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- Stardew Valley
When I look back at 2016, I can't think of a game that surprised me more than Stardew Valley. Maybe it was that I hadn't played a farming simulation in a long time, or perhaps because there wasn't much else I was interested in back in February. Whatever the case, I fell in love within 30 minutes of touching the game, resulting in me logging more than 4 hours within just two weeks.
Stardew Valley's ability to enchant those who play it is something that over 1. million PC gamers have personally experienced. Created by a single developer by the name of Eric Barone, this is a game that has made a hugely positive impact on 2016's gaming catalog. And although technically speaking only a small subset of gamers have previously been able to enjoy it due to its PC exclusivity, the barrier of entry is being removed this week with its arrival on current generation consoles.
Stardew Valley's PS4 and Xbox One versions are direct ports from PC. Due to this, all the game's original content is included, ranging from farming to social activities, mining, and even fishing. Recent updates are even being included in the base package to make certain that the first impression that it makes is as good as it could be. No compromises have been made when it comes to features, and that's a great thing.
The only real difference is that while on the PC version you can choose to play on keyboard & mouse or with a controller, on PS4 and Xbox One you only have access to the latter. This is both a gift and a curse. On one hand, Stardew Valley is a mellow game that bodes well for the couch-borne. On the other hand, the interactions you make on a minte-to-minute basis within its 2D world can often times be unreliable on a controller.
These controller-derived gameplay hiccups are mostly predicated on directional item placement. You will often find yourself trying to plant seeds in a certain direction respective to your character, or just giving a gift to a friend of yours. During these otherwise simple exchanges, controller input can falter leading to frustrating mistakes. Additionally, UI and inventory management are much slower and cumberson when using a controller, although their implementation is fine.
Outside of these two instances, Stardew Valley's console versions are everything you could hope for. The game runs as smooth as butter with 60 FPS on both versions. This is to be expected from a sprite-based game on PS4 and Xbox One, but there's something to be said about the art-style. This is a visually charismatic game that presents itself extremely well on the big screen, and will make you second-guess just how much you like realistic graphics.
Inspired by the likes of Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley is a game that we have expressed support for since release, and that hasn't changed. It's alluring for gamers of all kinds, from females to children. It packs surprisingly high play value, and is offered at a consumer-friendly price.
In a nutshell, you're better off playing this game on PC for keyboard & mouse as well as mod support. But if that isn't an option for you, then Stardew Valley's debut on PS4 and Xbox One this week is a huge win for you. Just don't get too addicted and forget to celebrate
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