It’s barely the end of my first year in Mineral Town, yet Marie is eyeing me with romantic interest. My burgeoning little farm didn’t have much to offer at the start, but it did have a grape tree, and Marie loved wild grapes. I’d dole them out after working the land to raise my reputation with the locals, but Marie – sweet, reclusive Marie – adored the gift. Winter wasn’t even out, but I’d already established a relationship.
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That’s the general tone of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town compressed into a single year, though don’t believe for a moment the game lacks greater depth or variety. A remake of the 2003 Game Boy Advance classic, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (and additionally More Friends of Mineral Town), this charming farming life simulator has aged gracefully in the intervening 17 years, and intelligent adjustments to a few of the core mechanics help this entry stand the test of time.
These are all relatively minor nitpicks (except maybe the mines). In no way do they undermine the laid back nature of Friends of Mineral Town; they just stick out like sore, green thumbs. If those grumbles sound like small potatoes to you then I heartily recommend giving Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town a peak. It’s a fine game that leans on artful repetition, and if you find yourself in-sync with its casual ebb and flow then you’ll get more than your $50 worth out of the game.
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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a must-play for both fans of the franchise, and gamers in love with farming oriented life-sims. It doesn’t opt to break new ground, but instead play to its strengths, leaning on what made the experience great 17 years ago. So long as you don’t mind the game lacking some of the extra flair found in more recent titles, or the bits that haven’t matured as superbly as others, you’ll easily lose a real season or two to cultivating your farm and relationships in quaint, little ole’ Mineral Town.