Like most Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon games, the story can be summed up with the same old cliché: Fed up with city life, you decide to move to the countryside, where you inherit an abandoned farmhouse that once belonged to your grandfather. You start with very little money, just a handful of tools and half a dozen seeds. Then it’s up to you to find a way to turn your poor farm into a profitable monster ranch, while dealing with the townspeople and even finding a partner to marry. We’re not here to tell innovative stories, that’s for sure, but that’s okay. I can’t remember one person who played any of these games because of their history.
Honestly, the story of the time: The Olive City Pioneers play exactly like their predecessors. It’s a very safe way to proceed, as the basic concept is to participate in daily farm tasks, hone your skills so you can plant tons of seeds at a time, cook food to fill your little stamina bar, and interact with locals – it’s all there. These simple mechanisms are not bad at all, even if they seem deadly boring on paper. It’s about doing a man’s job and slowly watching your farm grow with your hard-earned money. They will immediately start giving more seeds, which will lead to greater financial gain. They are able to invest in livestock, resulting in higher daily sales. It’s a fantastic progression system that rewards you with a small incentive every time you spend a new day in the world.
That’s not to say that this game is just a copy of its predecessors. There are new game elements here, and yes, they make a difference. Even at first glance, you can see huge improvements in graphics and sound. Pioneers of Olive City is a simpler game in the franchise, with more detailed characters and environments, but retaining the franchise’s signature chibi anime charm. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of not having the best staff to work with, but since this is a slow farming simulator, that’s not such a difficult problem in the end.
Overall, the sound department is pretty good. The soundtrack is immediately memorable, especially when you hear the soft, warm melody that sounds when you enter a store or someone’s home. It is comfortable and welcoming, like the home of a friendly country family. The game even includes some short voice clips for each character, giving them an extra personality.
Fortunately, the changes are not limited to the technical aspects of the game. A brand new addition, likely inspired by the Animal Crossing series as a whole, is the ability to fully customize the layout of your farm by deciding where and how many chicken coops and crops to place, as well as customize your house. There are many types of furniture you can buy, and the larger the size and luxury of your home, the greater the degree of customization.
Earth Spirits, the supernatural creatures that appear in one form or another in each of these games, can now transport you to mythical landscapes if certain conditions are met. Finally, you are a full player in the development of your city as a whole. As a city boy, the mayor will constantly ask you for suggestions for the development of the city and the tourism industry. You can also complete assignments in the town’s information panel, which are usually nothing more than simple tasks you can get in exchange for money. Finally, just like in New Horizons, you can help populate the local town museum with different types of fish, images of animals and valuable items that you can find throughout the game. You will always have something to do in this game.
I always wondered why people were so attached to slice-of-life games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, but now I completely understand why. History of the seasons: Pioneers of Olive City captivated me in a way that few casual games ever have. Something as mundane as working on a farm and doing chores became a fascinating experience. I can see my farm slowly turning into a frontier farming empire, while having all the freedom in the world to shape my farm to my liking. What could be better than playing a game that reminds us of the unimportant tasks we all miss?
|History of the seasons: The Olive City Pioneers is the best game in the franchise, even if it suffers from a very unstable frame rate. Given that this is a slice-of-life game, it’s not a big deal.||The number of new customization options and mechanisms introduced in this game more than make up for the fact that the setting isn’t the best.|
|There are little voice-overs that add a small but important layer of personality to the characters. The soundtrack is also very catchy.||Like its predecessors, this game seems boring in theory, but it becomes extremely addictive after a few minutes. It’s packed with content, side missions, engaging characters and more.|
|Last block : 8.5|
History of the seasons: Olive City Pioneers is now available on the Switch.
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A copy of the story of the seasons: Olive City Pioneers was provided by the publisher.
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