Rune factory four, part four of the rune factory franchise developed by Neverland Co. and published by XSEED Games. Rune factory tends too lean itself more to the JRPG side of Neverland Co. games like Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals however also has the simulation elements more associated with the Rune factory saga.
The story starts off with you on an airship going somewhere, were unknown, as you aren’t given enough time to find out before you are attacked by mercenaries demanding for the thing you have. After you give them the run around- and the player for that matter- and have kicked them to the ground you go too talk to the pilot and the crew too calm them down after this explosion of drama. Which would have gone fine but, it turns out you hadn’t hit them down quite hard enough and a blunt trauma hit to the head places you in a predicament. Realising there not going to get anything nicely they decide to try and rough you up and that goes as well as everything as they accidentally kick you too hard of the boat. You would think that this would end the story however instead not only do you survive the fall but it turns out a dragon broke your fall and you now can’t even remember your name. There are further developments in the story which relate to this mystery beginning the game starts with however that’s for you, the player, to figure out as you play.
The franchise is not something I am even vaguely familiar with most the JRPGs I have played keeping too its basic formula of kill stuff, level up and kill harder stuff. However in Rune factory you also have to manage a town and by that I literally mean manage it. Assigning festivals too gain more tourists for a better economy and investing in shops so they have better stuff. Not only this but too increase your own private facilities’ such as building your own forge and crafting table to make furniture and weapons. However in order to do all these things you need prince points, wood and stone too perform Orders for your subjects too do. In a way the whole niceness and friendliness of the game is what I suppose a child thinks a prince or ruler (nice tyrant) does- giving orders too better there kingdom while there subjects happily follow along. However these orders are earned as in order to carry them out you occasionally need stones and lumber which can be collect in your farm or outside the town and prince points which can only be earned by you completing tasks for the people of the kingdom. This is great as the tasks usually teach you something as you go along and limits you so you can’t take too much on at once giving at a real easy learning curve if you have never played the game before. I wonder how effective it would be if we implemented it in reality…
That isn’t the only sim like mechanic the game has no, as there is also a large amount of farming too gain crops that you can either sell or make into higher level dishes. The farm in essence acts as your main source of income as items obtained from monsters on the field and in chests do not give anywhere near as much money as if you spend time investing in your farm. This can be tedious but strangely enthralling. I think I may have spent the first three hours of playing the game just farming and not even exploring the town let alone outside the town. However as the game progresses you do get a chance to take some of the work off of your hands by employing monsters that you have befriended. This is still at a cost as you have to make the animal like you enough before it is willing to help and keep it fed by supplying a constant amount of food. But, once you have it going it becomes easy and you can feel free to lie back as it is taken care of by a sheep and a cow. These animals can also be used for combat and is very amusing when you are spinning around on the field on the back of a sheep with a broadsword.
Which brings us onto the combat of the game and how the general mechanic of levelling up works. If I am honest I have no idea how the levelling worked as your stats actually go up according to the skills you have increased and too do this all you have to do is use them. So if you farm a lot your health and stamina go up etc. The combat is a hack and slash action RPG kind of number with the ability too use two abilities assigned to your character at a time to use during combat. This in a way was very irritating as whenever I wanted too mix it up a bit I had to bring up my backpack, scroll too the skills and then hotkey the spell or skill too my character which was pretty irritating in the middle of combat and in-fact in farming in general and killed how the game immersed me stone dead sometimes. I have no idea if there is a way to make selections you can quickly switch too as it was never made clear if it was mentioned at all. Other than that little issue the game tends to flow in a nice way and rarely will you not have anything to do.
The games dialogue I found a bit boring too be honest, there are a lot of characters and I guess between the constant up keep of the farm and completing tasks I didn’t really want to talk about a stupid turnip farming contest. That being said, there is some really nice stuff for the fans such as the entries for the artwork contest they had which are presented by the characters in the trophy room which is quite a nice touch and shows real appreciation for the fans.
Overall Rune factory is a good game with something for everyone; if you want too farm and build then you can do that. If you want to train and nurture an army of monsters you can do that or even just enjoy the story if you can figure out what is going on.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.