The twist in Rune Factory 2 couldn’t shake the series up more if it were wearing knuckledusters and tearing the arms off the townsfolk. We’re not going to say in detail, in order to avoid any spoilers. Suffice to say that anyone who’s been following the Harvest Moon series will be in for a shock and a treat, making this farming-dungeon fighting-flirting RPG an essential addition to the series. And as for newcomers? It’ll be a delight.
The biggest change has to be the chore system. You do favors for the townsfolk in order to progress through the game – getting new tools, the odd seed, increasing your friendship points and so on. The chores are all displayed on the town’s notice board, which makes this more accessible than its predecessor. You can choose when you want to run an errand, pick between the tasks, and therefore eliminate the usual RPG ‘run around, talk to everyone, wait for someone to ask you something after you’ve talked to them 32 times’ thing.
Also, the farming rules are less complicated. You build up your cash by farming different areas (with different monsters to fight), and there’s no confusion over what to plant and when. It’s not dumbed down, it’s just more logical; it’s beautiful, and it works.
Nov 19, 2008