|Dev: Marvellous AQL|
|Pub: XSEED Games|
|Release: March 31, 2015|
|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.
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.
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.
Date: April 15, 2015