Improving on the 2003 GameCube classic in almost every way, this era of farming sim is a wonderful succinct experience.
Remakes and nostalgia go hand-in-hand. For those of us who played a game upon its original release, a slick reimagining offers a chance to step back in time. Not only to re-experience a game we remember fondly but to also recall a different time in our lives.
Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is perhaps a more apt remake than most. A new version of the 2003 GameCube farming sim classic, it eschews many genre conventions to connect with you on a deeper emotional level. Many similar games offer a near-limitless sandbox to live your idyllic rural lifestyle. Not A Wonderful Life. Its finite structure weaves a deep narrative that asks you to consider the legacy you want to leave for others.
At its heart, A Wonderful Life remains a traditional farming sim, tasking you with growing crops, caring for livestock, and befriending the quirky locals. As expected of a remake, it looks sharper and eases some of the original's difficulty via tooltips you can access at any time. By modern standards, A Wonderful Life doesn't contain the same gameplay depth of Stardew Valley, nor the high degree of accessibility and rich character work of Wylde Flowers, but its charm remains steadfast.
In this episode of Drop Rate, Sifter's review discussion podcast, Ruby Innes from Back Pocket and freelancer writer Courtney Borrett (Kotaku Australia, Power Up) examine the deep meta-narrative of what makes A Wonderful Life live up to its name. In between discussions about where Story of Seasons fits within the increasingly popular life sim genre, they also find the time to crown the game's most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. It wouldn't be a farming game without a little romance, would it?
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A copy of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life on Nintendo Switch was provided to SIFTER for the purpose of this review discussion.
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