Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • As I write this, I've just learned that Neverland, producers of this game, have filed for bankruptcy.

  • And that's sad. I think it's fair to say I've enjoyed the more balanced RPG bent of the

  • Rune Factory series more than I have any of the more recent Harvest Moon titles, which

  • were ostensibly about farming but had all manner of land development or part-time jobs

  • kinda cluttering up the works. Rune Factory IV, on the other hand, acknowledges the fact

  • that you'll likely have plenty of plates spinning at once, but does a good job of detailing

  • just what needs done when. Part of it is a series of requests delivered by a sentient

  • message box. Part of it is the progression of a main plot. Part of it is having a decent

  • level of control yourself.

  • So you're minding your own business, riding an airship, about to deliver some package to

  • some god because RPG, and then WHAM. You get assaulted, and while you succeed in fighting

  • them off, you take a nasty blow to the back of the head, drop your parcel overboard, develop

  • amnesia, sharply increase your special defense by two stages, oh yeah and then you get knocked

  • overboard yourself, where you just happen to land on a dragon god. Is it the same one

  • you had business with earlier? Who knows! All you know is that she thinks you're some

  • kind of prince-slash-princess, and you don't know enough to tell her no. So begins your

  • life of royalty, and being made to work in the garden right out back of the dragon's

  • chamber, and then the actual prince shows up but wants no part of the gardening so he

  • designates you the "acting" royalty and gives you a bevy of options with which to invigorate

  • the local economy and/or improve your facilities. Much like Harvest Moon, you can break down

  • stray logs and rocks for building materials, then turn those into monster stables, larger

  • storage facilities, cooking equipment, compounding equipment... makes me wanna stop down and

  • play some Agricola just thinking about it.

  • But it's not all farming: Part of it's getting to know the townsfolk, bestowing upon them

  • home-cooked delicacies like pickled turnips because you pickled an entire crop of turnips

  • and can't eat 'em all. Part of it is recruiting folks to join you in the action-RPG dungeon-crawly

  • bits, either because you need a helping hand or because you kinda just want to spend some

  • time with them alone. Nudge, nudge. There's plenty of time for flirting, too, as most

  • other tasks can be completed fairly quickly, and the game even remembers certain achievements

  • if you later take up a similar request. It might not be the most polished game I've ever

  • played, but it's certainly intuitive, right down to having your entire inventory available

  • right from the L-button.

  • The presentation's tough to criticize. I mean, you can roll your eyes at what would seem

  • to be rather pandering pan-ups of each character as they're introduced, but it's kinda interesting

  • that pretty much everyone gets one of those, making for equal-opportunity eye candy. The

  • soundtrack and effects have a distinctly retro feel, just blippy enough to feel nostalgic

  • without seeming cheap. Also, what other game can you think of that includes a massive collection

  • of fanart included in-game, complete with commentary from the cast? I could go on and

  • on, but that dragon's making eyes at me and that's kinda strange and I should probably

  • back away now.

As I write this, I've just learned that Neverland, producers of this game, have filed for bankruptcy.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it