Doraemon Story of Seasons Review for PC
An appealing thing about the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons series is that players can place themselves in the shoes of the main character; painting their picture of the story out on the blank canvas provided.
Upon hearing that the latest installment in the series, a spin-off called Doraemon Story of Seasons, already had a pre-established narrative, plenty of questions came to mind.
Can a farming simulation game work well if it is already based on another piece of media? Is it just as fun when you can’t create your own character?
While the answers to those questions may be subjective, there are facts that support a clear cut answer – at least in this case.
Based on the Japanese TV show of the same name, Doraemon Story of Seasons begins by introducing a colorful cast of characters. Led by protagonist Noby and his robotic pet cat, Doraemon, a montage of their adventures tells the story so far as soon as the game starts.
While cute, the montage wasn’t entirely too attention-grabbing, nor did it really promote an enticing story… until the end.
Shortly after the clip show presentation, Noby and friends are accidentally transported through time.
As soon as they arrive in the vibrant town of Shizen, the group realizes they’re in a precarious position. With all of Doraemon’s gadgets lost, they can’t travel back to their time.
To occupy themselves in the meantime, the group is welcomed into the town, and each is given a job to help out.
Controlling Noby, the player’s job is to care for an abandoned farm while also searching for the lost tools.
While the abandoned farm aspect of things is nothing new to farm sim games, the time travel plot point and the overall “find the lost items” objective provided a refreshing starting point.
Doraemon Story of Seasons uses that distinct narrative to its advantage, as the game focuses on the growth of familial relationships instead of finding a wife or other simulation cliches.
Despite this, the childish storyline, while endearing, does rob the game of a lot of what makes titles like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley interesting.
Though the mining, fishing, and relationship mechanics are still around, with differences here and there, things like longer days and limited stamina will have you waiting on the clock often.
With a beautiful watercolor environment and soothing soundtrack, this might not seem like its a problem. Monotonous chores weigh the experience down rather quickly though, as the start of the game is a slog to get through.
All of this could be forgiven if the relationship and stories that makeup of Doraemon Story of Seasons were engrossing.
Unfortunately, the character dynamic between Noby and his friends isn’t really going to be that appealing to adults or non-show fans.
Most stories that come from the characters would benefit from a lot more depth. Simply because it is based on a television show meant for children, doesn’t mean it can’t delve into more creative quests and side stories.
Even though it carries a unique premise, Doraemon Story of Seasons doesn’t really do anything to move the genre forward.
Instead, it seems to rely on the tie-in provided by the show to sell itself. Having never seen the anime, I couldn’t really get that into it, especially since the gameplay didn’t grow or do anything to stand out.
Sure, fans of the television show will enjoy it, but considering it never really took off in the US, Doraemon Story of Seasons likely won’t appeal to too many gamers, unless you’re direly in need of any farm simulation game to fill the void.
Score: 3/5 – Fair
- Focus on familiar relationships.
- Watercolor theme.
- Cute story and lively world.
- Repetitious chores are a bore.
- Long days and limited stamina don’t mix well.
- Themes are childish, rely on previous knowledge of the show.
Should You Buy Doraemon Story of Seasons?
If you have watched the Doraemon anime, then living it out in-game form, controlling Noby and his adventures is a good reason to buy the game. It could also serve as a way to introduce children to the genre.
Doraemon Story of Seasons Platforms and Release Date
It is available now for Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.
Doraemon Story of Seasons Developer
Doraemon Story of Seasons is developed by Marvelous in collaboration with Brownies. The former has worked on previous games in the series, while the latter is relatively new to the industry.
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