I'm a little over ten hours into Rune Factory Frontier
for Wii, and all I can say is it's exceeded my expectations. I have never felt this passionate and enthusiastic about a Harvest Moon
game since Back to Nature
on the PSX.
Again, I'll give credit where credit is due and showcase this
great dedicated thread on NeoGAF, if you're not up to date on RFF. The thread will show you game features, art, bachelorettes, and other good stuff that's nice to know.
First off, the game--while not pushing the graphical edge--is very pretty, using a quaint and homely aesthetic. The art style from the previous Rune Factory
games returns, and as it would happen there is in fact continuity with the first RF title on DS--this game seems to be a sequel.
The game is very story-focused, and seems to echo Harvest Moon 64
's intense focus on character development. You unlock most things through developing your relationships with the other villagers--not only character events, but dungeons, tools, and other very important things. If I can give you any advice (other than hone your time management skills), it's to talk to everyone on a regular basis. Of course, this can become a tall task, as while your village begins small over time it fills with more businesses and characters.
The combat is surprisingly good--basically a core action-RPG formula with real-time combat like that of A Link to the Past
, but with statistics altering your damage. The forging and item creation are very satisfying, as well.
If you're a previous fan of Harvest Moon but feel the series has died to you, please do yourself a favor and pick up Rune Factory Frontier
. The RF sub-series has single-handedly saved the Harvest Moon franchise from the brink of death, and Rune Factory's console debut is right up there with Harvest Moon 64
and Back to Nature
in terms of rock-solid game design, character and story writing, and overall polish.
On a side note, this is the third Wii game I've bought this year, after only buying three games in the entirety of 2008. It's about time the third-party cavalry arrived.