By Dalton McClain / February 28th, 2017
|Title||Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns|
|Publisher||Marvelous, Marvelous USA|
|Release Date||February 28th, 2017|
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is the third installment in the Story of Seasons game series. In it, you play as a nameless farmer who you can edit ever so slightly, who has dreams of becoming a big time farmer much to the dismay of his father. He reluctantly agrees to help, and he sends you on your way to your uncle so that you can learn from a professional how to be a farmer. Along the way to becoming one, you meet many colorful characters, all with unique personalities. Who knows, you may even find a new wife/husband in the process.
The gameplay is pretty run-of-the-mill for fans of farming simulators, such as myself, but it does have a few minor tweaks that make playing this game all the more worth it. For starters, you, your house, and your farm are all very customizable. You can mix and match things as you please, so long as you have the space and materials required to do so. Resources are a little grindy to get in the game, but as you upgrade your tools, which I highly recommend doing right off the bat, they become easier to obtain. You get a lot of different clothing options to better change the character to suit however you think they should look. These require materials as well though, so be wary of that. You can also get a wide variety of pet breeds to choose from when you obtain one, which is wonderful for animal lovers, who usually don’t have a say in the matter. As an added bonus, the pets have different byproducts and abilities, just to make getting them that much more fantastic. This game really shines in the farm customization, because you’re free to reimagine the layout, what buildings exist, and also where they go. This makes the farm 100% yours and unique, which makes the player feel like they’re playing their own way.
As the name suggests, you don’t just have one town to discover. There are three completely different towns, each with their own theme and focus. You have the starting town of West Town, which of course is a western themed village. Their main focus is on mining. The second is Lulucoco, an exotic town with a heavy reliance on fishing. Lastly, the third one is named Tsuyukusa and is an Asian-influenced town which is farming centered. Your job is to build the bond between the three towns and unite them, which in turn gives you a better chance to prove your father wrong and become the farmer that you and your mother always knew that you could be. You build the rank by shipping items to the various towns and by doing part-time jobs for them.
Part-time jobs are small things that you can pick up to help earn a little bit more cash, as well as increase your rank. They usually just involve delivering items between players, shipping certain items, pulling weeds, or pressing certain buttons. The only flaw I find with this is that some of these are very tedious to do and don’t really require much in the way of skill. Plus the jobs can only be accepted for that day only, meaning that you don’t usually have time to grow the resources required to ship or whatnot. No worries though; they repeat very often. The only other downside is that whenever you do certain jobs, it takes you to the place where the job is located, meaning if you accepted a job in Lulucoco chopping wood, then you’d have to walk all the way back to West Town just to take another job. This is a very menial task that just seems to be there in order for you to waste your time. There are ways to fast travel, but it takes a while to unlock them.
For me, the game functioned exceptionally well. The framerate was nice and even, the visuals and art design were absolutely beautiful, and the music was top notch for a game like this. I really felt immersed in the experience, and it’s been awhile since a farming simulator has caused me to feel that about a game. However, this game is not perfect. The controls really drag it down. They’re very simple, but for some reason felt really clunky to me. I’d find myself constantly consuming or throwing an item which I intended to give as a gift. I also didn’t like the fact that the D-Pad wasn’t an option to use for movement, as the constant use of the circle pad made my thumb cramp up and I’d have to set the game down.
Those weren’t the only problems, though. There’s also a cutscene that plays every single day, both when the shops open as well as when they close. It’s nothing major, but it really takes away from the experience when you’re forced to sit through that menial cutscene repeatedly. Speaking of cutscenes, I also didn’t like the fact that there was no way to speed up the text. For me, it moved far too slow and when I pushed on the bottom screen to make it auto advance, it moved far too quickly for me to see it before the game skipped to the next line of dialogue. Again, a small issue, but one I feel slightly hinders the enjoyment.
Overall, this game isn’t the greatest farming simulator I’ve played, but if you can get past the slightly clunky controls and minor inconveniences, then I would really recommend picking this game up. This game is massive, with the story taking me over 70 hours to complete. There’s just so much that you can do in this game, from customizing things how you want, to cooking dishes, and even competing in the various festivals that the game has to offer. The game is only $40, and you get a lot of content for that rather small price. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is great for both new comers and old fans of the genre alike, so give it a go if you have the urge to farm.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
MarvelousTrio of Towns: Story of Seasons