Hi guys! Today I, Pinkii, am doing a review on the video game Rune Factory 2. This is the sequel to Rune Factory (which was just reviewed by cerulean. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it in the Geek section.) This is one of my personal favorite video games of all time. I specifically requested to do the review on this game because of my love for it. It was the first Rune Factory game I played. It caught my eye at a video game store. I had played Harvest Moon DS and a few other Harvest Moon games before, and when I saw the title Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, I bought it immediately. I took it home and was hooked.
Rune Factory is similar to the Harvest Moon series. The most simple way I can describe it is that you are a farmer who fights monsters. But it’s so much more than that.
This game stars a guy who has lost all of his memories. He doesn’t even remember his name! He is an earthmate, a person who is excelled at farming and can tame monsters. He is found by a girl named Mana, the daughter of the very muscly, very tall, overprotective general store owner named Douglas. After he (the original name of your character is Kyle which I will use from here on out during this review) gives himself a name, he is invited to live in the town on an abandoned farm, given to him by Mana and Douglas. The town is called Alvarna. Kyle eventually gets married to one of the seven eligible bachelorettes. Each girl has her own distinct personality and a bunch of requests (basically quests that you have to do in order to marry them). I have seen almost all of the scenes and have done almost all of the requests for all of the girls, and each girl is very different. After being married for a few months, Kyle’s wife discovers she is pregnant. You get to chose whether it is a boy or a girl. If you don’t care, you can also make it random. After your child is born, your wife tells you she wants to build a school for the child to attend with the other children in the village. Since it is a small village, children were usually home schooled. In fact in the beginning of the game, there are only two children! The mayor agrees to let the school be built and you volunteer to supply all the needed lumber and money. After the school is built, time moves forward seven years. Kyle recovers his memories and leaves, after saying goodbye to his child, who caught him leaving. He leaves a trail for the child to uncover. You then begin play in the second generation. This is when the game gets even more fun. You keep all the levels, money, and skills from Kyle and they are transfered onto the child. The child has a goal of finding it’s father. To do that, he/she must fight monsters and also the four bosses, one for each dungeon. Each dungeon has a season theme, in which you can grow crops to sell, cook, or give to others. Once you defeat all the bosses, you must save your father. I won’t spoil the rest of it for you!
I’m going to judge the game based on these categories:
Plot: In my opinion, this has the best plot of the series. I loved the plot. I don’t think I did it justice on the description, but I tried my best! I really liked the generation switch in the game. The first generation was a little slow, but the second generation sped up a lot.
Gameplay: The controls were not my most favorite. They greatly improved on the controls in the third Rune Factory. If you dropped something, it disappeared, unless it was a special item, in which case, it would appear in the lost and found. The fighting controls weren’t as fast, but everything was manageable.
Graphic quality: Not too bad. They improved on it a lot from the original Rune Factory.
Art Style: The characters (I mean the close up picture of them that appears when you talk to them)were well drawn and the backgrounds were beautiful. I loved seeing the Cherry trees. They were not as spectacular as something you would get on a PS3, but they were pretty nice for a DS. This is a regular DS game that has been out for four years after all. They did a pretty good job in my opinion.
Pacing of story: The beginning is a little slow. If you take too long courting a girl and saving money, then you might want to hurry it up a bit. Once you get to the second generation, it speeds up a lot. I didn’t even mind the beginning being a little slow, because I was courting several girls and enjoyed getting to know all the characters.
Customization: Not too much customization. You can pick your bride and your child’s gender. You can’t edit your house or clothes though. Well in the second generation, you can change your clothes a bit, like the color and there’s a few other outfits, but you don’t really end up caring. I think I ended up changing the outfit like once or twice a season.
Difficulty of game: The beginning is really easy. The second generation gets tougher, but it’s not going to make you scream. It’s challenging in a good way. It’s not like “OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO BREAK MY FREAKING DS IN HALF!” (which I actually did when I was eight. Stupid Archie from Team Aqua in Pokemon Saphire! I couldn’t beat him no matter what I did… Then when I got a new one, I beat him on the first try. Oh well!)
Music soundtrack: Nice music actually. Actually, I didn’t mind it. I played with the music on when I could. It wasn’t that annoying. It was pleasant, tolerable, and matched the atmosphere of the game.
Price of game: You can buy it used at gamestop for about $20 or on ebay starting at about $10 plus shipping.
Lasting Appeal: It has good replay value. You can marry different girls if you replay the game. I’ve replayed it several times, and I still can play it again.
Final consensus: I totally recommend it. However, if you are going to start the series, you should start with the first one. I wish I had started with the first one. It is hard to play the older games after you have played the newer ones, because the fighting is slower. They improve the gameplay every game. I really loved the game. I still do. I ran out to get the next game as soon as I could. I think that the fighting is a little annoying, because of the controls. The plot though, was amazing. It made up for any downfalls. I have played the game several times. I fully recommend this game and the other games in the series, but I would start with the first one.
Stars out of 10: I want to give it a full 10, because I love the game so much, but there are a few things with the controls that are tricky. So I’m giving it 9 and 3/4. (Harry Potter fans are probably loving the number! I know I do!)
Cerulean will be doing a review on the third game soon!
Have a lovely day! I hope that you try the series, because the games are amazing! My friends and I have been big fans of it for a long time. Cerulean and I along with another good friend of ours, play them together still. If you play the game and need a guide, try searching for Freyashawk’s guides. Also, for the Harvest Moon series, if you need a guide, try going searching Ushi No Tane. Both of them make amazing guides!
Disclaimer: Harvest Moon and Rune Factory belong to their respective owners and creators. I am not affiliated with Freyashawk or Ushi No Tane in any way, I am merely a fan. None of this is mine. This is strictly a personal review of the game and I’m not being paid for it or anything.
Okay guys I’m done with this post!
Byebye for now!