I certainly didn't see this coming; here's a sequel to the original Doraemon Story of Seasons which has arrived just in time to whet the appetites of farming sim fans as we wait for the next mainline Story of Seasons title to arrive.
A heartwarming story
A few years ago, I played through Doraemon Story of Seasons and was surprised to find that I had a lot of fun with it despite its many nagging quality of life issues. The detailed watercolour-inspired graphics and twist on gameplay with Doraemon's gadgets were what stood out most and the same can be said for its sequel Friends of the Great Kingdom. v1d30chumz 44-210-77-106
Noby is lamenting on how he always feels like he's doing everything wrong and he's rather bored then Doraemon decides to take him and his friends on a quick spaceship ride to another world where they can live freely and enjoy nature. In this world, they meet a nice young fellow named Lumis who they soon discover is a prince of the kingdom that they landed in. The Queen of the land has turned hard and the residents are all mad at each other or struggling with internal problems for some reason or another and as you play through the story, you'll start to soften their hearts and restore the kingdom to its former glory. 🏰
However, be prepared for a lot of reading as Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom doesn't shy away from lengthy conversations with silly banter and it can get to be too much sometimes, especially when you're presented with the same tutorial for similar tasks every time you upgrade a tool or unlock something. Thankfully, you can skip these scenes if you become as impatient as I did.
Get around town
The map in Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is quite similar to its predecessor and just as beautiful to look at with amazing detail in every hand-painted screen. Noby's farm is surrounded by woodlands, ponds, mountains, a wheat field, beach, and a town center and there's something to do in every area. With that being said, I was disappointed by the lack of forageables which made walking around the map in the early stages feel less fruitful and more of a chore at times.
I also got lost a lot because when looking at the map, it doesn't seem to quite match up to the actual placement of paths and I kept getting confused as to where things were. Over time, I merely memorized it so it's not a huge impediment. 😊
One of the more substantial changes from the original game is that you live with your friends in a big house and you unlock the ability to have one of them tag along with you to help with your chores. I love this system and decided to take someone with me every single day because the AI works exceptionally well. They basically follow you around and do similar actions to you to increase your output. For example, if you're watering crops, they will also water them; if you fish, they will find fish with you and if you go mining, they will pull out their own pickaxe and help out. I hope this system finds its way into other Story of Seasons titles as it was a nice surprise here. 🤝
Other differences from the original game include the addition of alpacas, new crops, and some quality of life improvements such as well-implemented quest tracking so that you always know what to do next to move along the story or improve a friendship. Even with these additions, however, it is still very similar to the original overall even down to things like the assets for a lot of buildings and nature itself which looks exactly the same as it does in the first game. The dull mining and fishing also haven't been improved. 🎣
As you complete story-related tasks, you'll unlock new gadgets from Doraemon which are hit and miss in their usefulness. For example, I get a hoot out of wearing the Human Locomotive device that puts a pipe on Noby's head and makes him run around faster but the wand that points in the direction of a certain person is only marginally useful seeing as the map thankfully tells you where they are anyway. As you progress, you'll find yourself slowly becoming more efficient with your day-to-day tasks which feels very rewarding. 🏅
Join the community
There are a few multiplayer components to Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom that create a sense of community such as the ability to view other players' farms and see how they've configured them, the option to send a message in a bottle to a random player or friend with an item attached, and a similar system with bulletin boards. Systems that send messages make you pick from a selection of pre-canned words or phrases so it's quite limiting what you can say with a few words. I found looking at other people's farms to be the best component, though, as it gave me inspiration for managing my own farm. 👩🌾
Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is an enjoyable sequel with attractive graphics, a heartwarming story, and the addition of an impressively useful buddy system. It's got some quality of life improvements, too, which is great. In the end, fans of Story of Seasons will have a lot of fun tending to their animals and crops while unlocking silly gadgets with Doraemon and friends.
- + Enjoyable and familiar farming gameplay with a heartwarming story
- + Same attractive watercolour graphics
- + Buddy system is a useful addition
- - Only a small step up from the first title
- - Mining and fishing are still mostly dull
- - Too many longwinded cutscenes