I bought Story of Seasons a few months ago because I was convinced that I needed to get into a farming simulator, because sometimes I make impulsive decisions, because I am insane. After blowing through a couple long, story-oriented games (specifically, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon), I needed a break from that kind of intensity.
Never having played any type of Harvest Moon game, and only having dabbled briefly in Animal Crossing, I didn’t know a whole lot about the world of “relaxing” games, but upon watching some Let’s Plays and crossing out the possibility of Fantasy Life or Rune Factory 4, the game just happened to drop $15 at GameStop that week, and I walked out with a copy about an hour later.
I loved the gameplay and sunk a good amount of spare time into it. Simulators are great for those weird blocks of 10-15 minutes, and Story of Seasons is no exception. As of today, I’ve logged 27 hours in it, and I’m only a few days into Fall of the first year. And I gotta tell you – I just don’t think I can do it anymore.
The game seems to have such depth in terms of how much stuff you can truly do, but I don’t feel like the timesink is worth the enjoyment I will get out of that time expenditure. 27 hours to get through two seasons? That’s roughly 50 hours per in-game year, and that’s just way too much for me. Day to day, I do enjoy the gameplay, but truth be told, diving and finding my 10,000th boot is making me want to kill myself.
One of the issues I had with the game is the whole relationship system. Ideally, you’re supposed to experiment with the other villagers by trying to figure out what their favorite things are, and then gifting them those things on a daily basis to build your relationship with that person. This can then result in romantic interests, marriage, kids, the whole nine yards. This sounds awesome in practice, but from what I’ve read on how long people played just to get to this point, I don’t think it’s worth it. I’d heard numbers ranging from the 120-300 hour mark on this game – man, I’ve got shit to do!
And also, how am I supposed to worry about who-likes-what when I need to do so many other things? Between dealing with an increasing number of pain in the ass animals (manually carrying the chickens outside one at a time really drove me nuts), milking, shearing sheep, watering crops, picking up junk off the ground, catching bugs, turning stuff into fertilizer, fertilizing, diving, fishing, talking, gifting… And hell, I’d only just gotten access to Witchy, and the ability to visit the Mine. So add those last two things to the list.
As I read more into the game and others’ experiences with it, I realized that there was no chance I was ever going to see this more exciting content I kept hearing about, unless I could muscle through another ~50-100 hours of the game. Just think about that for a second – I play video games for odd increments of time, and they add up to an average of 2 hours per day, at least according to my 3DS Activity Log. That’s almost a month of playing nothing but that game, every single day, to get through one in-game year, and it’s just not worth it when I look at those numbers.
With the amount of months it’s taken me to log a mere 27 hours (which for me is nearing my 30-35 hour maximum I spend with most games), I’ve barely put a dent in the content. There are pages upon pages of crops I’ve never gotten to, clothes I’ll never make, recipes I can’t buy, blueprints I can’t build, the list goes on. I just put together a sewing studio, which is pointless because I only have 2 sheep and a small collection of wool. At this rate, I’ll have a healthy organized farm going by the time I’m 34. As in, Earth years old.
I can rant on and on – the point is, this is a terrific game that is branded as a casual simulator, but in reality, if you want to get anywhere in it, you need a good couple hours a day to play one single game, the patience of a saint, or a lot of methamphetamines.
I had come very close to selling this one before. I think I will hang on to it, as it won’t net me much anyway, but as the title implies, I think I’ll be closing this chapter on Story of Seasons.