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About the product
- Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns introduces the plushie capybara pet, and this adorable 3.5” addition to the farm is yours free with the purchase of the game
- Best-selling farming/life-sim game of all time returns - Series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto returns with veteran Bokujo Monogatari team to create the biggest adventure yet in this beloved series
- Extensive customization - After creating unique farmer avatars, players work and play their way through three towns in search of ways to decorate their homes and take care of their crops and animals
- Three towns, one world - Players acquire rare crops, decorations, and furniture, then can connect with other players to trade, or try enhancing them through a magic pedestal in the multiplayer world
- Heart-throbbing romance - Build relationships with bachelors and bachelorettes; if players see each of those stories through, they can propose, get married, and even start their own families
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STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns is a fresh new entry in the 'Bokujo Monogatari' series, a long-standing and top-selling farming/life-simulation franchise. After creating a customized character, players can live out a new life by cultivating their favorite fruits and vegetables while expanding and filling their farm with their choice of animals. For the first time in the series, players can explore three different towns, each with their own regional crops, animals, and flavors, in search of new ways to grow their farms and friendships. Players can also connect to one another, locally or via internet, to chat and trade useful items.
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Let me begin with a little introduction of the plot:
You start off as a girl or boy who decides to become an independent farmer. The reason: Due to your father's job, your family is moving around too often, and you want to settle down. Although your father disapproves, he still sends you to his younger brother to teach you how to become a successful farmer. That's when your real adventure begins.
Unlike the previous Story of Seasons games, you can choose personality types that can benefit you (such as animal lover, fisher, sports enthusiast, tycoon, charmer), depending on what you pick. This is not only helpful, but also enjoyable. There are also part time jobs that improve your relationship with the townsfolk and can help you earn some more money. This keeps you busy throughout the game, although the jobs are quite repetitive, to be honest. At least it's easier to increase friendship levels compared to previous games, and you can also have access to more items.
There is also an option that features a multiplayer mode utilizing both local (for nearby friends) and internet connection. This allows you to receive items, some of them are quite rare.
The festivals haven't changed much in terms of content, but the depiction and presentation are different. The basic procedures such as shipping, remodeling, furniture, growing crops and raising livestock are generally just about the same way. One significant addition in this section is the diversity of pets.
Ultimately, the most interesting feature of the game are the three different towns. Each town has its own unique traditions, design and people. They are all equally beautiful in their own way, and the illustration aspect of the game is amazing. The cheerful background music also fits the themes of the towns. Even the weather has been taken into consideration, and depending in which town or area you are, it can be different.
Overall, as a long time "Harvest Moon" (now Story of Seasons) fan, I can definitely say that this game has so far been a great and refreshing experience. Whether you are a "Seedling" to the franchise or a "Veteran", this game will surely make you daydream about having your own little farm in real life!
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is everything that the first Story of Seasons wanted to be, but wasn't. The opening of the game isn't quite as glacial as that of Story of Seasons, and serves more as a functional tutorial than a frustrating click-through of endless dialogue. However, you still don't have an option to skip cut scenes, which is frustrating. You can, however, set the text to auto-play, so at least you can turn it on and walk away if you need to. You get to meet the player character's whole family for once: both parents, a younger sister, and an uncle. This made me actually restart the game and go through as "Holly" instead of making up my own character: I wanted to fit in with my family. This intro is about five solid minutes of click-through before you get to start farming, and then maybe another ten minutes at your uncle Frank's house before you get to your own farm. After this, the game opens up gradually, with functionality increasing throughout the first year and thereafter.
On the note of graphics, although pleasant for the most part, it is somewhat disappointing that many items and the food have the blurriness of what it would look like if, on another game, the graphics were refusing to render. Pizza being a vague white and red blob is just irritating in this day and age.
Elements of personality have been upped for the player, the animals, and the NPCs in town. NPCs perform actions when idle, such as sweeping, serving food to customers in the inn, et cetera. This is something they did in Rune Factory 4, and I'm happy to see it in a Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon game. Characters also have distinct schedules and personalities, and their mood might change day-to-day. There's a feature where they greet you as you walk past them as well, by a box popping up in the lower left hand corner of the screen. It's worth it to go to the inn in the evenings, since there's a stage and live music, as well as a slew of diners. NPCs have completely populated the town, creating a comfortable, bustling feel. Both the players and the animal have personality, but it doesn't affect much. Player personality affects starting bonuses, and animal personality changes their stats like how easy it is to keep them healthy, their affection level, etc.
Still on the note of character development, dialogue isn't the same every day!!! Though you can get repeats sometimes, it's still interesting to walk up to a character, greet them, and find out what they think. This makes it less of a slog to build relationships
Crops and Animal Husbandry
Crops have different ratings for size, juiciness, scent, etc. These different ratings affect star level, as well as harvest festival ratings. Stamina drain is fairly severe, so initially you can hoe, plant, and water maybe two fields at a time before you're tired. This can lead to you going to bed at 13:00 sometimes, since you're out of energy and have done everything for the day. On the note of stamina drain, when you can get a kitchen to make food-- or if you eat food at the restaurant or grocery store-- different food has the possibility of giving you various boosts, à la Monster Hunter. This is a welcome modern twist on the traditional Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons cooking mechanic. As soon as you can upgrade the weight of your tools, do so!
Shipping boxes are back, and pick-up at a specific time! You no longer need to hope for the vagaries of the market place, like you did in Story of Seasons! Shipping to different towns can increase your relationship with that town, and will sometimes be a requirement for upping your town link rank, which will unlock new items in the shops. I don't believe that the shipping price goes up if you ship Westown items to Lulukoko, for example, though-- which is unfortunate. I wish there was more of a system of barter and demands between the three towns.
Part-time jobs are back, and are actually implemented correctly. You can take a slew of different jobs that actually feel like part-time jobs: delivering some items for the local store or doing some chores like weeding, harvesting, or brushing, for example. There are also a few shipping requests. These odd jobs change daily, making each day unique.
Doing part-time jobs, talking with townspeople, and shipping also build your relationship with the town itself, and has ranks ranging from E to S, with S being the highest. This really serves to deepen immersion and give you real stakes for socializing and being an active townsperson every day.
Initial impressions for this game are very, very good. I'm looking forward to enjoying more of the game and seeing how interactivity builds as I go along; I will update this review accordingly when I have played more hours.