I loooove me some Rune Factory. I regret to say I didn't have the patience for the main Harvest Moon series and it's simulation shenanigans. I like my escapism to remain pretty far removed from real life, so when I discovered the more actiony fantasy variant some years ago and got my sweet Casanova wooing on with the bath house lady while stopping global domination via Captain Planet powers, I left Kardia slightly frustrated with turnips but otherwise completely enthralled.
Three more games and a multitude of spinoffs later, not only do we have a bigger world to overload with turnip seeds, not only have your new neighbors reached a level of weirdness containable only by the benevolence of an equally bizarre dragon god, not ONLY can I finally play as a GIRL from the very start of the game, NOT ONLY-
There are simply too many improvements to count. Farming and crafting have been made far less complicated to figure out so as to allow more time spent questing and shmoozing and less time swearing at your crafting table. You can date multiple characters in the same save file and get to know them before pledging your life to one or the other, and marriage requirements seem a bit more obvious than past titles.
This ties in to one of my leading complaints, however. It's obvious the more attached the romantically available characters become to you that not much change in dialogue occurred between the boy and girl MC paths. EVERYONE wants a piece of your hot Earthmate body, doesn't matter who. There's blushing all over the place. Cherry blossoms. Bento lunches. All the girls wanna be my Prince. Not a terribly huge gripe, but a noticeable one.
On the other end, I felt like I zoomed through the world saving story sections pretty fast, compared to RF1 where it took me several seasons just to get through the first cave. Maybe the game mechanics have been simplified a wee too much. Maybe I just sucked more back then.
It is a mystery. Like Horse Man's heart.
Rune Factory is an immensely fun game and a big time sink. There is several things to do in this game. You can farm, do dungeons, interact with the towns people, do events, and the list goes on and on.
As a dungeon crawler it does a good a job on the combat , you're able to have two abilities with your choice of weapon. Each weapon has a couple of differentiating attacks. The abilities can be found across the world, and there is SEVERAL of them.
The dungeons are fun, but a bit repetitive. Sometimes I will just skip monsters if I'm allowed just because I don't feel like fighting them. (Which isn't a bad thing)
Bosses are a hit and miss, you have some fun boss battles, while others are extremely easy. Overall, I think they did a decent job.
Farming has decent depth on it. You're able to control the growth speed, and other contributing factors to your crop with stuff you can buy from the store or find in the world. Some crops grow better in Spring, some grow better in Winter. It has a lot of different vegetables and flowers to plant, water, and grow.
There is also a lot of role-playing in the game. Talking to the villagers, can be very interesting..Learning their personalities, how they converse between each other, and their back stories.
There is a lot of events that happen during the hours you play this game. From simple fishing and cooking competitions, to seeing whos pet is the strongest in a battle.
Overall, it's pretty addicting, and a worthwhile game. They blended dungeon crawling with farming very well to create a fantastic role-playing experience. There is just too many things to do in the game.
(I didn't even list everything, theres cooking, blacksmithing, crafting, and just more and more)