Time to grab your gardening gloves and head into another wholesome farming adventure with Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life. This time, the focus is on forming a family, not just farming copious amounts of turnips and other root vegetables.
You fish, you farm, you buy round animals, you make money, and upgrade your farm in the typical gameplay loop associated with farming games. All this while also attempting to woo the locals at your leisure and take a spouse.
Now, this is a remake of an older title, so it isn’t the heftiest of games. Story of Seasons recreates Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Marvelous Entertainment Inc. first released the game on GameCube back in 2004. There are some changes to the source material, notably more eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, new events, and of course, some upgraded graphics.
You start your story in the lazy Forgotten Valley, where its citizens await your friendship and assistance with tasks. It’s a classic story of you returning to your father’s farm and re-invigorating it with life. You’re very much encouraged to find a partner and raise a family, too, so that they can fill your shoes one day.
You then spend your days tilling the land and planting seeds, tending to your adorable animals in the barn, or fishing at the waterside. There’s even an archaeological dig site to get your hands into. You can also sell your produce at your own stall in the middle of town to passers-by, or wait for the vendor to buy whatever you don’t need.
If, like me, you’re a fan of farming games then A Wonderful Life is sure to tickle your fancy. Watching your fields grow is always fun, plus the more gold you make, the more helpful machinery and buildings you can afford – as well as more animals to fill up your barn and coop.
Obviously, the best part of most Story of Seasons and Harvest Moon games is the cows. They just get cuter with each new game. You can snuggle them, brush them, and pet them so they return your love – and provide the best quality milk. There are even marble cows that are spotty and pink!
All that being said, Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a cute and relaxing experience, but it isn’t the most in-depth farm-flavored adventure. Once you’ve grabbed your tools and plowed your fields, there’s only so much you can do. Talking to the villagers can get a little dry unless you’re plying them with gifts, and there’s no easy way of figuring out what each of them may like to receive. Trial and error is your best bet.
Story of Seasons doesn’t quite carry a triple-A price tag, but the $49.99/£34.99 seems a little much for me. Perhaps with a little more content and things to do, the near $50 would be justified. There’s nothing wrong with the game – there are no graphical or performance issues, it’s just a little unseemly around the edges when your character’s hands float inches away from what you’re interacting with.
While it’s a charming, enjoyable, and very laid-back farming game – A Wonderful Life could benefit from a little more content and a tiny bit more polish. I recommend it to those who played the original and want to relive the nostalgia or those who prefer a particularly chill gaming experience.
Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life review
A modernised and remade classic – Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life – provides a very laid-back and pleasant journey through farming, raising animals, and finding a partner to spend your life with.