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Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

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GF Rating
7.5

944 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
9

Excellent

The best of the old, with improvements!

posted by psolaguna (CAPE CORAL, FL) Jan 31, 2008

Member since May 2007

10 out of 10 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Since I don't believe in reviewing games until you have completed them, I've held off reviewing this game until now. I beat it yesterday, so here we go!

This game does start off slow, it takes a few weeks (in game) to get acclimated to the controls and get your farm up and turning out a profit. There are stores to buy seeds/ accessories, healing medicines, and weapons- however their selection is limited and fairly expensive for someone starting out. This probably frustrates a lot of players, but once you are past this, the game opens up to a very rich experience that mixes a lot of elements successfully. In fact, once you get a house upgrade, the enjoyment factor of the game raises exponentially, making your own weapons, meds, and accessories, and farming the items from monsters fleshes out the game even more.

This game is more complex than HM games, but it is also easy for kids to get into. In fact Natsume seems to have geared it towards kids, with your weapon not killing monsters, just sending them back to their homes, and the hero declaring he must never use his sword against a human. While farming can get repetitive, frustrating for kids, there are monsters you can have water and harvest your crops, and the easiest way of making money is mining in caves (a la original HM games).

I enjoyed this game a lot, as did my 5 year old, although he spent most of his play time farming materials from monsters for me, and drawing on screen shots in the house.

Another improvement in Rune Factory over Harvest Moon is the dating part. First, the girls are more attractive than HM girls, making the decision who to woo more difficult. Also, there is a chart to show you who likes and loves you how much. Much better than just having to guess or extrapolate from colored hearts.

All in all, although this game has simplified farming and simplified dungeon crawling, both parts combine to make an extremely engaging game, that should appeal to fans of both types.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

This Ain't Your Daddy's Harvest Moon

posted by Zakemaster (TORRANCE, CA) Aug 24, 2007

Member since May 2006

15 out of 16 gamers (94%) found this review helpful

If a man walked up to you fifteen years ago and told you a farming simulator video game would amass a cult following around the world, you'd laugh. But never the less, he'd be right. The Harvest Moon series has spawned a version on multiple systems and popped up in multiple countries all around the world. It's been the same formula every game: farm, get married, farm more. That may sound boring, but somehow, it never was. Still, it seems the developers decided to mix it up a notch. That's where Rune Factory comes in. The tried and true formula of the series hasn't changed, overall. They just added something new. And it spices up the game. It's something I like to call an action RPG.

The series now places you in a serious story, not just one to explain why you're stuck farming. You're put into the shoes of Raguna, who is discovered by Mist, a kind yet odd girl. Very odd. Upon waking, Raguna discovers he seems to have obtained amnesia (gasp!). Mist uses your weakness to her advantage and puts you straight to work on her farm. But all isn't well. As you approach the farm, a monster is lurking there in wait. The valiant hero you are, you must rush to Mist's aid with your trusty hoe in hand.

That's where this game differs from every Harvest Moon in the past. It has battles. Actually pretty fun battles. The battles are all real time, too, so you don't have to worry about wait times or any of that. Don't worry, the system of farming is relatively the same, with a few curve balls thrown in to spice things up, like skill levels, which reflects how good you are at something by how much you do it. You can fight, farm, or mine, but no matter what you're doing, it's fun.

The game takes the best of Harvest Moon, mixes it with some fun fighting and a fun, albeit cliché, story, and gives you the reins. Do you want to only farm and never fight, okay. Do you want to hack and slash to heck and back. Your call. Because in Rune Factory, your virtual life is yours to command.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Much better than expected

posted by StratMan (MIAMI, FL) Jun 11, 2009

Top Reviewer

Member since May 2008

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I love the many levels of detail for farming, cooking, gathering, monstering. I have a hard time fitting in all the tasks needed in a day but that's why it's addictive. This will keep my Monster Hunter addiction at bay until the Unite title comes out. Glad that MH doesn't force you to talk to every person after each hunt!

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GF Rating
7

Good

Not quite like the classics

posted by AzureSea (ESCONDIDO, CA) Aug 26, 2007

Member since Sep 2006

10 out of 11 gamers (91%) found this review helpful

When I rented this game, I got a little frustrated and almost sent it back. Luckily, I played some more and finally got the hang of it. It takes a little while to get used to the new battle system. I love that when you don't water the plants they don't die, they just don't grow. It's very useful for when you go into the caves. Then there's the certain plus of the fact that the caves have their own season that never changes. This means that you can grow anything you want from that season all year. So there are a lot of new features that are for the better. I do still wish that I could buy the livestock instead of finding them in the caves. But that's only a minor complaint.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Not so Harvest Moon

posted by ladylibra92 (LAHAINA, HI) Jul 11, 2011

Member since Jun 2011

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I'm a big fan of the Harvest Moon Series so when I heard about Rune Factory combining Harvest Moon and monster fighting I was really excited. This game however really disappointed me.

The graphics aren't all that wonderful and it's on DS and I know you can't expect much out of graphics because it's the DS.. But compare this to the other Harvest Moon games on DS (Another Wonderful Life & Island of Happiness) this one was really lacking.

What was interesting though was to marry other characters you can't just talk to them everyday and give gifts, certain characters required something else. That was a plus since it's different from all the other games.

This game was really boring and I couldn't finish it so I can't say much about the storyline. This is the first Rune Factory series so I'm willing to give it another chance, I'm waiting for the new on to be released on Wii/PS3 so hopefully that's better than this.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Farmville Shmarville!!

posted by OldVidiot (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) Jun 1, 2010

Member since May 2010

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

A lot of people are spending inordinate amounts of time playing Farmville on Facebook. I've heard of people getting up at 3 am to water and/or harvest crops. I laughed out loud!! Having spent the last three days (Memorial Day Weekend) from awakening to bedtime playing Rune Factory, I will never laugh again.

I had only previously played HM Boy and Girl on my PSP. I quite enjoyed it, but when it was time to return it to Blockbuster, I didn't go into withdrawal or anything. I liked this one so well I ran out and bought a used copy at a local store since it wasn't available to Keep from Gamefly.

Use of the touch screen is phenomenal. Touch your B button item and you can perform that operation multiple times simply by touching the object on the screen. Wanna go faster during this multiple action procedure, hold down the R button (just like running).

The monsters (potential pets) are pretty cool and the swordplay is fun. Growing crops in caves seems improbably without sunlight, but it is still a pretty cool aspect, especially after two days of tornados when your field is a disaster, but your cave crops are still producing.

I'm not fond of the RP (rune point) system of fatigue, but understand that if it weren't there I would just go and go like the Energizer Bunny.

I don't usually write reviews and hope this one is helpful to someone who is undecided about this game, because it is really a LOT of fun.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Addiction to Mundane Repetitive Tasks!!!

posted by thaOAK (OAKLAND, CA) Apr 22, 2008

Member since Feb 2008

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

After playing this game for the first 20 minutes, I was ready to put the game back in the envelope I just opened, and get the next game on my Q. Now a week and a half later I’ve barely played anything else, I played almost 12 hours one day (day off, girl gone :). I haven’t played any other version of Harvest Moon except the original on SNES, a game really enjoyed. So when my friend said he rented a Harvest Moon with swords and caves, it went straight to number 2 on my Q (had to get Call of Duty).

Be warned this game isn’t for everyone, to a casual outside observer it will be seen as never-ending repetitive tasks; a completely mundane waste of your time. It’s hard to explain the concept of Rune Factory to onlookers without evoking faces of appalled confusion. I mean a game that revolves around doing yard work, planting seeds, watering seeds, picking ripe fruit to sell for money to buy more crops, I mean how could that possibly be entertaining? It’s amazing how addictive the game play actually is.

The RPG leveling system adds great depth to the foundation set by the first Harvest Moon. Now every main action you do, from shoveling to watering, from attacking to forging, all have their own experience levels that only go up if you perform that action. The crops even have levels going up in value, greatly improving cash flow and efficiency. You can even capture creatures to us as slave labor on your farm or to die for you in battles. Whatever your empire becomes it is all from the fruits of your labor, literally.

Really what the game’s all about is becoming as efficient as possible, which entails perfecting your system until it hums like a well-oiled machine. Figuring out where to focus your time and actions for your maximum benefit is a big part of the fun. Be prepared though this type of game will invade your sleep and torment you within your dreams. If only I could get paid for as much labor as I put into this game, I might actually have a real job.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Good game, but not your normal Harvest moon game

posted by Penelope (MAPLE VALLEY, WA) Aug 23, 2007

Top Reviewer

Member since Oct 2006

5 out of 9 gamers (56%) found this review helpful

Its not quite like the good old harvest moon you know and love. This is more for those who want to farm less and fight more. Its and interesting addition, but I prefer the normal version. Its not due out till the end of the year though, if it doesnt get pushed again. Its a fun past time while I m waiting for Harvest Moon 2 on DS or the Wii version. Hopefully I will not encounter bugs like the last version for DS that prevents you from finishing the game. So far so good. I do like the addition of the forge to make better accessories and potions and the ability to get monsters that can work your farm every day, not just one task at a time. You can have water and harvest monsters work everyday. Not having to individually feed pets is great too. You just pop the food in the hold for the building or it goes there automatically when you chop it down. You can take your time and drag out the fighting parts till you have time to level up if you are not a quick fighter. It is live based fighting so you have to be quick, but over leveling up helps you take less damage to go farther.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Cool

posted by sheryl20 (OAKLAND, CA) Aug 20, 2007

Member since Apr 2007

4 out of 8 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

This game is nice, you can befriend wandering monsters to help with your farm, and each has their own special abilities. Also you can Upgrade your skills as you use and create hundreds of items and tools! And about wi-fi connection - you can Communicate and exchange items via Wi-Fi. Grow crops and make friends.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Normally I love a HM game but....

posted by GameMom (JACKSONVILLE, FL) Nov 13, 2007

Member since Jul 2005

2 out of 5 gamers (40%) found this review helpful

This one didn't keep my attention as much as I thought it would. I loved the graphics and the small talk but I think the Rune points and the having to fight in the dungeon killed the whole wanting to play for me. Unlike other RPG's you have a such a short time period to get through a dungeon. Your time in RF is limited to the time in each day, therefore making the leveling up a longer task than you want.

You can't upgrade anything without going into the caves and you can't go into the caves without fighting. I liked the HM series when they just stuck to farm life. I think they should leave the fighting and rune stuff to another game....

Oh and by the way you have to capture the "animals/monsters" to raise but you have to get a glove and a hut in order to do all this. There are too many tasks that require too many other things to get ahead. A farm sim shouldn't be so complicated. This was just too complicated for my 8 year old and didn't hold my attention so will not be buying this one.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Is THIS GAME ABOUT BEING A FARMER

posted by ballenmoor (CORDOVA, TN) May 27, 2010

Member since Dec 2007

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

THIS GAME IS HORRIBLE, I MEAN THIS GAME PUTS THE HORROR IN HORROIBLE.I ALREADY KIND OF KNEW IT HAD GROWING PLANTS AND STUFF BUT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A WHOLE LOT BETTER.THE BAD STUFF:YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME PLATING PLANTS AND STUFF AND WHEN YOU DO HAVE TO FIGHT THE MONSTERS YOU HAVE TO DO IT WITH A SHOVEL.PLUS THE GRAPHICS,ARE REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY BAD.DO NOT GET THIS GAME ,REPEAT DO NOT GET THIS GAME

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Rune Factory, more like Ruin Factory

posted by Tigeryak (Denver, CO) Sep 20, 2007

Member since Sep 2007

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

What a great concept this was. I was so excited to play this game. I thought it would be Harvest Moon meets an Action RPG, which it is. However where this game lacks is the tremendous amount of time you have to put into it. I played for about 10 hours and didn't even get past the 1st dungeon. I've been playing HM games since the SNES and was satisfied with the farming system. I did enjoy the touch screen farming, ie selecting the watering can then touching the squares and having the character automatically do the task. That was cool. The whole dungeon crawling thing kinda fell short though. The enemies weren't very creative. I finally muscled my way through to the boss of the dungeon only to get severely beat on numerous times. If I had put the large amount of time it would take into planting crops in the dungeons as well as saving up enough money for a decent weapon, then maybe I would have had a better chance. It's a decent game, but the amount of time one has to invest in it to enjoy it, is definitely not worth it. With so many good DS games out and coming out soon this one really isn't worth the time it takes the get the most out of the game. It's very repetitive and lacks a good battle system. Wait for Harvest Moon for the Wii or hope for a decent DS incarnation, cause this sure isn't it.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

fun

posted by EMReyes (POMONA, CA) Sep 19, 2014

Member since Dec 2013

Had a great time playing it very addicting

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Good, but there are better options

posted by TohKyoRisaChan (GIBSONIA, PA) Jun 28, 2014

Member since Jun 2014

Overall, Rune Factory is a solidly fun game. However, I would not recommend it to people who have played a later installment in the series. The game controls are somewhat difficult and a little buggy at times, and the characters are nice, but could hardly be considered memorable. On the whole, if you have just come out of playing the masterpiece that is Rune Factory 4, I would not suggest you try to play this one. When compared to this later game, the predecessor can be overly frustrating and just generally not a rewarding experience. However, if you have not played later installments in the series, the game is definitely worth a play.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Well...

posted by BobTheGlob (CLEARFIELD, UT) Dec 2, 2010

Member since Nov 2010

I'm sorry, but I sent this back before getting to the second day.

For one, Raguna walked way too slow. There's probably a way to fix that, though, but I'm too stupid to figure it out and don't have enough patience.

Another thing is that I couldn't find all the other people. Well, except for Sharron and Tabatha. But I hate Tabatha and Sharron didn't really want to talk to me. Anyway, I wandered around the whole place, but all I could find were stupid caves that I can't even enter. My favorite part about Rune Factory games is meeting the townspeople and choosing which girl you want to marry, but I couldn't find any houses or anything.

Also, I played Rune Factory: Frontier before Rune Factory, and I was a little sad that most of the characters are the same. Mist, Tabatha, Bianca, Lara, Melody, and Rosetta. And I didn't like any of them from Frontier. So basically half the marriage choices were all people I knew already and disliked.

I didn't give this a 1 or 2 because I really didn't give it much of a chance, and I WAS pretty reluctant to send it back. I can't really call it "Horrible" just because my first impression wasn't the best...

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

awesome and theres more....

posted by gamer623 (BEEBE, AR) Jun 16, 2010

Member since Jun 2010

If u loved this game as much as i did and have a wii, u should definetely try out Rune Factory Frontier. Its the real sequel to Rune Factory and even has some of the same characters in a different town. Iv played both and loved both.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Worst Harvest Moon ever! (Almost)

posted by BULLY123 (PRATTVILLE, AL) May 23, 2009

Top Reviewer

Member since Jul 2008

Anything is better then Rune Factory! Even the (Horrible) story of Wind Waker! I remember playing through this dumb story! I met some lame people, nobody in the town liked me, Mist was way toooo dumb, monsters killed me, I didn't know how to use my tools, I had to pay TO much to enter the bathhouse, WORST OF ALL I was soooo bored playing it, I almost fell asleep! I REALLY WANTED TO STICK THIS GAME WITH A KNIFE! YAY! Rune Factory? IT'S MORE LIKE Ruined Old Factory! I wanted to give the game A ZERO! But you can't go that far!

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Good game

posted by Zeldafan21 (NEW MARKET, MD) Mar 8, 2009

Member since Sep 2007

I love this game!!! Well, except for one little thing... I cant find the hammer! :( I've talked to everyone, but still, no hammer. i really need one, but it seems almost hopeless.... If i could have found the hammer, this game would've gotten a ten from me!!!!

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Next generation harvest moon

posted by Inagasaki (PAHRUMP, NV) Feb 3, 2009

Member since Nov 2008

This game was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the very original harvest moon and Rune factory did an awesome job integrating a battle system into a farming sim.

There is a lot to do in this game. As far as DS games go this one has taken me the longest. The story comes up a little shy, and the graphics leave you wanting, but the enjoyment I got out of the game play made up for its short-comings.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Rune Factory a Fantasy Harvest Moon

posted by Viallking (Ooltewah, TN) Nov 7, 2008

Member since Apr 2007

I was a little concerned to try Rune Factory: a Fantasy Harvest Moon because I was new to hand-held gaming and worried that the graphics might not be good enough to thoroughly enjoy the game....I was wrong...This game has everything I was looking for in a Harvest Moon and an RPG all wrapped together I encourage any one who is a fan of the HM series to give it a try....plus using Gamefly what do you have to lose really....

Check it out !!!

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Not good at all!

posted by Kittywren (CHILLICOTHE, OH) Sep 16, 2008

Member since Sep 2008

I just got this game and I'm sending it back. All I did was talk, walk to the farm, defeat the monster, and turned it off. It's only good if you like beating things up with a hoe, and farming.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Addicting

posted by swrdrunner (TUCSON, AZ) Aug 11, 2008

Member since Oct 2007

I have played and liked Harvest Moon games before. But this is the best one I have played yet. I like that it not only has the farming but you can also go into dungeons and kill monsters and mine for ore. And it seems to be easier to get the girls to like you then in the other harvest moon games I have played. And you can see what level you are on in their friendship and love levels. This game is not only for kids either. I am 44 yrs old and playing it. This game is well worth renting or buying. I am definitely going to buy it for myself.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

A different moon

posted by Pickel668 (FREEPORT, IL) May 13, 2008

Member since Feb 2006

If you have ever played the original style of harvest moon then this version will surprise you
you don't just farm and hunt for chicks. You search through dungeons fight monsters. Even catch monster and use them for farm work or fighting . If you have never played or disliked the earlier version of this series (shame on you) you just might like this.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Left with a bad taste in my mouth

posted by FFCyborg (BETHESDA, MD) May 1, 2008

Member since May 2007

The Harvest Moon series is a series that i have seen many people put harsh judgement on. I guess many people consider a game about farming to be boring in some of a way. I have been one of these peoples; it just didn't seem appealing when i first set eyes on a cartridge of one of the games. A lot of my friends started to play Rune Factory, and told me i should pick it up at some point; acknoledging myself that I have a gamefly account, i set off to put it at the top of my Q; sadly, once i got hands on it and started playing, it felt like i was wasting my time. To start off, the story is of a young boy (stuck with amnesia;quite original Natsume ,sarcasm) who wakes up in a town when a girl goes up to him and gives him a farm; once you get this farm, you have to start working and make yourself noticed in the town, which means you have to go from dungeon to dungeon killing everything in sight; quite a lame excuse for a story. however, the farming aspect is what can get you most of your money and skills to THEN go to the dungeon to THEN do the same farming mechanism in the dungeon to THEN do the same thing again. The game has a lot of depth with a skill system and relationship aspect (plus the farming is a very interesting despite tedious idea), but it just doesn't seem worth the effort when the game expects you to repeat the dungeon crawling/farming mechanism over and over till you can't really care about anything else. You see, there is an HP meter in the game, but there is also and RP meter; when you do tasks on the farm and in a dungeon ( watering plants, slicing weeds, hoeing ground, attacking enemies, etc.), you will lose RP from your RP meter. when the RP meter depletes, you start losing hp, and when you lose hp, you die; this many seem to make sense on paper, but the only way to get RP back is to sleep in your room, to then do the same thing over again. the way your RP depletes so quickly makes progressing very hard, and leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

good game, good game

posted by tallandy (TYNGSBORO, MA) Apr 22, 2008

Member since Nov 2007

this game was what you would expect from a harvest moon game but with more fun than just growing crops.

the battling in it is your basic hack 'n' slash but enjoyable

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