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Story Of Seasons: Trio Of Towns

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 11 - 2017

Growing crops and making friends.

 
While I would happily enjoy a round of Golf or drive a fast car around a race track, gardening has absolutely no interest for me. It really doesn’t. If I had my way, my entire back garden would be paved over. Even when gardening is pushed to a much larger scale, which is pretty much what farming is, I just don’t care. Yet, give me a farming video game, be it a serious simulation or a much lighter version with cutesy visuals and an emphasis on making friends with neighbors, and I will stick at it for hours. Where’s the sense in that?

 
sstt1

 
Anyway, the latest turnip-planting simulator that has been taking up all of my time, while my back garden looks like a set piece from Jurassic Park, happens to be Marvelous’s Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns on 3DS. This long running series may seem unfamiliar , what with only one previous game of this title. However, once the name Harvest Moon is revealed, a knowing look will generally spread over the faces of most gamers. What you have here is, once again, building up a profitable farm, with plenty of resource management, while getting friendly with a whole host of townsfolk. If you have played a Harvest Moon game, you will know what to expect.

 
As always, the player takes on a struggling farm and has to make it successful. For the sake of having a story, this time around the player moves in with their Uncle when their parents move away. It’s a simple story that just gives a reason for the player being in this situation. But that’s okay, the Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games are more about the story that the player can create through the day to day running of a farm, than any back story. So, without further ado, it’s down to the farming.

 
sstt2

 
The largest focus of the game is to make money. To do that, the player will need to hoe the land, plant some seeds, water them and then watch them grow. Rinse and repeat, but next time maybe nurture the seedlings to make them worth more. Experiment with some different types of crops, keeping an eye on the changing seasons that will have an effect on what grows and the weather that has an effect on what the player needs to do. Pull up weeds, chop up wood, build improvements for the farm if there is enough money, maybe even buy some livestock. The day to day running of the farm is packed with little chores that the player will have to repeat time and time again. The funny thing is that they don’t become boring. The actions are quick enough that they don’t overstay their welcome, and the player is always heading towards a very clear goal of improvement. With so much farming to do each say, the player will have to manage their time well, and it is easy to quickly slip into a daily routine that makes the most of that time.

 
Of course, sitting around on the farm all day is only the tip of the iceberg in Trio of Towns. As could be guessed from the title, there are three nearby towns to explore. These towns are slowly unlocked through the game, and each one has a different regional theme, such as the American town or the Japanese town. Given that another focus of the game is on building relationships, that means that there are potentially three towns worth of new people to meet and befriend. Trio of Towns has a huge cast, and it is impressive how much character this cast has, especially between the different towns. Players will be able to slowly unravel the backstories of these characters as they go about their business, making the game feel far more engaging than previous entries in the series.

 
sstt3

 
The three different towns raise further complexity for the player. As they go about their day, picking up little quests from other characters, or visiting the different stores in each of the towns, the player will have to be aware of different opening times and the like. They will also have to work around different timings for the various events that are held in each town. Fortunately, the towns are revealed gradually, giving the player a chance to get their head around the schedule of one town before introducing the next.

 
Visually, Trio of Towns matches the games theme perfectly. Cute and laid back are good ways to describe it. This is a very good looking game, obviously pushing the 3DS hardware to new levels for a game from this series, and the colours really pop from the screen, something that has often been an issue with previous titles. The soundtrack too is very well done and enjoyable to listen to, although I think it lacks any of those catchy tunes that would stick in the players head long after they finish playing.

 
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While Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns may not bring anything much new to the Story of Seasons series, it does manage to pack a lot in to this game, and what it does, it does well. Three towns to deal with adds variety and a little more complexity to counter the mundane, but highly enjoyable, farming chores. Packed with charm and the freedom to approach the game however the player sees fit, Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is the largest and most entertaining game of the series so far, perfect for both newcomers and veteran farmers. Life on the farm may be relaxing, but it’s never dull.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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