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Story Of Seasons: A Wonderful Life Remake - What We Know So Far

While the announcement of the long awaited "Breath of the Wild" sequel "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" took the highlight of the Sept. 13, 2022 Nintendo Direct, fans couldn't help but notice (per Sportskeeda) that the rest of the announcement was conspicuously taken over by a single genre: farming simulators. With a whopping total of four new farming simulators announced for the Switch in one Direct, it seems we're entering a new golden era of cozy farming games.

Included in the four new entries is "Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life," a full remake of the GameCube classic known in North America as "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life." This will be the second remake bringing an older classic back under the original "Story of Seasons" franchise name in the English-speaking market after Natsume — the company who originally handled the series' localizations — split off with the "Harvest Moon" copyright earlier in 2014 (via Polygon). The first remake, "Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town," received "generally favorable" Metacritic reviews and set a high bar for "A Wonderful Life" to keep up the franchise's momentum — especially when it has three other high-profile competitors to contend with. Here's everything we know so far about "Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life."

What is the release date for Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life?

So far, the only listed release date for "A Wonderful Life" is sometime in Summer 2023. As this could mean anytime between May and August, fans might be in for a bit of a wait to get their hands on this classic remake. However, farming simulator enthusiasts will have plenty of fantasy farming goodness to get them through the wait. As mentioned above, the recent Nintendo Direct announced four major releases, two of which are scheduled to release before "A Wonderful Life." "Harvestella," Square Enix's first foray into the genre, is slated to launch on Nov. 4, 2022 and currently has a free demo available for download. "Fae Farm," another new franchise making a debut on the fantasy agricultural scene, will be releasing sometime in Spring 2023 (via DBLTAP) — perfect timing for fans to sink their teeth into after getting their fill of "Harvestella."

Is there a trailer for Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life?

The announcement trailer runs at a minute and a half and can be viewed on either the official Nintendo Youtube channel or the official website for "A Wonderful Life" alongside a more detailed overview on what's in store. It seems that the new game will be a faithful remake of the original "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life" in terms of story, featuring the classic cast of Forgotten Valley residents. While the official website states that there will be "plenty of new events, enhanced festivals, more recipes to cook, and a cornucopia of never-before-seen crops," it seems the core gameplay will also remain unchanged. In the trailer, the player is shown farming, caring for livestock, fishing, and befriending residents of the town in the new HD render style.

It also seems that the remake will retain one major game mechanic that set the original apart from the rest of the franchise: aging. According to IGN's user-submitted walkthrough for the original "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life," the player had six chapters — 10 in-game years — to successfully establish a farm, get married, have a child, and raise that child to young adulthood before dying of old age. Similarly, the end of the announcement trailer for "Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life" featured the player character and child aging alongside the other residents of the town, though it's unclear whether the remake will feature any of the original "game over" scenarios involving marriage.

What will the gameplay be like in Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life?

While the core mechanics and gameplay will follow along with the original, there is one major way the remake will be different. The official website confirms that, unlike previous "Story of Seasons" titles, the player will be able to play as a non-binary character. This will be in addition to the ability to marry any eligible bachelor or bachelorette regardless of gender, and fans have been celebrating the over news since the announcement. Additionally, it won't be the only new farming sim to include this option — apparently, "Harvestella" also allows the player to choose between male, female, and nonbinary with no customization options locked behind any gender (via FanByte). 

An interesting thing to note is that, although "Story of Seasons" took a while to catch up to "Stardew Valley" in terms of marriage equality — the first game in the franchise to explicitly allow same-sex marriage being the western localization of "Friends of Mineral Town" in 2019 — it has now overtaken the 2016 indie smash-hit in terms of freedom of gender expression (per GamesRadar+). However, regardless of who did what first, it seems longtime "Harvest Moon" and "Story of Seasons" fans are finally getting what they've been wanting for years — hopefully, this is the start of a greater trend towards inclusivity in the franchise as well as in the farm sim genre as a whole.