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Written by Dustin Murphy
+Charming characters and cast that make the experience timeless
+Resource management will lead players to caution and knowledge of their item counts
+Farms grow slowly over time and can be edited to the players needs as well as wants
+Tutorials are very descriptive and helpful and should carefully read to understand the game
+Well done graphics as well as score to help bring the game to life
–Character exhaustion sets in quite rapidly
–Vendors to ship out items come and go when needed most
It’s no secret that I’m not a veteran to games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, but I do find some enjoyment in them thanks to their overall appeal. These are franchises I didn’t find myself touching and still don’t find myself touching all that much, but there is something special about Story of Seasons that had me set where I couldn’t put the game down whether I was working on growing my farm, attending events, or simply having my character relax beside a river with his fishing lure in the water. But what makes this game so unique and even as addictive as it is?
Man of you may remember that Harvest Moon games were published by Natsume, but that is no longer the case, which is why we are excited to see how the games would do under the hands of XSEED Games. Developed by renown Japanese developer Marvelous, and the new home seems perfectly fit thanks to how the game feels, plays, and even has a newer and catchier name than before when the company was having games published by Natsume. In this continuation of a series that was once known as Harvest Moon that first premiered on the Super Nintendo, Harvest Moon has once more moved on and found itself at home on the Nintendo 3DS, a home that it deserves, and seems like a perfect fit.
Much like many farming games that require item conservation, Story of Seasons follows through a period where players will take on the role of learning how to become a farmer, raising their own form, and even taking on the task of growing a farm, taking care of cows, and even build an amazing house, find a suitor to share your farm with, and take on the trials of spring, summer, fall, and ultimately winter. It’s here that Story of Seasons truly shines and delivers an experience that will lead fans to carefully crafting their farms in order to give a unique experience to those around them. This is where the game becomes unique and even changes up the routine of everyday chores that players will undertake in order to make sure they are able to keep up with their farm itself to ensure that they harvest their grown vegetables, and even fruits. Let alone taking care of the farms cow. So what exactly are the resources I had to learn to manage the most when not undertaking requests, shipping them out, and ensuring that the town itself could grow as a large trading hub? Money, stamina, and well health, because the lower the health, the more stamina each of these tasks required, and in order to make money? I had to complete those tasks in order to be capable of maintaining my characters farm, but also in order to help keeping the farm alive in order for it to expand, which helped my characters standing with the town itself. Running out of Health due to tasks? It causes a “blackout” where the character will awaken in the medical clinic within the village and will require to once more require to take a decent adventure through the towns clinic. When not visiting the doctors from being exhausted or shopping, players will need to remember: chores get slightly tedious and repetitive.
When looking past the repetition and getting all your characters tasks for the day done, there’s always time to go into town, go to a nearby stream to fish in, go to an event, or simply take time to build items from those harvested in the world around you. In many games, unlike this one, it’s not uncommon to see a gamer like myself or even some of you take time in order to fill up your storage containers so that building with purchased or found blueprints comes a tidbit easier than before. However, outside of this, it’s time to wander around town, talk to the townsfolk, purchase needed items, rent needed farming plots, and even work on your story, but also your romancing, but if you are like me? You go and do chores, have fun, and customize your far constantly in order to expand your territory and make a place that’s nicer for those around your farm. Though the fun of the game quickly begins to fade as the game itself continues on in a rather repetitious manner. However, there is nothing wrong with this as some people will find the replay value rather high due to the content that is available, but also the uniqueness behind this carefully crafted world as well as the relationships players will build with those characters around them.
Much like any game that requires a certain amount of dedication, Story of Seasons does not press players like titles such as Animal Crossing, instead the game does not pass time while players are gone, and requires them to take on some form of knowledge and remembrance of where they are at, what the controls are, and even a bit of memory so that they can focus on using the games calendar to keep tabs on events, shipment dates, and even how close they are to ending a season, which is quite a fun thing to do when said and done. That being said, Story of Seasons is an overall charming game that brings life to the 3DS in many new ways, but continues on a well carved path that the series is known for, but with a new name, new publisher, and a chance to spread among a new audience the game has a huge chance at success as well as continued chance to grow.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
Ethics Note: This version of the game is based upon a pre-release retail version of the game. Our copy was provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here. Story of Seasons is now available on both the Nintendo eShop and local retailers for 39.99 USD
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, MMO’s, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable and can’t be softened by even the biggest names in the gaming industry. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. To follow Dustin, hit him up on Twitter over at @GamingAnomaly, find him on his Google+. Wanna game with him? You can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.