Don’t we all want an Anywhere Door?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Doraemon characters were somehow transported into a Story of Seasons game? Whatever your response, it’s become a reality. Doraemon Story of Seasons is exactly as advertised. Doraemon’s lighthearted humor meshes extremely well with the all too familiar yet solid Story of Seasons mechanics, creating a harmonious union of great gameplay and lighthearted dialogue.
The story finds Noby, Doraemon, and their friends transported into a mysterious town after planting a mysterious seed in modern-day Japan (or North Carolina, if you are into the recent anime dub). Doraemon has the tools needed to get them home, but they are strewn around Shizen Town. After some friendly townsfolk befriend them, Doraemon and friends all settle in quickly and find jobs, with the eventual goal of retrieving the tools needed to get home.
I’m glad I could explain that in one paragraph because the game’s actual introduction takes approximately one hour to get through. That’s no exaggeration; you get every single intricate detail about the plot before you're put to work on the farm. To top it off, the presentation is extremely text-heavy and there’s no autoscroll, so you’re going to be pressing the A button many, many times.
Once the story is all settled, you’ll soon realize that this is, in fact, a Story of Seasons game. You’re taking care of an old farm, meaning there’s land to clear, animals to feed, relationships to foster (no marriages, obviously), fish and bugs to collect, ore to mine, and so much more. It’s instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever played a Harvest Moon or Story of Seasons title. None of it is revolutionary, but if the gameplay isn’t broken, do you really need to fix it?
Doraemon’s characters mesh well with the Story of Seasons gameplay. The former is a long-running children’s cartoon full of charm and humor. Story of Seasons is also a generally breezy experience. The game’s story is interesting, and the translation is top notch, if not a little hammy. If you like dad jokes, there’s plenty of them here.
One of the highlights of Doraemon Story of Seasons is the presentation. The art is beautifully drawn: a storybook-esque design that visually looks tremendous. Shizen Town looks wonderful, with its lush rivers, intricate buildings, grassy knolls, and amazing views. The only negative is that some of the character models come off looking less than lifelike, and sometimes their animations can look very weird.
Doraemon: Story of Seasons combines the two series into a wonderful new experience on Switch. There’s nothing here that breaks the mold, but that is the charm of Story of Seasons: it feels comfortable and easy to get into, and this iteration definitely goes out of its way to help you ease into the gameplay. If you can get through the excruciatingly long introduction, this is a well polished, beautifully-drawn version of Story of Seasons that anyone familiar with the series will love.