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Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town review – limited earthly delights

Faceyak

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Nintendo Switch; Marvelous Interactive/XSEED
Better visuals for the farm-sim improve the interaction but slow loading undermines the laid-back flow

In this latest in a long line of farming-life games, you are once again thrust into the role of a young person who leaves the big city for an idyllic life of agricultural self-sufficiency, growing crops, chopping wood and integrating yourself into small-town life. Olive Town tries hard to integrate the lessons of its newer, scrappier competitors, most notably the mega-hit Stardew Valley; there’s more exploration and crafting, with a seemingly sprawling wilderness for you to reclaim and redevelop. But it’s hampered by technical issues that impact the game’s gentle vibe.

Both technically and artistically, Olive Town’s visuals have taken a leap forward from last year’s Friends of Mineral Town remake, and it looks just as good from both overhead and first-person views. This is best exemplified by the game’s loading screens, which showcase photos taken by other players – a great idea that deserves to be adopted by games with fancier photo modes. You’ll be seeing quite a lot of other player’s shots, because loading screens are both lengthy and annoyingly frequent, introducing unwelcome friction into the game’s otherwise laid-back flow.

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