When Switch was announced, Nintendo teased a bunch of series that would be available on the console including Story of Seasons and a new one is finally here! I've been playing it for a few days now so allow me to walk you through what has stood out so far.
You start out with only a few tools available and one of the most interesting is the camera which has multiple uses, the most obvious being taking photos for your own photo album. The camera is held in first-person (no selfies unfortunately) and you can walk around while choosing your scene, zoom in and out, and even crouch to get a different perspective. If you think you've taken a particularly delightful picture, you can choose to send a postcard which will upload to a collection of photos that appear on other players' loading screens. You'll also see their candid shots on your loading screens including some pretty funny default ones. I've had a lot of fun taking cute photos so far but they have a practical purpose, too, which I will explain right away.
Akin to the Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing games, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town has its own museum attached to the town hall and there are a few varieties of items to collect and put on display there. The first is photos that you take of wildlife. Whenever you see a new wild animal, if you aim your camera at it and it glows blue then it's an animal that can be added to the museum collection. At the museum, you'll see little models appear of animals that you've taken pictures of and you can choose to purchase replicas. The next collectible is fish and sea life where you can use your fishing rod to reel in sea creatures and bring them to the museum to have them put on display in their own little water tanks. Finally, there are treasures but I haven't yet found a treasure to donate to the museum. However, I have unlocked a prompt that mentions treasures can be found by emptying the water from ponds found around town.
Speaking of town, you start out with a good sized farm land that's (of course) covered in overgrown trees, rocks, and grass. As you uncover the farmland, you'll have more space to plant seeds, incorporate items that you craft, raise livestock, and place many kinds of makers that process raw ingredients into more useful items. You also have access to a mine from the get-go and it's right on your land. Each floor of the mine is procedurally generated to include one or many rooms, different kinds of rocks, ore veins, spots to dig up precious stones, and sometimes a ladder is already available. In some Story of Seasons games, mining can feel like a chore and take a long time to just get down one floor but Pioneers of Olive Town opts for a more leisurely approach with randomization mixed in so you can choose when to spend more time on one floor or go to the next if you happen to unlock a ladder right at the start.
There's only one other area available at the start of the game which is the main town space. I've since unlocked one more spot which has space for a large animal barn and another mine and I can see that there's at least one more space available to unlock. The town has many shops and buildings to visit and 2 of which contain quest lists where you can drop off materials and dishes to get a nice bonus. The town hall can also be visited to get rewards for levelling up your skills such as mining, cooking, and communication.
I know some folks really get into the whole marriage part of Story of Seasons so I would be remiss to exclude a list of bachelors and bachelorettes that I've come across so far. Also, it looks like I can date both male and female characters which is neat. Here's the list of some folks that I know are marriage candidates but there are definitely more that I just haven't befriended enough yet.
- Jack - a handsome young man who works at the general store
- Damon - a cool dude in a leather jacket
- Iori - a long-haired traditional Japanese fellow
- Emilio - a summer-loving son of a fisherman
- Laura - the town's tour guide
- Bridget - a younger lady who's at peace with animals
- Linh - a floral-loving young woman who fittingly works at the flower shop
Thanks for reading my first impressions of Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town and stay tuned for my full review on release day! Also, if you have any questions then let me know in the comments below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.