Farming Simulator 3DS Review
I was given the privelege of joining the ranks of the Farming Elite when I was given the chance to review Farming Simulator for the PS3. Overall, I enjoyed the experience, but noted a lot of oddities, such as the ability to take your combine off into town, yet have it completely unable to interact outside of crops, as I parked it square on top of a pitched tent. I also felt lost, given the fact that they just kind of throw you into the game with no clue of what to do. I know this game had received a huge following, but primarily on the PC, where there was ease in creating videos that went viral, whether it be for the authenticity, mundaneness, or overdubbing of music that wasn't exactly found on your average farm. The PS3 version did not have any of these features readily available, and had to rely on the original pedigree.
When I received my review copy for 3DS, I was a bit worried about how the game would translate. Graphically, the game never pushed the limits of PS3, but was still not something I would expect easily pulled off on the 3DS. I also knew that all of the needs of the game, such as monitoring crops, would be a lot of pressure on the 3DS. But I also knew that the game has a lot of time-sensitive items. While tedious on the PS3 and on my main television, I felt that maybe a portable edition would allow some of the tedium to be relieved, as I expect more intense action on a big screen, and the core game is more a phone-style sim management.
While the graphics for Farm Simulator took a hit, it was not a terribly huge one. For a handheld 3D title, it looks good enough. One of the things they took out of the game actually improved the scenario for me. In the console edition, you got out of your truck, and it felt a little like Farmer Doom as you ran around, FPS style, walking from vehicle to vehicle. They also threw in a bit of a tutorial I don't remember having the privelege of seeing on the PS3. The first run of your field has a creepy looking farmer dude telling you precisely what to do. Whether you can on consoles or not, I also learned how to put some of your vehicles on autopilot. The autopilot isn't terribly smart: if you park an attachment too close to a field and the plow feels it needs to turn around at that PRECISE SPOT, your whole job will back up as you find everyone in a chain line waiting for an immobile plow to kindly step aside, but if you keep your pieces organized, this doesn't become a problem.
The second screen really helps a lot. You get thrown objectives, and you can choose to drop everything and complete them, or keep on farmin'. When an objective is selected, a GPS pops up, giving you direct access to information you need. It was, in fact, these simplifications of the game strategy that actually made it more enjoyable.
If you saw the Farming Boom hit PC and wondered which console edition to get, I'd honestly lean toward this one. The 3DS allows the "grab 'n' go" gameplay that the title so desperately needs, where you can look away for a bit instead of sit on your couch and stare at your TV as your devices ever so slowly plow the field. It may not be as shiny as it's home console counterparts, but you can't beat the simplicity of the portable farming experience. Boiled down, this management game becomes more of a puzzle, how to keep all your plates spinning at once. You won't find a gripping storyline, nor buckets of blood to draw you in. If you enjoy a sim management title, this one may be rough around the edges, but it will provide you with a good amount of solid management adventure. It's recently seen a $10 price drop on Amazon as well, so if you were on the fence, it's time to strap on your overalls.
3 out of 5
Thanks to Focus for providing a code for review!