By Dalton McClain / July 14th, 2020
|Title||STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town|
|Publisher||XSEED Games, Marvelous USA, Inc.|
|Release Date||July 14th, 2020|
As I stated before in my preview, I’ve been a huge fan of Friends of Mineral Town since I was a kid. I used to play the game all the time, and it’s still one of my favorites to go back to, along with Magical Melody. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I heard that the game was getting remade into STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town. But, was nostalgia really the only driving factor behind my love of the game? Let’s take a look and find out.
The game starts out as most farming games do, with you inheriting a farm from grandpa. From here, you have to farm, raise animals, and befriend the villagers. That’s honestly about all there is when it comes to plot. Most of the story centers around the people that you meet. All of the villagers have their own storylines, and some are even romance-able. If you’ve played any sort of farming game before, you’ll know exactly what to expect. There are also a few “special” villagers, such as the Harvest Goddess and Kappa, which have their own way of unlocking. You raise your villager and animal friendship stats by doing certain tasks. These involve talking to them daily, giving them gifts, and even just brushing your animal. These will unlock special cutscenes and gifts that pertain to the character’s ongoing story. There are also festivals that you can join. They happen throughout the year, and are all fun and unique, with a ton of cool prizes. It’s a little basic, but it’s one of the earliest of its genre, so I can easily forgive it.
The whole meat of this game revolves around maintaining your farm. There are tons of crops and animals to raise. You start out with a very limited backpack, some tools, and a horse. From there it’s your job to expand the farm and make money. Along the way you’ll also have to worry about upgrading your tools. In total you have a sickle, axe, hammer, fishing rod, hoe, and watering can. You’ll gain more as you progress, but these are your main tools. The more you use them, the more experience you’ll gain. Eventually, when you gain enough experience, you’ll be able to upgrade the tool and give it new abilities. For that, you’ll need to head into the mines. By smashing the rocks, you’ll get new upgrade materials. Different floors have different materials, so you’ll have to hoe the ground to get to the right spot. Luckily there’s a hot spring right outside, which will refill your stamina after so long. Speaking of which, every action requires stamina. You’ll gain more slowly by doing certain tasks and getting Power Berries, but you’ll start out very weak. Eating food that you cook or find will restore some, but the best way is the hot spring. Apart from that, there’s also fatigue. This is what happens when you stay up too late or use up all of your stamina. I haven’t seen a huge difference between the two, as the hot spring refills both rather quickly.
The Harvest Sprites are also in this. In case you don’t know, they’re elves who can help you on your farm. After you befriend them a certain amount, they’ll help you on your farm by doing specific tasks. These could range from taking care of the animals, to watering and harvesting crops. You can also play games with them, which will increase their effectiveness. I really recommend befriending them as early as possible. If you plan on having large crops, this is the main way to do it.
I suppose I should also mention the art design, as it’s one of the main draws of this game. I have to say I’m still not a huge fan of the chibi art style, but it’s nothing offensive to me. The art design works for the atmosphere the game goes for, and the music only helps to compliment it. The character portraits, for the most part, are a big improvement over the original. Apart from some characters, they fit the mental image that I had of that character way back in the Game Boy days. I don’t have much else to add here. The designs work, but they’re nothing spectacular.
Overall I did really enjoy my time with STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town. It’s still just as good as I remember it being. If I had to pick any concern, it’s just that it’s a lot of the same. Don’t get me wrong, I still really recommend this game, even if it is $49.99. I was just hoping for something more substantial in terms of changes. I’ll still be playing and revisiting this game just like every other game in the series, and I’m glad it’s on newer hardware so I can introduce more people to it. If you’re curious, you can find the game both on Steam and the Nintendo Switch on July 14th.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
farmingMarvelousStory of Seasons: Friends of Mineral TownXSEED Games