Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Old Time Friends Return To Mineral Town Once Again
The Story of Seasons series has a long and rich history beginning in the mid-1990s, lasting over 25 years. I've said most of its history from its humble beginnings as Harvest Moon to what would become Story of Seasons during the Pioneers of Olive Town first take. In 2003, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town was released on the Game Boy Advance. At the time, the game offered a fairly accurate Story of Seasons experience on the go. Its success saw an updated release in 2005, this time focusing on playing as a girl farmer with all-new romance options.
In 2020, for the first time in fifteen years, Friends of Mineral Town received a 3D remake on the Nintendo Switch and PC. This new remake combined the original and the updated release, allowing players to choose between a boy and a girl farmer. This also expanded the potential number of love interests, opening bachelors and bachelorettes to both genders. With the general consensus being a faithful remake from critics, Pioneers of Olive Town was released in 2021 as a Switch exclusive. Xbox One and PS4 versions of Friends of Mineral Town were finally released a year later with physical editions including a cute small Strawberry Cow plush.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town Gives PS4 Players Nostalgia
Players who happen to own the PlayStation 4 version are treated to a creative insert featuring characters from the game. More importantly, exclusive to the PS4 version is a full colored game manual. Not a simple "limited warranty" sheet of paper--no--an actual manual telling you how to play the game in color. With a comic too.
I promise I won't abuse the bold and italics, but seeing such a thing in 2021 is very rare and highly welcoming. It shows the devs care about a bygone era where these things would be taken for granted. What does the Xbox One version have? Well, uhh, does the Strawberry Cow count? What, it's in both versions? Oh. Well. Yeah. Nothing, sadly. No manual, not even an insert. It was, for this reason, I decided to play the PS4 version of Friends of Mineral Town as more effort was done with the packaging. Thankfully, the gameplay is identical no matter the platform, being the most important part of a game and all.
Less Is More In Mineral Town
Having played Pioneers of Olive Town a few months ago in the same amount of time, there are key differences with Friends of Mineral Town. I'd recommend this entry in Story of Seasons for newer players while Olive Town is more for veterans. I say this because Mineral Town is simple and easier to grasp, aside from its super-deformed graphics. The premise for Mineral Town is the same as almost every Story of Seasons title. Your grandfather left his dilapidated farm for you to clean up--inherit in his stead. The funny thing about the introductory sequence is that the player does have the option to decline. Should the player decide not to inherit their father's farm, the mayor will wish them farewell and credits will roll following a cheeky "The End."
Obviously, the goal of the game is to take your grandfather's old farm and transform it beyond its former glory. While tending to the farm, the player can befriend the many residents of Mineral Town. The majority of the potential bachelors and bachelorettes own general services needed to run the farm. These range from a woman who runs a clinic to a blacksmith apprentice and many more. In the beginning, the player doesn't have much in the way to earn too much coin aside from picking weeds for pennies.
From Rags To Riches, That's The Story of Seasons
Eventually, the player can convert the 'pennies' earned from the picked weeds to plant seeds. Players can then grow crops and repeat the process until they earn enough income for larger sources of income. The player can't run on infinite resources, however, as their farmer will become tired and fatigued over time. Depending on their mood, their efficiency won't be as high depending on the weather and the time of day. Offering a balance between making the best of your time and your health is important to doing well in Friends of Mineral Town.
I mentioned earlier that beginners would enjoy Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town and I stand by that opinion. It's not just because there's a "Simple" mode, giving players far more leniency than normal. It's because the player is given proper instructions on how to care for their farm. If players aren't sure of what to do next, chances are it's best to earn money. Once enough money is earned and the farm sustains itself, then comes the romance. There isn't much of a plot, more so it's a "build your own story" that most farm simulators are known for. With updated graphics and a much higher framerate than the Switch version, PS4 and Xbox One players can enjoy Friends of Mineral Town the way it was intended.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is released on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.