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on February 6, 2014
I've played most of the older Harvest Moon titles, this was my first for the newer systems like DS, PSP, PS3, Wii etc. I'd played most of them on GBA, N64, SNES etc. It was also my first Rune Factory game.

This was a whole bunch of fun rolled into one game. Past Harvest Moon failed to keep me interested, not enough energy, not enough to do. Rune Factory fixes so many of the problems I had with previous titles.

It is a whole lot of fun to explore the caves. The Monsters were unique and at times a challenge, well until I got into crafting, then the challenge sort of vanished. There are tactics to the various monsters, I've heard some say it is just button mashing, but there is a timing element, like running away, moving around to a side and attacking again. Early on, it is not a good idea to stand toe to toe with certain monsters and hack away.

It is easier to make money, just get to the second cave and mine sapphires they come leveled so a good idea is to upgrade the hammer. A Level 1 Sapphire is worth 700, but a level 9 sapphire is worth 6300. Each trip usually nets 7-12 Sapphires with a charged hammer. It turns out to make a huge profit quickly.

Farming changed from the old titles, it used to be one couldn't water the center crop because the crops around you would be in the way, which in the past meant leaving rows open to walk around the field. Rune Factory every crop is able to be walked across.

The drawbacks. It is to easy to be sealed early on when escape magic is most handy luckily charging tools isn't done much that early. Magic spells like Quake, fireball, etc. seem useless, cost to much and take up inventory space. It only seems worth keeping, cure, heal, teleport and escape. Towns folk get repetitive and some characters seem overly difficult to raise Love Points. It might be a drawback to some that you can only play as a Male character. Item drops are hard to come by and some most needed through out the game don't drop until the final cave. I still have yet to get a Strong Vine to drop, which is needed to get the final 2 upgrades on the rod, yet I've defeated over 50 of the monster suppose to drop it. Also the cow and chicken monsters don't appear until the 4th area, I thought they should have come sooner.

However over all this is the best DS title I have played, I even have a pad of paper loaded with notes to help out. Not something I do with many games. This game is well worth every penny. I'm afrais Rune Factory 2, 3, and 4 DS just won't keep what works going. If there is one Harvest Moon to get, this is it.
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on March 4, 2008
When I was deciding which game to get my 8-year-old son for christmas, I was looking for a game that would have enough action to keep my son entertained, but that would also require some thinking on his part other than with which weapon to kill which monster. Rune Factory turned out to be the perfect game for him.

Unlike most games nowadays, where 90 percent of the gameplay is senseless fighting, Rune Factory has a good balance of action, planning and organizing. The main character finds himself without memory in a strange town. A girl finds him and offers him a plot of land and some farming tools. To earn the right to explore caves and fight or tame monsters (yes, you can actually make friends with monsters!!!), you have to plow your fields and grow crops first.

I found the game quite educational for my son. Of course, he is most interested in fighting the monsters in the cave, but to do so successfully, he first had to organize his fields, and develop routines (water fields after getting up, fishing on rainy days to get money to buy weapons, talk to people and help them to make friends, etc.). Even in the caves, strategic planning on what to plant and how to maintain it determines how long one can stay in the caves, and how well a player can heal. By now, this is his favorite game, not only because it is very versatile and has many challenges, but also because this has been the first game he hasn't been able to finish within a week or two. After two months of playing, he still isn't even anywhere close to finishing the game. While I consider most games to be a waste of money, this one sure was worth its cost.
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on February 28, 2014
Runefactory is the first game of the Runefactory series. It is a real time rpg with many elements of the Harvest Moon series but with a nice touch of fantasy RPG elements.

1.For a first game, it comes in very strong. It has an unexpected intriguing story as well as memorable characters with diverse back stories to explore.
2. The game comes with several interesting dungeons to wander through and many creatures within to tame to fight for you! 3.Later on in the game you can create your own equipment and cook your own food to heal yourself.
4.There are over 10 girls in town that you can court and eventually marry to start a family of your own.

1. The first dungeon starts off with much more difficulty than the rest of the dungeons and it could be mistaken as the difficulty of the rest of the game.
2. You have the ability to forge items and equipment to make the game much too easy and plow through dungeons like hot butter.
3. While characters have interesting stories of their own to tell, after that they repeat the same dialog each day practically.

Who should get it:
Anyone who is a fan of Harvest Moon should give it a try as well as fans of RPG's in general. While some farming is required within game, farming takes a backseat to the RPG elements so those who came for a farming centric adventure are to be disappointed. However, if you're looking for a new RPG series to entertain yourself, give the Runefactory series a try, you might just surprise yourself.
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on May 28, 2009
For those gamers who don't know what a Harvest Moon game is, they are basically farming simulation games, where you manage a farm by growing crops and tending animals. You start out poor, unskilled, and single, but over time you can become wealthy, a skilled farmer, and married. There are also various events, such as holidays, which periodically occur to add some variety to the game.

Rune Factory is a Harvest Moon game with an additional twist - there is a combat component in the game! The combat is actually quite important, since you fight through monster-infested caves to improve your character, obtain useful items, and even grow crops in them. Do not expect a fighting system as polished as, say the Legend of Zelda, since combat is actually quite rudimentary. Nevertheless, the combat is reasonably entertaining and is passable as a new game mechanic.

The art style of this game is also notably different than typical Harvest Moon games. Most Harvest Moon games are more cartoonish and child-oriented, but this game seems to be inspired by more mature anime. The graphics are also in 3D, instead of 2D, and for the most part look great.

While Rune Factory manages to get a lot correct, there are some aspects of this game which could have been more polished. The main characters all look detailed and interesting, but the monster models are mostly bland and generic. There are also a few translation issues in the game (which is actually quite common amongst Harvest Moon games) which, while not fatal to the gameplay, are still distracting. The inventory management system could have also been streamlined a bit more, especially given that the DS has touch-screen controls, since you will spend a substantial amount of time managing items in the game.

If this all sounds somewhat strange, rest assured, this game is enjoyable and entertaining if you are into games which allow you to steadily improve the skill and power of your character. While Rune Factory isn't the best designed game out there, it manages to do everything well enough to keep the main draw of the game - improving your character and establishing a life on the farm and in the local town - entertaining and enjoyable. The main storyline of the game easily packs in dozens of hours of gameplay, and after you finish that you can spend an indefinite amount of time playing more. If you're a fan of Harvest Moon games, give Rune Factory a try. The combat system is somewhat odd, but the core of the game is still similar to previous games in the Harvest Moon series.
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on November 6, 2007
I've never played any Harvest Moon game before, but I've always been a fan of the Animal Crossing series for Nintendo. I had a desire to play a game similar to AC and I had heard a lot of recommendations for this game. It took me awhile to get used to the game at first, there were a lot of things that I didn't really know how to go about doing and there aren't that many instructions in the start of the game to tell you what you should do. Because of that fact, I had let this game sit on the shelf for a month before actually starting to get into it.

The graphics are really nice - one of the best that I've seen for the Nintendo DS. The character renderings are cute and the environments are pretty. The storyline itself is pretty straightforward - the main character has amnesia and ends up being taken in by Mist who gives him a plot of land to farm and a house to stay in. There isn't anything spectacular about it.

The one thing that I really enjoy is the gameplay. There's so much you can do in this game and it's not limited by time or how many seasons have gone by. You have separate skills you can level up - ie swordsmanship, farming, fishing, cooking, etc. On some days you can just farm - or explore a cave - woo the girls - or just cook at home. Anyway, it's hard to put down this game once you've picked it up. It's a great addition to my DS collection. I highly recommend it.
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on April 17, 2016
I played the PS3 Rune Factory game and loved it so I finally started to get these games. It was a little slow at first until you made money to get what you needed but then I had too much money and nothing to buy anymore. Would recommend this game to others that like this style RPG games.
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on March 28, 2016
Rune Factory combines my two favorite things - Harvest Moon and Zelda style dungeon crawling - into one!

So when I found this, I was so excited! The best of both worlds, right? Right! And it really is. Woo ladies, plant crops, kill things - what more could you want?
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on February 1, 2008
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this game. It is great for a gamer who is sick of the usual hack and slash and needs a different kind of break. I had never played a Harvest Moon title before so I am coming from that perspective. I played Animal Crossing and liked it ok, so I thought I would try this game out and I am GLAD that I did.

It is alot of fun and is in my opinion more fun then Animal Crossing as it has a bit more challenge to it. I think the graphics are cute and done well and it offers quite a few different things to do.

I had been getting burned out on all my fighting based RPG PC and DS games and this was a really great break from that.

I will give one warning though.... THIS GAME IS EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE. So make sure you have time to sink into it before you get it.
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on November 25, 2016
Been having such a hard time finding a copy of this for a reasonable price, but I'm addicted to the series. Got a little worried because I bought an used copy, but I was oh so wrong. Case in perfect condition, came with the little booklet, game runs perfectly. A+
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on April 27, 2009
This game is very cute, mostly non-violent, and very addictive. It definitly teaches time management and how to use the resources you have at hand. Only down side, if you could call it that, is that i would like to be able to choose the sex of the main charactor. You probably want to look up a walkthrhough online to go with the game (Or if you have money to burn, buy one). It's definitly helpful to have a list of seeds, seasons and growth periods, along with what items are available for sale on what day.
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