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"Ranch Story: Olive Town and the Land of Hope" graphic review

Jiang Lang’s talent has run out, which is probably the most suitable word to describe the current situation of the “Ranch Story” series in my opinion. Especially after the last work of NDS, “Twin Towns”, “Ranch Story” has lost the spirituality that allows players to understand the characteristics and general gameplay of this work just by looking at the name.

Including this generation of “Olive Town”, it still cannot be associated with olives in terms of form or meaning, and the name is somewhat casual

The gameplay of “Sanlitun” on 3DS is a masterpiece, but there is little creativity. The other two games did not leave a deep impression on me. On NS, “Nobita’s Pasture Story” even deleted the core marriage and love system of the series. After the gameplay was relatively mature and the creativity was exhausted, the “Pasture Story” series has embarked on the road of “patching up for another three years”.

The relatively closed game market and ecological environment in Japan have also allowed the “Ranch Story” series to be gradually surpassed by later imitators such as “Stardew Valley” and ” Portia Time ” in terms of sales and reputation.

As the first orthodox sequel to the “Ranch Story” series on the NS platform, “Ranch Story: Olive Town and the Land of Hope” can be said to carry the hopes of many ranch fans. We hope that this 25-year-old old IP can shine on the NS platform, instead of being endless cold rice.

First, let me talk about my experience of playing in the past two days. As an old fan, “Olive Town” really makes me feel that it is seeking change.

Sir, the ranch has changed

Don’t worry, it won’t be completely unfamiliar.

Whether inheriting grandpa’s ranch or coming to a small town from a city full of steel and bones, becoming a familiar beginning of a rancher.

Still getting up every morning, watering, holding chickens, brushing horses and cows, milking, fishing and mining in leisure time, and giving gifts to girls in the town. Pick up your daily energy and continue your “leisure” routine.

There are also animals that are still very interesting from 2D pixels to 3D modeling, and a mysterious village similar to the system where the little elves work in “Mineral Town”.

At least veteran players who have played any previous generation come to “Olive Town” without any novice guidance. The instinct of a natural laborer can drive you to pick up hammers and axes to cut through thorns, and pick up hoes and kettles to cultivate wasteland.

The high degree of freedom in automated production and pasture customization has become the biggest feature that distinguishes “Olive Town” from its predecessors.

With various advanced technologies, you can be liberated from repetitive and tedious labor. For players who only want to feel the joy of sowing and harvesting, automatic sprinklers can definitely save you a lot of trouble.

Milk can be made into yogurt in a processing machine, eggs can be processed into mayonnaise, weeds can be processed into silk thread by machines, ores can be processed into concentrates, logs can be processed into wood, and most of the materials in the game do not need to be handmade. They can be completed with one click in various processing machines.

Looking at many processing machines lined up in a row, it does give people a sense of happiness that they are about to leave the small-scale agricultural economy.

The pasture of “Olive Town” was very barren at the beginning, and it could even be said to be a huge primitive forest at first sight.

This also means that the ranch can be renovated and expanded in a very large area, with a high degree of freedom. The game does not limit the number and location of farmland and animal huts. Every piece of land in the ranch can be cultivated or grazed. You can adjust your agricultural structure according to your own preferences.

Many materials can be further processed into building props such as roads, fences, walls, and doors. By using these props, one can make their pasture more colorful and in line with their preferences. This also brings about issues such as how to cultivate farmland and how to place wells more efficiently. The high degree of freedom brings about the expansion of the “Olive Town” strategy and makes the game more realistic.

Finally created my own ranch, it’s not enough to just admire myself. “Olive Town” has also added a photo mode and online gameplay that keeps up with the times.

You can slightly shift the perspective, but “Olive Town” is essentially a game with a fixed perspective. However, after picking up the camera, you will enter a first-person mode where you can move freely. You can quietly approach the wild animals that come to your ranch, take pictures of them and collect them in the museum, or capture the cute or funny moments of the townspeople.

Okay, I admit that all the cameras of this cat slave are used to take pictures of their own cats at home

After enabling the online mode, you can also see photos taken by other players during the reading process.

It has to be said that there are also many enthusiasts who are obsessed with ranching. I can only strongly condemn this behavior: ‘One more picture’.

After registering for the trip at the tourist dock, there will often be NPCs transformed by other players visiting your town. If you become friends with each other and open the ranch, you can also visit your respective ranches.

If you have played “Stardew Valley” or “Animal Crossing”, you should not be unfamiliar with the unique gameplay of “Olive Town”, and you can even find a one-to-one correspondence. However, as a senior, “Ranch Story” can put down its airs and reserve in “Olive Town”, learn from the excellent designs of the younger games that once targeted itself, and this niche ranch management game can also provide players with a guarantee of freshness.

In fact, after adding these new gameplay, if I were to evaluate from a player’s perspective, “Olive Town” can also be said to be the most surprising “Ranch Story” in recent years.

Adult, your XP can also be customized now.

Speaking of it, it’s a bit embarrassing. After playing so many works of Ranch Story, I have already made friends and formed new families in “various stages of my life”. But at least I still remember meeting Bai Buli, a naive girl in Mineral Town who would be very happy every day by giving her a scrambled egg or an apple picked up from the ground. There are also tomboys who raise horses in Gemini Town, and Lazbelle who only wants a bowl of egg fried rice every day.

Reunited Mineral Town changed the character design, it really doesn’t have any flavor

The townspeople take on not only the NPC function of opening a store, but also the teachers, friends, and family who accompany you to complete this second life. This is also the part that many fans most recognize in the “Ranch Story” series.

Olive Town is not lacking in this aspect. There are a total of 37 characters in the game who can develop relationships, and most families are composed of a family of four with a father, mother, and two children.

The town is not big, and it is easy to remember the role of facilities and associate them with these roles

Basically, the recognition of each character is pretty good. It’s not just the color of their hair or the black and white of their skin that makes people distinguish who is who.

As an old JRPG player, the first step for me to make friends with townspeople is usually to go to their homes and rummage through their bedrooms to see what I can find.

From the details of the room layout, I also saw the personalities and memorable points of many townspeople in “Olive Town”.

For example, Ai Meishi lives alone in a small palace on the west side of the town. As a foodie, his goal is to taste all the delicious food in the world. Almost all of the luxurious living rooms in his home are related to food elements.

But if you come to his bedroom, you will also find that he is thrifty in other aspects, even patching up the quilt, which makes people exclaim that this is the true gourmet.

There is also Lena in the museum who is responsible for appraising various props for you. When you first meet her, her off-shoulder outfit, mini skirt, and over-the-knee boots have a very spicy and eye-catching personality.

After a little contact, I found that beneath her unapproachable surface, she has a kind and independent heart. She can analyze antiques and excavations with ease and has a wide range of knowledge. It is also because of her contrasting cuteness that I have decided to walk with her in this life.

You can give gifts to the townspeople or have daily conversations to increase their favorability. Each time the favorability increases by one star, an event will be triggered. As the favorability increases, there will also be special events such as confession, engagement, and marriage on the wedding waiting list. This is also an old tradition of the “Ranch Story” series.

However, when creating male and female characters, it is possible to create characters with female or male-female appearances, which also gives me a vague feeling that this work should weaken the boundaries of gender.

The fact that marriage does not require binding between men and women confirms my speculation that there will still be events and ways of raising children after marriage. I wonder how men and women will arrange this way of playing.

To be honest, who doesn’t want to watch pretty girl stickers?

Adult, the only thing that hasn’t changed is the technical ability of the Japanese factory and the original intention of “Ranch Story”

Just finished praising the “Olive Town” characters, I have to pour cold water on them again. In the game, each character has a corresponding illustration, but only the dialog box and text are displayed during dialogue. Due to angle issues, the characters’ faces are often not visible, which is somewhat amusing.

I don’t think it’s difficult to judge the reason, it’s just to save money.

Because there is only one character illustration for each character, it is impossible to use specific expressions to show joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness. It is not conducive to immersion to make players look expressionless throughout the entire process. Therefore, the production team chose not to display it at all.

In contrast, the remastered version of Mineral Town is much more conscientious, with characters with expressions and illustrations, and there will be a heart next to the name of the candidate for marriage

If Olive Town were really like this, I wouldn’t have to increase Beth’s favorability to one heart and then watch her show affection with other men in the incident

The bigger problem with “Olive Town” is the optimization of the game, which is not as good as a “casual game” with a fixed perspective released in 2021.

Ranch and town, town map and all kinds of shops need to read the map loading between , such as the map is relatively large, the former often needs more than 20 seconds of loading time, if you go out from the ranch suddenly found that you forgot to bring something to go back to get, then this reading brought by the idle, should also be enough for you to pick up the phone to read a not long nor short news.

With the increase in the number of farmland, animals, and machines in the pasture, the problem of a sharp drop in frame number that greatly affects the gaming experience has gradually emerged. This problem was actually very obvious in the preview of “Olive Town” before its release. It is unexpected that the finished game has almost no improvement.

This is also a common problem of poor technical ability in Japanese factories. I originally wanted to seize this point and criticize it desperately, but later I also came to terms with it.

It’s the kind of feeling hopeless and open-minded

Overall, “Ranch Story: Olive Town and the Land of Hope” is an enterprising and retro ranch story with many regrets. In the player communication area such as Tieba, there has been a lot of controversy about the gameplay, optimization, and balance of the six elements of planting, gathering, animal husbandry, fishing, mining, and socializing (the income from planting vegetables in the early stage is much lower than that from mining and fishing).

Its evaluation can only be described as mixed.

The first festival of spring, the Egg Festival, doesn’t even have small games. After watching a CG, it ends

However, we can think more simply about its evaluation.

The original intention of the “Ranch Story” series is to allow every person living in the fast-paced modern society to appreciate the beautiful pastoral scenery. They can put aside their busy work and studies, stroll in the farmland or orchard they cultivate, and get close to the animals they raise…

As for whether “Olive Town” has kept its original intention, at least on this point, I hold a positive attitude.

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