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Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town Review

Anyone who has performed a Story of Seasons sport earlier than is aware of the plot of Pioneers of Olive Town: an enterprising younger 20-something escapes the bustle of metropolis life and takes over their grandfather’s outdated, dilapidated farm outdoors of a small, rural village that is struggling to maintain its inhabitants entertained. To flip issues round you develop crops, elevate animals, speak to the townsfolk, and repeat. Pioneers of Olive Town is not attempting to vary that, but it surely provides an enormous quantity of land to handle and crafting mechanics to work with, and that fleshes out that acquainted loop right into a full, nice take. For these of us who’ve been taking part in Stardew Valley continuous for the final 5 years, it’s a much-needed refresh.Pioneers of Olive Town is full of issues to do, and whereas the seasons move slightly slowly, I used to be stunned at how a lot I used to be packing right into a day – in addition to how far more I nonetheless wished to do on the finish of each. At any given level you are working towards rebuilding a construction, clearing a brand new section of land, planning one other tour into one of a number of mines, saving for the acquisition of a brand new device improve, attempting to complete a quest to develop the city, and attempting to get the lovable woman who works on the museum to return take a stroll on the seaside with you. It’s fairly customary stuff for probably the most half.The most dramatic variations separating Olive Town and prior Story of Seasons video games are the supplies and crafting techniques, and the sheer scope of the farmland it’s a must to clear. The former borrows closely from (shock!) Stardew Valley, instructing you new crafting recipes as you stage up varied expertise like mining, fishing, and logging. This features a quantity of recipes for machines that can convert supplies into different supplies, resembling wooden into lumber or ore into bars.

It’s a trouble to need to fuss with machines as a substitute of all the opposite, much more enjoyable bits, like exploring the big farm I’d inherited.


But there are just too many of these! Some of them even carry out very related capabilities, just like the Maker machines that convert thread into fabric however then solely separate ones to show wool into, nicely, totally different fabric. Or the separate machines for changing rice and beans into powders, changing herbs into seasonings, and salt and pepper into spices. I might have achieved with out, like, half of these machines, particularly since by the point I used to be a couple of seasons in, half my farm regarded like an industrial district between all of the machines I had working directly and all of the storage packing containers I needed to set as much as maintain all their merchandise organized for after I would inevitably want them to construct one thing. Story of Seasons can be a lot improved if rising your farm did not necessitate one thing like a fourth of every in-game day taking part in a wholly totally different administration sim as a substitute of the precise farming sim I wished to play.

It’s a trouble to need to fuss with machines as a substitute of all the opposite, much more enjoyable bits, like exploring the big farm I’d inherited. As with prior video games within the collection, Story of Seasons begins you with a small, overgrown bit of land that you’ll slowly clear of bushes, rocks, and grass with instruments like an axe, a hammer, and a scythe. You’ll additionally restore dilapidated constructions, like a rooster coop, utilizing the supplies you get from clearing the land (and, later, from working these supplies via like 20 totally different machines). Early on, the stretch of land you begin with looks like loads to take care of and positively sufficient house to farm in.

Then, you may restore the bridge.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town Review

Crossing the bridge to the southwest of your farm reveals a plot of land twice as large, equally overgrown, and with new run-down constructions of its personal to restore. And there are much more sections of land past that. Look, the farm is simply large, okay? By the time you restore the horse steady, you may want the horse to get you forwards and backwards throughout the stretches to do your every day chores. That means loads of house to construct and develop no matter you need, together with crafting ridiculous decorations like, I child you not, a large topiary cow.

The dimension does sadly make it apparent that Story of Seasons is struggling to run at a gradual framerate, particularly once you’re working throughout an space with quite a bit of issues on display. And the farm’s scale can turn into time-consuming afterward as a result of puddles, weeds, and bushes develop again rapidly. If you need to maintain the land clear, you may be spending quite a bit of time working over your total farm hammering down undesirable sprouts. The worst offenders are puddles and even bigger ponds, which seem in abundance every time it rains and require repeated, tedious use of a bucket to empty in order for you your house again.


There’s clearly been quite a bit of love put into each the unique writing and the localization of some of these scenes, in addition to a willingness to be goofy


But the dimensions largely works in its favor, as you may want all that house in your hundred or so converter machines, but additionally for crop rising and animal grazing. And it is simply enjoyable to discover these new areas too, as a result of every new part you unlock contains new forageable gadgets, new supplies for constructing, new buildings to rework. Plus, every season brings new cute roaming animals that you may finally tame and add to your barn and coop. A spotlight of my total playthrough was unlocking new areas, discovering the embarrassment of riches ready for me inside, and delighting even seasons later in new roaming animals like a goofy brown cow and the dumbest, cutest-looking rabbit I’ve ever seen, able to be tamed.

It’s a superb factor the times in Pioneers of Olive Town are lengthy, as a result of tending to your farm is simply half the job and there actually is simply piles to do every day. Olive Town itself is sizable and can develop with new retailers and actions as you full quests for the city’s mayor. For instance, you may unlock a salon with a wide selection of customization choices that can develop much more over time. Delightfully, all choices can be found to each character, regardless of your gender choice.

Olive Town’s residents could not look like a lot once you initially converse to them. Most of them will make related feedback about no matter occasion is nearest on the calendar – so, anticipating the Pet Derby for a couple of days, then discussing the outcomes of the Pet Derby for the following a number of days after. It’s unlucky that the on a regular basis dialogue is so bland, as a result of the cutscenes are the place characters actually get to shine. There’s clearly been quite a bit of love put into each the unique writing and the localization of some of these scenes, in addition to a willingness to lean in and be goofy and tongue-in-cheek on the common.The strong writing extends to the solid of 5 bachelors and bachelorettes, all of whom have quite a few charming interactions with you as you enhance their affection towards you with items and dialog. The bachelorettes are a bit extra various in appearances and personalities than the bachelors, however the excellent news is that if the gents aren’t wooing you successfully you’ll be able to date the ladies simply as simply, regardless of which gender you are taking part in as. Thank the Harvest Goddess that Marvelous did away with “friendship ceremonies” after the remake of Friends of Mineral Town made being as homosexual as you want a regular for the collection.

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