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Rune Factory 4 Review

Rune-Factory-4-LogoRune Factory 4 is actually the sixth installment in the Rune Factory series and has deeply impressed me with what it has done. Developed by Neverland Co. and published by Marvelous AQL Rune factory 4 was brought to the states by XSeed Games on October 1st 2013. It is a Role Playing/Simulation game for the Nintendo 3DS and I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised at what it brought to the table. The basic story is a relatively common one for video games in the fact that you play as a character who is attacked causing amnesia and you spend the rest of the game filling in for a prince and trying to remember your own past as you progress. The game contains your basic dungeon crawl aspect that most RPG’s have, as well as the “build your life” feature meaning you farm, fish, chop wood, build relationships, etc.R4-Gameplay

One of the first aspects of the game that your introduced to is the little farm behind your new home. Normally I find farming in any game to be a tedious and boring task but Rune Factory 4 presents it in a way that it is both entertaining and profitable to the player and is very much like its own mini game. Your given several tools such as a hoe to tend the soil and make it able to grow seeds. Which leads to the watering pale for obvious reasons. Then you have the axe to chop and gather wood from stumps and sticks, the hammer to smash and gather stone and minerals used for many things around town such as additions to buildings, upgrades, and weapon creation. Another is the sickle to hack at certain plants and gather more items that can only be found by using the sickle. After that the player can purchase several more tools from the village to make the field there own money making machine. You can also capture and tame creatures in the wild to help you with the chores on the farm as well which is quite handy if your out doing dungeons and gathering.rune_factory_4-11

The battle system plays like your typical RPG, but balances the simplicity that allows anyone to jump in to the game easily with the depth and required elements for a long and fun RPG. You level up by defeating enemies and by performing certain tasks and requests around the village. Your skills are all separate and you must perform that specific task to level up your skill such as cooking to level up your ability to make better meals, using a sword to increase your abilities and strength in that weapon class, fishing to catch more and better fish while using less stamina to do so and many others just like those. You’ll have the basic dungeon crawl of exploring the “hidden” areas of the game as well as basic exploring as you go from map section to map section taking down enemies for money and items, and it never felt like the system got old or repetitive well after 20 hours into the game. Your face buttons will let you assign two different skills for instant use such as a magic fireball, a shock wave, or even a super uppercut. Word to the newcomers though, the hardest difficulty setting can be very unforgiving and if you lose a battle and are sent back to town, the town doctor has been known to take every bit of cash you have earned as payment. rf4_dragon_02_thumb

In addition to your exploring and dungeon conquering, your other main duty is to improve and upgrade the town you’ve come to live in. As the impromptu prince, you are assigned prince points for completing tasks and requests around the world and you will use these to upgrade buildings and add additions to the town as well as upgrade your shops and many other things. Appeasing your fellow citizens by giving them gifts and food will also play a role in the game as well so keep that in mind. You will be trying to increase your towns traffic by holding festivals and contests which in turn will give you more prince points. Also introduced is the romance aspect of the game. You have the option to try and get to know and start relationships with other townsfolk. You will do this through going on adventures together, giving them specific foods they like, small talk, etc. And all of this can eventually lead up to marriage with your special someone and was honestly quite fun to do.Rune-Factory-4 1

All in all there is a massive amount of content slammed into this 3DS game and potentially it will last anyone a great long while. With very few drawbacks that I found I would recommend Rune Factory 4 to any RPG fan and as a side note anyone that has played the new Animal Crossing game should give this a go, I think you’ll like it. It is very easy to lose track of time in this game with so many things to do and many a time I found myself farming for several hours without meaning to simply because it was enjoying. So if your looking for a great handheld RPG that is easy to jump into and has many hours of content, Rune Factory 4 on the 3DS is your game. 7.5 out of 10. Happy Gaming


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