[Beyond PlayStation] STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town Review

by EdEN, Owner

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town from Marvelous is a remake of the charming Game Boy Advance sim classic, now on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town review!

Before carrying on with this STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town review, there is something I need to mention so that we’re all on the same page. Story of Seasons is the continuation of what some of you might know as the Harvest Moon series, which Natsume brought to North America to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) way back in 1997. The series had many releases from Natsume on a variety of consoles from 1997 to 2013, until Marvelous took over the publishing of the franchise. Since Natsume owns the Harvest Moon name, new entries from Marvelous took on the Story of Seasons name, while Natsume carried on with releasing other games under the Harvest Moon name.

Still with me? OK, here comes the tricky part. STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town on the Nintendo Switch is a remake of Friends of Mineral Town, which released many years ago on Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance in 2003… as Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. So, this game on the Nintendo Switch is a remake of the old Harvest Moon series, which has always sorta been the Story of Seasons series – just under the Harvest Moon game for a while – so if you’ve played a game in the Harvest Moon or Story of Seasons series, you sorta know what to expect from this one. Got it?

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In STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town, you will be taking on a colorful and charming adventure in the titular Mineral Town. For this adventure, you have just returned to town after many years to be able to sort out the farm of your late grandfather. Do you have what it takes to lead a happy life on the farm as you tend to the crops, take care of the livestock, explore the surrounding areas, and, who knows, perhaps find the love of your life? There are several eligible bachelors and bachelorettes that you will get to meet during your time with this sim.

Before you being on this new farm life adventure, you’ll get to select between two male and two female avatars, decide on its skin color, select its name, its birthday (for the day and the season in which it falls), as well as a difficulty setting. There’s Simple Mode, in which you’ll begin with a lot of gold, items will be less expensive, it will be easier to boost other people’s affection level, and you’ll start with 18 turnips in your field. And then there’s Normal Mode, which is the regular experience you’d expect from a game like this.

You’ll control your character with the left analog stick, walking, or running depending on how much you push the stick. The right analog stick will be used for choosing and holding an item from your bag. The D-Pad can be used to adjust the camera angle by pressing up or down while pressing left or right will allow you to equip a tool from the Tool Pocket so that you can use the tool with the Y button. You can also open the Tools section by pressing the L button. The ZL button is used for calling on pets or for stopping residents, so that you can use the A button for interacting with people or animals, examining objects or picking up items, while the B button will put away the item you’re currently holding.

Your day will start very early, and you’ll need to make every second count if you want to keep your farm in the best shape possible! You’ll have to tend to your farm and to the different animals you’ll eventually have under your care, all while balancing this with a proper social life. The residents of Mineral Town will have their own schedules, and those who own a business will open and close based on their working hours. There might be 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, and thirty days in a season, but that might still not seem like enough when you’re always busy!

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Each season will have a nice variety of crops for you to take care of, with the exception of winter, during which you won’t be able to plant a single thing! Every action you perform will use up some of your stamina and power berries. Run out of stamina, and you’ll start to be fatigued. You must take a break and get a good night’s sleep – or soak in the hot spring – to be able to recover. The more fatigued you are, the bigger the odds of you passing out and ending up in the Clinic! If you don’t plan things right, you won’t be able to make the most of each day in the week.

You will need to prepare the field so that you can plant seeds, so clear any debris, throw away weeds, branches, or stones. You will also run into tree stumps that you’ll need to chop up with an axe, and larger rocks will need you to use a lot of elbow grease to break them apart with a hammer. Once you have a good spot for your plants, you can use your hoe to till a nice set of squares so that you can sow some seeds, which will need to be water to keep them healthy. When your crops have grown in full, you’ll be able to harvest them, place them in the shipping bin, and get your pay.

On top of the many seeds you can plant and nurse into healthy plants, you can also raise animals so that they can produce eggs, milk, or other stuff for you to sell. You’ll have to feed them once a day so that they grow into healthy and happy animals, and it never hurts to check on them, have a chat and brush them to make them smile. A baby animal that is not properly cared for won’t grow, and even as an adult, animals won’t yield any products if you don’t make them part of your daily care routine. You can also put them out to pasture so that you can take care of other things around the farm while they eat grass or find their food. Oh, and you can also have pets under your care to keep you company!

The more you end up using each of your tools, the more experience you will gain with it. Once you’ve obtained enough experience, your tool can level up, and as long as you have enough ore and a good level, that tool can be taken to the blacksmith so that it can be upgraded! An upgraded tool will perform better, which will save you a lot of time while allowing you to do more things during your day. You’ll be able to break bigger rocks, water more of your crops, or till your fields faster! These will be very useful when you explore the mines, where you can find ore and other treasures as you clear all of the rocks in each spot.

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There’s a ton of things to do in town and plenty of business for you to visit. There’s the Forge, where you can upgrade your tools or purchase new ones or some accessories; PoPultry which sells chickens and Angora rabbits, as well as feed and breeding kits for your animals; Mineral Beach where you can get imported seeds, and toys for your pets, or enjoy a cool drink and some snacks at the Beach Café; Rose Plaza where all the townsfolk gather during the many festivals you’ll experience; and Yodel Ranch where Mugi buys and sells cows, alpacas, and sheep, and you can also get fodder and breeding kits.

You should also visit the Library, where you can take a look in a book to find some valuable information; the General Store, which sells seeds, ingredients, and a variety of helpful items; Adge Winery, where you can get some delicious Grape Juice; the Nature Sprites Hut, where you can bring presents to them and play games so that they end up helping with your farm; the Church where you can listen to one of the many sermons; the Mineral Clinic where you can buy medicine to recover your stamina and relieve some of your fatigue or get a medical checkup; and the Inn, where you can get meals and beverages and relax for a bit.

Your house is also something you can upgrade. The bigger and better your home is, the more furniture you’ll be able to add to it, and the cozier it will be! You’ll, of course, have a bed on which you can relax at the end of the day so that you can recover and get ready for the next day, but there are other things that you can have at home that will help you. You’ll have a TV that you can use to check the weather forecast, get some info on life at the farm, check the news, or check one of the daily shows on offer. You can also change your outfit in the mirror so that you can farm in style.

You should always keep an eye on your calendar so that you can know if any special events are right around the corner. Any festival days will be marked with a red balloon, and birthdays will be marked with a colorful cake. Be sure not to forget the birthday of the bachelor or bachelorette that has caught your attention! There are six potential bachelors and six potential bachelorettes for your main character to get to know a bit better, and based on how you interact with them, you might find the one!

There’s Rick, a responsible and sincere individual who cares for his sick mom and has taken over PoPoultry; Cliff is a wanderer who has made Mineral Town his new home, and he remains a mystery to the rest; Gray is an apprentice blacksmith, and he’s a bit stressed about being able to meet his grandfather’s strict expectations; Doctor is the physician at Mineral Clinic, who is respected by the townsfolk but a bit cold and distant; Kai is in charge of the Beach Café, and he has a very laidback and relax attitude; and then, there’s Brandon, an eccentric but passionate renowned artist, who always has time for a fellow lover of the arts.

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The bachelorettes in the game will include cheery Popuri, the sister of Rick, who helps her mom and big brother run PoPultry; Karen, a fun and feisty individual who won’t tolerate nonsense, who is always at the General store her parents own; the librarian Marie, who is also an aspiring novelist, always busy maintaining her father’s expensive book collection; Elly, who is hard at work at the Mineral Clinic to try and become a nurse, all while taking care of her ailing grandmother; bright and cheerful Ran, who lends a helping hand cleaning and serving at her father’s Inn; and Jennifer, a free spirit who has run away from a life of luxury in the big city to be able to enjoy everything that Mother Nature has to offer.

STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town is a ton of fun on Nintendo Switch. It does a great job in updating the 2003 Game Boy Advance classic so that players on Nintendo Switch can enjoy a chunky adventure with plenty of things to do, a ton of characters to meet, and the looming chance at romance around every corner. If you’re a fan of the STORY OF SEASONS series, then this Nintendo Switch remake is going to hit all the right spots. STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town is out on Nintendo Switch on July 14, with a $49.99 asking price.

This STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Marvelous.

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