[PS5] STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life Review

by EdEN, Owner

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life brings us a remake of the Gamecube classic in the beloved chillaxing series from XSEED on PlayStation 5. Check our STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life review!

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life brings us a remake of the GameCube classic in the beloved chillaxing series from XSEED on PlayStation 5. If you’re new to the franchise, allow me to give you a crash course on things. Story of Seasons is the current name of the classic Harvest Moon series that Natsume brought outside of Japan to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – a.k.a. the SNES – in 1997. It was followed by many Harvest Moon games up until 2013, when XSEED took over as publisher.

Still with me? Here’s when things start to get a bit tricky. Natsume owns the Harvest Moon name. Marvelous is now the developer and publisher – by way of XSEED, which it owns – of what could be called the original Harvest Moon series, but it does this under the STORY OF SEASONS name. This started with the first STORY OF SEASONS game which was released in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS in 2014 and found its way to North America in 2015. It’s now 2023, and we’re getting a remake of the GameCube’s 2003 entry.

I previously got a chance to review STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town on Nintendo Switch, a game that was a remake of Game Boy Advance classic Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, so I was definitely up for checking out what XSEED would do for STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life, especially since it brings us all of the content of the original game – and of the alternate Another Wonderful Life – along with new events, enhanced festivals, new crops, new recipes to cook, and more.

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Your journey will begin when you arrive at Forgotten Valley to lead a new life at the farm. Your father has passed away, so you write a letter to an old friend of his to get some pointers about how to make it work since you’re moving from the city to a new life in Forgotten Valley. Your father’s friend, Takakura, will greet you as soon as you arrive at Forgotten Valley. The land your father owned is a big one, and you’ll quickly notice that the buildings are a bit run-down and that there’s a lot of work to do if you want to grow some crops!

You can also customize your character’s looks by selecting from the available face types, skin color, and eye color. After that, you can select a hairstyle and hair color, as well as the outfit you’ll be wearing. You’ll then have to decide about what character you’ll play as, between a male, female, or non-binary main protagonist, and give yourself a name. Once you’re happy with the look of your character, just confirm your choices, and you’ll be ready to go.

You’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you interact with objects and animals or talk to characters by pressing the X button. The right analog stick can be used to control the camera to zoom and change the view as needed. You can use an item or tool with the Square button. Since there are different activities to perform in the game, you’ll be able to switch between tools by pressing the L1 button. Pressing the Touchpad on the DualSense will allow you to open up your map.

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You’ll have a barn where you’ll be able to raise cows, horses, and sheep. As expected, the coop is where you can raise your chickens. You’ll have fields where you can plant seeds once you have a hoe to plow the soil first. Takakura will provide you with some basic tools and a few packs of seeds to get you started. The products from your farm can be sold thanks to the shipping bin that is right next to the barn. Anything that you place in the box will be sold by Takakura at the city market the next morning. And if there’s anything that you need him to buy for you, just write it down in the ledger next to the shipping bin. You also have a storage shed and food storage where you can deposit items if your bag gets too full.

But before you take care of everything else, you’ll need to welcome the two stray dogs that had made the farm their home! You’ll get to keep one of them. Will you keep the pointy-eared dog or the floppy-eared dog? Once you pick one of them, you’ll get to name it. Don’t worry because Takukara will find an owner in the city for the other dog. But before he leaves, he’ll kindly work on building a doghouse for your new pet.

Worry not, because along with the farm, the basic tools, the new pet dog, and all of the advice, Takukara has one final gift for you: a cow. A cow is quite a fancy welcome present! Since your new cow gave birth around ten days ago, she’ll be producing plenty of milk. As long as you keep her healthy, you should be able to milk your new cow twice a day. Selling that milk will make a big difference during the start of the game since you can then invest that money on improving things for the farm.

Who will you meet during your time with STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life? There’s Tei and Lou, who run the Lei-Over Inn along with their son Rock. You’ll meet Gary and his wife, Nina. Another one is Chris, who lives in the city along with her husband, Sully, and their son, Hugh. You can also visit the Bluebird Café. Once there, you’ll meet Gavin, the Café’s owner, and head barista, as well as Molly, who works there part-time. The villa is owned by Romana, who lives there with Lumina, her granddaughter. They’re both joined by Sebastian, the butler.

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If you hear a guitar, follow the music, and you’ll get to meet Gustafa. There’s also Gordy, a passionate artist working on a new piece. There’s an agricultural farm to visit, which is run by Vesta. She’s joined by her little brother Matthew and by Cecilia, who helps them with the farm work. When you need some seeds, just visit them to check out their stock. There are more people to meet at Forgotten Valley, but you’ll have to play the game to meet them!

Once the extended tutorial is over, you will get a chance to get down to it and work on the farm! But before you do that, you should check the TV in your house. By viewing all of the channels, you can see what the weather will be like, learn if you’re going to have a lucky day or not, learn about miscellaneous stuff such as how fishing is in the area, or better understand how to take care of your animals. Do you know what cows eat and how many times a day they eat? They eat fodder, of course, and you must feed them twice a day!

There are four seasons in STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each of these seasons will last for around 10 days, so you’ll need to make each day count! A year can pass in a blink, and if you’re not active and work hard and sell your products and use your hard-earned money to improve your farm, you won’t be able to make enough process. Each season has a festival, so be sure to check your calendar so that you can be ready for them. Festivals are a great time to socialize.

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For crops, you’ll need to till your fields with a hoe so that you can sow seeds. You can grow basic fruits and vegetables, root crops, and tree crops. If you plan things right, you can have many crops throughout the year that will yield great results. Fruits, vegetables, and root crops will need water every day to make them grow. Depending on the shade and color of the soil, you’ll be able to tell if a crop could use a drink. Trees will need a lot of extra room around them to be able to grow properly.

Soil quality will vary depending on the field you’re working on. Some of the crops you’ll be taking care of can only grow if the soil quality is good. Some crops can only grow in specific seasons, so be sure to make sure you’re doing things right! If you want to know the ideal conditions for growing a crop, be sure to examine the bag of seeds before you sow them. For crops that only grow in specific seasons, you’ll need to plant them early in the season so that they don’t end up withering away.

If you need some extra help, you can check the Encyclopedia to check some information about the game and everything and everyone you’ll run into. The Encyclopedia is split into Animals, Byproducts, Crops, Recipes, Fish, Tools, Archeological Finds, Records, Facilities, Mini-Games, and Residents. Each section will get new entries as you progress through the game. When you complete the tutorial, you’ll only be able to check information on a normal cow, your tools – hoe, sickle, watering can, milker, and camera – music records, the small coop, barn, poor field, and good field. If you’re going to 100% this one, there’s a lot of stuff for you to do!

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And now, it’s trophy-talk time! STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life is a retail game, and that means that you can expect to find a Platinum trophy in this one. The list is a long one, with 20 Bronze trophies, 10 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. Sure, there are trophies for progressing through each story chapter, but there are plenty of other objectives to work. Some examples include obtaining 8 animals for your barn, 8 birds for your coop, discovering 20 rare crops, obtaining all fish, discovering some treasures, completing 100 requests, obtaining 100 different dishes, and obtaining a total of 500,000 gold.

STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life brings us a remake of the 2003 GameCube entry in the long-running series revamped for a new generation. There are a ton of things to do in the game as you work your way through each of the story chapters, tending to your crops, caring for your animals, and getting to know the many individuals that call Forgotten Valley their home. You’ll even meet the nature spirits Ace, Jack, and Hart, who will want to be your new friends. STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life is out next week on PlayStation on June 27.

This STORY OF SEASONS: A Wonderful Life review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by XSEED.

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