Rune factory 2: A fantasy harvest moon

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by ojsinnerz., Dec 23, 2008.

  1. ojsinnerz.

    ojsinnerz. Damned

    Oct 27, 2007

    Oh well. It's my hobby. Updated January 30th.

    The first Rune Factory game was quite good, and it got good reviews overall. Some did think the combat was very minimalistic, and pretty abysmal. Now, the second game came out, and will it set things right this time? Or just stay as it is?

    <!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Rune Factory 2<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>
    It's not a direct sequel, but takes place in the same world as the first game. At the beginning, you start out as a young boy who can't remember his past (Sound familiar?). He's apparently been wandering from town to town, to look for "something". He starts looking at the trees, until a girl named Mana comes in. The boy, named Kyle, pretty much gets forced to stay at a house next to a farm that nobody's been using.

    Here's a short summery from Wikipedia:
    "The sequel to the original Rune Factory is set several years after Raguna and friends defeated the evil plans of the Sechs Empire. Things are at peace again in Norad Kingdom. In the village of Alvarna, a boy named Kyle has become old enough to travel on his own. Right before he begins his adventures, a strange premonition of doom begins to appear as a strange lady named Mana makes an appearance."

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Gameplay:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Instantly, you will think, "Hey, wait a minute..... Using the farming equipment and stuff is exactly the same as the first game...." Yup, because the gameplay is pretty much the same as the first. The only difference, is that the touchscreen is used more often now. Instead of pressing the start button, you can just press a button at the top left hand-corner, which would get you to the bag options. Instead of keep pressing the R button to run, you can now just press it once and all you would need to do is to use the D-pad/Stylus to walk around.

    One of the big different things, is the new rune gauge is significantly higher than before. It takes a lot longer to use it, just for farming. Seeing how this makes everything a lot easier, it's a bit of a letdown. I personally prefer the harder approach.

    One of a very different things this game does, is that now, the characters in a town move from one place to another at a certain time. The first one just had people in one place forever, except Rosetta, and a few others, but they all move around here. For example, Alicia will come out of her house at about 8, and go to the dock. Few hours (In the game) later, she'll go back into her house.

    Unlike the first game, this game has 2 parts. The first, and the second generation. The first generation is extremely limited, and is only there to really set up the story. The second generation is significantly better, with old favorites, such as Weapon making/improving, cooking, creating medicine and such that come back.

    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <!--sizeo:2--><span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><i>The core farming parts are still the same. </i><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Combat:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    The combat's been changed, so in a sense, it's an improvement. Personally, it kinda feels like it just slows it down. Some things have improved, like two handed swords, but truthfully, the single handed weapons have become pretty limited. You will attack in a combo, and it's a lot slower than it was in the first game. Along with that, the core gameplay is still just a bunch of button mashing, and feels pretty hollow. Not very impressed.

    An addition to the combat, is the Rune abilities, and of course, magic. If you have the right items, you will be able to use the rune abilities, and Magic, can be used anytime. Rune abilities are certain abilities that can be used with proper weapons. The magic in here, can be improved twice, and they will become useful. You will have to find them, since the spell books will need to be found to be used.

    Worst of all, it feels far too easy. Level up a little, and kill the monsters. Repeat, and you'll level up in no time. In the first gen, it's ridiculously easy. In the second gen, it's not as easy, but it'll be easy enough within a few hours of combat.

    But honestly, it's not as good as I wanted it to be. There's the new rune abilities, which is a plus, and all the stuff from the first game. But the combat part really needs a bit more polishing.

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Music & Voice acting</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    <b>The New Music:</b> The new music, is pretty good. It's refreshing to hear new songs, I suppose. It fits the game well, and to be honest, there really isn't much more to say. As for the sound effects, they're the same as before, so nothing new here. They kepted just one ST from the original game, if you wanted to know.

    <b>The Voice Acting:</b> The voice acting, unfortunately, is terrible. Out of the handful of characters that are in the game, most of them have pretty pathetic voice acting. For example, Barret sounded like a guy reading a script. His voice had absolutely no emotions, and really REALLY sucked. Before you call me a weaboo or wapanese, or something like that, no, I don't always make everything undubbed and whatnot. And for some reason, the voices kinda grew on me.....

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Visuals:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    The visuals are the same as the previous game. Hand drawn backgrounds with 3D characters roaming around it, and with anime styled character designs. I really like the visuals, and the fact that the characters are animated (sometimes), is a plus.
    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <!--sizeo:2--><span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><i>Typical conversation in the game.</i><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Quests:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Since the gameplay became a lot easier, they added a new, quest system. In order to use it, you have to become better friends with other town members. There's all sorts of quests, from defeating monsters, getting mission items, fetching certain items, and even marriage related quests. It's a very good addition, and will be used extremely frequently in the game. However, most of them are boring fetch quests, and isn't interesting enough for players to really want to do them.

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Dungeons, weapons, etc:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    If you're in the first generation, it's going to be extremely limited, because you can travel only about 20% of the whole dungeon. All the areas are blocked, and you will only be able to do some farming, but nothing much else. In the second gen, all the restricted areas will be unlocked, and you will face bosses at the end of the caves.

    A big complaint about the second game, is that there's less caves than the previous game. I believe there was about 7 caves in the first game, but there's only 4 in this game. However, unlike the first game, the caves/dungeons don't need to be unlocked, in order to gain access into it.

    As for the good news, is that there's even more weapons than before. The bad news is that there is a tedious new system where you actually have to "learn" how to make the weapons. In order to make certain weapons, you have to find it, go through a "lesson", and make one. It's no anything hard, but It seems like a waste of time.

    Less dungeons, and more weapons. I wish it was the other way around....

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Characters & Marriage:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Like the previous game or any other harvest moon games, there's a good amount of characters, and marriage candidates. Here's the list of the marriage candidates, with some pictures in the spoiler tags.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
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    Now, Cecila is a candidate. In fact, I married her in the game.

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Controls:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Controls are as good as before, and doesn't really need much to be explained. What I like, is that you can basically use the touchscreen for doing everything. It doesn't beat the good ol' D-pad, but it's nice to have.

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Bugs and glitches:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Knowing a harvest moon game, there's bound to be some sort of bugs or glitches. Some were serious enough to completely ruin the game. Even in the Japanese version of the Rune factory 2, there was a serious glitch that caused some serious pain.

    To let you know, I haven't seen any sort of glitches in the game so far. The only "bugs" are when you're around multiple characters, it'll have some slowdowns that can be easily noticed. Otherwise, it's fine.

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>
    Overall Presentation:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    In general, it feels much better than before. The touchscreen can be used for much more things, and simplified bag menu is a plus. A few things are a lot smoother than before, such as farming, lifting objects, and many more. The character designs are good, and everything feels solid.

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Conclusion:</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    I actually do appreciate the harvest moon team actually trying to make a decent sequel to the Rune factory. They tried to add things here and there, and some things worked quite well. The combat is still very hollow, and the tedious "learning" can be done without. Farming parts are pretty much the same, and if you've been a fan of it, you won't be disappointed. Newcomers to the series can play this without having to play the first, since like I said, this isn't a direct sequel. Personally, it's truly worth playing if you enjoyed the first. However, the game suffers from being far too easy. Besides that, the gameplay relies far too much on the quest system that makes the game boring than fun.

    Even with my criticisms, this is the best harvest moon game of 2008.

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    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Pros-<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    - Solid graphics
    - Very similar to the original
    - New quest system
    - More items, weapons, food, and medicine.
    - 2 Generations of story
    - Improved magic, and Rune ability add-ons
    - Lengthy story
    - Dungeons don't need to be unlocked.
    - A good cast of characters
    - Good artwork, and likable characters.
    - New monsters
    <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro--><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->
    - Terrible voice acting
    - Weak story
    - Slowdowns during festivals, and with multiple characters on screen.
    - Much easier difficulty
    - Less caves/dungeons
    - Hollow battles, and simple button mashing.
    - Tedious "learning"
    - Very limited dungeon experience in the first generation.
    <b><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Score - 75 out of 100<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>
    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    I think it's worth playing, but it's not recommended.
  2. saxamo

    saxamo Spaaaaace!

    Aug 6, 2006
    United States
    thanks, was kind of looking for a short review. I don't really have the patience for these games, but I may consider copping it in the future
  3. ricky23i

    ricky23i GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 30, 2008
    United States
    i recommend this was pretty good, but you do need patience. I hope GBA gives it good review