Reporter Pascal Tekaia had the chance to play the latest in the Story of Seasons franchise over at. Let's find out what is new in Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, courtesy of XSEED Games.
The hustle and bustle of the E3 show floor gets pretty hectic at times. So it was nice to take a break from real-life stress, and indulge in a little bit of simulated-life stress at XSEED's booth when I checked out Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. Because the build I checked out was still in Japanese, my prowess at completing tasks in-game was a little hampered. Thankfully, Adrian, part of the game's localization crew, was there to give me the low-down.
Story of Seasons is one part farming simulator, one part relationship manager, with some pet simulator elements thrown in for good measure. Once the player creates either a male or female main character, the story begins. Having grown up always wanting to run your own farm, you strike out away from your parents to pursue this dream, to their disapproval. It is now up to the player to prove them wrong, and become a successful farmer. The object of the game, then, is to win back your father's approval by raising crops, managing livestock, expanding your farm, and somehow manage to meet the love of your life and start a family.
This is where the title's three towns come in. Each of these settlements has potential love interests to pursue, stores to purchase supplies, and townspeople to interact with. As you progress in the game, your father will contact you at certain points, and send you lists of tasks you must complete to prove you've chosen a viable life path. This method keeps the game from being too vague, managing to tighten your focus on specific tasks at hand that must be completed.
But nobody ever said keeping your farm prospering was easy. All animals in the game, for example, have individual stress meters that you can check when interacting with them. Fail to meet their needs and let their stress meter deplete too much and they may run away from your farm, costing you a great deal of invested effort, money, and time. Time progresses at a steady pace as well, and with it the titular seasons come and go, each bringing its own fair share of challenges to deal with. An on-screen calendar displays the current day and month, and time proceeds to the next day each time you ask your character to go to sleep. While the story progresses through many years this way, I was informed that there is no real end to the game, and it can be played indefinitely. Likewise, there is no way to "die" or fail the game; should things go badly for your farm, you'll be able to simply keep plugging away, trying to improve your lot in life.
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns will appeal to those who enjoy filling their downtime by completing a satisfying checklist of virtual chores. The 3DS will let players do just that when the game launches in the near future.