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Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Pillbug



What is this?

Story of Seasons Friends: of Mineral Town is a remaster/remake of the GBA games "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town", and "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town" ...which were themselves remasters/remakes of the PS1 game "Harvest Moon: Back to Nature"

All of these games including Story of Seasons follow the same general formula: the main character arrives to a town to inherit their grandfather's old dilapidated farm, and attempts to revitalize it while also befriending the townspeople, falling in love, mining, exploring, upgrading their equipment, and dabbling in the local low-key magic.

Sound familiar? Indeed, indie-darling Stardew Valley was in many ways aimed at being a spiritual successor not just to Harvest Moon as a series, but specifically to Back to Nature and Friends of Mineral Town. You'll find these games are generally the most beloved among Harvest Moon fans because, rather than attempt to tinker with the core formula like a lot of other titles in series, BtN and FoMT focused on perfecting the formula for a simple but enjoyable gameplay loop. If you like Stardew Valley, you'll be right at home with Story of Seasons which has come full circle to learn some lessons from Stardew and brings many of quality of life improvements over the GBA titles.

So wait, this is a Harvest Moon game? Why is it called 'Story of Seasons' then?

Long story short Harvest Moon developer Marvelous had a falling out with their long time publisher Natsume, and it is Natsume who owns the copyright to the "Harvest Moon" title rather than Marvelous. Marvelous is now published by Xseed, and so the title had to be changed for legal reasons. However this is an honest to god Harvest Moon game made by the Harvest Moon developers.

I haven't played Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley, what do you actually do in this game?

The core gameplay loop involves growing crops and raising animals on your farm, so that you can sell said crops and the products from your animals (eggs, milk, etc) for cash. You use that cash to upgrade your farm, upgrade your tools, and buy gifts for villagers. You talk to villagers and give them gifts to make them like you more, which unlocks story cutscenes with them and - in the case of romancable villagers - eventually allows you to marry them and raise a family. There are other side activities such as mining (which gets you ores to upgrade your tools and gems to sell or give as gifts) foraging (stone and wood is used for farm upgrades and decoration, foraged goods can be sold, gifted, or used in cooking recipes) village festivals (some of which are competitions where you can win fabulous prizes) and interacting with the local magical creatures who - if they like you enough - can give you huge benefits on your farm. There's no real "end" to the game - you can go on farming forever, however you are evaluated on everything you've done after three in game years, which is the closest you get to any kind of story conclusion. There is no combat and there's nothing that really demands good reaction time or rapt attention. It's a chill game for relaxing.

Okay, so what's changed from Friends of Mineral Town on the GBA?

Quite a lot! This is not a simple 1:1 remake, instead the game has ironically taken a lot of lessons from Stardew Valley and added a lot of QoL and inclusiveness features. Here's a brief overview of the major changes:

New and customizable characters
You can choose from four different farmers to play as - two male and two female - as well as customize their outfits via the mirror in your home. All outfits are unlocked from the start so no grinding for fashion.

New character portraits and art style
All villager portraits have been completely redone from the ground up in a new style.

Simplified Farming
The fertilizer mechanic has been completely removed, crops now have a star rating of 1-5 that determines their value, with higher star ratings requiring a more upgraded field. Also you can now walk on growing crops, making watering middle crops much easier.

Inventory management sucks less
No other way to put it: in FoMT you couldn't upgrade the size of your bag and items didn't stack in it, so you had to carry a basket around everywhere to hold excess items. Now you can not only upgrade your bag's storage capacity, but items stack up 9 of each per slot.

Mining sucks less
Mining in FoMT was a nightmare of stocking up on as many stamina potions as you could carry and then saving on each floor while looking for the stairs to the next floor, and reloading if it took too much stamina to do so. Story of Seasons has straight up cribbed both the elevator and holes that can drop you multiple floors from Stardew, which makes getting deep in the mines less of a marathon.

New animals and crops
These include new variants of cow that produce milk types or different beverages altogether, rabbits, and alpacas. There are also two new crops: soy beans and chili peppers.

Same-sex marriages
In a first for the Harvest Moon series, you are not locked into marrying a member of the opposite sex. All marriage candidates are fully romancable by either a male or female farmer. Speaking of marriage:

New Marriage Candidates
In addition to two brand new romancable villagers, you can now marry a handful of previously unromancable NPC's.

Friendship level tracker
Your menu now has a window that tells you your friendship/romance level with all the villagers. Yet another huge QoL feature cribbed from Stardew.

There's a lot of other little things too that I did not mention, they really went the extra mile to try to modernize Friends of Mineral Town based on the things that worked in Stardew.

Why is it worth spending $50 on this instead of plowing another 100 hours into Stardew Valley?

Honestly if you're not bored of Stardew then there's really no reason to buy Story of Seasons, since it is much of the same but lacking several features present in Stardew such as crafting and combat. However if you're bored of Stardew and/or just want to play a chill farming game in a new setting with new characters then Story of Seaons will absolutely scratch that itch. This is a remake of what is in my opinion the best game in the Harvest Moon series, and it heaps quality of life improvements on top to make it even better.

Systems?
Right now just PC and Switch. Initial user reviews appear to be very positive (official outlets less so, but that's a different can of worms), and I haven't experienced or heard of any serious performance issues or game breaking glitches.

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Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Pillbug

Reserved I guess.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



It should be noted that the vast majority of secrets from the gba versions are still the same here so if you want to look stuff up those FAQs should help

Booky
Feb 21, 2013

chill bug


original M/FOMT actually did let you expand your bag slots (to a max of 8, iirc?), but the starting bag size was like 2 and nothing stacked anyways so (also baskets were basically just extra shipping storage to dump into the ship box; you couldn't retrieve anything out of them)

i've been really excited for this game (and i hope DS+Cute get a remake too)!! i haven't had the chance to buy it yet but i was wondering what people's opinions on it were so far?

Phantasium
Dec 27, 2012



Playing this remake after not really touching the series since the PS1 game has been a trip. So many convenience features!

I haven't even accidentally thrown anything on the ground yet! (I don't think you even can?)

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Is it true they got rid of the npcs you donít marry marrying each other?

professor metis
Aug 1, 2014




They still have the rival love events, so I hope they end up marrying each other! I'm currently feeding Ran and Cliff weeds to make them dislike me because I got their heart levels too high before triggering their base events. I'm assuming that system works the same in this game.

I'm definitely enjoying myself playing this. Although I kind of liked the really cramped inventory + basket system of the original since it made for some complex inventory management, it is nicer to start out with more than three slots.

Eeepies
May 29, 2013

No, that's Magic!


Either I'm remembering things wrongly, or I can't find the tree at the summit which gives you a stamina fruit if you take an ax to it. Definitely remembered to give flowers to the goddess in the waterfall though!

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead


Can your children grow up and work the farm?

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Pillbug

Eeepies posted:

Either I'm remembering things wrongly, or I can't find the tree at the summit which gives you a stamina fruit if you take an ax to it. Definitely remembered to give flowers to the goddess in the waterfall though!

Keep it up because apparently you don't get the mine elevator until you've given her 100 offerings.

Scalding Coffee posted:

Can your children grow up and work the farm?

In the original your kid started as a baby then grew into a toddler after two months, and stayed a toddler forever. I haven't read anything about them changing that but I'm not 100%. AFAIK the only Harvest Moon game where your kid actually grew up and could help out was A Wonderful Life.

Eeepies
May 29, 2013

No, that's Magic!


Rofl i just got a bug on day 3. If you transition a screen the exact same time as another villager, you both appear on each other, so neither can move.

Ok, using a tool fixes it though, thankfully.

Detective No. 27
Jun 7, 2006



My copy is arriving today. I bought the GBA version a few months ago, and just like when I bought and Stardew Valley, I didn't get past the first couple days cause I had no idea what I was doing and choice paralysis. Hopefully it goes better this time.

Airspace
Nov 5, 2010


Sydin posted:

AFAIK the only Harvest Moon game where your kid actually grew up and could help out was A Wonderful Life.

It's been a while since I've played but in Animal Parade you not only got two kids but your spouse and kids could work the farm a bit. They're not spectacular at it but it does reduce busywork a bit.

hopeandjoy
Nov 28, 2014





professor metis posted:

They still have the rival love events, so I hope they end up marrying each other! I'm currently feeding Ran and Cliff weeds to make them dislike me because I got their heart levels too high before triggering their base events. I'm assuming that system works the same in this game.

I'm definitely enjoying myself playing this. Although I kind of liked the really cramped inventory + basket system of the original since it made for some complex inventory management, it is nicer to start out with more than three slots.

The only have the first two heart events apparently.

Otherwise, Iím really enjoying this game. Itís a really nice remake and I enjoy being able to walk on plants.

I still havenít managed to dig up that Power Berry thatís under your farm soil though.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Pillbug

I dug it up on day one while setting up my initial turnip patch lol. Very nice considering I remember tilling the entire goddamn field once to find it.

Detective No. 27 posted:

My copy is arriving today. I bought the GBA version a few months ago, and just like when I bought and Stardew Valley, I didn't get past the first couple days cause I had no idea what I was doing and choice paralysis. Hopefully it goes better this time.

My suggestion is that for the first couple days just clear your field as best you can, make sure you're watering crops, and plow any money you make from them into buying more seeds for more crops. If you have spare time wander around the village and talk to people, see if you can find a romancable character you want to focus on, or wander around the wilderness to the south of your farm and grab foragables to sell. As you use your tools you'll get notifications that they've leveled up, at which point you can go into the mines and collect some ore to take to the blacksmith in town to turn them into better tools. Spring is always kinda slow in these types of games, just take it easy, focus on crops, and don't stress too much about getting everything done. Things will pick up in Summer/Fall and you'll start to get a better feel for what you should be doing. Then come winter nothing will grow so you can spend all day plying villagers with gifts, mining, secret hunting, etc.

Shirec
Jul 29, 2009

How to cock it up, Fig. I



Fallen Rib

Yeah I had the same issue in the older game and I got mine day 2 plowing up my potato plot.

Does anyone know if you need to talk to the Harvest Sprites to raise friendship or do they just want gifts for that?

A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

Relinquish your foolish
delusions of control.





I really dig how fast this game moves compared to Doraemon/Stardew/Trio of Towns.

Sydin posted:

I dug it up on day one while setting up my initial turnip patch lol. Very nice considering I remember tilling the entire goddamn field once to find it.


Lmao same.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



Shirec posted:

Yeah I had the same issue in the older game and I got mine day 2 plowing up my potato plot.

Does anyone know if you need to talk to the Harvest Sprites to raise friendship or do they just want gifts for that?

It's mostly gifts but if you talk to them you can play games with them to raise their stats a little faster.

professor metis
Aug 1, 2014




I love pumping money into flour in the first week of the game to get my sprites working. Kinda sad that the minigames are still so boring though.

A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

Relinquish your foolish
delusions of control.





Talking to the sprites, or anyone, at least once a week stops relationship decay which is a thing in this game as well I believe.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Pillbug

So it's now incredibly easy to cheese the mines because you can save everywhere and the ladder to the next level is fixed for the floor you're on even if you load a save, so you can just save as soon as you reach a new level, till around until you find the ladder, then reload and run straight to that spot to progress immediately.

It's pretty cheap but I also remember how much of a crushing slog the mines were in the original FOMT so I feel like I've paid my dues.

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

Oh man this game was totally off my radar. I put in far, far too many hours of FoMT on the ol' GBA SP

My biggest concern is that this game would feel a little hollow after Stardew Valley

hopeandjoy
Nov 28, 2014





Sydin posted:

So it's now incredibly easy to cheese the mines because you can save everywhere and the ladder to the next level is fixed for the floor you're on even if you load a save, so you can just save as soon as you reach a new level, till around until you find the ladder, then reload and run straight to that spot to progress immediately.

It's pretty cheap but I also remember how much of a crushing slog the mines were in the original FOMT so I feel like I've paid my dues.

That worked in the original as well. In fact, it was the only reasonable way to do it.

And yet you still needed to bring a bag full of Stamina potions...

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

Are there still only 2 save slots?

The problem before was that you would sometimes run in to a dead end and would need to restore a save where you were up one level. You'd save only after finding the next ladder but without going down said ladder.

If the next level didn't have another ladder, took too long to find it, or didn't have the rare material you were looking for, it was back to the previous save



Also does this one still have the absolutely stupid scaling for some of the rewards? Like the vacation home costing like 90 years of full farm optimal crop shipping, and the teleport stone requiring the 50 year marriage anniversary, etc?

hopeandjoy
Nov 28, 2014





GoGoGadgetChris posted:

Are there still only 2 save slots?

The problem before was that you would sometimes run in to a dead end and would need to restore a save where you were up one level. You'd save only after finding the next ladder but without going down said ladder.

If the next level didn't have another ladder, took too long to find it, or didn't have the rare material you were looking for, it was back to the previous save



Also does this one still have the absolutely stupid scaling for some of the rewards? Like the vacation home costing like 90 years of full farm optimal crop shipping, and the teleport stone requiring the 50 year marriage anniversary, etc?

Thereís like 9 slots now. Also every level is guaranteed to have a ladder.

The scaling is stupid but less stupid. The worst one of that the anniversary house is still like 50 years. The teleport stone can be picked up Year 3 though. They lowered the requirements to bless the cursed tools significantly too.

No, whatís really bad is breeding five generations of cows to get 10 heart cows. For four different types of cows.

(The breeding applies to all animals but the pregnancy and growing phases are less painful for other animals, especially coop ones...)

SeANMcBAY
Jun 28, 2006

Look on the bright side.




Loving this so far. I thought the art style looked cheap at first but it's really grown on me. Fantastic remake of the best game in series.

Eeepies
May 29, 2013

No, that's Magic!


Flour is no longer the favorite gift for all the sprites. Only Aqua loves it, while the purple one hates it.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



Oh hell yeah. I absolutely adored Stardew Valley and have long since looked for something in the same vein. I tried animal crossing and graveyard keeper, but neither quite hit the spot, while this one sure does.

Just managed to get through the first spring and already learned a couple hard lessons, like that flower seeds absolutely do not turn a profit (after I bought like five of them at 500 each from Huang cause the general store was closed). Or that summer may bring some storms that will dump giant boulders into the beautiful (and expensive) fields you just planted. Still, it's good fun and manages to hit that balance where it's got a tight and rewarding core gameplay loop while still being chill and relaxing.

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

Spring 10 and I have a little bit of buyer's remorse. Even with the QOL and minor content updates, this feels like it should be a $20 title and Stardew feels like it should be the $50 one

I like the game world graphics but really not a fan of the "everyone is a Child" sprites

Still gonna put a hundred hours into it tho

Jarogue
Nov 3, 2012




Does anyone know If the Harvest Goddess New Year Game still gave out recipes

That Old Ganon
Jan 2, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In both Trio of Towns and Stardew Valley I had the habit of getting on the verge of marrying someone and then breaking their hearts to move on to my next mark. Would I be able to do the same in this game?

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Cutting down rival events baffles me. Thatís just straight up removing content with no reason for it I can think off.

MonkeyforaHead
Apr 7, 2006

God, you vindictive bitch, why can't I ever have any "me" time

Avalerion posted:

Cutting down rival events baffles me. That’s just straight up removing content with no reason for it I can think off.

Making sure you don't feel pressured to romance someone before their rival gets to them, I guess. Still dumb.

On that note, does anyone else feel like Karen's redesign is pronouncedly... off?

professor metis
Aug 1, 2014




They should've enabled them after you got married, at least. Part of the charm of the game is seeing the other couples get together!

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

hopeandjoy posted:



No, whatís really bad is breeding five generations of cows to get 10 heart cows. For four different types of cows.

(The breeding applies to all animals but the pregnancy and growing phases are less painful for other animals, especially coop ones...)

Oh boy, I'm at the point now where I see what you're talking about.

Do I have to breed, specifically, the newly born cow to progress even further? Or is it just every time I breed a cow, the heart capacity is one higher?

Storebought 5 Heart Cow -> Gives Birth to 6 Heart Baby
- Can I immediately breed the Storebought 5 Heart Cow -> It gives birth to a 7 heart baby?
- Or do I need to wait for the 6 Heart Baby to mature, breed it, -> It gives birth to a 7 heart baby?


With Chickens it seems I just need to toss an egg in the incubator and it produces a +1 baby, even if the ostensible parent was still a chick

hopeandjoy
Nov 28, 2014





GoGoGadgetChris posted:

Oh boy, I'm at the point now where I see what you're talking about.

Do I have to breed, specifically, the newly born cow to progress even further? Or is it just every time I breed a cow, the heart capacity is one higher?

Storebought 5 Heart Cow -> Gives Birth to 6 Heart Baby
- Can I immediately breed the Storebought 5 Heart Cow -> It gives birth to a 7 heart baby?
- Or do I need to wait for the 6 Heart Baby to mature, breed it, -> It gives birth to a 7 heart baby?


With Chickens it seems I just need to toss an egg in the incubator and it produces a +1 baby, even if the ostensible parent was still a chick

Iím not sure. fogu doesnít have an animal guide up yet and chickens might just work different because I doubt that after the game spawns eggs it keeps track of what chicken the object came with vs with the other animals youíre explicitly making an animal pregnant.

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

hopeandjoy posted:

Iím not sure. fogu doesnít have an animal guide up yet and chickens might just work different because I doubt that after the game spawns eggs it keeps track of what chicken the object came with vs with the other animals youíre explicitly making an animal pregnant.

One Good thing I just learned though: You can skip the coffee/fruit/strawberry cow breeding. If you get a classic cow to level 10, and then buy a coffee/fruit/strawberry cow, and BREED it, the baby coffee/fruit/strawberry cow will have a 10 limit.

SSJ_naruto_2003
Oct 12, 2012





MonkeyforaHead posted:

Making sure you don't feel pressured to romance someone before their rival gets to them, I guess. Still dumb.

On that note, does anyone else feel like Karen's redesign is pronouncedly... off?

Oh that sucks it takes a big part of the characterization out. I will probably pick this up if it goes on sale for 15

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

Got half the Cursed Tools!

Is it true that Mythic Stones are currently busted and literally don't drop in game? That doesn't bode well for getting fixed, since the Japanese version has been out for like a dang year

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hopeandjoy
Nov 28, 2014





Itís only an issue in the overseas version and Xseed says that they are working on a patch.

(Also that Japanese version has actually received several updates.)

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