The Eternal Allure of Story of Seasons: First Impressions

Ahh, videogames. How I’ve missed you while working on school projects. Story of Seasons is one of those games that helps relax me and gives me a sense of accomplishment, even if that accomplishment was merely virtual. That’s why I still enjoy games like this and Animal Crossing: they let me feel connected to my virtual work and give me an immediate sense of growth and prosperity that’s hard to come by so quickly in the real world. I’m only about ten hours into this game, so my thoughts are based off the Spring and Summer seasons.

Story of Seasons is the spiritual successor of the Harvest Moon series. As I understand, the name is owned by Natsume, while the people who worked on the old ones moved to another company. So, this is essentially a Harvest Moon game. The main premise is a familiar one: farm and become successful to help the town. Though some other games in the series have had other missions like helping the harvest goddess, those side quests sometimes fell flat or made the game unnecessarily complex. The simplicity of Story of Seasons should not be misunderstood to mean it is a boring game.

It’s actually kind of difficult because I’m playing in normal mode. In the beginning I was given the choice between normal mode and seedling mode, and figured “I’m a soon to be college graduate, I should play my farming simulator on normal mode. Like an adult.” I don’t find the grind difficult; I’m a child of Pokemon, and find grinding familiar, yet the requirements are more than just time consuming, they’re highly specialized tasks. My friend, Maddie, told me to start the game over for my own good, and I tried, but just couldn’t bring myself to go through training and building a home all over again. I’ll live, and it’s still fun. Those who have yet to start a game might want to play on seedling mode for a more story-based experience.

My biggest complaint is how difficult it is to befriend the NPCs. Many of Townspeople like only the nicest of goods, things that I can’t even begin to produce on my farm. I miss the days when a foraged flower was enough to make someone happy. The demands make me dismiss my relationship with the other farmers outright. I’ll be a scrooge farmer, sitting upon my success with no friends if that continues. To get the full experience, I’ll need to change my tune, but I just can’t get into it. Maybe that’s becasue I can’t get over how boring many of the bachelors are. Iris is the only character I like, so far. None of them are full characters yet, and though I might get to know them though cut scenes, the trouble is getting there.

Overall, I really enjoy this game becasue it’s relaxing and easy to become lost in. When I haven’t played for a while, I find myself thinking about my farm or what my next building will be. Is it deeply philosophical or wrapped up in an immersive plot? Not really. But, it’s a fun way to unwind in the evening.

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