bug landing on my head (they're beamed down from the sky when you fight them). The player is advised to retrace his steps back to save points often, just in case the shit hits the fan in the middle of a mission.

The puzzles in this game are pretty easy, especially with the information transmissions as an aid. For example, at one point, you need to find a way to break down a blockage in the road, to get a cog from a miller to give to a different character, who in turn opens a water gate for you.

The weapons, so far, are nothing short of awesome. At the start, you're given a standard pistol that can't run out of ammo. Later on, you find a machine gun, dynomite (although I've never used that in battle), and my personal favorite so far, the sun shield. This baby is used to reflect a powerful beam of sunlight and fry insects, I suppose to allude to the archetypal mischievous kid who uses a magnifying glass to burn ants.

The bottom line: Body Harvest is awesome, so if any of you see it in the store for just a few bucks, do yourself a favor and pick it up. I don't know what games (other than GTA) I can use as a point of reference, since this one is quite unique. It isn't all that much like Jet Force Gemini... it's less concentrated on shooting and more concentrated on puzzles. Plus, it's stages are much longer, although I believe there are only four of them in total. I suppose I'd describe it best as a cross between GTA and Jet Force Gemini (although I'm sure there are better games to compare it to).

Overall, I give this a 9.3 out of 10.0.
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Tue, May 24th, 2005   #2
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If I wasn't so lazy, I could find and repost forum posts that were almost as good as reviews, like for XGRA... I did some lengthy posts about that game... but I am.

Anyway, Body Harvest is a pretty good game.
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Tue, May 24th, 2005   #3
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Body Harvest is indeed a fun game, though the graphics haven't aged quite as well as they have for some N64 games.
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Tue, May 24th, 2005   #4
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For example, Jet Force Gemini. Someone should rate that game. I personally consider it a decent replacement for Metroid on the N64.
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Tue, May 24th, 2005   #5
Sacred Jellybean
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Agreed, Dark Jaguar. I might write up a review of that next.
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Body Harvest is indeed a fun game, though the graphics haven't aged quite as well as they have for some N64 games.

That's true. It hasn't aged as well as, say, Perfect Dark or Goldeneye. Then again, I stand by my original statement that the graphics get the job done. The textures may be poor, the models may be primitive (especially since every bystanding human being wearing the same outfit), and the framerate may be choppy, but none of that hinders the overall enjoyable experience of the game. The graphics aren't impressive at all by the later stages of N64's life, but that doesn't bother me.
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