Story of Seasons is a farming life sim game. Previous entries into the series have been localised as Harvest Moon. However after A New Beginning Xseed games took over the localisation for the series. Which is why it’s called Story of Seasons. This is a progress and my thoughts on the game based on my first in game year experience.
If your not familiar with the series it’s basically about a farmer and runs a farm and becomes freinds with villagers. Over the years this has expanded to feature lots of different animals, new types of crops and a huge variety of characters. Recent games have enabled greater customisation of the farmer and farm itself. Dating and marriage system has also changed over the years. With a lot more after marriage events and even events for the children. It’s all done in a cute way so it’s not a super realistic farming and life sim. Which makes it even more depressing when an animal dies of old age or illness. The game series can be hugely enjoyable and very addictive. Like any series it’s not perfect. Rival marriages are always debated on. Some games seems to take ages to get going or just feel a bit too simplistic.
So far I’m really enjoying the game. The game in general flows better compared to more recent previous entries. It takes what were issues in particular with Harvest Moon A New Beginning improved and developed on them. One of the things that is a huge improvement is at the start you have majority of the marriage candidates living in the village already. Another aspect I like is for growing crops and event trees you no longer till a small square but a nine square patch of land. This also applies to harvesting and watering as well. You also have locations throughout the map you can call your horse even if it’s in the barn. Things like that makes it less of a hassle and makes the game more enjoyable.
One option that can help the experience is the difficulty Seedling mode. This mode lowers requirements to unlock stuff and raises the sell price of items. Selecting Seedling mode was the best choice for me. My more relaxed playing style fits that mode better even though I am experienced with the series. If I had gone for the normal difficulty I would have unlocked hardly anything. Also it would be taking far too long and I would have lost interest. Seedling mode allowed me to do things at my pace and still unlock stuff and feel like I’m actually making progress.
The flip-side to all of this is that certain things aren’t done so easily. One and so far only major complaint is when using maker sheds. Maker sheds as their name implies uses specific items to create a product. Each maker shed has it’s own theme. Currently I have the maker shed that focuses on making clothes and accessories. It’s great but these sheds can take in game weeks to make product. This wouldn’t be so bad if you could choose the finished desired product and it automatically went through all the steps. You have to manually select and go through each step. Each step has in game amount of time needed to pass to finish.
Farm wise I think I’m getting close to my ideal farm. After receiving the neighbouring field I found there was enough space to really go for what I wanted. I now have a fenced off areas for both the animals. A large area of the farm for a huge amount of tea trees. A fruit tree forest is also growing nicely although I am missing trees for two of the seasons. Only got one maker shed but I can use it to make stuff that sells for a huge amount or clothes to wear.
So far I have only unlocked three vendors. All of which provide mostly unique products. While it makes the vendors more unique they don’t appear everyday. Being you can only sell to a vendor it can make things more difficult. Not sure I hate the system but I often find myself going days with hardly any money then I get tons and spend it all the same day. With three vendors going at once it’s not so bad. Generally it’s only one day every so often I can’t sell stuff.
Farm rivalry system can be very difficult. Competing for special fields such as the rice paddy isn’t ideal for me. At least you can choose what type of competition takes place. Shipping one is preferred one at the moment. The best method I found was to stockpile tons of stuff even prior to choosing to rent a field. I managed to win one easily and obtained rights to use the beehives in winter. You can’t get any honey in winter. I intend to keep hold of it though.
With the villagers I am making slow progress. I do have some bachelors on purple flowers.It doesn’t help that I have only won one yearly festival contest so far. That is cooking contest. Fried fish is an easy to make dish. The fish can be caught either by swimming around in river or using the fishing rod. Although fishing rods do provide better quality fish it can take longer.
Fifth Place – Fritz
Fritz is a fun rival farmer that’s a bit of a klutz. While he has a good heart he seems to mess up a lot. While I do like him he doesn’t come across as being a potential love interest. Mainly because he is a rival farmer.
Fourth Place – Reager
Reager is the handsome restaurant owner. I found nothing really appealing about him. He comes across a bit bland and familiar. Nothing really wrong with that. There are just more interesting and fun bachelors in the game.
Third Place – Klaus
Klaus is a gentlemen who creates perfumes. While not initially a character I would have gone for due to his older appearance his kindness has won him some points. His concern for your safety around town and his interest in going for a walk with you is very sweet.
Second Place – Nadi
Nadi is the shy exotic gardener. I am really torn over him. Even though I’m not too keen on his personality I’m still drawn towards him. I have always been interested in the more exotic characters.
First Place – Mistel
Mistel is the little prince who runs an antique shop. He is very polite and has an interest in board games. I definitely not expected to find myself liking him as much as I do. His playful teasing during the flower event helped with this.
Aims for Year 2
My main plan for next year is to get into using my maker shed a whole lot more. To do this I intend to get lots of woolly animals. With my fruit tree orchard I might as well get the wine maker shed to go with. As for the bachelors it’s really close between Nadi and Mistel. I think for the second year I will hold off choosing. Plenty to do with and on the farm.