Pioneers of Olive Town is a game I wouldn't have played if it wasn't given for free for 7 days in Nintendo Switch Online service. The latest Story of Seasons game does many things differently than I expected.
When I saw trailers about this game, the first thing I noticed is the lack of character portraits. The character designs of this series are wholesome and pretty. Characters are half the reason I prefer an entry of Story of Seasons over another... This was a bummer for me.
I'm a fan of Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons for a long time. When I think of a cozy game, this series is what comes to my mind first. Not all of the games in this series are equal. While I played a bunch of them since I was a teenager, I found Mineral Town cast the most enjoyable.
But since I got to test the game for free, I decided to give it the chance it deserved... My conclusion: It's not as bad as I thought, but it won't be my go-to game of the series.
The game starts like other games from the series, but I couldn't help but notice the different small details, like the customization of the player character, (you can mix every option together, creating any combination of head/body/voice/gender.)
Unlike every Story of Seasons game I played before, Pioneers of Olive Town doesn't give you a house when you start. You live in a tent! I was surprised by this, and despite making it harder for my character, I felt it fit the theme of this game.
The theme as I perceived it from the title and the short hours I spent on the game is about Pioneering the town. Building it up from zero and helping it become alive. Not the most original, but it seems a perfect idea for this series. Tale of Two Towns had a similar premise too.
I can't say a lot about the story and the gameplay. I played for a few hours and nothing to mention happened. I think the interface of the game is an improvement over the older titles, but I wish the font was a bit bigger for Switch lite.
I had a problem finding where the tools are, before I realized they were in the Tools Bag in the menu all along. I didn't have any performance issue, that seemed like a common complaint when the game launched, so kudos for the developers for fixing it.
The character I'm the most interested to learn about is the Mayor Victor, which says something because this is the first game of this type I'm interested in a villager more than the romance-options.
Addressing the first complaint I wrote in this article: This game tries to make the 3D model expressive. I think they wouldn't have tried if they used character portraits. I won't say they succeeded even with the "Chat Camera" feature, but if they went in the same direction in a better way for the next game, I might change my mind about it.
Playing Pioneers of Olive Town did not entice me to buy it, instead I want now to play Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. That classic was updated with a modern gameplay just recently, plus the nostalgia factor! I already like the characters despite getting downgraded in the remake, so maybe I'll try it in the future.
Thanks for reading, and have a nice day.
~ Peace ~