Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

The primary Swap Doraemon: Story of Seasons launched in 2019 and was praised for harmoniously combining the solid of the much-loved youngsters’s anime with the enjoyable gameplay of one of the vital well-known farm sim franchises, and whereas it might not be the obvious mixture, its stunning artwork fashion and nice vibes had been typically well-received nonetheless. So it is no shock that its success has led to the discharge of the sequel, Doraemon Story of Seasons: Pals of the Nice Kingdom.

Nonetheless, there are much more life and farm sims in the marketplace as of late, and whereas developer Marvelous may have wished to keep up the unique sport’s attraction, it additionally wanted to current one thing thrilling and new to cease issues from feeling repetitive or stale. The unique Doraemon Story of Seasons left just a few gaps — some room for enchancment — which the second is fast to fill, serving to to create an identical enchanting expertise and stopping a mass of overly acquainted content material.

The story is ready up via an extended cutscene introducing Noby and Doraemon on their Summer time Trip, however after getting right into a tense standoff along with his dad and mom over incomplete homework, Noby decides to gather his issues and jet off in a rocket ship to an unknown planet for a break — which sounds just like the logical factor to do. Upon touchdown on what the kids consider is an uninhabited planet that they’ll discover at their very own tempo, they discover an injured boy. After patching up wounds and a few extra introductions, you meet Lumis, who gives to indicate you across the planet and ultimately allows you to keep within the farmhouse when you resolve if you wish to spend your summer time working away on the farm.

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Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

After just a few days of getting your bearings and exploring city outdoors of the farm, guards take you to the Queen. Sadly, she is lower than glad {that a} bunch of strangers have crashed on her planet and swiftly removes the brand new devices and know-how Doraemon has stuffed his pockets with, leaving Noby and mates with no method dwelling. Fortunately, Lumis has royal connections and steps as much as help Noby and his mates. With the promise to work laborious at restoring the farm’s former glory, it turns into your accountability to achieve the belief of the Queen, get Doraemon’s devices again, and return dwelling earlier than faculty begins once more.

When you’ve got any expertise with farm sims from the Story of Seasons model or additional afield, you will have a good suggestion of the gameplay right here. There’s little or no to set controls and mechanics aside from the primary sport or some other farming simulator, actually, however that acquainted feeling does make the sport extremely simple for anybody to select up and play. Most of your time might be spent working the day away on the farm, and the requests on the bulletin board from the townsfolk and the to-do record Lumis offers you firstly of the sport imply you’re by no means wanting issues to do.

A helpful addition this time lets you invite Noby’s mates in your errands to assist out. As you progress, time on the farm could grow to be extra intense, and you’ll want to optimise and be as environment friendly as doable, so having an additional pair of palms round to assist out is usually a large assist. Moreover, the assistance of Noby’s mates with actions like Fishing and Mining, which grow to be fairly stale after just a few hours, add an additional little bit of taste. The AI works extremely nicely, and your companions will rapidly decide up whichever exercise they need to full. Head to the mines, and so they’ll carry a pickaxe and chip away, or they’re going to seize a watering can to assist domesticate the farmyard. In the event you do not need to depend on AI, the sport additionally comes geared up with a two-player system, the place your companion can take the position of Doraemon and assist decide up the slack across the farm.

Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom Review - Screenshot 3 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

However as charming as Noby and his mates are, there are various long-winded conversations and cutscenes to work via. No alternative to insert a witty apart or reiteration of the relationships between the characters is handed over, and whereas, at first, that is an entertaining option to carry the characters to life, anybody aware of Doraemon will really feel prefer it’s a large waste of helpful time. Even when trying to skip the tutorial, Lumis has loads to say to you, and Doraemon is not afraid to affix and bulk out the dialog. Simply as you suppose you have escaped the dialogue, one other cutscene will set off, and you may really feel like a feature-length movie has handed by the point you get to retake management.

One other gripe with the gameplay is the dearth of occasions or gadgets to gather throughout journey. One factor that helps stave off boredom whereas shifting from one location to the subsequent in various farming sims (like the unique Story of Seasons titles) is the number of foragables to gather alongside the way in which, which is one thing Pals of the Nice Kingdom lacks. There are just a few vegetation like Mugwort and Fern to gather round Quivering Peak, however they’re extremely few and much between. So regardless of the simple great thing about the map and the fixed exercise in different areas, the journey time between them slowly turns into a chore and feels fairly empty.

Along with this, the map is comparatively difficult to navigate from the start, and you must grow to be barely extra reliant in your reminiscence than on in-game navigation instruments. The paths on the minimap do not correspond to the format on the display screen, in order you discover Lluma, you will greater than probably find yourself aimlessly wandering round, searching for the right location. The extra time you spend within the sport, the extra acquainted you grow to be together with your environment, clearly, however for brand spanking new gamers, the infinite wandering will be fairly overwhelming and chips away on the sense of marvel it is best to have as you discover.

Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom Review - Screenshot 4 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

The primary sport was extremely praised for its charming watercolor-like landscapes and painterly look, which is maintained within the sequel. The complete map, down to every grain of wheat, appears to be like nice, tying collectively to create an exquisite location the place you may’t assist however get misplaced, though typically extra actually than we would like. Whereas it might not provide a lot to distinguish itself from the primary sport, there’s nonetheless one thing thrilling and new about taking up this journey and it is largely all the way down to that pretty artwork fashion.

Aiding the artwork, the soundtrack is simply as enjoyable as you’ll anticipate, by no means feeling repetitive or stagnant. Quite the opposite, the music is so peaceable which you can dedicate hours to crop progress, mining, and fishing with out realising how a lot time has handed. The sport is determined to captivate your consideration and finally it succeeds — and the soundtrack performs an enormous position. One second you will be watching the blossoms fall in Spring, and the subsequent, the bottom might be lined in snow, and you will be desperately scraping for some further gold in Winter.

Very like the primary sport, there’s nonetheless room for enchancment, then. However regardless of Pals of the Nice Kingdom’s failings, there’s sufficient attraction in its characters, presentation, and reliably acquainted gameplay to be worthy of investigation in case you like Doraemon, farm sims, or Doraemon farm sims.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that Doraemon Story of Seasons: Pals of the Nice Kingdom would not provide a lot to separate itself from the primary sport, there is no denying it’s a healthful bundle of farming enjoyable that also manages to carve out its personal id in comparison with different life and farming sims. Exterior of the cutscenes which drag on after which some, it by no means feels too repetitive — a problem a substantial variety of farming sims face due to the crop-based duties related to the style — and outdoors of navigation points with the map, it is welcoming to each new gamers of the style and nonetheless feels comparatively contemporary to those that are extremely aware of the Story of Seasons franchise. In the event you go into this sport anticipating an honest Doraemon farming sim, you will not be disenchanted.



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