Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I wasted my time with Professional Farmer 2014. As the title of the game probably gives away, Professional Farmer 2014 is a simulation game that puts players in the role of a farmer.
Professional Farmer 2014 starts players off doing the most basic task, learning how to operate farm equipment. The controls are easy enough to get use to and the game does a good job at giving players all the info they need to operate the machinery. The player can also walk around outside of the equipment, but there isn’t much use to do so.
Professional Farmer 2014 has players plowing fields, planting seeds, harvesting crops and everything in between. That everything in between part is where I have a problem with Professional Farmer 2014. The game forces players to complete the most menial of tasks. This includes driving thier tractor to the bank to get a loan and the various other stores surrounding the farm.
With simulators, the more real the experience, the better. However, forcing the player to complete fetch quests every time they need something is just ridiculous. Based on the name, the main focus of Professional Farmer 2014 is to simulate farming. The way I see it, cut out the filler in between farming and let the player do more of what the game is supposed to simulate. I’m not saying cut out getting a loan or buying supplies, but just make them things that can be done through menus to help save some time and keep the game more interesting.
While I’m on the subject, let’s talk about how interesting Professional Farmer 2014. To be honest, it isn’t. I grew up on a farm and I can tell you that Professional Farmer 2014 pretty much nails it on the head with how boring farming can be. I spent two and a half hours in the game and only after that did I complete my first harvest of a single crop. Even worse, the time dedicated in the game doesn’t actually grant real crops like what real farming does.
I think the most interesting thing that happened to me while playing Professional Farmer 2014 was when I went to the machine store to buy a combine. After buying my combine and equipping it with a header, I went to leave the parking lot. I bumped into a light post along the way and was sent spinning into space. I don’t know why bumping that light post did this, but it sent me so high and so far that the parking lot I was in could barely been seen when I finally landed. To think NASA has been wasting time with rockets when space travel is so easily accomplished with a combine and a light post.
I’m just having a hard time justifying a farm simulator where all you do is drive around farm equipment. The game isn’t actually bad in terms of what it simulates, I just don’t understand the point of simulating it. I get why people enjoy train, plane and other types of simulators. Those are all experiences that may be difficult for people to gain. Farming on the other hand, can be done almost anywhere. Having a small vegetable garden in the backyard may not be as grand as having a huge farm, but the work is all the same, just on a smaller scale.
The graphics in Professional Farmer 2014 aren’t exactly good. Most of the textures in the game are just fine, but the frame rate is so jumpy that I ended up with a headache almost every time I played the game. The animations aren’t anything grand either. Most times when an animation is necessary, such as emptying a harvest into a silo, the game just places a cloud of dust around the object to hide the fact that nothing is happening.
I suppose the audio in Professional Farmer 2014 is probably one of the better parts of the game. The tunes are mostly generic country beats and aren’t really my taste, but I can see why people would enjoy them. One issue is how the audio is set up. Music only plays when in a vehicle, this makes it strangely quiet during those rare moments when the player actually has to walk somewhere. Also, the music doesn’t start up where it left off and will instead jump to a whole new song when entering and exiting a vehicle. The whole experience just made transitioning to other elements of gameplay feel choppy and disconnected.
Overall, I didn’t really enjoy my time with Professional Farmer 2014, but I’m starting to wonder if I was ever supposed to. The game is a simulator of one of the most boring and menial collections of tasks in existence. Useless fetch quests and poor animations also aren’t helping the game. This combined with the erratic sound work is the final nail in Professional Farmer 2014’s coffin. It may be alright at simulating farming, but it fails in every other department.
Professional Farmer 2014 harvests 1 GiN Gem out of 5.