Feature: Should You Buy Harvest Moon: One World, Or Story Of Seasons: Pioneers Of Olive Town?

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SOS:POOT Vs HM:OW

Right, farming fans and friends: let’s get it out of the way. Harvest Moon is not Harvest Moon. The series known as Bokujo Monogatari in Japan was translated as “Harvest Moon” when it came out back in 1997, and that title stuck with the series until 2013, when Natsume – the Western publisher of the Harvest Moon games – lost the rights. However, they kept the rights to the name, and have been churning out deeply disappointing, sub-par games ever since.

The real Harvest Moon games are now called “Story of Seasons” in the West, and if you’re looking for a continuation of the farming series that you loved as a kid, that’s where you need to direct your attention.

This month, we got one of each: Harvest Moon: One World and Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. You might be on the fence about which one to buy, or you might not have even realised that there was a choice.

Our poor reviewer played both (read the SoS:PoOT review here, and the HM:OW review here), and that means we can now tell you for certain which one is better – and what better way to do that than with a direct comparison over a few important categories! YEAH! SCIENCE!

Yeah, we named our first rabbit "Abunny". We don't get paid more for creativity, you know.
Yeah, we named our first rabbit “Abunny”. We don’t get paid more for creativity, you know.

Character Creation and Customisation

Everyone wants to leave their own stamp on the world, and farming games have long been a fantastic place to do so. Why not kick things off with the very start of the games?

Harvest Moon: One World

Character Creation

Harvest Moon’s customisation is, erm, well… it’s not good. Six skin tones, six hair colours, and six eye colours – and that’s it. You can’t even change your outfit until really late in the game’s plot. Your farmer’s face will always look the same, no matter what.

As for customising your house, it might even be worse than the character creator. You seem to unlock recipes for changing the look of your preset furniture, but you seemingly can’t change the location of the furniture, or put new furniture in.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

Character Creation

Story of Seasons has a surprisingly varied character creator, with lots of hair colours, eye colours, skin tones, and even the ability to have two different coloured eyes. Players can also choose a masculine or feminine voice, stance, and clothing, no matter what their gender. What’s more, you can change your look at any time – all of it, even the voice – at the salon that you unlock pretty early on.

There are quite a few outfits on offer, which unlock as you progress in the game – although they all come with a price in both money and materials, some rarer than others. Characters can also wear glasses and hats, but be warned that the hats are, for whatever reason, really big and a bit ugly.

The house that you get has a designated, limited area for placing furniture, which increases as you upgrade the house, but never seems to include the entire house, which is odd. The range of furniture, decor, and lighting is varied, but we haven’t seen any options for changing wallpaper or flooring, sadly, and you can’t move the furniture that’s already there.

WINNER: Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town!

It’s not even a contest – Harvest Moon: One World’s customisation sucks. The fact that the six available hair colours are brown, brown, black, yellow, lavender, and green should alert you to the fact that Natsume has no idea how to make a compelling character creator. Story of Seasons has its limits – especially when it comes to house decoration – but it’s miles better than the paltry offerings of HM:OW.


Thank goodness. We've been saying these lamps are ugly for MONTHS.
Thank goodness. We’ve been saying these lamps are ugly for MONTHS.

DLC

Ah, remember the days when games came fully loaded with all the content you could ever want? Well, those days are over – but DLC can still offer tempting surprises to players who don’t mind shelling out a little more dosh.

Harvest Moon: One World

DLC

One World’s DLC costs £13.49 for the Season Pass, or £53.48 for the game plus the Season Pass. It includes four DLCs, two of which are already out, one releasing on the 13th April, and one releasing on 4th May.

Two of these DLC packs are new animals, with cats, dogs, and horses in the “Precious Pets” pack, and green tigers, parrots, lava rabbits, a bear, and a yeti of some kind in the “Mythical Wild Animals” pack (are bears mythical now?).

One of the DLC packs will add a new level of tool upgrades and a lot of new themed furniture for your house, and the largest DLC pack is the “Far East Adventure”, which adds a new location and story, new crops and animals, and two new dateable characters, Shogen and Sana.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

DLC

Story of Seasons’ DLC is a bit pricier, for £17.99/$19.99, although you can also buy the bundle for £62.99/$69.99 total. There was a 10% discount on the bundle, but that was for pre-orders only; the standalone Expansion Pass will have a 15% early bird discount until the 12th April.

However, it includes a little more than the Harvest Moon Season Pass, with three outfit sets available on launch, two new “sub-scenarios”, three outfit sets for both your character and their marriage candidate, and a pretty beefy selection of three story expansion packs, all of which add a new area, and two new marriage candidates each.

The DLC will release much slower than the Harvest Moon: One World timeline, with one “Part” per month all the way from April to August.

There are also a few extras that don’t come in the bundle: the Fox Costume and Buffalo Costumes, which were available as a pre-order bonus, but can be bought separately, and “Neil’s Jacket”, referencing grumpy boy Neil from Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning, which has to be bought separately. All of these outfits cost £1.79 each.

WINNER: Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town!

For just a few bucks/quid extra, Story of Seasons adds a pretty hefty amount of new content. You could argue that the extra areas should have been in the game at the start, and we don’t disagree – but it’s still a vastly better deal than Harvest Moon offers.

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