Despite some repetition in tasks, some nagging issues with controls, and plain graphics, this farming sim proves to be a fun, challenging, and rewarding sim for those willing to put in the time. It won't take long to appreciate the sense of scale in Harvest Moon: One World. The moment your mom expands your bag (to fit more seeds, food, and other items) and as you begin to explore the map, you realize this is a grand adventure, with several people to meet, missions to tackle, crops to grow, and animals to tend to. More than any previous Harvest Moon game, it has a lot to do. You'll walk around and interact with people to hear what they'd like you to help them with, go back to your farm to tend to your animals and fields, find glowing wisps, and then repeat the process. You'll rest when you get tired, and some locations you want to visit, such as nearby shops, are open only at certain times of the day. While the gameplay is similar between the regions, and might feel a little repetitive at times, it's indeed fun to unlock new areas, each with its own unique flare, and it does seem like you're working toward a larger goal.
The controls can be finicky, though, where you need to stand in a specific spot to interact with an object or a person. It can be annoying, as you'll run around something or someone to find that small area that works. The production quality also lags behind other games, with dated graphics, MIDI music, and no voice-over talent, which helps it feel, well, shallow. Also, conversations with townsfolk are very generic, and some odd Japanese-to-English translations break the suspension of disbelief. In some ways, it feels like the series isn't really moving forward much. But that can be nitpicking, because Harvest Moon: One World has a lot going for it, and those who love this series and farming sims as a whole will no doubt appreciate the breadth and depth here.