Review: Farming Simulator 2018 (Vita)

So, I hate to admit it, but I actually liked this game.  Guilty Pleasure 2018 sounds more appropriate to how I felt about this game, after some time anyways.  Anyone who caught me at the right time thought I was absolutely raging, and I was.

So what’s Farming Simulator about?  Farming, duh, but to what degree, you ask?  Well, you cultivate fields for different items, like canola and corn, then sell said items for money or use it to feed livestock.  Outside of the concept, the actual gameplay will have you driving various vehicles, either pushing or pulling attachments to transport items, tend to your fields, or just to generally get around.  You’re never on your feet doing anything, which is honestly fine.  One nice aspect, which I feel is absolutely necessary, is being able to delegate work, i.e. if you have a tractor with the correct attachment, you can approach a field, press the down button, and have the A.I. take control and do the work for you.  For a fee of course.  Then you can just switch to another available vehicle, and get other work done.  You can also bring up a map, and assign other general actions to vehicles as you wish.

Now, the game only has one real flaw in my eyes.  One huge, glaring problem that can’t avoided just from the playing the game itself, at least for someone like me who has never touched the series before.  The learning curve.  There is an option to turn on hints, but most of the time, it tells you what you need to know after you’ve figured it out, or you just have to stumble across it randomly.  Grass needs to be cut to make hay.  Got it, was told this when I tried to go across it with the harvester.  None of my attachments were cutting it.  I pulled up the store menu, and there’s a section called ‘mowers,’ which is exactly what you think it is.  You buy one, and mow the grass.   Now what?  You need a tedder (another purchase) to dry the grass out before it can be made into hay, then you need a baler (more money) to turn the hay into bales.  THEN you need to either buy a lift attachment and a trailer specifically for hay bales, or spend a little more money for a combine that lifts the bales of hay into a bed that it is attached to.  These are absolutely frustrating moments to deal with, when you come across them for the first time.

The game is very infuriating.  I wasted so many crops because I needed specific tools, and didn’t know what I did until I started looking into the recesses of the game.  But the weird thing is, once you deal with these, everything falls into place.  The world opens up, you find more things you can do and get frustrated by, and you realize that you actually have an open world (albeit fairly small) and you can get a bit creative in how you take care of business. It’s EXTREMELY gratifying.  Kinda like doing a hard day’s work, and seeing everything pay off in the end.  Just remember, the massive exclamation point that pops up deserves respect, and should not be yelled at every single time it appears.

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