Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stardew Valley

Don't we all just want a relaxing farm?


Story

Stardew Valley (from now on simply referred to as Stardew) starts out with you, the player getting notified that you have inherited your grandfather’s property in Stardew, which happens to be a rundown plot with a ragged home and field full of rocks, weeds, and other junk. After being shown the property, you’re free to do as you wish, with very little story given to you, but it’s there.

You can either help Stardew become a flourishing community, or sell it out to a Cola company that wants to set up a factory. Besides that, the individuals in Stardew have a pit going on as well, and by befriending them, you can learn more about their plights.

Other than this though, you aren't given much direction, which can result in some confusion as to what you're supposed to be doing at all.

Graphics

Stardew is done in an 8-bit style, so graphically, it’s not impressive, per say, but has a cute, old school factor that has quite the charming feel. Despite having old school graphics, the designs are still well done; water has wave motions, and leaves flow through the wind in the fall, snow during the winter, and cherry blossoms in the spring.

Music & Voice

The music is some of the best done in these farm sim style games, with a relaxing melody that really gives life to the town of Stardew. Music changes from upbeat in the Spring, to almost melancholy in the Winter, making you feel as if the world around you is aware of its own death and rebirth.

There’s no voice acting, so nothing to really note there.

Controls

As this is an old school game, there isn’t much to the controls. You move, switch items, and use them. Using the control stick (in default) will have you run, but using the D-pad makes you walk (though this can be changed in the settings).

Achievements

If you're an achievement hunter, be prepared for hours of grinding. None of the achievements are particularly hard to obtain, but they require time, and lots of it. The achievements revolve around shipping X amount of items, shipping ALL items, making friends, and making money. The friends thing alone will require a bit of time, so if you're not ready to put AT LEAST 100 hours in to this game, either skip it (not advised), or don't worry about the achievements until later, because they will all come through natural progression (though I do suggest keeping track of what you've shipped (the game helps with this, but you should keep track too)).

Other

While you’ll spend most of the time farming or taking care of animals, don’t forget to head to the mines and, if you’re brave enough, venture to the deepest parts of them. You’ll find both valuable ores to craft stronger tools, as well as rare equipment to make dealing with monsters easier, and relics to donate to the local museum/library/day care (kidding, but not really).

There’s plenty of events to attend as well (almost all real life events are mirrored in Stardew (minus their religious significance), so be sure to attend the festivals and contests!!

There’s so much more than I can fit in a quick review, but if you’re a fan of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory, you’ll want to check out Stardew Valley, and if you get the physical copy (same price as digital, as of writing this), you’ll get a copy of the music in the game, so I suggest getting the physical copy if possible.