Molotov Cupcake Avatar Posted on 10/21/2013 by Molotov Cupcake
Games
Reviews
Harvest Moon fans wanting swordplay and narrative in their game make Rune Factory 4 a great-looking start, even if it is a bit lacking in some areas.

You just have to evaluate how much you really want swordplay and narrative in your Harvest Moon. If you prefer one over the other, then you might be in the market for a different game. If you're looking to get a little chocolate in your peanut butter (or a little peanut butter in your chocolate) then Rune Factory 4 is a great-looking start, even if it is a bit lacking in some areas.
Release: October 1, 2013
Rating: E10+
Publisher: XSEED Games
Written by Brittany Vincent (editor-at-large)

I've been a Harvest Moon fan for years, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. However, interestingly enough, I've never played a Rune Factory game. The series, billed as a "Fantasy Harvest Moon," spun off from Harvest Moon six years ago, and has been spawning sequels ever since. Somehow, I've never gotten around to trying them out. I decided to make Rune Factory 4 my first, and I was pleasantly surprised. It's a richly-featured, exciting adventure that melds Sword of Mana-styled action with Harvest Moon mechanics, and it actually works.

Many of the same ideas explored in Harvest Moon are present in Rune Factory 4, like planting crops, collecting your produce to sell off, cooking fresh meats, looking after lifestock, and keeping your farm afloat. The biggest differences lie within the combat interwoven between these decidedly more mundane farming sections, giving Rune Factory 4 a much different feel than standard, more peaceful and rural-feeling Harvest Moon games. You'll raid dungeons, face off against a glut of different monsters, and interact with the world the same way you would with a typical JRPG. You can level up several stats, and aside from collecting numerical stat increases, you'll also acquire a special kind of currency that can be used to improve your farm, purchase new licenses, hold festivals, and augment your farm and property in several ways.

These rewards may seem small, but when you consider you earn them simply playing through the game, they rack up quickly. It combines the addictive nature of the original Harvest Moon games with the nature of the grind from the traditional JRPG. There's plenty to do and explore, especially when you consider your farming duties and the rest of what's available for you to uncover.

What's interesting is that Rune Factory 4 takes the lead and attempts to craft a game that goes down a primarily role-playing path. It's a little jarring, considering Harvest Moon's insistency to focus on simple time management and farm sim mechanics. Things don't get too complicated beyond slashing through enemies, however, so there's only hints of a rudimentary setup here rather than a full-fledged adventure. It turns into a not-quite-perfect amalgam of two games then, though it's still very much enjoyable.

You just have to evaluate how much you really want swordplay and narrative in your Harvest Moon. If you prefer one over the other, then you might be in the market for a different game. If you're looking to get a little chocolate in your peanut butter (or a little peanut butter in your chocolate) then Rune Factory 4 is a great-looking start, even if it is a bit lacking in some areas.







This next-gen COD style mech adventure is one best experienced with equipment that can make it shine, even if the underlying product is still kind of dull.
April 14, 2014Read More!
A great example of a 'clone' of popular genre games done right, especially those unavailable on platforms they make the most sense on.
April 14, 2014Read More!
A streamlined version of 999 that doffs the need for convoluted gameplay, presenting the same events and chilling twists that make the game accessible to anyone. In short, it's awesome.
April 14, 2014Read More!
While commendable to see a darker take on familiar archetypes, fans may want to stick with a different strategy-RPG that doesn't try so hard to be edgy.
April 14, 2014Read More!
A new act, class, loot system and more await fans in the first expansion to Blizzardís Diablo 3.
April 8, 2014Read More!
See More From Games...
Sausage factory fiction writing personified; not a bad book, but not a very good one either. It just exists, and nothing more.
April 18, 2014Read More!
Pure silliness, wrapped around a history lesson thatís largely apolitical; stars persons and places more recognizable than the first book.
April 7, 2014Read More!
Stories written between 2003 and 2010 that are bagatelles; not bad, but not memorable; not the Waldrop collection to start with, but buy it anyway.
April 3, 2014Read More!
An exemplary vision spanning 192 pages, with plenty of juicy information about Respawnís wondrous new world to sate even the most jaded of gamers.
March 21, 2014Read More!
Even if its source material wasn't to your liking, thereís plenty to enjoy about this accompanying tome, especially if you can appreciate great art when you see it.
March 21, 2014Read More!
See More From Culture...
Katsuhiro Otomo and three other directors serve up a wild anime anthology in this wonderful and bizarre collection.
April 18, 2014Read More!
Lacks the nostalgic pulp magazine atmosphere that made its predecessor so much fun, but as a Marvel film it gets the job done.
April 4, 2014Read More!
More audacious than volume one, mostly because of von Trierís willingness to delve into the darker, often unexplored recesses of the mind.
April 4, 2014Read More!
In spite of Berry's incredible performance(s), the film cannot escape its controversial subject matter or its melodramatic plot.
April 4, 2014Read More!
Disney returns its Peter Pan spin off series to the high seas in The Pirate Fairy.
April 4, 2014Read More!
See More From Movies...