Rune Factory 4 Special is the definitive version of the 3DS game. It contains updated HD graphics, as well as a few additional cutscenes. With so many ports coming to the Switch already, is one needed from the 3DS? In short yes, absolutely, it is worth your time.
First off, I will admit I never played any of the Rune Factory, Story of Seasons, or Harvest Moon games. Despite how many times someone recommended one of them to me over the years. That being said, Rune Factory 4 does a great job of introducing the vast amount of activities that can be done, so newcomers to the series like myself don’t feel overwhelmed.
In the opening segment of the game, you are given a choice of two dialogue decisions to make. Choosing “I’m flyin’ high, baby!” will select the male protagonist, Lest. Selecting “Goodness, I’m so high up!” will select the female protagonist, Frey. They fall from the airship they are flying in. When he/she hits the ground they have no memory of who they are. They are taken in by an elderly butler named Volkanon. Volkanon is the butler of Ventuswill a dragon who rules over the region. Due to confusion, Volkanon mistakes Lest/Frey as the Prince/Princess of the town Selphia. While the story is not groundbreaking, it still has its own bit of charm.
As Prince or Princess, you have many duties from day to day that need caring for. However, learning them all might feel a bit overwhelming. It’s a good thing there is a request box from the villagers that serves basically like a tutorial. Follow the requests, and you will learn the essentials of your day to day life, as there is a lot to do. Activities range from cooking, fishing, farming, woodcutting, and so much more. However, there is a limit to how much of a single activity you can do, since activities are measured in Runepoints (RP). The more times you do an activity, the more the RP goes down. If Runepoints are fully depleted, you will start to lose your health points (HP). Cooking becomes convenient here, as the meals made from this skill can restore both HP and RP. The more you do an individual task, the more experience you earn for that particular task. As the skill level goes up the less RP is used while doing the specific skill. Building up a skill such as tiling land allows for a longer time to till the land without getting tired. Although building the skills may seem like a lot of work, it is a lot of fun building each one.
With so many activities to do, at times it felt hard to decide what to do. While all activities are fun, my favorite would be developing friendships. Developing these friendships can be done by completing tasks for people, talking with them, or my favorite, adventuring together. If you are lucky, that friendship can grow into a marriage. Exploring the world outside of town was a close second favorite activity of mine. I enjoyed the hack and slash battle system. As an interesting turn of events, some monster enemies can be turned into allies by feeding them the correct food.
At its core, Rune Factory’s story is a bit flimsy, but the gameplay is what makes this game fun and worth playing. I had a blast from my day to day activities and my time spent with it didn’t feel like nearly enough. I will be playing this long after reviewing it. Rune Factory enthusiasts, as well as newcomers, should certainly give this a go.
Review: Rune Factory 4 Special (Nintendo Switch)
I had a blast from my day to day activities and my time spent with it didn’t feel like nearly enough. I will be playing this long after reviewing it. Rune Factory enthusiasts, as well as newcomers, should certainly give this a go.