[PS4] STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town Review
Cozy farming/life sim STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town from XSEED Games is waiting for you on PlayStation 4. Learn more in our STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town review!
Cozy farming/life sim STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town from XSEED Games is waiting for you on PlayStation 4. If you’re new to the STORY OF SEASONS series, you’ve probably heard the name Harvest Moon before, which was the name for these games up until Harvest Moon 3B: A New Beginning on the Nintendo 3DS. After that release, the series took on the STORY OF SEASONS name, while a new series under the Harvest Moon was also started. Got it? As for this particular release, many years ago, your grandfather and his friends settled down and formed the lovely community of Olive Town. It’s been a while, and now that you’ve turned 20 years old, it’s time for you to take care of his farm so that you can carry on with his legacy. When your grandfather lived there, the farm was a lush and beautiful place. Unfortunately, the emphasis is on the was part of that sentence.
You have a lot of work ahead of you if you want to bring the fam back to its former glory! How bad are things when you arrive at the farm? The grass is overgrown, there are rocks everywhere, fences are broken down, and there are no functional buildings! You’ll have to start by sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag, as you save up enough money and collect the resources needed to fix everything. You will need to fix the many dilapidated structures. The first one on your to-do list will be repairing the coop so that you can raise chickens.
You can play through STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town in one of two difficulty modes. If you select Normal, then you’ll take on the standard experience for the game. The other option is Seedling Mode, in which you’ll get a variety of bonuses. Thanks to this, items will ship for more money, player stamina will decrease more slowly, friendship levels will increase at a faster pace, skill experience points are easier to gain, and shop prices will be lowered.
Before you get started with your tasks, the first thing to do will be to customize the appearance of your character. You can select its facial features from 18 options, pick from 5 options for its skin color, individually select the color for each eye, pick a hairstyle from 21 options and select from 20 colors, select from 4 voice types, and pick from a farm jacket and a farm skirt. Once you’re happy with your choices, confirm them and get ready to begin your long run with STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town. Oh, and you’ll also get to select the color of your motorcycle!
To move your character, you’ll use the left analog stick. Press the L1 and R1 buttons, and you’ll be able to sidestep. You’ll receive a set of tools from the mayor of Olive Town, Victor, as soon as you take over the farm. You can select between items in the item bar by pressing left and right on the D-Pad. To use the highlighted item, press the Square button. The items that you find will be placed in your bag. To view your inventory, press the Triangle button. To make the most of your new farm, you’re going to have to clear the land.
To remove trees, you’ll need to swing at them with all of your might with an axe in your hands. To cut thick patches of grass, you’ll need to use a sickle. And if you find some stones that need to be broken into pieces, a hammer is your best bet. All of the actions you perform will require stamina. Once you’re too tired to work, you should get some sleep in your bed so that you can recover your stamina, as well as save your game. You can also make a manual save by writing in your journal. As you get used to farm work, you’ll end up earning experience points for your skills. Once you’ve gained enough points for a skill, it will level up. Leveling up skills will allow you to gain special traits as well as learn new crafts.
Since your inventory space is limited, you should always remember to move tools into the tool bag. By doing this, you’ll free up valuable space to hold other items that you collect. You start with 12 slots in total between the items bar and your bag and can upgrade said space to add an extra 16 slots to your inventory. It won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it since having additional slots will allow you to complete more tasks as you carry more items with you between trips to Olive Town or into the mines.
Yes, you’ll get to explore mines, where you can find valuable ore-type items! You can move deeper and deeper into the mine and find more valuable items, but be sure to keep an eye on your stamina! To recover some stamina so that you don’t pass out, be sure to eat something from your inventory. If you notice an ore vein in the mine’s walls, you should use your hammer to smash it to get a lot of ore. There will also be some sparkling spots on the floor where you can dig up to hopefully find something rare.
As a farmer, in order for you to know what you’ll be going up against, you should listen to the radio! That way, you’ll know what the weather forecast will be so that you can plan accordingly. And along with listening to the radio, you should also make it a habit to check your calendar every morning. The calendar will let you know when it’s someone’s birthday, as well as point to you the special events. For example, the 15th of Spring is when the Egg Hunt takes place. The 22nd of Summer is when you can enjoy the Fireworks Display. The calendar will even mark your birthday!
Your main activity at the start of the game will be sowing seeds so that you can grow crops. Plant some seeds, water them as they grow into a plant, and then reap the rewards! You’ll have to use your hoe to till the fields. Once the fields have been tilled, you can sow seeds. Water your crops daily by using your watering can – and refilling it as needed – and you’ll be on your way to having a colorful and productive farm! The first set of seeds you’ll get from the mayor are going to be turnip seeds, and you’ll have to take good care of them so that you can sell some turnips for a good profit!
While exploring each area, you might even find some wild crops! When you do, you must harvest and ship them as soon as possible! Doing this will allow you to earn some extra money as well as unlock the option of purchasing those crops’ seeds at the shops in Olive Town. Wild crops and all other items you collect or harvest can be placed in the shipping bin so that they are exchanged for money at the start of the next day. You have until the end of the day to grab anything in the shipping bin to put it back in your bag.
Remember that poor dilapidated coop you need to repair? To fix it, you’re going to need 20 logs, 20 stones, and 30 pieces of grass. The good news is that there are plenty of trees to cut down, a lot of stones to break down, and plenty of overgrown grass on your property! Once you’ve repaired it, you’ll be able to raise some chickens. You can give them fodder or let them graze outside as you wait for them to lay eggs in the coop, which you can gather the next day. There will be a bell for you to ring so that you can let your animals know it’s time to go graze.
To repair some structures, you’ll have to enlist the help of Nigel, the local carpenter of Olive Town. Nigel’s specialty is housing and furniture, so he’ll kindly help you learn more about using raw materials to build new stuff. He’ll teach you about using items to craft fences for your livestock, as well as using makers to process raw materials. As for fixing stuff, you could ask him to help you fix the bridge south of your tent! He can do this either by paying him money or by giving him some lumber. Nigel can also help you to improve your facilities, so you can, say, increase the size of your coop. You can also buy furniture from him.
You must work hard to save the farm and bring it back to its former glory, but you should also take some time to relax and meet all of the townsfolk. Remember, there’s also a life sim side for STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town. You should communicate with the townsfolk and give them gifts to increase your friendship level. Friendship can grow into love. In order to confess to the guy or girl you’re interested in, they must have 6 hearts in your notebook, and you must see 5 of their special encounters. After that, you can work on proposing to them! To be able to propose to your partner and start a new family, they will need to have 10 hearts in your notebook, you must see 9 of their special encounters, and your house must be a log cabin or larger.
There’s a lot to do in Olive Town. You can get a meal at the café. Visit the Worker’s Base Tool Shop, and you’ll be able to upgrade your tools so that they perform better. You can also spend some of your money to commission bag expansions so that you can carry more items on you. If you check out the bulletin board, you’ll be able to check the request from townsfolk so that you can complete them in exchange for a reward. You could also visit the Olive Museum and work on taking pictures of wild animals to fill up its walls. There’s also an aquarium to which you can donate sea creatures. And since it’s a museum, you can also find relics of ages past!
You’ll also get to explore the Earth Sprite Village. As you go through your day-to-day, tilling the land, breaking stones, cutting down trees, cutting down the grass, and more, you might have noticed some small, spherical creatures pop up and run away. Those are Follower Sprites. When assigned to an Earth Sprite Leader, Follower Sprites will get to work and help you complete some tasks. They will also give you Sprit Coins, which are the special currency used at the Earth Sprite Village. These can be traded with the Boss Sprite at the Sprite Shop to obtain a variety of items. When you want to go back to the farm – or go from the farm to the Earth Sprite Village – just talk to Navi-sprite!
And then there are the trophies. STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy, so you’ll be working on adding 39 Bronze trophies, 9 Silver trophies, and 2 Gold trophies to your collection on your path towards that Platinum trophy. There are plenty of objectives to work on, from tilling the land, watering your crops, harvesting crops, flowers, tree crops, mushrooms, and beehives, obtaining 50 eggs from your chickens, 50 containers of milk, and 50 tuffs of wool, fleece, or fur from your livestock, chop down 100 trees, cut grass 100 times, break 100 stones, catching 50 fish, cooking 20 times, talking to residents 50 times, learning all skills, upgrading your tools, owning a pet, or making $10,000 in a single day.
As a fan of the STORY OF SEASONS series, I was looking forward to seeing what Pioneers of Olive Town would give us. It’s a colorful and fun adventure with a ton of content, plenty of characters to befriend in the village, lots of romancing options, mines to explore, Sprites to collect and put to work, pets to add to your life, and lots of livestock to care for as you search for ancient relics and take pictures of wildlife to add to the local museum to hopefully entice tourists to visit. You can get STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town for $39.99. There’s also an expansion pass for $14.99 that will take you to new areas beyond Olive Town, as well as different outfit packs, such as Animal Attire or the Yukata Set. You’ll get to experience the Olive Town Mystery Files and The Legendary Sprite Dance sub-scenarios, as well as the Windswept Falls, Terracotta Oasis, and Twilight Isle Expansion Packs, all three of which include two additional marriage candidates from past games in the STORY OF SEASONS series. STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town is out tomorrow on PlayStation 4.
This STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy by XSEED Games.