Doraemon: Story of Seasons (Switch, PC)

This is a crossover game but the two properties featured here may not be so familiar to many Americans.  Especially Doraemon.  Doraemon is a cartoon blue robot cat with no ears who is especially popular in Japan.  You may have even seen him and not realized it.  He’s been a star of manga comic books and anime cartoons and movies for decades, and is sometimes even called “Japan’s Mickey Mouse.”  Some of his comic books have been translated into English, and Disney brought some of the newest iterations of the Doraemon cartoons to the US under the Disney XD channel a few years back (good on them), but other than that, Doraemon has stayed relatively unknown in the States.  Some US gamers may be more familiar with Story of Seasons, though, as it’s a farming sim series that used to go under the name of Harvest Moon.  And now the two franchises are together in quite the unexpected crossover game you can download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

But first a bit of background on Doraemon.  The series stars Noby, a grade school boy who has a run on bad luck, but he’s also a bit lazy and whiny as well even though he has a good heart underneath it all.  Noby’s descendant from the future sends an earless blue robot cat named Doraemon back in time to help Noby out, so he can have a better future.  Doraemon brings with him magical gadgets from the future that he carries in his interdimensional pocket to help out Noby, but sometimes Noby misuses those gadgets and hilarious misadventures ensue with Noby, Doraemon, and their friends.  Some of Noby’s friends include Sue, his crush, the bully Big G, and the sneaky rich kid Sneech.

Doraemon: Story of Seasons starts out with Noby, Doraemon, Sue, Big G, and Sneech planning their summer school project.  They find a mysterious seed and plant it, only to discover that it grows into a giant tree in minutes!  But before they can take it all in, a sudden storm blows them and their tree away to another time (and possibly dimension).  The new world they find themselves in is a rural area, and the kids all decide to help out the townsfolk at their various jobs.  Noby can’t find any work, but luckily the local farmer has an extra field he can use, so you play as Noby and farm like you would in a Story of Seasons game.  Your goal is to find your way back home, but the only trouble is that most of Doraemon’s gadgets have gone missing!  So not only must you farm, you must also search for the hidden gadgets so you can go home.

Most of the game plays like any other Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon game.  When you first start your farm, you’ll need to clear the land, till a patch of it, and plant seeds and water them every day.  When they finish growing, you can pick them and put them in a shipping box to earn money.  There is an in-game clock that runs at around ten minutes a day, which gives you time to farm and chat it up with your friends and the others in town.  You must also keep an eye on your stamina meter, which run out as you do activities.  You can refill it by eating food or going to sleep. Since Noby likes to take naps, he has a special skill where you can push a button to nap anywhere you want to, which is handy when you need to pass the time and/or refill your energy! You’ll start the game with nearly all the tools you’ll need, like a garden hoe, axe, pick, watering can, and even a fishing pole.  Later on you’ll even be able to raise animals as well.

But farming isn’t the only thing you’ll do in the game.  You can make friends with the townsfolk and give them gifts.  Since you are just a kid, you won’t marry anyone like you do in other Story of Seasons games.  But it’s important to make friends with everyone in town because some of them may know where Doraemon’s missing gadgets are.  You can also fish, catch bugs, mine for ores that you can use to upgrade your tools, and much more.  Speaking of Doraemon’s gadgets, some of them will make plants grow faster, and one that looks like a phone booth you can use to go back in time to replay certain events and get a different outcome.

The game does have a few problems here and there.  If you’re not familiar with Doraemon, you may have trouble getting into the characters in this game, as they don’t introduce them as well as I think they should.  Heck, even I didn’t know about some of Doraemon’s gadgets in the game, and I’ve watched a lot of the cartoon, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who has never heard of him!  They just kind of assume you know all about the characters in the game.  I think this is actually the first Doraemon video game to be released in the US.  If you’ve never played a Story of Seasons game before, the learning curve on this one may seem a little steep at first, as the pace of the game is slow and it takes a while to get to the good stuff.  But at the same time, you got a TON of seeds to plant at the beginning, and the use of Doraemon’s gadgets can make the game good for newbies as well.  Also, for a download only title, it’s pretty pricey at 60 bucks.  But if you like games such as Story of Seasons, Stardew Valley (which is the biggest Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons ripoff I’ve ever seen), or even Animal Crossing, you may want to check this one out anyway.

Kid Factor:

Doraemon: Story of Seasons is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Comic Mischief.  This is a non-violent game and since you don’t do many mature things in other Story of Seasons games like get married and have kids, this entry in the series may be better suited for younger gamers.  Although strong reading skill is still required for the large amount of text involved.

2 Responses to “Doraemon: Story of Seasons (Switch, PC)”

  1. I like these sorts of games.

  2. graphics look good.

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