Sunday, September 12, 2010

Game Review- Harvest moon Rune Factory 2

Harvest moon Rune Factory 2 is the second installment in the new farming simulation meets RPG genre by Natsume. Rune Factory 2 has many extra features and is easier and more balanced than Rune Factory 1. This also has some unique features which were not seen in earlier Harvest moon games and have not been reproduced in future games. I find it the best game for DS in the Harvest Moon series.

The story is much like any other Harvest moon game. You are a male character by default and cannot choose your gender. You are led to a farm where you have to grow crops and court women for marriage. You land in Alvarna which is a mystical town somewhere near the mountains. There are various events to unlock. However, this game is longer than any of its predecessors or sucessors. It has two sotrylines one after the other and both have to be played in order to complete the game. Unlike previous Harvest Moon games, this one has a definite goal.

The first arc involves coming to the village, growing crops, courting women, getting married and having children. All the these should be finished within one year. You might encounter monsters but at this stage it is not necessary to battle them and it is better not to battle them. Unlike other games, women are not impressed by gifts and heart events. You need to fulfil quests by every girl that are listed on the notice board. You can do all these simultaneously. The proposal item (like blue feather), is also obtained through a quest. Until marriage, the game is pretty easy and interesting. The graphics are good and fulfilling. In the first arc, many places and event are locked or inaccessable.

After marriage, it is necesary to have a child to push the story forward. After you are married, you will witness rival heart events and eventually all the men and women in the town will get married. They have their own children and your child can chose one of the girls as his girlfriend. If the child is a girl, she can choose an official boyfriend. After having the child, you need to build a school. Going to the school will trigger the second generation event. You will disappear and your child will become the main character whom you will control. The child's goal is to investigate his/her father's disappearance.

In the second arc, combat and fighting monsters is all important. You will need to learn spells and upgrade weapons. Also, since new routes will be unlocked, quests will become more challenging and long. The second arc is much more difficult than the first one. It is less about crops and more about fighting monsters. This will require some practice.

This game is the longest Harvest Moon game and will require a lot of time and patience. Some players give up in the second arc but I suggest you at least try your best. I found it very interesting since it was a major turnover from the laid back farming simulation that Narsume makes. It also has a definite storyline which motivestes me to play more. The games released aftet this have been degrading progressively. They have become more difficult and boring.

This is a good buy for fans of RPG as well as Harvest moon.

Storyline- 4.7/5
Graphics- 4.6/5
Difficulty- 4.5/5
Music- 4.3/5
Enjoyability- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.6/5

This one is worth your money. Hardcore simulation fans might not like the second arc very much but the first arc is still worth a try.

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