Story of Seasons is like a spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon series. Players start the game off by creating their male, or female avatar. As a new farmer in the area surrounding Oak Tree Town, the first seven days are basically a tutorial. Yet even past this, more tutorials open up as new mechanics are introduced. Admittedly this game was a little outside this writer’s comfort zone having not dived in until now. With its simplistic guides and repetitious nature, it didn’t seem exactly thrilling. Yet it’s not bad either. Actually, it’s quite compelling.
Picture SoS as a complete version of side tasks found in many RPGs. There’s no real goal other than the ones set by the player, but the options are seemingly endless. The farmland acquired can be used to raise animals and grow crops. Cows can produce milk while a horse can be ridden for quick traveling. Every seedling has its own properties like the best season it grows in, and the time it takes to mature. There are four seasons, each with a month of 31 days. Each new season brings different challenges and activities so strategically figuring out what to do best can be daunting.
Not only that, but in order to upgrade, or build anything, the amount one has to produce in crops is enormous. Things cost a pretty penny and the game can be a monotonous, slow grind of repeating menial tasks. It’s akin to fighting monsters in a game, yet less exciting visually. Speaking of, for what it is, SoS is a blooming garden of color. The characters, along with their portraits, are cool yet they lack any sort of likable personalities. The music is equally less impressionable. Still, for such a small area, what the game packs into the 3DS is impressive.
Story of Seasons is a niche game for an extremely small crowd. It’s not bad and as another in this small genre, it’s good. The slow pace and plethora of tasks can be overwhelming at first, accompanied by a slow start, but those who put in the time will reap its rewards. Fans of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series will feel at home and enjoy this as well. And to other gamers, like this one, maybe it’s time to branch out the old genre branch.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review copy. This article was originally published on March 31, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.