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Story of Seasons Pioneers of Olive Town – An In-Depth Review

Farming games are one of the games you just have to play when you want to relax. Story of Seasons Pioneers of Olive Town is the latest game you can grab if you’re considering recency. The new farming game returns with a new set of stories, islands and villagers you can interact with.

As usual, you’ll be in charge of the little farm of Olive Town that your grandfather left you.  Doing so will not only boost the economy but also encourage tourism within the island. Kinda reminiscent of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning but this time, it is seaside.

Pros and Cons of Living in Olive Town – Since this is a game review, you’ll be seeing the things that players loved and hated during their experience. Unfortunately, it’s not as well-received as its other games, so expect more cons than pros.

Con #1  – The Villagers are Flat & Boring – One of the favorite aspects of the game is talking and spending time with your co-villagers. Almost all the past game characters are fleshed-out, making them feel like real buddies and romantic partners. In Olive Town, though, they’re too many villagers that most of them feel like unnecessary NPC with boring lines. Often, you’ll encounter them, and they’ll likely just say the same things over and over again.

Con # 2 – Glitches and Bugs – Notably, this issue is what tanked its initial public response during its release. Several glitches caused frame rate issues and freezing on certain parts of the game that made it look bad. It ruins the experience and may affect your gameplay completely.

Thankfully, the team responded quickly to these complaints with several patch releases. But still, you can’t help but wonder how they missed this during their quality assurance or something. You can’t just release a bugged game because it will make everyone think it’s not polished. Unlike other games, the developers do show that they care about it since they’re quick to solve these problems. Hopefully, they’ll continue to provide these patches to make the experience smoother than it was before.

Con #3 – Rushed Heart Events – Other than that, the heart events left out some details that will make you wonder. Heart Events are like special cut scenes that you can trigger when you have enough relationship points with your chosen partner. It’s a tiny little aspect of the game that is just cute and romantic at times. However, in some scenes, you’ll feel like it’s too generic of a story, or there will be unexplained details that will leave you confused.

 

Pro #1 – Player Customization Returns – Individuality is an important feature of any roleplaying game, and character customization is vital. Olive Town exceeds so much better in this feature because there are just many items, hairs and clothes to choose from to make you unique.

Pro #2 – It’s Better Than Harvest Moon: One World –  Just a refresher, Story of Seasons and Harvest Moon are now two separate games. Basically, Natsume and Marvelous had a thing that ultimately gave birth to the Story of Seasons. Natsume kept the title Harvest Moon, forcing Marvelous to rename its farming game.

You’ll find out why One World is such a disappointment compared to Olive Town in a separate review. Unlike this game, the story felt like it’s made by a youngster who wanted to create a Harvest Moon game. At least in Story of Seasons, you actually have a goal that you can do while enjoying the farming features, which are also great.

Pro #3 – Personalized Farm – Arguably, this feature is the best out of all the ones mentioned. Why? Because this time, you can actually decorate your farm and forge paths in and around it. You cannot do something in the previous titles, but here in Olive Town, you can!

Pro #4 – New Museum To Visit – Unlike any other Story of Seasons game, there was never really a chance to display all of the things you got from foraging, fishing or mining. In Olive Town, you can just head up straight to the museum and do that! This game is like the first title to incorporate that. Hopefully, it will be a mainstay because that’s actually another fun activity to do. And who doesn’t love a good museum visit?

 

Con # 3 – Recency Inspirations – These new features are very familiar if you think about them. You never really had a feature where you can decorate and build paths. They definitely did not have a museum feature before.  These notable features are what you can normally do in Animal Crossing; the game kept us busy during the long lockdowns. Fortunately, Olive Town’s version does not feel like a direct copy. Still, sometimes you can’t help but think about how many aspects of Animal Crossing they took as inspiration. Even in the overlapping story, you’re a new farmer who will help boost tourism, which is somewhat similar to that game.

Conclusion – Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town almost feels like a rushed game since it’s the previous one was a success. While there is an actual effort in developing and innovating it, it still felt flat but mostly because of the villagers. This basically shows how important side characters can ultimately pull down a game if not well written.  FoMT gave us many things to enjoy while feeling nostalgic at the same time. Unfortunately, the Pioneers of Olive Town need more to match it.

Overall, it still gives you that relaxing feeling that most Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons games do. The farming is still the same. And you still get to mingle with villagers and even woo a single bachelor/bachelorette you want to eventually marry. All those are still here, and if you don’t really mind any of the said setbacks, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is worth the try.

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