Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Look at Rune Factory 2

The original Rune Factory was an exceptionally beautiful game and I loved the combination of classical RPG combat and adventure with traditional Harvest Moon gameplay.

Rune Factory 2 is no less exquisite in its graphics. It is an intensely romantic vision of life in visual terms. As you enter the village for the first time, you are surrounded by a shower of pink cherry blossoms.

For all of its beauty, Rune Factory 2 has as much sly humour and wit as any other Harvest Moon game.

Here are some initial screenshots. I need to change settings on my camera somehow as the settings that worked for Island of Happiness are not producing the same quality of screenshot here.

In meeting some of the characters for the first time, I was delighted to discover that the blacksmith is a woman who has a fine understanding of the power and beauty of edged weapons. In fact, she waxes poetical about swords as her poor son practically begs her to cook dinner and be an ordinary Mum! Tanya is a woman after my own heart...

Here is the Introduction Event with Tanya and her son Roy:

Tanya: Look at this sword, Roy! Isn’t it beautiful?! Check out that edge! And the hilt is incredible!
Roy: Yeah, it’s… uh… great. Swords are nice and all, Mom, but can you make me some dinner?
Tanya: Dinner? A meal feeds your belly for a few hours, but a sword like this can feed your soul for a lifetime!
Roy: (with cross hurt): What?! I don’t even know what that means!
Tanya: Come on! Aren’t you glad you have a fun mother like me?
Roy: I’d rather have a normal mother *sigh*…
Roy: Hey, who’re you?
Me: hey there! My name’s Frey. What’s yours?
Roy: I’m Roy. Where are you from?
Frey: Actually, I don’t know myself….
Roy: Hey, what kinda answer’s that? You have amnesia or something?
Frey: That's a big word for some one your age…
Roy: Well, you know… I pick up what I hear.
Frey: I’m tending to Mana’s farm at the moment.
Roy: That dried out piece of junk? Good luck growing anything there!
Frey: I know it won’t be easy. But I kinda like the challenge… That’s why I figure I’ll be staying around here for a while… Guess I’ll be seeing you around!
Roy: Well, if you ever have any questions about anything, you can always talk to me!

Tanya: Oh, I haven’t seen you around here before.
Yeah. I’m new here. My name is Frey. I’ll be living at the farm just outside of town.
Tanya: Ah, yes… Douglas was telling me about you. My name is Tanya. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you too, Tanya!
Tanya; So, Freya, are you interested in swords? Blades? Sharp objects of any kind?
Me: Well, um, not obsessively…
Tanya: Oh, that’s a shame. I am! Obsessed, I mean. Just can’t get enough of them!
Frey; O-Okay… Whatever does it for you, I guess…
Tanya; Unfortunately, though, monsters never come into town, so I don’t have a chance to try my blades out on any of them… *sigh*…
Frey: Oh… That’s too bad… I guess.
Tanya: Indeed it is! Anyway, let’s talk about you, Frey! I feel every true man should own at least one sword!
Frey: Th-They should…?
Tanya: Yes, they should! Should you decide to become a real man yourself, come on by! I’ll show you all sorts of fine weaponry!
Frey; Uh, okay, thanks… I’ll keep that in mind…

N.B. The English version of this game has not been released yet. I am playing an advance build sent to me by Natsume.


Synth said...

Great! Can't wait to play this :D
Though in Europe, where I live, the first Run Factory hasn't even been released yet...

On a totally different note: Have you already decided on who you want to marry ? :)

Freyashawk said...

Synth, as the DS is not 'region-specific', you should be able to obtain any Natsume (U.S.) releases of Harvest Moon games. In some cases, they definitely are superior. For example, with respect to HM DS/Cute DS, it is only the Natsume version that allows you to unlock the Mineral Town characters with a copy of the GBA FoMT or MFoMT.

Ebay and Amazon are good sources for international purchases, although you must be very careful on Ebay not to buy from sellers who sell bootleg versions. I recommend only buying U.S. versions of games from sellers who actually ARE in the U.S. rather than sellers operating from Asia, as the bootlegs usually are made in Asia. If you wish, I can recommend a couple of sellers from whom I have bought DS games in the past.

Freyashawk said...

Synth, I owe you an apology. I now have read your weblog and see that you have had quite a saga of your own with Ebay and Harvest Moon!

I too loved Golden Sun and wish they would bring out a version for the DS. With respect to the upcoming new version of the DS, I think I will give it a miss. I like my old GBA games too much.

Did you ever play the old GBA LoTR games? They still rank among my 'Most Favourite Items' in games, partly because LoTR is an all-time favourite in literary terms.

I should have the instruction booklets for all the GBA games I ever owned, by the way, although I am so busy with current guides that I don't know how I'd have the time to copy out all THAT material for any one at this moment in time.
If you are desperate though, let me know. At the least, I could read the booklet and convey the information that is needed.

Synth said...

-The MT unlock was really a letdown in Europe. I'm getting Cute from USA already, though I'd like the lesbian "wedding" to eb available too :D

-Amazon from USA is a no go, as they don't ship videogames here. But I'm not a stranger to importing. Though that would also be worth of its own "saga" :D

-I'd be very glad to get a list of trusted sellers :)

-No, I must admit I never played LoTR games for the GBA.

-The booklets would be more for collection value, but thanks anyway.

-You didn't answer if you've already decided who you'll marry in RF2 ;)

Freyashawk said...

Synth, I am undecided at this point as far as marriage is concerned in RF2. I don't know the characters yet well enough. As I am a girl in real life, there is more of an emotional 'knockout' value in games where I play a girl character and can fall hard for some one like Skye in Cute. I always rather fancied witch's hats myself, thus like Alicia's looks but her rather commercial attitude towards life is a little off-putting. I'll keep you posted.
If you send me an email, I'll send you a list of Ebay sellers I trust to sell genuine games from past experience.

Synth said...

One more question, this time about gameplay. Saving the game. Is it the same as in the first RF?
I don't mind being able to save only in special places, but in this case I would really appreciate a "quick save" option. You know, for when you have just a few minutes to play :)

Freyashawk said...

You can save in your house using the 'diary' and there are save points throughout the enemy areas (dungeons and caves). No option to save 'on the fly' as it were, as far as I can see!

Gary said...

There is an English version of RF2 out already?

Freyashawk said...

Gary, Rune Factory 2 has not been released yet, but should be released before Christmas in the States. Natsume often sends me advance builds of Harvest Moon games so that I can make a headstart on my (very long and very detailed) guides. I am sharing these details about RF2 to whet the appetites of players...

I personally think that players need more time to appreciate Island of Happiness fully. It is a wonderful DS title in its own right. Even so, it's not a bad thing for players to know what is coming in the near future...

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Sometimes people are impatient! I understand looking forward to upcoming games of anything, especially as more details are provided and it is being developed. But Harvest Moon games are generally very big, and even still they manage to (usually) pump out multiple releases each year! A good point about Animal Crossing games is that, so far, there has been a "three-year waiting period" before sequels. This gives you more time to explore and enjoy the game for what it is!

However, though I am enjoying all of my current Harvest Moon games and am not in need of a new one, I figured you may know, Freyashawk: Does Natsume know what Harvest Moon game they will be translating next? Thank you!