Overall - 70%
Doraemon Story of Seasons is a solid farm sim that isn't for everyone. If you're interested in the worlds of Doraemon or Story of Seasons, be sure to check out some trailers first.
Doraemon Story of Seasons is the latest farming sim to grace the Nintendo Switch and PC. Is it worth checking out, or should you stick to Stardew Valley? Check out our review and find out.
Doraemon Story Of Seasons
For full disclosure, players do not need to be familiar with Doraemon to play this game, and we went in without any previous knowledge of the series.
Doraemon Story of Seasons follows a young boy named Noby and his friends. While trying to figure out what to do for his school project, Noby finds a spiral seed and plants it. The seed quickly grows into a massive tree that the kids use for cover in a storm. The storm gets so intense that the tree and the kids are lifted up and taken through a portal of some sort. When they wake up, they are in a new land that they don’t recognize. Luckily for them, they ended up right outside of the town of Natura.
Natura is a quaint little village of farmers and workers who welcome the kids with open arms. With no apparent way back home, Noby and crew go out to help out around the village. Everyone gets a job except Noby, who is handed a run-down farm to run instead. The main objective is always to find a way back home, but it often takes a back seat to farming and other side activities. I do want to say that this game has the longest intro ever, as it felt like it took over an hour to get to the actual farming part of the game.
Doraemon Story of Seasons is a traditional farming sim. You start with essential tools, a few seeds, and a field full of rocks, twigs, and weeds. You till the land, plant and water seeds, and reap the rewards later. Early on, farming will only take up a small portion of your time. Most of your time will be spent in the mine, catching bugs, chatting with your neighbors, and fishing. As you upgrade your farm with new buildings, animals, and crops, the time spent in the field increases. I overextended myself once, and had to take naps in between watering sessions to avoid passing out and being sent to the hospital.
You will also have to balance your farm life and social life properly. Without any real clue how to get home, the villagers will be able to help you out by telling you about Doraemon’s gadgets that got lost on the way here. Giving a villager a gift will raise their relationship with you. Give them enough gifts, and they will open up to you and become more friendly as well. I don’t think there is any gift they won’t accept, outside of your tools or essential items. I was going around handing people wood, rocks, bugs, and they always took them. You are encouraged to try different items on people, because some will give more points than others.
Something I really liked about the game was how straightforward the upgrade system was. I always knew what I needed and for the most part, how to get it. The upgrades all felt meaningful, as well. Upgrading the watering can would make it hit two squares instead of one. The upgraded fishing rod helps you catch larger and rarer fish, which nets you extra cash. The mining pick upgrade enables you to break harder rocks and allows you to explore deeper in the mine. The upgrade axe and hammer helped you clear your fields of debris much quicker. Everything added value, and nothing felt pointless.
There is also a calendar that will have special events on them that you can participate in for trophies. Early on, some of these feel impossible. You will probably take third place out of three in the first crop contest in spring. However, some events require skill instead of luck like the watermelon smash or the corkscrew gun contest. You can place the trophies in your house if you want or sell them for extra cash. One added benefit of these events is that all the people are in one spot, so you can get all your gift-giving done quickly. The in-game map will tell you where people are, but you still have to find them yourself. Everyone in one spot makes it much more manageable.
There are some negatives to the game. The A button interacts with things and people, and also serves as the eat button. If you are slightly off of hitting a tree or rock, you might accidentally eat a crop. When you are behind trees, you can’t see yourself or items back there, and it’d be nice to see your silhouette at least. You do not auto pick up items except in the mine. If you cut down a tree, you then have to go over and press a button to pick up every piece of wood, same with rocks and crops. You can’t just send out all your chickens; you need to pick up each one and bring them out individually. There should be a send all animals outside button. You also want to turn voices off, or else you have to listen to this annoying noise Noby lets out every time he picks something up.
Tech-wise, I didn’t have any crashes or frame drops. I played it in handheld mode for about an hour and didn’t see any significant differences in visuals or performance.
Doraemon Story of Seasons is a solid farm sim that isn’t for everyone. If you’re interested in the worlds of Doraemon or Story of Seasons, be sure to check out some trailers first.
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