This was going to be a really short, kind of shitpost-y review similar to one of the ones I normally keep to tumblr, but then I just kept typing so holy shit! An actual full-length review from Ace for the first time in like a year! Don’t start expecting them to happen very often!
I’m still less than halfway through the first month, but this game is a good game. The gameplay is very reminiscent of the older Harvest Moon games, especially Back to Nature (though it does have that one-seed-per-bag thing I absolutely loathe), the art style is charming, and while it’s been a while since I’ve watched Doraemon, I dig it and the characters from Doraemon certainly are the characters from Doraemon. The only gadget I’ve really used so far is the Frog mat thing that keeps your stamina from draining for 2 real life minutes, and I really like that Frog mat thing that keeps your stamina from draining for 2 real life minutes. It’s handy for mining. The ability to take naps wherever and whenever is both really handy and a great bit of subtle characterization for Noby.
The biggest issue is the slow start. It takes an hour before you’re actually able to start farming, and if you don’t like Doraemon you’re not going to enjoy it. I don’t know how confused players unfamiliar with the series will be with who all the characters are, but I doubt they’d have too many problems. Big G is the bully Noby is inexplicably kinda friends with, Sneech is exactly the kind of little shit that would be called Sneech, Sue is a girl, and Doraemon is a robot cat from the future.
Unfortunately, the ability to take naps is the only real aspect of Noby’s manga/anime characterization as a somewhat lazy, hapless loser that comes across during the game. The rest of the time in the game he’s the same sort of inoffensively nice GeneriDude as pretty much every other BokuMono protagonist. He does get some good moments in the very first scene, which is him daydreaming about taking a nap, followed by complaining about having to think of a summer project, but since that’s followed by Way Too Long More Cutscene, it’s easy to forget about if you’re unfamiliar with the source material, as most Western players likely will be.
My only other issues are pretty much just nitpicks. Noby’s running is a bit odd. It feels kind of slidy and slow, though the animation itself does look like a little boy running, so that’s cool. Also, the constant white border on the edges of the screen can be a bit hard on the eyes sometimes.
Overall, though, the game is fun. None of the game original characters really stand out to me aside from Harmon and Sandy, but they’re all relatively inoffensive. I recommend checking it out, especially if you were fond of the pre-Hashimoto Harvest Moon games and would like a bit of a throwback, though I can understand if you’d prefer to wait for Friends of Mineral Town: Holy Shit We Finally Get to be Gay.