Rune Factory 5 (Switch), REVIEW – A Well Made Hybrid
It’s difficult to top the Rune Factory creators when it comes to RPG/farming simulations. Marvellous Entertainment is best known for its Story of Seasons series, which was formerly known as Harvest Moon in the west. This series dates back to 1996 on the SNES. Story of Seasons was the foundation for the gameplay of the genre. Rune Factory brought a fantasy twist to the game with dungeon crawling, RPG elements and strong RPG elements. Rune Factory 5 for the Switch is the latest release of Rune Factory 4, which was re-released in 2020. It transforms the game’s 2.5D format into a fully 3D environment.
You will play the role of a male or female amnesiac who awakens after collapsing into the wilderness. After wandering for a while, you will encounter a child fleeing dangerous insects. After the child has told her uncle about your heroism, this scenario will teach you the basics of the controls. Soon after, you are swept into Rigbarth. The rest of the cast will be curious about your adventures. You are soon offered a job with the local expeditionary force and free access to other facilities that you can expand and upgrade as you play the game. If you defeat or capture the hostile creatures that live in the wilds, the world around the town opens up.
Although combat in Rune Factory 5 can seem slow at first it offers surprising depth and freedom over time. There are many weapon types available, each with its own mastery stats which unlock new techniques as you level up. You can also use extra attack slots to increase your magic attacks and spells by levelling up your character. Although movement can be difficult, once you master the dodge system and learn how to control your momentum, you can use it to create dangerous combos with the lock-on target. It is also possible to charge your capture device and grab an enemy Pokemon-style. This can be used later for additional jobs on your farm.
The farm at your base needs to be maintained even when you aren’t out exploring the world or dungeon diving. You can grow a wide range of crops here, including the usual fruits and vegetables like corn and peppers as well as more exotic plants such as those that turn into armour or swords. You will need to water, till and tend to your crops every day. This can be made easier or more difficult depending on the weather. If you are farming during the rainy season, you will not need to water as often. However, the summer might not be as dry. You can also sell your crops or anything else that you don’t use via a dropbox located near your farmstead.
This gameplay is enhanced by a robust and convenient quick-swap system, which allows you to seamlessly swap between tools, weapons, and other items. Despite the persistently slippery controls that can sometimes get in the way when you are trying to do more delicate tasks like farming or item gathering, farming and combat feel easy and intuitive. These mistakes can lead to costly losses, such as accidentally tilling a crop that is still a day away.
Crafting can also feel a little touchy-feely. Although saving money for the various crafting stations or licensing to use them can be rewarding and easy, once you have mastered the basics it can become a little confusing. Recipes are learned primarily by eating bread. A loaf can be used for everything, from cooking to crafting weapons. They are very limited and cannot be eaten if they are too high in level. This means that you can’t just experiment with recipes, but this is your best method of discovering new recipes. While this can be enjoyable for a while, upgrading items that you have made or purchased is easier. However, you will soon discover bread you cannot eat as you try to grind away at precious experience points.
Combat and farming are the most exciting forms of gameplay. However, the residents of Rigbarth have a lot to offer. You will meet many interesting people in the town. More will be introduced throughout the story. Each person has their own personality and life. They are all carefully crafted, and they match the artwork in dialogue exchanges. Rune Factory 5’s main storey unfolds day by day. It is important to keep in touch with your neighbours and follow their lives as they progress. Nearly everyone can befriend you and form romantic relationships with them. This entry is the first time that you can have same-sex relationships.
Romance is possible, but friendships and friendships can also be used to build deep relationships with almost any character. Although the voice acting is limited, the voice-overs are very effective and help to immerse you in the story. You can build bonds with characters by giving them gifts, inviting them on adventures with you, and engaging in important life events. This will reveal more about your lives and the game’s overall story. These bonds are rewarding and make the game’s cast memorable.