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Story Of Seasons A Wonderful Life review: Going back to the roots

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Ah, farming games. Five years ago, those were few and far between, and each looked interesting. Now, I can’t even treat those seriously: there are so many of them, most utterly indistinguishable from each other. But Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life has an excuse: it’s not actually a new game. It’s a remake of an older 2003 release. 20 years later, it’s back. But is there anything for new players?

First and foremost, Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a trip to the past when gaming was simpler and farming sims were… pretty much the same. What sets A Wonderful Life apart is its focus on animal husbandry, not resource management. It’s also a lot more focused on character interactions — something I usually ignore when playing Stardew Valley. But I can’t fault the remake for being faithful to the original, can I?

Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life review: Going back to the roots

It’s hard to feel excited about yet another remake of yet another farm sim. I get that it’s aimed at the nostalgic crowd, but if we’re judging the game as it is, it lacks a few features one comes to expect from a game like this. Still, some features have been improved — for example, customization. Players have the option to personalize their avatars by using gender-neutral pronouns, as well as mix and match any body type with any hairstyle or outfit of their choice.

The game functions mostly the same as most other farm games. You leave the city for a village, grow crops and take care of animals. There are four seasons which are 10 in-game days long. You can’t ignore the villagers since interaction with them is key. In fact, the game is adamant that you have to get married ASAP, which I personally disliked. Any such game must be about choice. The good news is that the remaster has removed any gender-locked romances. The bad is that it still doesn’t accept single farmers.

Read also: Dredge review: It’s all about fishing, but not really

Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

The relationship system is nothing to write about: it’s just there. Marrying the villagers doesn’t make the game any more interesting: there’s no drama or exciting new dialog.

When it comes to actual gameplay, nothing really has been upgraded. The loop is shallow and repetitive, with less variation than most modern alternatives. Although, people who feel overwhelmed by the options presented in Stardew Valley might feel excited to find a much more streamlined game. The other will not appreciate the lack of variation A Wonderful Life offers.

Read also: Lego 2K Drive review: Not Lego enough

Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

Verdict

Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a decent remake that fixes some of the issues but also adds painfully little. It’s a neat gift to fans of the original, but newcomers should better look at some of the modern Story Of Seasons titles.

Review ratings
Presentation (design, style, speed and usability of the UI)
7
Sound (original cast, music, mixing)
8
Graphics (in the context of the platform)
7
Narrative Elements
7
Optimization [Switch] (how does it run, bugs, crashes, use of system features)
7
Gameplay and Controls
7
Price
7
Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a decent remake that fixes some of the issues but also adds painfully little. It’s a neat gift to fans of the original, but newcomers should better look at some of the modern Story Of Seasons titles.
Denis Koshelev
Denis Koshelev
Tech reviewer, game journalist, Web 1.0 enthusiast. For more than ten years, I've been writing about tech.
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Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a decent remake that fixes some of the issues but also adds painfully little. It’s a neat gift to fans of the original, but newcomers should better look at some of the modern Story Of Seasons titles.Story Of Seasons A Wonderful Life review: Going back to the roots