Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, the Nintendo Switch and PC remake of the Game Boy Advance classic Bokujou Monogatari game, isn’t a straightforward return to form. It builds upon the foundation. While some of that involves some streamlining and modern conveniences, others have the potential to influence your daily life and relationships. Brandon and Jennifer are introduced as the new Friends of Mineral Town love interests, and each one fills holes people might not have realized existed in the game.
To start, the Story of Seasons series has always been about people leaving to pursue a new, more peaceful life in a rural, country environment. In many games, our avatars are the only one doing so. Friends of Mineral Town (and games with Cliff and Kai in them) was a little different, because we did have people who also “left” for this new kind of life. Kai visits in the summer to get away, and Cliff took off to find a new path.
The new Friends of Mineral Town love interests both did like our protagonist and went for a new life. Jennifer to get in touch with nature (and perhaps the mystical), while Brandon is there for his art. It only figures more people would want a chance to escape. Both of them give us that other side and alternative.
They also give us alternate reasons someone might head to a country town. Jennifer is using it as an escape and a means to connect. She had a privileged life, but it was one in a city with perhaps everything handed to her. It was one where people might not have understood someone who had an idea that okay, maybe there are supernatural elements in a world where… well, you can see a goddess and kappa every day or get help from sprites.
Meanwhile, Brandon gives us a Friends of Mineral Town love interest who is an artist. We’ve seen bachelors who are creative before, like Angelo in Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar. But here, we have a different side. We have an artist who handles woodworking and who really gets caught up in his craft. He’s someone dedicated and a little eccentric, and gives us someone consumed by their passion.
It also means we get two Friends of Mineral Town love interests who don’t behave like the other characters we had chances to date and marry. Brandon is a bit in his own world and, while he has something of a pretentious air, he can be considerate and the player’s presence helps him connect more and occasionally come up for air while he’s drowning in work. Jennifer, on the other hand, is someone who seems to “get” that this is a world with different, mystical rules compared to our own. We see her helping people around her and appreciating nature in a way that we also might after getting a thousand dollars out of gathering flowers and various grasses on the mountain.
Both Brandon and Jennifer help and enhance the Story of Seasons experience in multiple ways. Both of them act as Cliff, Kai, and our own avatar do, by giving us additional people who looked for a calmer lifestyle. They represent different reasons folks might turn toward a rural lifestyle. They have personality types we haven’t seen among Friends of Mineral Town love interests before. They just fit, and that’s a welcome change for a comforting game.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is available for the Nintendo Switch and PC.