Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Light-Hearted Charm of Rune Factory 2

I loved the original Rune Factory game, and in fact, in many respects it represented the ultimate fantasy fulfillment for me, combining as it did swordplay and role-playing adventure with Harvest Moon activities. I was not certain how similar Rune Factory 2 would be when I began to play it.

In fact, the characters and landscapes are as exquisite and romantic as the first game in the series but the creators appear to have approached this game with a more light-hearted attitude. Apart from the sometimes sly references to Kardia and the first game, there generally appears to be more playfulness in the dialogue and interactions between characters.

A new twist is the manner in which one obtains tools and necessary items. In a way, it reminds me of 'Animal Crossing'. One consults the village bulletin board, where 'requests' or quests are posted. Choose a request and complete the task to earn a variety of rewards, from money to tools to other useful items such as Empty Bottles for Potions. It is a chance, obviously, to learn the map and the schedules of the characters in the game, a very clever 'tutorial' as it were, combined with the fun of a treasure hunt.

In fact, you can obtain a Fishing Rod, a Hammer, an Empty Bottle and 4000G in a matter of hours or less in the second day of the game. If you are determined, you can acquire even more money and items.

As always, the Fishing Rod is a lifeline at the start of the game, allowing you to make enough money to purchase your first sword almost immediately. A reward of 4000G for delivering a portion of spinach to some one is not unwelcome and will allow you to purchase defence items such as a shield and bracelet as well as some crop seeds.

On the first day, when I saw the prices of items in the shops, my heart quailed but by the second day, I had accomplished a great deal and felt that the world was my oyster. That does not mean that the game is easy by any means. It simply means that one can begin to embark upon the real adventures fairly early...

8 comments:

Mars Frog said...

Rune Factory is really becoming its own series... Even Yasuhiro Wada (HM's creator) said it's no longer a part of Harvest Moon, which makes me wonder how far it will go... The Wii game will be out sometime next year ... I might try that one. I can't afford any more games this year.

KalypsoCry said...

Seems like the Rune Factory this time is a lot different from the one that was first released! The graphics are beautiful too... I remember wanting to marry Ivan in the first game, but it was only my own fancy, and my character is a male, quite sadly...

I look very much forward to your next updates! Take care

P.S. The kittens are adorable! <3 Are they yours?

Freyashawk said...

Kalypsocry, the answer to your question is 'Yes!' I had grieved too long... One never forgets loved ones, whether human or animal, but these little mischief makers are going a long way in terms of gladdening my heart.

Mar, I had heard that Rune Factory in future will be a series that is not connected to Harvest Moon at all, nor produced by Natsume in the States. In a way, I think that is a pity, but it is apparent that there are quite a few new Harvest Moon games to anticipate... Natsume probably has more than enough to do in the next year or two.

I have to admit that I really love the intersection between RPG and Harvest Moon and hope that upcoming Rune Factory games will continue to include farming, ranching, cooking, fishing and mining in future RF games.

Freyashawk said...

P.S. You know, I fancied Ivan rather desperately in the first Rune Factory and rather hoped he would be in the next game... I don't mind playing a male character. In fact, it gives me an opportunity to experience both sides of the equation. On the other hand, as I have said before, there really is more of an emotional connection when my character is a girl, especially when there is a very enticing male to court!

Mars Frog said...

I believe it's XSEED that's now joined Marvelous. They're the ones doing the work for Rune Factory Frontier and Arc Rise Fantasia (an RPG published by Marvelous). I'm really interested in the latter...

As for Rune Factory ... I think they'll take more directions that stray from Harvest Moon, but won't completely lose its farming roots. Only time will tell for sure though.

Anonymous said...

The graphics and the settings are all so beautiful from what I've seen in screenshots. The colors just seem so soft and lovely~

The little errands the player runs for the villagers are something I like forward to doing. It's fun, playing delivery boy and whatnot. Haha...

One thing that I've seen that I love is how sometimes when the Player talks to one person in a pair, sometimes the other person joins in the conversation. Seems like fun~

Anonymous said...

Wow i am really looking foward to rf2! I know this is off topic but your guide for ToT just leads you to amazon, not to a guide you had written

Freyashawk said...

Anon, I know that the link for ToT leads only to Amazon and not to any internet guide. I had to sign a legal agreement with Brady NOT to publish any internet guides for ToT as part of the contract to write the printed guide. That is standard, actually. I am willing to answer questions from players as always but I am prohibited from publishing an internet guide for that game.