STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Town Event
STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Official Logo Art
Title STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life
Developer Marvelous
Publisher XSEED Games
Release Date June 27th, 2023
Genre Farming Sim
Platform Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Steam
Age Rating Everyone
Official Website

A Wonderful Life is not a Bokujō Monogatari game I have any history playing before. I haven’t played the original GameCube version, nor Another Wonderful Life or the Special Edition version. I feel like I’ve heard in the past though that this was a good entry and have always been curious. Also, when this remake specifically first released in Japan, I had seen some stuff online and got the impression it would be a really charming entry. Seeing as I have no nostalgic history with STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life, this review will mostly be about how it holds up in comparison to similar modern entries and in general if it seems like a quality remake or not.

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Character Customization

A Wonderful Life has a pretty basic premise typical of the Bokujō series. You find yourself moving to Forgotten Valley, where your father once lived, to run a farm. At the start of this remake you get to customize your character in a limited fashion, picking your hairstyle, default outfit, eye color, etc. After doing this and picking your name, you meet Takakura, an old friend of your father’s, and move to town. You’ll get a house with a kitchen and TV to use, a couple dirt areas for crops, a barn, a chicken coop, plus a cow to take care of and a dog. You’ll also be given some tools to help get you started.

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Taking Care of Animals

What I found different about STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life, compared to other Bokujō Monogatari games I have played previously, is that it didn’t seem to completely focus on farming. Sure the farm is there, you can grow crops and raise animals and whatnot, but it doesn’t take very long to get done with your daily farming duties. It’s really more about your life in Forgotten Valley as a whole: the farm, making friends with the locals and seducing someone in town to get yourself a spouse and start a family, of course. Also, there isn’t a ton to do in the early game unless you save up and buy a ton of animals and plant a ton of crops right at the start. I find I don’t get too many animals because I can get burnt out having to do all the tasks it requires to take care of them, every single game day. However, it seems as if this entry wants you to focus more on animals than crops. Most other Bokujō games don’t actually force an animal on you from the start aside from a dog or horse. One other thing that was different is that each season is only 10 days instead of the 30 I was expecting.

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Marriage

Despite not having much to do at the start, I found myself wanting to be present for the whole day each game day and not sending my character to bed early. I played like this because in AWL you can actually milk your cow twice a day and the dirt your crops are planted in will dry out at some point during the day, which leaves them being able to be watered again. Not wanting to neglect anything at the farm, I wouldn’t go to bed until at least after 7. While waiting for the latter half of the day, I’d befriend some of the characters around town and work on seducing Matthew. The spouse options in this title are also a bit more limited than later games.

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Ocean Glitch

For a good amount of the time I spent on this review, I really enjoyed having a new relaxing farming game to play. But as I got into it, I found that overall, it wasn’t as good of a remake as I had hoped. Keep in mind though, I have no past history with A Wonderful Life, so this is merely how it seemed to someone who’s never played before but has an appreciation for the farming sim genre. I know it’s a GameCube game originally, but unlike STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town, which I found felt like a quality remake with real effort put into throwing a fresh coat of paint over it, AWL’s remake felt like they kept some of that retro jankiness. Despite using the button to move straight and not turn when trying to target certain dirt plots, I found my character would constantly skip out of line and water a plot in the next row diagonally across, or some other near-ish plot that wasn’t at all where I was aiming. Also, when I was out in the ocean fishing, at certain angles, the water layer glitches out and it looks like you’re standing next to a ditch, not the ocean. I also can’t forget how sometimes when I got off my horse just for a minute to go talk to someone, when I came back he’d be asleep and refuse to move for a good amount of seconds. It just didn’t feel fully remade. Again though, I’m not a returning player to this game specifically. For all I know this could be an intentional development choice to not ruin what fans loved about the original.

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life | Town Event

Ultimately, STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life wasn’t as charming as I had hoped and imagined it would be. It did get some more charm added in when I got to the second chapter and started my family. Still, I don’t think this Bokujō Monogatari game aged as well as some others, it ended up being super average. It’s not at all a bad game, I enjoyed my time with it. Nonetheless, I think this is mainly one for fans who have that nostalgia for it and will be going back to an old fave. If you’re new to it like me and really want to try it out, I’d suggest waiting for at least a small sale.

Review Score

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Jenae R
Jenae is an RPG enthusiast who also enjoys cats, humidity-free warm weather, Dean Koontz books, Riichi Mahjong and a select handful of non RPG series and games. Two of her all-time favorite games are the original Shadow Hearts and Final Fantasy IX. She loves to ramble on about her numerous gaming opinions and is fortunate enough to be able to do it here at oprainfall.