Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town – Review
Follow Genre: Farming simulation
Developer: Marvelous
Publisher: Marvelous, XSEED Games
Platforms: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Graphics, gameplay
Bad: Missing story-value, certain hiccups
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

If you have been around in the gaming world for a while, you probably heard from Harvest Moon or Story of Seasons. These titles give you a fun farming simulation while also making you invest time in friendships and love. With Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, the developer Marvelous revives one of the older Harvest Moon games and adds some new stuff into the mix. Are you ready to discover what Mineral Town has to offer?

Story

The game starts when you arrive at your new home: the old farm of your grandfather. It doesn’t look like the memories you have of this place. So many years ago, you visited your grandpa during summertime, making new friends, and having fun with the animals. Now, everything is in shambles, with weed covering the field and no cattle to take care of. At least there is a friendly face to meet you, the mayor of the town. After some introductions and info about how to use certain tools, it’s up to you to get the place up and running again.

Most games in this franchise don’t have a profound storyline, although sometimes the Harvest Goddess needs help, or at least something needs to happen to help the town out. With this specific title, it feels kind of like there is a bigger goal missing. Now, you can become friends with the villagers and even get married, but that was already possible in every title. It would have been nice if there was at least something to work towards.

Graphics

As this game is a remake of the original Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, the characters are the same but in a new style. Forget those old graphics as the new ones are in a sort of chibi style, making you overload with cuteness. With this version, you can choose between a male and a female protagonist and two types of appearance. This certainly is a nice addition seeing that this wasn’t possible in the original title.

Everything looks lush and vibrant, going from the trees surrounding the village to the waves of the ocean crashing on the beach. The same can be said about the variety of livestock you can purchase or the different people running around the village. Combining this all really makes it a fun and colorful game to play, where you’ll enjoy spending time in.

Sound

Music-wise, each season has its own specific kind of tune that brings out the best of that period. For example, for summer you feel like you want to jump into the river to cool off and have fun at the beach, while winter is really serene like a morning walk in the crisp snow. The town always has its same track, which is kind of sad as it can become tedious after a while.

For the sound effects, it’s kind of the same. Some of the effects are on point and fit perfectly with the whole cute style the game has going on, while other ones are really high-pitched and louder than the normal volume, which makes it stand out and even annoying sometimes. In general, the sound does fit with the vibe the game has, but there are some flaws here and there that could have been better.

Gameplay

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town can be seen as a farming simulation game where you can explore the town as well, while doing some other chores or tasks. There doesn’t seem to be a main objective to the game, but you can make friends and get married al while making some money and expanding your farm.

First of all, the biggest chunk of your time will go to tending the crops on your field. This isn’t any different than other Story of Seasons games. You need to tile the field first before dropping seeds on there, afterward you need to water each sprout daily so it grows strong until you can harvest it. Some crops can be harvested multiple times, while others are just a one-time deal. If this goes well and you gained some cash, you can start thinking of getting some livestock. Chickens and cows are the most obvious choice, but you can also go for alpacas or rabbits. Each animal has its own way to be taken care of, but it mostly consists of talking to them daily and giving them food.

When the game progresses, you’ll be able to do some other activities like fishing and cooking. For the latter, the dishes you make can’t be used to get some nice cash, but you can take it with you to get back stamina and fatigue. Yes, just like real life, your character gets tired after working all day and heaving around with the tools. In this title, you got two different meters to take into account. One is stamina, which depletes by using tools while fatigue can be affected by the weather conditions as well. Working in the rain takes a higher toll on you than being outside with the sun on your face. Don’t worry though, next to food a good night’s rest can also do miracles, just like a dip in the hot spring.

Next to that, you can also go into the mountains and collect items there. Depending on the season, you can find a variety of goods that can be used for cooking, gifting or selling. During these trips, you can also try to get some wood or stone, if you have the necessary tools that is. These materials are a necessity if you want to expand your barns or farmhouse, so it’s best to start collecting as soon as possible. Even more, you can also visit the local mine, where you can smash stones to get ores and gems so you can upgrade your tools or get some nice accessories.

Once you’ve obtained some sellable items, being from crops or your livestock, items you found while foraging or fishing, it all goes into the shipping bin. Once a day, someone from town comes to collect it while also giving you the value of the goods you’ve shipped. With this newly obtained cash, you can get more seeds or invest in some other items at the general store, for example, to get cattle or anything that your heart desires.

One other big part of the game is making friends and getting a spouse. What is new in this remake is that you can now marry someone of the same gender, which certainly was a welcome addition to the game. To woo your favorite boy or girl or just to become friends, you have to talk to them daily and even give them gifts they like, so their friendship (and love) points go up. If you gained enough LP, sometimes you can trigger certain heart events. These short cutscenes give you the chance to get even closer to the person and are a necessity to be able to marry. Some other ways to get closer with the townspeople are attending to and participating in the several events that occur every season.

Being a remake of the old Harvest Moon title, this game has a few new additions as well. Some were already mentioned before, but there is more! For example, crops have a rank now while there are even more to sow than before. Getting your livestock outside is even handier than before with the addition of a herding bell outside the barn. You can change the clothing of your character thanks to the mirror in your house, a new area to explore in town, new pets, and so much more.

Even though there are a lot of new things to discover, some things don’t seem to go well. For example, whenever you and someone else are leaving a building or a certain area of the map, you spawn into each other and you’re stuck for a while. Eventually, the game ‘resets’ and the one you’re stuck with goes his or her merry way, which unlocks you too. This happened multiple times and it’s quite annoying as time passes by quickly. Something else that could have benefitted from some improvement was the festivals. Other titles make this quite an event to go to, but in this title, it’s quite underwhelming, especially if you’re not participating yourself. The event just starts, to immediately fast-forward several hours to the end of the event.

Conclusion

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a welcome remake of the original title of the Harvest Moon series. The graphics are super adorable while the sound fits perfectly, even though it has its flaws here and there. For the gameplay, the all-known ingredients are still present but it would have been nice if there was a certain goal to work towards and if some small issues were addressed or updated. Overall, it’s a nice title to play if you’re in the mood of getting your hands dirty and finding love, but it might not get you immersed like other titles are able to from this franchise.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town - Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

1 Comment

  1. […] Watch the launch trailer now or check out our review! […]

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