It seems that farm simulators and simulators have become fashionable. Piece of life These combine the routine of running and caring for a farm and doing daily chores with the element of socialization, which is mostly based on meeting the people of your town or the nearest town. Stardew Valley or the Harvest Moon series are the two franchises currently running this genre. That list, however, includes the latest Marvelous title, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of the Olive City, which hits the Nintendo Switch market today with the arrival of the spring.
In Story of Seasons: Olive Town Pioneers, like in many other farming simulators, you start by designing your avatar. Once you complete this first step, you will be fully immersed in farming life and then the game will begin. In this title you play as a boy or girl who inherited his grandfather’s farm near a small town called Olive Town (the village of olive trees or something like that). Well, your job here will be to restore Grandpa’s farm to its former glory. Once you start, the city mayor, Victor, will greet you and introduce you to the elements of the game. Also, he visits you every morning and always offers you new information that is very useful, but you will see this if you continue. In short, this character will teach you the basics and also give you the instructions you need to progress both in rebuilding the farm and in improving the city.
Victor is basically the tutorial for Story of Seasons: Pioneers of the Olive Town, and as is common in the farming simulators genre, this character doesn’t give you all that is chewed, but it’s up to you to learn how to run your farm Tending and cultivating, selling grain, and building relationships with the people of Olive Town. It could be said that Victor is more of a tutorial where you learn how the title works through play than the typical one that takes you by the hand and where you limit yourself to following instructions. The game takes you straight to a farm full of trees, grass and rocks that you need to cut or break before you can start rebuilding your farm. On the other hand, as is typical of this type of game, your character has a certain amount of energy per day and every task he performs uses up some of that precious resistance. After this experience, to be successful as a farmer, you will need to sow a lot of seeds, feed them with water every day, grow them, sell them to make money, buy more seeds, and then repeat the whole process again.
This is the starting loop of Story of Seasons: Pioneers of the Olive City, and we assure you that in a short time you have managed to rebuild your farm to your liking, planting cucumbers, beets, potatoes, different types of flowers, etc. that you are selling to make money. This is a great way to expand your home, upgrade your tools, and buy a pet or farm animals. In short, as you can see, everything you do here will be doing to improve your farm and in the end you will create a routine in which you will gradually improve your cultivation, your construction. Planting, felling and felling trees.
For those of you familiar with the genre, we’re sorry to say that Story of Seasons has no tricks up its sleeve and it quickly becomes clear how the game works. Similar to the Stardew Valley, there is a mine near your farm that appears randomly. You can get better resources in it as you go deeper and deeper. As we said earlier, Olive Town is the city of the game, and its residents will give you more hearts (give them gifts or talk to them every day) as you progress in your relationship with them. Another element in this title is the invisible walls that allow you to collect a certain amount of different materials.
From a narrative point of view, there isn’t much else either, but it’s the player who has to create their own story by building their farm. Of course, there are several events in the city throughout the calendar that are very cool. In my case, for example, I attended the annual Egg Festival, a day when the city was filled with eggs and citizens had to collect them (very appropriate for Easter). In this story, Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is once again reminiscent of many other farming Sims, as Stardew Valley has the exact same festival at the start of the game. However, the difference between these two titles is that in Story of Seasons you cannot participate in the festival with your character, that is, the festival is just a kind of backdrop and you cannot collect the eggs. In short, a disappointment as they could have allowed players to attend events like this, adding a breath of fresh air to the game loop. Unfortunately, this also happens a lot in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town as your character stands on the sidelines at different times and cannot do or say anything as certain events unfold in the story.
Another aspect that is very cool in Story of Seasons is when you manage to win the heart of another character as you can enjoy a unique scene with him or her. The problem, however, is that your character is dumb with no trace of personality. Every time something happens, he stares in silence without interacting with the NPCs. To be honest, the more you think about it, the more frustrating and uncomfortable it gets. However, it is often camouflaged a bit by not making your character the center of interaction but simply being presented while two NPCs interact and tell the story.
It is clear that they wanted us to be able to identify more with our character by not having pre-determined sentences regarding the interaction. However, they could have done this with a little more grace and wit without turning our character into a mere mute bystander. Anyway, let’s face it, this is a problem in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town as it makes much of the game a bit absurd and superficial. Another negative is that the characters in Olive Town, who are supposed to be considered the best in the title, leave a lot to be desired and are not as interesting as we expected. Let’s see, in defense of the game, I’ll say “only” I’ve played 12 hours and that I’ve probably got a lot of things that I haven’t seen or experienced before, but if you devote 12 hours to a title and I personally do , I’ll put it aside and devote my time to something more fun.
I want to make it clear that The Story of the Seasons: Olive Town Pioneers is not a bad game at all. I had a good time on my farm and in Olive Town; he had a pretty cool routine; and I enjoyed growing, selling my vegetables, visiting the mine, milking my cows, walking my dog and cooking ah! and he had chickens that lay eggs every day. Everything was fine, and that’s the problem: it was fine, but nothing more. The experience seemed very mediocre to me and I had no good reason to keep playing. Also, for a game of this genre, the days are pretty long (they last around 20 to 30 minutes), I didn’t even get through spring. Come on, it’s too slow considering it’s a title where seasons and whole years are supposed to go by.
From a playful point of view, you can do the typical things that are possible in a farming simulator: you can water your plants, destroy stones with your pickaxe, cut the grass with your scythe, cut trees with your ax, etc. In short, life activities in the country. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t seem to have much else to offer. Although mystical events sometimes occur on some nights, such as when a mysterious girl appears to watch over your character, the title doesn’t go much further. As we all know, if the starting loop has no depth, the title has to counter that aspect with other elements such as mysteries, changes in gameplay or fun activities, and to be honest, I didn’t think of this story Seasons: The Pioneers of Olive Town got something out of it.
Finally, it should be said that the game’s graphics are very Nintendo style, with nice chibi-style characters and a very colorful and beautiful world. The problem is, I wasn’t convinced by the NPCs that I had the title. On the other hand, I’m going to break a spear in his favor and say that his soundtrack never repeated or tired me, even though I’ve heard it a few times. The sound always goes perfectly with whatever activity you’ve been doing: in the mine, on the farm, while shopping in the city, or even at night (with relaxing music). In short, music helps create the feeling of relaxation while playing, which is what the experience is looking for, and it works perfectly.
Overall, as I said, I had a good time with Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, nothing more, nothing less. It was a good hobby, but unfortunately it never will be again for me. It is clear that their goal is to get you to immerse yourself in the typical laid-back atmosphere of the city Piece of lifeand that works in part. However, I think there are better and much more relaxing games in this genre than Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town.