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Game Info:

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Developed by: Marvelous
Published by: Marvelous
Release date: February 28, 2017
Available on: Nintendo 2DS/3DS
Genre: Simulation
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Rating pending
Price: $39.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you XSEED for sending us this game to review!

The Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons franchise has been around for twenty years!  In 2015 I enjoyed playing Story of Seasons on my 3DS and Trio of Towns follows much of the same formula with some welcome additions.  The game begins with you selecting your character’s gender, appearance, and personality type.  Whatever option you choose will have a benefit.  Since I selected animal lover, all of my farm animals and pets started with one affection heart. I opted for a shorthaired gray cat while there are other types, as well as several dog breeds to choose from.

The story begins with a flashback of your character’s childhood memory of enjoying their time at a petting farm.  It left such an impression that they want to move out and become a farmer when their family has to relocate yet again.  The main character’s father is strongly against the idea, but after a couple weeks of butting heads, he relents and lets you stay with your uncle who is a farmer in West Town.   If you can convince your uncle and dad that you have what it takes to become a farmer, he’ll give you his full support.  Your father will provide you with increasingly harder goals called “Farming Tips“ to strive for and you’ll be rewarded upon their completion.

Besides the western themed West Town, there are two other villages that will gradually become available as the roads to them get repaired.  Lulucoco is Hawaiian themed while Tsuyukusa is a Japanese-style town.  All three of the villages offer unique products, festivals, and eligible bachelors/bachelorettes.  While this may change in future titles, currently you can only marry characters of the opposite gender.  One of the deities is androgynous and may be married by both genders.  

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Highlights:

Strong Points: A surprisingly fun game despite it revolving around doing work and various chores; plenty to do and people to date
Weak Points: Some of the weeds are hard to see in the weeding jobs; character events can be hard to trigger without the help of a guide
Moral Warnings: Several god/goddesses that get celebrated during festivals and welcome offerings made to them; references to auras; fairytale magic

Dating requires winning people over by attending the various festivities/contests, giving gifts, and by simply talking to them.  As they like your character more and more, eligible partners have a flower in their dialogue box that changes color.  Once the friendship levels have been met, a love scene must be triggered in order to move onto the next relationship phase. While I was able to activate several cutscenes on my own, I did need to refer to a guide to move things along further with my bachelor of choice, Wayne.  

Each character has items that they love, like, and dislike as gift options.  You can earn lots of points by giving them their favorite gift daily, and especially on their birthday.  Winning pet, farm animal, and produce contests help out a bit as well.  The festivals have three different ranks, but you have to win the previous level before entering a higher one.  Once you enter the veteran and expert modes, a mysterious armor-clad guy named Mr. D becomes your rival.  Defeating him is one of the requirements of the “Farming Tips” sent by your father.

Besides developing relationships with rivals and marriage partners, you’ll have to cultivate partnerships with each of the towns as well.  To increase your town rank you’ll need to ship products to them, complete various side jobs that change daily, and attend their festivities.  Some of the side jobs are basic farming tasks like watering and harvesting crops or milking or brushing farm animals.  Other jobs include chopping wood or pulling weeds.  The weed pulling tasks were tricky at times with the weeds blending in with the background graphics.  Some of those jobs took longer than they needed to be and making the weeds stand out more would have been nice.  

Occasionally a mystery job would appear and by completing those I unlocked Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad outfits for my character.  Each outfit provides a power-up that’s available while wearing it.  Sometimes foods will give you temporary power-ups as well.  When buying expensive items like home upgrades or wedding rings, be sure to have the money saver power-up activated!

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

While completing side jobs is nice, most of your money will be earned by raising and selling crops along with animal byproducts. To increase the price and quality of your crops you can put fertilizer on them daily.  Many crops only grow in a specific 31-day season so plan accordingly.  You can convert produce back to seeds so you won't have to start from a half-star rating all over again.  The livestock can also be given treats and better feed that increases their various attributes as well.  As you compete in the veteran and expert contests you’ll have to excel in many categories.

Despite the focus of completing work and chores, Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is fun to play.  Daily tasks of watering, fertilizing, milking, brushing, and cleaning up doo-doo aren’t that fun, but seeing your efforts paying off in a contest makes it all worthwhile.  Getting to know the various characters and seeing their backgrounds unfold is rewarding as well.  Some of the characters have heartwarming stories and not all of them are cheerful.  One of the characters is adjusting to raising his son after the death of his wife.  

Each town has a resident deity that looks over it and appreciates the annual festival recognizing them.  The deities appreciate offerings you bring to them and some of them will give your character blessings and abilities for doing so.  One of the abilities is to become closer to your pet and have them become a “furrmiliar”.   One of the characters often talks about auras and how your produce/byproducts show off yours.  The romance scenes were sweet and I thought it was cute that the kissing scenes were blacked out until the wedding day where you finally got to see the two characters kiss.

Though the credits roll after getting married, there is still plenty more to do.  For example, once you have the final house expansion, you can raise a child with your spouse.  You can also focus on raising five star crops and establishing an A rating with all of the towns.  There is plenty of replay value in this title and it’s one I highly recommend for those who enjoyed previous Harvest Moon games. 

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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