Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom Review - A chilled November with my new friends

Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom Review - A chilled November with my new friends

Doraemon Story of Seasons

Despite his popularity in his native Japan, Doraemon is not well known in this country. The franchise originally started with Fujiko Fujio's 1969 manga series of the same name, which has inspired several anime adaptations and is very popular in Japan. Now those responsible for the hilarious character are trying to find fans in the western realms as well. Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is a result of this agenda: The game comes from Marvelous, which already claims several offshoots of Farming Simulators (until 2014 Harvest Moon, today: Story of Seasons) and has already been released on November 2, 2022 - we took our time and spent a wonderful November with Doraemon and his friends!

Thanks to good translation and Japanese dubbed version, the dialogues are funny and full of life.

© Fujiko Pro / Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.

The storyline of Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom puts Nobita, Doraemon and their friends in the spotlight of the happening. Because of arguments with their parents, they decide to leave the planet. Doraemon, a mechanical creature from the future, has a whole host of gadgets, including a rocket that takes our series favorites to another planet very similar to ours. There, the young heroes meet a boy named Lumis, whom they help with medication. One thing leads to another and before the children know it they are running a farm.

As the title suggests, the game takes place in a large kingdom. The queen of the realm sees Doraemon's gadgets as dangerous and confiscates them. Below that is the rocket, meaning Nobita and his friends are stuck for now. But if they manage to convince the queen, they might find a way back home.

The plot is in the typical manner of the Story of Season franchises built. You are not forced to follow an action. Depending on your interests, you are free to do whatever you want. Classic activities such as planting and caring for seeds and animals are represented, as well as catching beetles or fishing. The collaboration cleverly manages to combine a light-footed storyline with the familiar and much-loved gameplay.

Story of Seasons in every corner

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Fans of Story of Seasons will devour the adventure around Nobita with shining eyes. Similar to other titles of this type, you have four seasons that alternate. A year has four months, i.e. four seasons. Certain crops and trees only grow during their corresponding seasons. For example, the turnip, one of the iconic crops in the series, only grows in spring. A day goes by in fast forward - but it is interesting that time runs slower here than in other titles of Story of Seasons. That's good, because you can do your activities more leisurely.

As diverse and idyllic as the game world is, unfortunately it's easy to get lost and distances are long. Story of Seasons manages to turn work into fun. The game even makes fun of this circumstance when Nobita realizes that he actually has to work all the time and that he had previously argued with his parents about household chores. Every crop requires some regular maintenance. From sowing to daily watering, everything that belongs to Story of Seasons in this area is included.

Distracting activities that ostensibly bring money into the till are fishing or the fairly new catching of bugs. Almost as iconic as the field work is the facial expression, which is also not missing in Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom. Anyone who has played the previous titles will find their way around here. Newcomers get a detailed tutorial that makes a lot of effort to go through the topics in the smallest detail. The relaxed atmosphere and the fact that Doraemon acts more in the background offers the chance that you can easily bond with the lovable characters.

Problems from others Titles of this franchise are also present here: At the beginning of the game, the pocket is very limited. The tools alone take up a large part of the space, which makes the few slots appear even smaller. Unfortunately, the world design of Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is not player-friendly. The camera position is fixed for each area, so the map does not necessarily show the paths as they turn out in reality. It wasn't uncommon for me to run around like a stray mouse at the beginning of the game.

Doraemon proves it how to advance the future of two franchises

There are many video game franchises that release new productions on a regular basis, but because of their high frequency or other reasons, they are in need of major improvements in the field Save technology or gameplay. In my opinion, Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom has managed to advance both franchises in its own way.

Help is appreciated: double Gameplay is offered with just one console and one save.

© Fujiko Pro / Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.

If you compare this title to its predecessor, Doraemon Story of Seasons, you should notice a few improvements . Among other things, the developers have revised the mission system. You now have a standalone menu with a to-do list that shows you what needs to be done to progress through the story. You will be taken by the hand and driven on without pressure, as you will not be forced to complete the missions on the developer side: love affairs are deleted in the way they usually appear in the titles. Instead, you can make friends with the individual residents of the realm by giving away items, talking to them, or taking part in events. A system similar to that used in love relationships is used. You can check friendship by character's heart color. The more you get involved, the stronger the bond becomes.

Graphically, Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom doesn't need to hide. The many areas are made with great attention to detail. Particularly noteworthy is the chosen graphic style, which is reminiscent of water colors and makes the entire adventure appear like a dream of Nobita. The character designs are very similar to the anime on which they are based. The ensemble seems coherent and makes you want to have more interactions. The frame rate is usually not negative. In some cutscenes, however, the frame rate can drop sharply and leave an ugly impression. During normal work, however, such problems are not actually noticeable. In multiplayer mode, the environments sometimes look less beautiful when many things have to be displayed small on the screen.

Like most games that belong to an anime franchise, Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom also shines with his musical work. Various melodies, mostly of a calm nature, convey a coherent overall experience and positively support the visual impression. The fact that the game also comes with an original Japanese soundtrack is a special treat for Doraemon fans. Although no other soundtracks are included, the German subtitles are successful and easy to understand. This really shows off the high-quality work of the Japanese dubbing cast.

Finally, a few words about the multiplayer that is offered in the local mode. Each player only needs one Joy-Con to participate. One player plays Nobita and another can play as Doraemon. Activities such as field work or other free explorations can be carried out together. If characters separate too far from each other, the screen is zoomed out so that both characters can always be seen. Cutscenes run smoothly, so you can basically enjoy the entire game with two people. However, you will only be able to leave and explore current areas together. However, caution is advised when it comes to endurance - Nobita and Doraemon not only share a bag and the screen, but also the common endurance. Although you work twice as fast, you also lose combat power correspondingly quickly.

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