On November 4th, 2022 Square Enix released a new Farm Sim / JRPG Hybrid in the form of Harvestella. A game that's been advertised as allowing you to farm to your heart's content, raise animals, with an in game clock and time/day system. While also allowing you to freely enjoy the games' deep narrative, exciting characters, build your own party, and unlock new jobs to diversify your exploration experience. But how well does it achieve this? Many games that set out to try to bridge the gap between Farm Sim and JRPG fall flat in one element or another. Does the combat suffer and become cumbersome like it does with RuneFactory 5? Is the story non-existence and instead are just character arcs similarly to Stardew Valley? Let me take you into it.
A quick note before we dive into the nitty gritty. I want to extend an apology to my loyal readers who have been anxiously awaiting this review. I noted back in October that this would be my next project. I also mentioned I wouldn't review it until I had completed the game. It took some time due to NaNoWriMo, Holidays, and mental health breaks, but we are finally here! If you've been waiting all this time please accept my apologies for making you wait!
Due to the size of this game and how many thoughts I want to share I'm going to break this review up into 2 categories. The 1st will be the fast and quick version. I won't go into too much detail and will just get to the point while keeping my opinion minimal. The 2nd part will be expanded on in much greater detail. So please read whichever one fits your time! Additionally, while I won't divulge massive spoilers for plot, I will be discussing farm and combat for the early and late game which could have some spoilers. If you don't want many or as little as possible please be careful!
Here is the breakdown
You're a traveler who falls unconscious during the worlds plague "Quietus". After being saved by the local doctor you're left on the old abandoned farm which the mayor suggests you use to help and get yourself back on your feet. Before long a meteor falls and you're soon housing another girl as mysterious as you are. And before you know it she's off to investigate the Seaslights alone and you give chase to help this mysterious girl who claims to be from the future.
To keep this section short and sweet the gameplay loop is basically farm, cook and craft, explore, side/character quests, story quests, dungeons, repeat. There is a lot of depth in the way story progression, side/character quests progress, and even the seasons themselves change and work. Plenty to keep yourself busy with once you hit chapter 3 too. The game rewards you greatly for visiting and investigating the 3 to other seaslights and you will want those rewards.
How Does it Compare
Harvestella compares the closest to Rune Factory or, from a farming perspective, a simpler Stardew Valley with a dash of My Time at Portia. Farming is very straight forward and Harvestella uses a 30/31 day calendar system and a night to day system as well. But there are no special events for birthday or holidays. It follows the conventional rules of be in bed by 2am, albeit with a few minor tweaks to how that looks and works.
Good and Bad
For a deeper look into the lists above, please see the detailed section below.
For me this game was fantastic! I am someone who enjoys JRPGs and my cozy games and this did a wonderful blend of taking the best parts of both genres and melding them fluidly into one. RuneFactory always left me disgruntled about its combat system and Stardew always felt empty after awhile because there is no narrative going on.
Harvestella on the other hand was such a wonderful blend of these two genres it kept me hooked until the very end.
There is a free demo available on the Nintendo eShop. It also available on Steam.
Detail Version (with possible minor spoilers)
You wake up in a small village called Lethe during the current events of Quietus. A global plague that occurs inbetween every season where strange grey light particles fill the air killing off all plant life. All people are advised to not leave their home during the event due to the sickness it can cause which turns from no symptoms to death very quickly. After being rescued and given a home in the old abandoned farm you are swept up into another strange event wherein a meteor crashes into the northern part of town. After exploring you discover a girl inside the meteor and you take her back to your farm for her to rest. At the same time the Order from Argene have arrived telling all citizens to refrain from using the monolite, a magic crystal, as it may be linked to the events of the meteor fall. In every region lies a massive crystal called the "Seaslight" and at this time everyone is forbidden from going near it. However, the girl from the Meteor insists on investigating them as she recognizes the fall seaslight as "the Red Queen" from her time and before you know it she is already gone. And from here on the story picks up for quite a wild ride.
Aside from that big story premise up above the standard gameplay loop will be. Wake up, craft or cook, farm, and explore dungeons. Whether its exploring a short map between two regions or the much bigger and larger dungeons. There's plenty to explore and you'll want to make it a priority as when the seasons change Lethe won't always get every crop available to you.
As you continue the story of investigating the seaslight, completing the dungeon and boss, you're always rewarded with a magical faerie that comes to your farm. They bring about a lot of added benefits and the faeries are how you will enhance your faming skills! Tired of plowing 1 square at a time? Do tasks from the fire faerie! Want to smash big boulders? Do tasks from the earth faerie! Wish you could plant or harvest more than 1 square at time? Do tasks from the wind faerie! Each of these simple requests have a way of rewarding you. Whether it upgrading the quality of your farm, which increases the chances of you producing HQ items. Or upgrading your skills to plow 1 to 3 to 9 squares. Or plant 3 seeds. Or harvest 24 squares all at once. Beside just upgrading your skills, improving the farm, or decreasing stamina cost. You can also be rewarded with new crafting recipes and trust me, you're going to want Sprinkler level 1 AND level 2.
Once you hit Chapter 3 side quests and character quests become available. As you explore the world and go to new places and meet new people you will have the ability to take on side quests. In JRPGs these are often simple fetch quests, or things to fill the time. In Harvestella there are roughly 8-9 side quests in each of the main cities and each one was given a lot of care and excellence! The stories are crafted with care and I found myself immersed in each one! They often expand what local life is like in these areas while letting you meet a wonderful cast of NPCs in the form of short story content.
Throughout dungeons and explorable locations you'll also discover broken down usable things. Whether its bridges in need of repair, mending a ladder, blowing away debris, etc you'll need to use time, and kits to get this squared away. They a nice little extra for those who enjoy exploration or making short cuts!
There is also a really enjoyable, but straight forward, job system! Continue to the story if you want to unlock more jobs! While some are based on traditional Final Fantasy or fantasy classes others are completely original. You start out as a fighter and quickly unlock mage. But from there you could find you way into a Shadow Assassin or perhaps a Pilgrim. A pilgrim is a magic based job that creates weapons out of light and allows you to attack from a distance. Or perchance you'd like to be a Mechanic? A job that uses a massive drill attached to your arm and can break and debuff your enemies? The choice is yours! You can equip up to three jobs at once and switch between them on the fly in dungeons!
That the basic flow of the game. You farm, cook and craft, explore dungeons, do quests, level up, upgrade weapons, and complete the story.
How Does it Compare
It doesn't 1:1 compare to anything out there right now. At first glance some might try and compare it Rune Factory or perhaps Stardew Valley with a dash of My Time at Portia, but neither of them really gets close. Let me go over what's the same and then touch on what's different.
Harvestella has but some other games don't
Harvestella does have in common with other games
Havestella doesn't have in common with other games
So while there are plenty of staples that come with the genre of farm sim, there unfortunately is a lot lacking that cozy players might be missing. Character customization is beyond simplified with you only really getting to decide if you body type is a little wider or taller or shorter depending on which body type you choose. You're limited to a few color options for skin and then you have a medium amount of options for hair and eye color. That's it. You also can't change it later and there is no hair salon shop to change it up later either.
Below I'll go more in detail about the unqiue things it brings to the table and why're awesome! While also touching on some not so great things.
Good and Bad
1. Original Job System
As you progress the story and acquire new party members your character will awaken to new jobs. There are also 2 secret jobs that will take some work to unlock but are well worth the effort! As you unlock jobs you can equip them via the party menu and selecting your character. Mix and match for whatever best meets your play style. As you defeat enemies you will obtain job points which can be spent on your job board to unlock new abilities, increase damage, and shorten the cool down on job swapping when exploring. You will also have to progress character quests and achieve level 6 friendship/affinity with the corresponding person to unlock the 3rd panel for said job.
2. Easy Farming Experience (slight spoiler)
It takes the best and easiest parts of any farm sim and makes it very straight forward. To start out you have a very small simple plot of land to work with. After building a hammer you can smash away a few of the small rocks but will be left with the larger ones. As you progress you eventually can obtain the earth faerie tasks and unlock the ability to smash away huge boulders. As you start earning money you can expand the farm more and more. You can eventually have a coop and barn built to house the games chickens and goats perfect for eggs and milk. Just like every other farm sim the crops belong to certain seasons and some carry over into others. But be warned, until you beat the entire game, all crops will die after the 30th day. Quietus begins for 1 day, killing all your crops, except trees, and you'll have to plant them again. This, however, is not the case when you've beat the entire game and your seasons go from 30 days to 31 days.
2.1 Stamina / Stomach Management
I didn't mention this in the short version but Harvestella has a unique mechanic known as the "stomach gauge". Down near your HP and stamina is a stomach. If you eat anything, the gauge fills. As long as there is something in your stomach you will slowly regain your stamina. Be warned though, you can't eat if your stomach is full. No being sneaky either and thinking "my stomach is at 95, I'll eat a 25 stomach food quick!" That won't fly here. While this isn't something you have to worry about when it comes to farm life, it is important to pay attention to when exploring dungeons and fighting enemies. Eat food wisely!
2.2 Expand your Knowledge
I didn't mention this in the short version but Harvestella also has a "knowledge system". It's more like a "you found a book system" but it expands you abilities in the game. You can learn "Fishing Knowledge" by purchasing it from the shop in Lethe. After that you'll earn it as rewards from other things. The same can be said for Gathering and Mining. Higher knowledge means the more likely you are to obtain HQ items and even get rarer items. They're worth discovering!
2.3 Expand the Backpack
Expanding the backpack is thankfully very easy and straight forward. There's no non-sense milestone you have to earn to start upgrading either. You start with 2 rows (16 slots) of inventory. Buy a backpack upgrade at the general store in Lethe and you get a 3rd row. Do it again and get a 4th row, and you guessed it, do it again and get the 5th and final row giving you 40 spaces of inventory. Thankfully, in this game, unlike Animal Crossing, stacks go beyond 99 and they don't have weird requirements. You have 50 carp? Congrats you have a stack of 50 carp, not 50 individual fish. Want 137 wood? Great, its 1 stack.
3. Simple Combat
Combat is extremely straight forward. When exploring maps or dungeons your attack button is Y. Your item button is X. Some jobs unlock the "step" ability which lets your character rush forward a small bit. It's very situational but can be helpful to get away from an enemy attack sometimes. After that you can Hold ZR to use abilities. As you gain more JP and unlock more skills you eventually can have a skill on X, Y, A, and B. And that's it. No changing skills in or out, no rotating their button assignment, no having to choose to between skill tree route A or B. Just gain JP, spend it on what you feel is most important to you at the time, the end. If you really want you can max out the jobs by grinding JP later.
3.1 Weapons and Panel 3
In the town of Lethe there is the only blacksmith in the game. Here you can upgrade your weapon and your party's weapons. Please note, you have 1 weapon that changes shape depending on your job. You will not have a variety of different weapons for your main character.
As you start earning JP and unlocking panels on the job board you will not have access to the 3rd and final panel. In order to unlock these you will have to do character quests for whomever gave you that job. I.e. if you want the 3rd panel for Shadow Assassin you will need to do the Character Quests for Istina up to friendship/affinity level 6 and then you'll earn the stone that expands this. This is the case for all jobs with the exception of the fighter and mage job, and the secret jobs.
4. Faerie Tasks (slight spoilers)
Are a unique take on the farm experience! As you beat each of early game dungeons and investigate the seaslights you will have a faerie move onto your farm. Each one brings with it a list of "orders" or tasks. As you complete them you get various rewards. Whether its new crafting recipes for things like sugar, seasonings, cheese or mayo makers, you'll get handy items like the sprinkler and feed maker. But one of the big ones is that it will increase you tool charges and decrease stamina consumption! Gone are the days of find copper ore, process it, give your tool away for a day or 5, then continue to silver. Now, just finish farm tasks and as soon the task goal is complete you unlock the ability! I didn't obtain all of the abilities at time of writing, but, being able to hoe a 3x3 or harvest a 5x5 all at once is incredible. Make sure you do these, because trust me, you will want that Sprinkler Level 2 recipe! Not only that but after you save certain faeries you unlock additional biomes! If you have saved the fire and earth faerie they'll build a cave biome. Where you can grow things like peppercorn, chilis, etc. Or save the water and wind faerie to get the water biome! Perfect for sugarcane, coconut trees, watermelons, and more!
5. Easy Cooking and Crafting
Recipes are a walk in the park. Simply go to a new city, buy their recipes, and you're good to go. You can get additional recipes by turning in food to local kitchens and by doing side quests. Whereas the crafting recipes are more often than not rewards for progressing the main story and for completing faerie tasks.
5.1 Turn in Cooking and Fishing
I didn't mention this in the fast version but there is in fact fishing in this game and a system in place for cooking. They're worth the effort too. In each city is an Inn and at said Inn or bar is a cook. They'll ask you to bring them dishes so that they can expand their menu and the rewards are worthy of the effort it can take. You will always get cash and the cash prize goes up every single time. You'll earn more money and often times recipes or items. There are 5 kitchens total in the game so plenty of opportunity to get some money together. Also, after you unlock the water biome a mysterious pond appears. In it is a Sahagin that will ask you to bring him rare fish in exchange for prizes. The prizes are of course money, materials, and even more Fishing knowledge!
6. Excellent Writing for Side/character quests
I mentioned previously that there are only 8-9 side quests per city. While that's true I wanted to really point out what that means for folks who aren't experienced in JRPGs. Typically in a JRPG there are hundreds of side quests. They are not created equal either which means it can be really taxing on a player's time and experience with them. With Harvestella only having roughly 45 side quests in the entire game it means the writers were able to spend a lot more time on them and it seriously shows! As a player who comes from massive JRPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles, Persona, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy these quests, while smaller in number, were fantastic short stories to consume. Whether you're learning about the friendship between three kids and their friend about to move away and all the feelings that come from that. Or learning about a priestess who is doing more than her faith says she should and getting herself into danger. These quests are incredible and well worth your time if you're into a good story. I read and enjoyed every single one and let me tell you, more than one of them moved me to tears. Both happy and sad ones.
On the character quest side of things there are over 100 character quests. There are 10 character story episodes for each party member you can get and a couple bonus characters too like Cres, and someone else. These stories are all personal and individualized for each person. I had a blast with all of them and they're what made me pick my "life partner". Learning all this backstory and growth was such a beautiful and fun thing to do.
7. Original Story
It goes without saying that I've played a lot of JRGPs. They're not all equal despite all being on the grandiose side. I've played stories that have you fighting as a child to save the world from a pig army, or your 1st quest is delivering a sandwich to the final quest being "Kill god". I've gone through time compression, watched my character be phantom thieves and steal the hearts of villains, and even one were it turns out the entire game and characters were a computer program and the final boss was the game developer. Despite all the extreme variety of games out there I can safely say that Harvestella has its own unique story as well. While in the beginning I was extremely drawn into and loving it, I got to a point where it takes a hard left turn here and there a few times. Despite that I really enjoyed what the story came up with!
8. Progression is Rewarding
Whether you're doing faerie tasks, expanding the main story to get more faeries, doing side quests, or turning in dishes and fish. The game makes sure to reward you for your efforts along the way. Whether it's rare items for upgrading weapons, or materials to build a barn or coop, or even just money which is the most important part of the early and mid game. It does a wonderful job of making sure to reward your time and efforts.
1. Weird lighting hiccups
Lighting can be kind of weird at times. I remember talking to Istina in the orphanage and the lighting on her character model kept flickering from detailed, to not. It wasn't a big deal, but it was very noticeable. Enough that it took me out of the game and I was paying more attention to that instead of the conversation.
2. Textures loading a half a second too late in cut scenes
When in cut scene it will flip between different camera angles and shots. Harvestella tends to have a tiny graphical hiccup every single time this happens wherein when the camera flips you have low poly models presets and then half a second later it loads on all the textures. Not an end of the world thing, but, definitely noticeable.
3. Mandatory Story progression for content (subjective)
If you want to unlock the faeries, more seed variety, biomes, marriage, etc you have to do the story. Some people might really enjoy earning those things. And others might really hate that. I know I was bit put off when the I looked up "how to get married" and discovered you can't do it until you actually beat the game.
4. Can't skip some cut scenes (i.e. Cres' speech every time you get KO'd)
While you can skip cut scenes for boss encounters if you died and are trying them again. You can't skip anything else. So, if you're like me and die constantly, or pass out constantly at the 2am marker, you're going to get tired of being scolded by Cres every, single, time.
5. No dodge/block mechanic
While this might be okay for those not looking for a deeper battle experience. Those who are more experienced are going to be pulling their hair out at the fact combat is essentially a game of cat and mouse. You attack, dodge an AoE (area of effect, big red box appears for you to see a big attack is coming), reposition and repeat. There is no, time a dodge roll to avoid damage, and no shield or block skill. While this matters very little in the beginning of the game its a big pain in the later part of the adventure.
6. Story is long (subjective)
I wasn't expecting the length of a standard JRPG when I bought Harvestella. I knew it was a blend of JRPG and Farm sim but all the ad spots showcase the job system and farming. I was not expecting a 60+ hour story here and for me it took me about 80+ hours to finish the game. While compared to other JPRGs that's either standard or short, it can be a lot for a cozy player coming into it. Due to the length of the narrative and the fact so much progression is locked behind completing the story, this could be a real turn off for some players.
7. Extremely limited character customization
Unlike, any, other farm sim out there Harvestella has little to no customization. Almost insulting low. Harvest Moon games have more customization than Harvestella, and for those who don't know, Harvest Moon games have close to zero...so.
Aside from choosing male, female, or non-binary you're then left with about 4-5 options from a taller broader model to a shorter slimmer model. Then you can choose your hair and eye color from maybe 16-20 options. There is no hair salon to unlock later and you appearance is locked to "Fighter" for all cut scenes and only changes in dungeons/exploration depending on the job you select. The customization is beyond simple and no you cannot customize the look of your house interior or exterior. You can do a very minimal amount of decorating via fences on the farm itself.
Harvestella is such a gem on the nintendo switch! I never see anyone talking about this game or showcasing it in any kind of way and I think that is such a shame! I've heard hardcore JRP players complain about the combat being too simple and I've heard hardcore farm sim fans complain at the egregious lack of character customization. To me, you have to look at what the Harvestella team set out to do and that was make a game that takes the best parts of JRPGs and Farm Sim games and combines them. Yes combat is simple, but that's good for folks who are unfamiliar with job systems and action combat. Yes the farming is straight forward, but that's good for JRPG players who are unfamiliar and the fact its upgrades are locked behind "faerie tasks" give a good check box of items that both cozy gamers and jrpg gamers love!
There is so much to enjoy with this game and the good vastly out weights the bad. Even at this point of the review I can still think of a dozen more wonderful things about Harvestella that I left out of this review. This might be one of the best games I've in 2022/23 and that's comparing it against games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Crisis Core Reunion, and a lot of others.
Honestly, its a beautiful and emotionally packed narrative experience, with the best parts of farming and daily life all rolled into one. Try out the demo, see if you like it, and if you're on the fence with the demo I promise you the game opens up so much more once you hit chapter 3. Unfortunately the demo ends at the end of day 15 or chapter 2 and has a slow opening (first 5-7 days). It's well worth the price in my book.
Suggestions to the Developer
As always I try to leave a little feedback for the developer in hopes the smaller items can be patched later, or, if a sequel is ever in the plan it can be part of the next development project scope.
1. Please make skippable cut scenes
At the bare minimum please make, whoever finds us face down in the dirt, a skippable scene. I do not care how much of my money they take, but I don't want to listen to it 40x (yes, I passed out a lot).
2. The dodge/Block Issue
I understand the idea for combat was to be simple and straight forward and these mechanics could be too much for a someone just looking for a straightforward experience. Could you add an option for "simple" vs "advanced" or something? Simple would retain the current design but advanced would allow players to unlock or use a block/dodge button depending on class?
3. More Customization
Listen, I know some people are asking for the stars when they talk about customization and you can't please anyone. I also am aware part of this limitation is likely due to the fact that it impacts our player character art in the menu and you'd have to do a lot more designs to have both the player portrait and customization, but, the cozy genre demands customization. Even I, someone who doesn't need that much customization, was rather shocked how extremely limited it is. Let players pick hair styles. Add a more diverse set of options when it comes to body and face types. The options right now all feel almost identical. Please give us some more options and freedom in the future. Your showed representation is important with our gender options, please let that also ring true in our character customization.
4. Add Voice Over
For some people this might not be a big deal. But in 2023 I think it's rather important to have voice over, especially for a JRPG. It feels little like you took an easy out on this one because most, if not all, farm sims are silent in this direction. But JRPGs definitely are not. Most of them have their major story scenes voiced. The game does feature some sound quips here and there as people walk by, or you exit a location, or even in combat. If your team makes Harvestella 2, please add voice over.
On Instagram I asked folks to send in any questions they might have! As such, I'll be answering them below! If you sent in a question, thank you so much for doing so!
1. "I Like Stardew Valley and Final Fantasy, but which of these is the game more like?" - Nerdyreferencelibrarian
That's a good question! The short answer is its mostly Final Fantasy with a dash of Stardew and a sprinkle of My Time at Portia. The long answer is below.
Immediately, I'd say Harvestella feels like 80% JRPG with 20% Farm Sim. So much of the game is focused around the narrative and combat progression. Due to that it's probably more in line with Final Fantasy, but longer than a standard FF experience. It's story telling, depth of story and characters, world building, and length feel much closer to a Xenoblade or Dragon Quest length of game. On average I think most people finished the story around 60 hours. However, don't let that trick you into thinking farming is a joke and nothing. Money is a massive requirement for this game and all your money making comes from quests, but even more so farming. You do not want to sleep on faerie tasks or growing crops.
2. "I heard there's multiple endings for the game...is that true?" - author_elli
SPOILER WARNING! While I won't go into big detail, this might be a spoiler for someone, so stop here if you don't want to know.
Technically yes, there are 3 endings for Harvestella. However, that's also kind of not true. There a comes a point, near the end of the game, wherein you are forced to make a choice. You're also given the opportunity to save before this choice and boy do I recommend it. Once you enter this area it is the point of no return. You cannot back up, you cannot change your mind, you cannot leave. However, both choices given to you will lead to a "bad ending". To get to the real "good" ending you have to do a few things. Thankfully, none of your choices in the game impact your ending, its only the choices selected during the events of "make a choice" that decide which ending you get.
And my hint to you will be an old song that's lyrics are "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!".
Once you've chosen the correct options you will move into the final chapter of the game and start working towards the true ending of Harvestella. So, if you ask me, they're more like illusion endings, but you still get a credit roll, and some very small conversation at the end of it. So, three endings I guess.
10 New Player Tips
I wanted to quickly throw out a couple tips. If you're a new player to Harvestella and you'd like a little knowledge before you start your adventure! Don't worry, nothing too spoilery below! Here are just some honest tips to make your time a little easier!
1. Fight Enemies
While it's easy to run by the enemies and never fight them, I really recommend that if you find yourself done with quests or farming for the day, spend the remainder of the day fighting monsters. It will make it a lot easier on you if you level up. While it only increases your HP and stats, that is going to matter A LOT once you're chapter 4 and beyond. So don't slack on it! Even if you are an experienced Action combat player those HP pools are so important.
2. Read your descriptions
Not every item needs to be kept. I mean that. Some items are genuinely in this game to just be sold. So read the description of fish, found materials, etc if it says "its meant to be sold" or "earns money when sold" it is meant to be sold. You will never use it for crafting or cooking or to turn in for a quest. So don't keep it!
3. Do Faerie Tasks
It's really easy to ignore them, but they're so important! Especially if your main focus is farming. By the end of my run I could plow the entire farm, water it by hand, and sow seeds and it wouldn't take more than 1/6 of my stamina bar. Plus a lot of handy crafting recipes are locked away in the faerie tasks as well as your charge skills for farming.
4. Upgrade Your Weapons
While your strength, magic, def, and magic defense go up as you level up your weapons can be upgraded. If you're feeling like you're not doing enough damage make sure you visit the the blacksmith and upgrade yours and your teams weapons. It makes a big difference.
5. Gather Gather Gather
Any time you walk by a gathering or mining point DO IT! There are a few faerie tasks that want you to gather and mine well up to 2,000 times. Completely doable, but, you'll do this before you know it so long as you do it as you see it. Worried about stamina cost? See my next tip!
6. Always eat in the morning.
This is a little harder at the beginning of the game, but, if you can get fruit and just eat it quick in the morning. 10 stomach is perfect for farming or event just regenerating the stamina spent gathering/mining on your farm. It'll save you a lot of headache.
7. If you have food in your stomach and your stamina is maxed, Run!
There's no need to walk everywhere. Especially, if you've got food in your belly and your stamina is full. Sprint to about 1/4 and then just walk. You'll be maxed out again in a minute or so and you'll get placed a lot faster.
8. Keep Repair Kits and Bombs on You
There is almost always a need for repair kits and bombs in the dungeons and that doesnt change from the beginning to the end of the game. If you're worried about the level 2 bombs and repairs kits, you will not get access to these until chapters 7 or so. So, don't worry about trying to track them down.
9. Do things now not later
If you're worried that the Faerie tasks won't track your progression before you unlocked them, don't worry. The game is always keeping track of what you're planting and harvesting and etc. So, don't worry about it doing content before the faeries show up.
10. Which Seaslight to do fight? Spring, Summer, or Winter?
While you can do these in any order I'll let you decide which to do first but I'll give some context.
Spring = Wind: Improves your ability to plant and harvest seeds/crops.
Summer = Water: Improves your ability to water crops and has the sprinkler level 1 and 2 recipes.
Winter = Earth: Improves your ability to use the hammer and has the Charge Hammer ability needed to smash big boulders left on your farmable land.
In the early game its easy to say the wind crystal is the least important when compared to water and earth. Those massive boulders are a huge pain and you're going to want them gone. Plus being able to water more crops faster is huge not to mention the importance of the sprinklers!
However, Spring is the very first month you start the game in and a lot of the wind faerie tasks are centered around harvesting spring crops. Most players on their first time do not make it to Nemea until the 15th-20th day of the month let alone finish the Heaven's Egg and actually get the Wind Faerie. If you're wanting to get the ability to sow more seeds and harvest more things sooner than later you might want to go here first. Many of her tasks are centered around growing spring type crops and if you don't do it then you'll have to wait until next year! That's a long time to wait. So, choose carefully.
If you made it this far, you are a straight legend. Thank you so much for reading my review! I know this was a long one, my longest to date actually. But the game had so much content and I wanted to really highlight it and leave as few stones unturned as possible. It took me awhile to get this one together but I had so much fun with the game and putting my ideas together!