About a year ago, Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns brought more farm sim action to the 3DS, making several improvements on the original release and carrying on the spirit of Harvest Moon in a meaningful way. We absolutely loved the original release, but there was DLC released only in Japan shortly after launch that notably expanded the game, yet fans in the West were left out in the cold. The community spoke up about this, and its efforts convinced the development team to spring for localisation, creating the 'New Neighbors Pack'.
New Neighbors adds in a whole slew of new features, most notably by enabling characters Stephanie and Woofio to be marriage candidates. In addition to this, you can now have a child with Inari, view brand new events and dialogue, and acquire new clothing, with some outfits being from Rune Factory 4. At an asking price of $7.99, the question, then, is whether this new content justifies a return to the titular Trio of Towns.
To get one thing out of the way, this expansion isn’t of the kind that makes any major changes to the way that the game works. There’s nothing like a brand-new town or additional tools or farming options to add new ways to play, but rather, it adds a few more options to the existing content. It’s important to make note of this, as the contents of this DLC aren’t explicitly noticeable at first. In fact, if you wish to experience all of it, it’ll take multiple playthroughs. Even so, fans will no doubt find plenty to love here, as it does make help to add to the charm of this relaxing game.
The new events are fundamentally just cutscenes that help to build out the characters’ personalities and relationships through events that are out of the ordinary, but they do a great job of leaning into the whimsy and humor that makes the characters of Trio of Towns so engaging. Whether it be mining for rocks on a distant mountain or complimenting each other’s bodies in a hot spring, there’s plenty of funny and strange encounters that go a long way towards adding new dimensions to these characters, making them feel more like real people. Now, extended cutscenes like this may not be the element of choice for players who like focusing more on their farming than on socialising, but these new events are a lovely inclusion for those with the patience to sit through them.
The inclusion of Woofio and Stephanie as marriage candidates is a welcome addition, as they had both seemed to be interesting characters in their pre-patch forms. Though it may seem a bit goofy to date a man who never removes his dog costume, Woofio proves to be a surprisingly tragic character, and an interesting marriage partner due to the mystery surrounding his character. Stephanie is a little more traditional, although she’s extremely sweet and has a heartwarming story of how she came to be an MC. To be fair, the inclusion of these two characters as marriage candidates will only affect a relatively small percentage of the playerbase, but their writing makes it evident that the developers didn’t just phone in these characters so there’d be more content to pad out an expansion.
The same is true for the rest of the content, like the new lines, clothing, and Inari’s child; it’s clear that much care was put into making content that’s tailor made for the fans. Whether you’re traipsing around town dressed like Lest or retrieving a baby that’s born from a tree, there’s a certain gleeful freedom to things that will no doubt prove to be highly appealing to those who’ve already invested dozens or even hundreds of hours into the core campaign.
One minor complaint that bears mentioning, however, is that it takes a bit of time to actually encounter the new content. There’s very little DLC content viewable if you’re still in the early parts of the game, so it’ll take a bit of time before you get the chance to regularly converse with Woofio, for example. It’s a bit disappointing if you’re hoping to get into it all at once, but it makes sense from a narrative consistency standpoint.
Ultimately, we’d give New Neighbors a recommendation; it adds some cool and interesting social options and experiences that expand on the base game in ways that will prove to be quite satisfying to fans. It’s a little weird that you aren’t given access to all of the content right from the off, but that slow drip just helps to immerse you that much more in the surprisingly meaty base game. This is a great love letter to fans and a reassuring example of the power of community involvement; if you consider yourself a fan of Trio of Towns, then the New Neighbors DLC should be a no-brainer.
So what do you make of this new DLC for Story Of Seasons? Is it enough to tempt you back? Let us know in the comments below...