Doraemon: Story Of Seasons comes off as being an odd little game. It’s actually a meshing of two “well known” Japanese series. When it came up for review I honestly can’t say that I didn’t think “Doraemon” was perhaps another lead character in another Pokémon game. In actuality, Doraemon is a Japanese manga series. That manga story revolves around a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a boy named Nobita Nobi (a.k.a. “Noby” in English). Story Of Seasons, on the other hand, is a farming simulation role-playing video game series, formerly known as Harvest Moon. Now Bandai Namco Entertainment has brought these two pop culture icons into one package, this is our Nintendo Switch review of Doraemon: Story Of Seasons.
The Story… Anticipation is Keepin’ Me Wating
The underlying story revolves around Doraemon and his friends waking up in Natura. Until they can figure out how to get back home they each need to help out around town. Each of them finds their place in this society other than Noby, initially, whom you play. Noby comes to the realization that his calling is to resurrect an old, unkempt farm. Unfortunately, all of this story pretext is told via a very long tutorial that also instructs you on how to farm, craft, gather, etc.
This drawn-out tutorial is fairly hands-off and most of what you’ll be doing is reading dialogue text, watching classic manga styled reactions and listening to what sounds like Japanese voice-overs. A lot of the voice-overs are uttered sounds reminiscent of games like Digimon. The backbreaker is that this tutorial took me an upwards of an hour and a half. That’s a long time waiting to actually start the game.
The story and characters themselves are family-friendly. The dialogue is at times, cheesy, but expected if you’re a Doraemon fan. The good-natured fun makes this a nice fit for any younger child who has some patience and doesn’t mind doing some reading.
Ploughing Through The Gameplay
Doraemon: Story Of Seasons‘ gameplay revolves around a tried and true farming simulation formula. It’s played adjacent to day-night cycles in days, weeks and seasons. You go to sleep, you mine, fish, gather, till, plant, water, harvest, etc. In-game shops are open during certain days and hours. The game is also strong on gifting NPCs and building relationships, i.e. increasing faction.
The in-game towns also host activities which means combining calendar watching as you manage your farm and planting seeds will likely keep you as busy as you’d like to be. Meaning, if your goal is to be dedicated to farming and growing crops then you can do so here. You also care for and raise animals, and can easily lose track of in-game hours with everything you’d like to do.
Slow And Steady
If you’re new to these types of games then the first few hours will test your patience, maybe. Initially, it’s a cycle of mining, fishing, gathering, cleaning the land. You’ll need to accumulate things you can sell for money that’s tough to come by in this game. Use the money to buy seeds, mine better ore to upgrade your tools. You get the idea.
As you build relationships and the days turn into weeks other events and activities will open up for you. A lot of this can be done in short gameplay sessions which makes this an excellent pairing on the Switch’s mobile gaming design. A perfect match for that daily traveler to work or school!
Compare To: Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley
Note: This review was done on a digital copy of the game via a download code provided by PR.