I am a huge Harvest Moon fan. I've played them all on the many platforms that HM has appeared on over the years.
I was really excited when the first HM Rune Factory came out, and I rank it as "good." RF2 in my mind is "better," but there's still room for a "best."
Much of the game play mirrors RF1, where you can battle monsters and befriend them. The HM staple of crop growing is there, too, and plays about the same role. When RF2 differs is that you actually play TWO generations in that you play the main character and later your child. It's a fun twist to the standard HM format.
That being said... As the parent, the game is tedious at times. Although making friendships and wooing is easier than traditional HM games, I think it still took too long to get to the child phase.
Trust me, the child phase is much more fun! New adventuring places are open to you. You can learn more than one spell. You can cook and forge. The first part of the game felt like a long prologue that just wouldn't end.
Once you're playing the child, you have so many more opportunities that you'll realize that the wait to get born might be worth it all.
Overall, I liked the game. Here are some highpoints of RF2 compared with other HM games:
> Once your parent proposes, the wedding is quick and the child is born fairly soon after. > Better crop choices. Let's say that money is never a problem once you get started. > The town characters seem to have personalities. The wife choices were DIFFERENT from one another. Yay!
Downfalls: > SLOWWWWW start to the real fun part of the game. > No pet dog. Hello, it's HM! > As the parent, you have too much time in the day and not enough you can do. > As the child, you start with really useless tools, which is a hassle in farming. > Tasks are limited and seem repetitive.
If you're a HM fan, check it out. Let's hope that HM RF3 is the BEST.
This game is okay. But I highly suggest playing the first one first. You don't have to, but it will help you plan for this game in the long run. Because the 1st is nicer (More money, better tutorial, more wood -which does actually matter, just trust me okay?!-) as in, easier to get a hang of. So obviously, this is a MUST for veterans. And I am one. OH! To the vets: Sorry, but there aren't many familiar faces in town, except for one, but I don't want to spoil it. But if this were my first Rune Factory game, I would give it a 6.5. But you really have to stay with it for a while. You know, let it grow on you. That will really add to the enjoyment later on. The only thing I can complain about is the voice acting. Ouch! Only Mana sounds believable!