This year, the 3DS looks set to expand its RPG library with a few new titles. However, my first Game of the Month for 2016 isn’t an RPG – it’s something that is a little more tranquil. The European release date was 31st December 2015, but I’m sure it’ll keep me occupied throughout January.
The title is also from a long-running series, though it goes by a new name now due to a different company owning the rights for the title you might be more familiar with.
For January, my 3DS Game of the Month is Story of Seasons. The game is a farming sim, and it is the title that Harvest Moon is going by now. Natsume owns the rights for the Harvest Moon name, hence the new moniker.
It may have a new title, but it has the same familiar gameplay. You start the game, and you become a farmer. This means growing crops, rising livestock and gathering materials. Of course, there’s a bit of life simulation in there as well, what with having the option to woo an eligible bachelor or bachelorette and get married and have kids. If you’ve played any Harvest Moon game before, you’ll know what to expect.
Naturally, this does have a few elements that make it differ from previous entries. Most notable are the traders from other countries – when you begin, there is only one; from the Silk Country. As you play through, more become available, and you make your money by shipping your farm’s produce to the different countries. However, those traders are only in town for specific days, so you might not be able to ship your harvested crops right away.
You are also able to make your own clothes to wear, with certain outfits increasing your friendship with certain characters when you talk to them. Of course, the best way to build friendship is by giving gifts out – again, something that long-time Harvest Moon players will be familiar with.
A new area that is available after playing through the game for a while is a wildlife Safari, where you can find more exotic animals. By building good relationships with the various vendors, you can get different animals for the Safari.
Also introduced in Story of Seasons are rival farmers and conquests. By competing with rival farmers, you can get more land to grow your crops. By winning seasonal festivals, shipping the most items or earning the most money from shipped items, you can rent fields for a certain period of time. If you do not renew the rent after time expires, your rivals will challenge you for it.
Story of Seasons is a game that you can play at your own pace, and will provide a nice break before I get stuck into the whole host of RPGs that are due out later this year.