Story of Seasons Review
Story of Seasons Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Marvellous AQL
Pub: XSEED Games
Release: March 31, 2015
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Alcohol Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violent References

Speaking of which, you'll be given the choice of playing on regular or “Seedling Mode” at the beginning of the game. Make no mistake about it, Seedling Mode isn't really much easier than the regular difficulty. It's just less tedious, and I'd recommend it to all but the most determined and grind-loving farmers. It was introduced specifically after Japanese gamers complained about excess tedium in the original game, so think of this as reaping the benefits of a game that was localized well after its Japanese release.

Story of Seasons Screenshot

Tedium or no, Story of Seasons is a game that's meant to be played for a very long time. You'll need to play for at least four in-game years to get access to all its possible livestock, for example. As long as you're not looking for a super-engaging storyline (most games in this series have a light story at best, and this one is lighter than most), you should find there's plenty to engage you for at least a few in-game years.

It doesn't hurt that this game is nice to look at, with a lavish amount of detail for a 3DS game and a subtly pleasing 3D effect that you can take or leave depending on your personal preferences. There's a nice, mellow palette and a charming design throughout the game. The customized items that you build look great and you can zoom in and out, though it would have been nice to be able to change your viewing angle as well. The music is nice, but the spring and summer pieces can get a bit old considering the amount of time you'll spend listening to them.

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Story of Seasons is a strong entry in this venerable series of sim games. It includes a ton of activities, some nice system upgrades like streamlined farming and complex manufacturing huts, and a much-improved localization over previous titles. It's a bit lacking in the story department and has a few questionable design decisions like the spread-out rental fields and a lack of farming help, but farming fans should be quite pleased with the overall experience. In a world where most simulation games have moved to the mobile marketplace and include obnoxious timers and microtransactions, it's wonderful to see this good old series keep evolving and improving. Farm on, my friends, farm on.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: April 15, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Lovingly detailed graphics with an attractive palette and charming visual design.
4.0
Control
Farming is streamlined and fun!
3.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music quality varies, but most of the pieces you'll hear are fairly mellow and easy to listen to.
4.5
Play Value
Great localization, tons of things to do, and interesting new features make this one of the stronger entries in this series.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Best-selling farming/life simulation game of all time returns: Longtime series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto returns to lead a veteran Bokujo Monogatari development team as the series is reborn in the West with its new name, STORY OF SEASONS.
  • Extensive character and farm customization: After creating unique farmers based on each player's preference of gender, hair style and facial features, the real work begins as players tend to crops, animals and anything else required to earn a living in order to gather the resources to start customizing and expanding their farms.
  • Connectivity expands the world and possibilities: Players' connections with people both in and out of the game greatly impacts their life and effectiveness as a farmer. Triumph over rival farmers in-game to expand ownership of farmable plots of land, ship goods to neighboring countries to increase the products available in the local market, or connect to other players locally via Wi-Fi to visit each other's farms, work the fields together and exchange gifts.
  • A heart-throbbing romance heats up the peaceful farm life: A variety of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes live in the town for players to woo, with the hope of growing close and possibly even getting married and raising a family together.

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