Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
The long-awaited brand new entry in the original farm/life simulation franchise, known in Japan as Bokujo Monogatari, makes its debut on Nintendo Switch, bringing players more freedom than ever before to shape an untamed wilderness and customize their farm down to the very tile. A new cast of marriage candidates, a town that grows and thrives along with your farm, and a request system highlight the new features, all while retaining the core elements of the STORY OF SEASONS series. Finding Earth Sprites while exploring your farmland may lead you to mysterious, fantastical lands such as gardens where the seasons never change, an island in the sky, or even the inside of a volcano!
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Behind the occasional poor performance is one of the more in depth farming sims out there with a new crafting system to make every resource feel valuable. Some of the minigames feel a bit pointless and distract from the addictive routine you find yourself in. The characters aren't as endearing as some of the previous SoS/Harvest Moon games and the lack of acknowledgement of your relationship by the characters you romance leaves you feeling like the relationship is only actually happening in cutscenes.
Outside of some of the gripes though the moment to moment routine of the game is very in depth and addicting and probably the most refined version of the farming sim formula.
The farming and progression aspect of leveling up your abilities and unlocking new parts of your farm is very fun, but interacting with the townsfolk sucks. They have zero personality and repeat the same boring one-note dialog every time you speak to them. It's extremely disappointing considering I've been a long time fan of the series and this is probably the first game I've given up playing before getting married.
I heard that they're gonna update the dialog so if they do I might pick this back up, but for now I'm shelving it.
Played on a Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. 35 hours played, hit credits.
Story of Seasons is taking a ton of hints from the other games inspired by the franchise. They do a ton of new things in this game. Sadly, a lot of it is terribly unbalanced and I ended up becoming rich by the end of Summer.
Everything being unisex is awesome and allowing all customization options being available to each gender is wonderful, including voices. Allows players to really make the character they want.
Characters are fine. The town layout is easy to follow. No more Milker or sheers taking up a tool slot (there’s also a tool pouch). You can take photos of animals, people, whatever. I never feel like I have too little time, to be honest, I feel like I have too much time on occasion.
There’s a lot of good and bad with this game. I do enjoyed it plenty but the unbalances between money and progress is really noticeable. I didn’t even finish the first year and hit the credits. There’s a lot to do, nonetheless. If you like story of Seasons like I do, it’s a good bet you’ll enjoy it. If you’re not into the genre, you might want to skip it or grab it on sale. I’ve enjoyed my time with the game but it wasn’t Stardew or Friends of Mineral Town’s remake.