Monday, June 27, 2016

Stardew Valley - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

You've inherited your grandfather's old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won't be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town's most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!
Previous Playtime

36 minutes

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

This one is easy, because I actually bought it just a couple of days ago and I remember my thought process clearly. "This game looks like a total Harvest Moon knock-off. But it's getting overwhelmingly positive reviews. Since I've loved every Harvest Moon game I've ever played (which is 6+), even the ones that aren't very good, a great Harvest Moon knock-off is sure to be right in my wheelhouse. But then again, I've been making really good progress lately in getting through my unplayed games list, do I really want to take a step backwards? Well, it's only one game and if it's half as good as people say it is, I should have no problem getting through it fast. Oh, all right, my birthday is coming up and it is on sale, it shouldn't be too much of a problem."

So, you know, it was the well-considered decision of a mature adult who is responsible with his money. Obviously.

Expectations And Prior Experience

As soon as I purchased this game, I took a brief break from Reus to fire it up and try and get a feel for what I was in for. The intro was the Harvest Moon-iest thing I've experienced since the last time I played Harvest Moon. I only played one day, but that one day was instantly familiar to me and followed the exact same pattern as every other Harvest Moon first day I've ever had.

I consider this a good thing.

I expect that I will gradually (or not so gradually) get sucked into the world of Starview Valley. Running a virtual farm is, in itself, addictive, and then there's dealing with villagers, going to festivals, and who knows what else. There are a lot of ways this formula can go wrong (see: certain recent Harvest Moon games), but I'm heartened by the near-universal positive buzz this game has received. If it is even half as good as people say it is, it will have the potential to become one of my all-time favorite games.

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