How the Use of Time Highlights the History of the Seasons: the Gameplay Mechanics of a Wonderful Life

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According to the Nintendo Direct live broadcast, which took place on September 13, the GameCube 2003 game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life officially receives a remake for the Nintendo Switch. The new version is called Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life and will be released in the summer of 2023, although it will probably face new competition as Switch has become a popular console for farming simulators.

The recent trailer for Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life promotes the game as a combination of the old Harvest Moon games, since the current games and the Harvest Moon name belong to Natsume, from which Marvelous Inc. separated. The iconic title stands out best among the other games in the franchise due to the fact that it uses time and how it passes.

Classic Harvest Moon remake with new twists

The city of Forgotten Valley, formerly called the Valley of Forget-me-Nots, is a peaceful city where players can work on their farm, fall in love and even have children. The passage of time in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has long been considered one of the best elements of the game, which, as confirmed, will be transferred to the remake of Story of Season. Recalling its name, the original was the first game in which players could go through the entire life of a character, from childhood to old age.

The official description of Marvelous Games says that “after the season has passed, you will find your partner for life, raise a child together and see how he grows before your eyes.” For many fans, the opportunity to get older with their family and non-player characters, such as bachelorette parties and bachelors in town, was incredibly tempting in the early 2000s. Several people from the new generation of Story of Seasons enthusiasts have also begun to show interest in the idea of family dynamics in addition to growing crops, fishing, animal breeding, etc.

Although this idea in itself does not completely change the concept of the game, it can improve the replayability of Story of Seasons games. If the developer decided to allow players to continue playing as the child of their previous protagonist, this could allow users to develop their farms in different generations without having to restart the game from the beginning every time.

Unfortunately, in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, the main character can only have one child, who will always be a boy. However, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition opened up the possibility of having a daughter, and also gave people the opportunity to play as a female protagonist, not just a man. If they decide to play for a woman, they will eventually be able to marry one of three eligible bachelors: Roque, Gustav or Martin. Hopefully, the 2023 version will be able to avoid the pitfalls of the past and allow players to have one or both, a boy or a girl.

While the trailer debuted with nostalgic music and many classic features that had been seen before, there were still a few new aspects and twists to be excited about. For example, XSEED has been working for some time to make games more LGBTQ+ friendly, and the newest option in the series is the company’s first step towards this goal. Now users will be able to identify themselves as a man, a woman or a non-binary person at the beginning of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, which expands the idea of creative freedom in simulation games.

After the announcement that the classic Harvest Moon is getting a remake, many fans are hoping that in the future others may be adapted for Switch or future Nintendo consoles. After all, in 2019 Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town had its own remake, which proved itself well among both Steam and Switch players. Perhaps Harvest Moon: Magical Melody will be confirmed in the next few years.

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life will be released in the summer of 2023 on the Nintendo Switch.

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