In honor of the farming simulator series’ 20th anniversary, Story of Seasons: Precious Friends From Three Villages* (牧場物語 3つの里の大切な友だち Bokujō Monogatari: Mitsu no Sato no Taisetsu na Tomodachi in Japanese) is due to be released on the 23rd of June (Thursday) in Japan! It is now up for pre-order as well, with attractive bonuses for early birds!
What is Story of Seasons?
Far removed from the grandiose plotlines of the wildly popular Final Fantasy series or the palm-sweatingly tense action of the Monster Hunter series, the Story of Seasons series – previously known as Harvest Moon in the West while the series was localized by Natsume – has always been rather unassuming. But, perhaps, that may be its largest selling point! In a beautiful hand crafted world filled with nature, the player takes the role of a farmer who tends to their livestock, fields, and interacts with the communities surrounding the farm – and in the process, they might even find love! In short, it is a unique experience which aims to bring to players the idyllic wonder of a bucolic lifestyle as they sow the seeds of their farm life.
Distinctive features of this title:
1. Three Different Villages
While its 2010 predecessor Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns‘ main selling point was exactly what you’d expect from the subtitle, Precious Friends From Three Villages will offer access to three villages, each with their own distinctively different cultures (nevermind that they are all in walking distance of each other!). First off, there is “Westown” – a town which borrows inspiration from the wild, wild west of your favorite gritty Western flicks and also the town you start out in; “Tsuyukusa” – an idyllic village heavily influenced by the spirit of Yamato (in other words, ancient Japan); and “Rurukoko/Lulucoco” – a colorful village which lends itself to the vibrancy of island tribes in the Pacific. Each village also offers their own charming bachelors and bachelorettes to pursue! The ladies and gentlemen shown in the images aren’t all, either – there are even more lovely marriage candidates for you to try your hand at wooing!
2. Farm Circle System
Vastly different from the original titles, the farming system is also less rigid and allows players to directly place buildings, farm objects, or create farm plots instantly in large cells as seen below, which removes much of the tedium of having to do everything one by one without upgraded tools. This system also allows players to place other aesthetically pleasing decorations like scarecrows and fountains around plots which will add some bonuses to the surrounding crops. The result is much more manageable, and prettier farms!
3. Wireless features
Wireless connectivity making full use of the 3DS‘ capabilities is also available for the game, which will involve heading to a special island where farmers can chat among themselves, trade items, and access a mysterious magical monument which will allow farmers to modify certain items with its powers.
4. Perhaps most importantly – You’re always with your cute little pet!
It’s always fun to have your adorable dog running around in all Story of Seasons games – but now you get to have a cat too! Not only that, it can also explore the game world with you if you want instead of staying in the farm all the time. How cute!
There are also various other features waiting to be explored in-game which have not been expounded upon!
Additionally, for the series’ 20th anniversary, people who place pre-orders for the game will receive an adorable Bubble Cow earpiece jack plug (incidentally the series’ mascot!) which can also conveniently be used as a stand for tablets or phones – while stocks last.
While the game will retail at 4 980 JPY, excluding prevailing tax, pre-order discounts of at least 10% off apply to all participating stores! Each store also offers its own exclusive pre-order bonus goodie as seen in the handy table below! What are you waiting for? Reserve your copy now!
*the English title for the game has not been officially revealed, this is a rough translation of the Japanese title