Continuing the successful spin off series to the popular farm simulation RPG Harvest Moon titles, Rune Factory 2 once again gives consumers a blend of farming and fighting action.
This time around Neverland Co has introduced a more immersive storyline, a larger range of monsters and the ability to play through two generations.
Publisher Rising Star Games holds the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory franchises in high regard.
“The Harvest Moon games have been consistently our best-selling games within our portfolio and rightly hold the banner as our flagship brand,” says Rising Star’s product manager Yen Hau.
“Rune Factory 2 builds upon the successful mechanics of the first game by offering a deeper, more involved Rune Factory experience. It still combines the best of the Harvest Moon universe with core RPG gameplay, but now the story is even more immersive and spans two generations.”
The game puts players into the shoes of a man and his son. Consumers first play as a man named Kyle who, suffering with amnesia, stumbles into the town of Alvarna. One stormy night he regains his memory and remembers why he came to Alvarna, then leaves.
At this point, players shift a generation and take control of Kyle’s son or daughter, embarking on a quest to find Kyle and unearth the reasons behind his leaving.
Gamers once again have a range of farming resources at their disposal with land constantly evolving, even when the story is complete. The game features a range of different areas including the farm, house, town and monstrous dungeons – each boasting beautifully colourful visuals.
Each of the four dungeons in the game are based around a different season of the year and are inhabited by a range of monsters, creatures and bosses including goblins, trolls, golems, demons and ‘others’ to name a few.
Alongside defeating beasts in battle, gamers can also tame enemies and use these reformed creatures as companions in future conflicts as well as putting them to good use as workers on the farm. Slaying animals also builds players’ battle statistics.
The game’s town of Alvarna has its own calendar and players can enjoy a range of seasons, festivals and birthdays on specific dates. Fans of the previous games in the series will recognise events as some are taken from Harvest Moon and the previous Rune Factory title while other are based around real-world events like New Year’s Eve.
As with previous titles, gamers have to sow seeds and water them in the farm during certain seasons. Now players are able to plant crops outside the farm, risking attacks from outside monsters. The environment in the game also changes with the varying weather conditions – a storm could destroy a player’s crops entirely.
Gamers’ ability to interact with the anime-inspired townspeople through dialogue and cut scenes takes on a particular importance. Through this interaction, consumers can increase Friend Points and notch up a few Love Points through affection with potential love interests.
These Love Points play a vital part in a player’s romantic endeavours. After enough courting and Love Points, players can tie the knot with that special someone and raise their child, which gamers become in the second part of the game.
This new title is bound to appeal to fans of the Rune Factory series.
And with four more Harvest Moon products expected in the next six months, there’s no sign of the series’ popularity dropping any time soon.
Hau added: “We have seen an increase in sales between the first DS version and Rune Factory Frontier, released earlier this year, and expect this growth to continue with Rune Factory 2.”
Rising Star is also providing Rune Factory 2 with an online marketing campaign, which will run across several social networks, and the publisher’s own Hoshi network.