Rune Factory 4 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Rune Factory 4 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network What is Rune Factory 4 Special's Newlywed Mode? https://www.gameskinny.com/ix4vt/what-is-rune-factory-4-specials-newlywed-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/ix4vt/what-is-rune-factory-4-specials-newlywed-mode Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:00:02 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Rune Factory 4 Special promises to bring the 2012 farming RPG to the modern market with a few additions. New cutscenes, a new and higher difficulty, and the brand-new Newlywed Mode await in this enhanced port to the Nintendo Switch.

Though the new difficulty and cutscenes are very welcome additions, Newlywed Mode is a bit of a mystery to Western audiences pre-release. Does it add new functionality or add new socialization options within a playthrough? Nope, but

Newlywed Mode is its own thing, but if you're not a fanatic, it might not be worth buying Rune Factory 4 just for this new mode. If you are, well... yeah, you're going to want to buy it.

What Is Newlywed Mode in Rune Factory 4 Special?

If you were expecting this "big" new addition to be a real gamechanger, Newlywed Mode may be a bit of a disappointment. However, those truly crazy about their in-game spouses will find something to love (!) in this new mode.

Once you get married in a Rune Factory 4 playthrough, you will gain access to Newlywed Mode in the main menu.

Once you select the mode, you will be taken to a selection screen to choose any marriage candidate you've actually already married in a playthrough. Make your selection, and you'll get to play through a special scenario with that character as your partner.

When you begin a Newlywed Mode scenario, it will ask you to name your character and allow you to choose their pet name for you and yours for them. Escapism at its finest!

Newlywed Mode scenarios seem to last around or above 45 minutes, depending on how you approach them. They are also filled with new recorded voice lines and have playable segments, rather than just dialogue.

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This new mode may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's optional to appease both players who don't are to bother with it and those who want to get to know their Rune Factory 4 spouses a little better. It's a fantastic game with or without Newlywed Mode.

Look for Rune Factory 4 Special on the Nintendo Switch come February 25.

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Rune Factory 4: Special Release Date Unexpectedly Sprouts Up https://www.gameskinny.com/nh4pl/rune-factory-4-special-release-date-unexpectedly-sprouts-up https://www.gameskinny.com/nh4pl/rune-factory-4-special-release-date-unexpectedly-sprouts-up Thu, 23 Jan 2020 16:14:45 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Rune Factory 4: Special was announced for Nintendo Switch during one of last year's Nintendo Directs. We've waited a long time for a release date, and now we've got one. Rune Factory 4: Special will hit Nintendo Switch on February 25 in the U.S., both physically and digitally.

Rune Factory 4 first appeared on the Nintendo 3DS and was widely regarded as the best title in the Harvest Moon spinoff series. This is basically the same game, with a few twists — hence the "Special" moniker. This enhanced Switch version includes new scenarios, including a post-marriage scenario in the Newlywed Mode, new content centered around Ventuswill, and dual-audio support.

There will also be additional DLC, included free at launch for early buyers before going on sale for $5 starting March 26. However, pre-purchasing Rune Factory 4: Special nets you the Swimsuit DLC, where — surprise! — everyone gets a swimsuit.

As a straight-up farm-sim game, we still think Stardew Valley is the king, as its recent sales milestones show. However, Rune Factory 4 offers so much more than just farming, from deeper relationship-building and exploration to combat, crafting, and everything else you'd expect from a traditional RPG.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Rune Factory 4: Special news as it drops from the sky.

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Rune Factory Special Archival Edition Pre-Order Available in Europe https://www.gameskinny.com/z9lw8/rune-factory-special-archival-edition-pre-order-available-in-europe https://www.gameskinny.com/z9lw8/rune-factory-special-archival-edition-pre-order-available-in-europe Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:42:12 -0400 Rena Pongchai [Kazurenai]

Although Rune Factory 4 pre-orders have been available for North America since September, European pre-orders are available now. 

The Archival Edition offers a physical copy of the game, along with a 160-page artbook, a soundtrack CD featuring 33 tracks from the game, and new DLC featuring the lovable cast in a "Swimsuit" event.

This, of course, will be packaged in a beautifully illustrated box, which many fans, including us, hope is plastic or metal. However, considering the 55 Pound price tag (~$70), it will probably be cardboard.

 

Rune Factory 4 was originally released in North America in 2013, but the developer, Neverland Co., declared bankruptcy later that year and the original team behind the game was absorbed into Marvelous AQL. This left the fate of the Rune Factory series in question until earlier this year when Rune Factory 5 was announced. 

To prepare fans for the release of that game, Marvelous AQL decided to release Rune Factory Special, a high-definition release of the original Rune Factory 4 on Nintendo 3DS, now on the Nintendo Switch. 

There is no official release date yet for the Rune Factory Special, but the provisional date is listed as "winter" on the Marvelous Games website.

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Why Stardew Valley is King of the Farming Games https://www.gameskinny.com/5r818/why-stardew-valley-is-king-of-the-farming-games https://www.gameskinny.com/5r818/why-stardew-valley-is-king-of-the-farming-games Sat, 01 Jun 2019 08:00:01 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

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Stardew Valley Vs Story of Seasons

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Story of Seasons occupies an interesting position in the farm-and-life-sim genre. It is different from Harvest Moon, but not all that different. That's because it actually is Harvest Moon, thanks to the confusing name change and company swap mentioned earlier.

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Either way, what it primarily does is expand on everything old HM (when it was HM still) already established. For example, in the original Story of Seasons, you get more characters, more personality, more crops, more stuff to do, and more animals.

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It also tries to hearken back to the olden days of brutal farming with a sharp difficulty curve that makes money-earning very, very challenging indeed.

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Trio of Towns takes it further, trying to improve on the Tale of Two Towns concept by, again, adding yet more. The towns are bigger, the themes in each are more pronounced, there are even more animals, people, and crops, plus you have a ton of activities to do outside of farming.

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Unfortunately, it doesn't really establish an identity for itself other than the more colorful, playful Harvest Moon. That doesn't mean the games aren't fun, because they are, but it takes more than loading on content to create a champion game.

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Take the characters, for example. Trio of Towns falls into the same trap Tale of Two Towns did. There are more places to go and people to see, but each is fairly limited because of that.

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Stardew Valley's characters might not be the most detailed and complex ever. However, they're interesting all the same, since they each represent a specific personality trait or life problem that resonates with people — even Shane the chicken man. Sure, they'll say the same line for an entire season, but you want to learn more about them.

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Stardew's other mechanics are fairly basic when you think about it. However, they work well together. Mining is simple, but serves an important purpose both in expanding your farm and getting special gifts; there aren't 50 million crop varieties, but you can do a lot with a few things and shape your farm — and life — around just a handful of crops.

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In some cases, simple is just better.

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---

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Comparing these games and series isn't an easy task, since they're all top rank in what they try to do. With everything Stardew Valley has to offer, though, with the promise of even more single and multiplayer content to come, that's the one you'll find me going back to every time for a bit of quality farm fun.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-ada1d.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-ada1d.png","type":"slide","id":"197933","description":"

Stardew Valley Vs Staxel

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Staxel does a lot of things right. It's a bright and cute take on the blocky Minecraft style, and there's oh-so-much to do. Staxel even lets you customize your world and home, much like Stardew Valley, and there are plenty of relationships to forge as you go about your business.

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Your days are structured much more effectively than Harvest Moon and even Stardew Valley to an extent, since you've got plenty of time to do what you want even after all your chores are done.

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So why is Stardew Valley better?

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For starters, Staxel treats farming a lot like Farming Simulator does. It's definitely a business arrangement before it's anything else. Farming gives you materials you need to create buildings and develop your town — and you need a lot of materials.

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That's one of Staxel's biggest problems: the grind for materials. Farming is made easy, probably to account for the grind, but having the ability to cut your farming tasks short so soon, and making farming just the means to an end, takes some of the satisfaction away.

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Stardew makes you work for a while before you can even get the materials for a decent sprinkler that hopefully works every day. True, the goal of farming is to make money for other things, but in most cases, that money is used to buy more goods for your farm, or it gets put back into the town in some form or another. It's not just fodder for Petals (Staxel currency) and materials.

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It's an interesting drawback given how the game starts off so similar to Stardew and other farm-life sim games, putting you in charge of renovating a run-down farm.

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The socialization falls short as well. Villagers don't have personalities that pop like in Stardew, and they are admittedly a bit creepy thanks to the otherwise-cute aesthetic. They do play into the game's lore, but ultimately they come across like fillers more than interesting personalities to befriend.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-d6667.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-d6667.jpg","type":"slide","id":"197939","description":"

Stardew Valley vs. My Time at Portia

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My Time at Portia is getting a lot more attention recently thanks to its Switch release, though not all of it is good attention. Still, it's a solid game with an almost intimidating amount of things to do in it.

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Farming is but one of them, and it takes a side-role from the beginning. In a twist in the classic Harvest Moon formula, Portia has you work to rebuild your grandfather's workshop, not just his farm.

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Doing that involves farming and raising animals, but the main emphasis here is really the crafting and exploration — which isn't all that surprising given the player's task to rebuild an entire civilization.

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It really comes across more like a combo of Rune Factory and Minecraft or Dragon Quest Builders, especially when you add in the gigantic world to explore and the combat. The world in Portia is huge, and there are constantly new things to build to help you explore it even further.

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That said, despite the game being billed as a life-sim in the style of Stardew or Harvest Moon, it really can't stack up in the farming department. Like Staxel, everything you do is done to get materials for accomplishing a bigger goal.

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Crafting is fun, expansive, and addictive, definitely. However, when I think farming sim game, small-scale comes to mind.

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Making 10 kegs to use those hops for something more profitable is small scale; building a bridge to explore new areas, make new things, and get people to come live in your town while you try and open up bigger areas for more profit is more like an adventure-sim game.

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Where Portia can't compete, even with its bigger scale and fulfilling adventure, is characters. They're interesting and plentiful, but something about them felt shallow in comparison.

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Now, you might think that's ironic when Shane's biggest motivating factor is his pet chicken, though what it really comes down to is the human element. Portia's characters fill a narrative purpose and have interesting backgrounds like a character from a novel — not like someone you know in your own town.

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In short, My Time at Portia is good at what it does, but it's better suited for a long, sprawling adventure instead of an intimate story of building relationships with your neighbors.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-55ca9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-55ca9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"197932","description":"

Stardew Valley vs. Farming Simulator

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If Rune Factory emphasizes the fantasy element and exploration too much, Farming Simulator does the exact opposite.

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The series' focus shouldn't be too difficult to figure out, given its name. Farming Simulator is basically the agricultural version of Sim City or Cities: Skylines. You're in complete control of your farm, from purchasing plots and fields to buying machinery, keeping everything watered, and pretty much everything an actual farmer would do.

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It's an impressive management and business game, and while the realism in the graphics isn't tremendously impressive, the more recent iterations certainly look good. Farming Simulator 19 even introduces John Deere machines for the first time, and you can't get more farm-y than that.

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It also represents the main reason why it can't stack up to Stardew Valley. On its own, FS is fine, but there's no denying Stardew is a better game all around.

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For one thing, FS is a rather lonely experience. Since the focus is farm management, you don't get the social aspect that's practically synonymous with "farming game" thanks to Harvest Moon. It's a business, so there's no place for getting attached to your animals either; they're just another asset to manage.

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No magical or even monstrous small creatures to help make your farm a bright and lovely place either.

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Stardew Valley respects the fact that people need to leave their farms and businesses every now and again, even if it's just to wander around in the forest — the forest that can't be bought and turned into another field.

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Then there's the other problem of reality: it's too real. The appeal of managing one's own farm quickly withers when you live in a rural area. You see farms and John Deere when you leave the house, it's all anyone talks about, it's on the news every day, and unless you're really dedicated, it's the last thing you want to see when you jump into a game world.

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Sometimes, a bit of fantasy isn't a bad thing.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-9c744.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-9c744.jpg","type":"slide","id":"197931","description":"

Stardew Valley vs. Rune Factory

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The Rune Factory series is probably one of the stronger contenders for the farm crown. A lot of it is built into Stardew Valley after all, including monster ranching and the mine acting as a sort of dungeon.

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The Rune Factory games are also quite charming, though one could argue the series didn't really come into its own until Rune Factory 4 with its expanded story, more interesting character roster, and excellent localization.

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Where Rune Factory fails against Stardew is in how the former deals with the farming mechanic, particularly in RF4.

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The Rune Factory games aren't about runes or factories. They're about upgrading as much as possible — your gear, your farms, your relationships, and your crops and soil, but not your own farming or growing abilities.

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Growing quality crops in Stardew is part RNG and part planning. Fertilize the soil, and you'll get some good returns, if you're lucky. Over time, you can expand your operations as you take back your farm from nature and plan everything the way you want. It's your corner of the world to do with as you see fit.

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Rune Factory has you upgrade crop levels so they're consistently worth more, and there's even a Giantizer to help ensure giant crops more often. It fits the series' fantasy theme, and it frees up time to do other things, sure.

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However, it takes away some of the charm and satisfaction of seeing those gold star melons pile up in your inventory or waking up one morning to find a giant turnip peeking in your window.

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That's because Rune Factory isn't really about that kind of satisfaction.

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Farming is one of many activities, but after a short while, it clearly takes a backseat to other tasks, like relationship building or exploration, most of which doesn't rely on slowly creating a viable, vibrant farm. Shoot, you can even get a monster army to do everything for you, a lot earlier than you can recruit Junimos in Stardew.

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In short, Stardew puts the farming first and lets everything else grow as a natural offshoot from that. Rune Factory has its place, but not necessarily as a top farming sim game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-b2aa5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-b2aa5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"197934","description":"

Stardew Valley vs. Harvest Moon - To a Point

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Pitting Stardew Valley against Harvest Moon (Natsume's Harvest Moon, old and new) is like demanding a grandparent fight their grandchild. Without Harvest Moon, there would be no Stardew Valley. However, there's also no denying that Harvest Moon has lost its way over the years.

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You could argue the best Harvest Moon is Back to Nature, 64, or Friends of Mineral Town.

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Harvest Moon 64 improved the graphics in a meaningful way, added a memorable soundtrack, and Back to Nature added further depth to the game and the characters of Mineral Town, and FoMT did it all again in a slightly different and even more robust flavor. Farming was the core focus, and everything still felt fresh in the series.

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From there, things started to deteriorate a bit. A Wonderful Life and Hero of Leaf Valley, along with Save the Homeland, were interesting ways to add a different sense of accomplishment — though why someone thought making you die at the end of AWL was a good idea is beyond me. Still, they missed the point of a Harvest Moon game in the process by centering them around a definite point.

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Later entries were fun, if iterative, including Sunshine Islands and Grand Bazaar. The last good Harvest Moon was A New Beginning, which despite not doing a whole lot to shake things up did at least include new design and customization mechanics.

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Part of the issue is how Harvest Moon hamstrung itself with the adventure hybrid series Rune Factory, relegating the base series solely to farming with Rune Factory taking the more dynamic approach.

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Today, the Harvest Moon we get in North America and Europe isn't the Japanese series Bokujou Monogatari, as it's traditionally been. Instead, recent Harvest Moon titles are unique games developed by Natsume, rather than the Marvelous-developed series we've all come to know and love over the years.

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In the West, Bokujou Monogatari (which used to be called Harvest Moon here) is now called Story of Seasons, and that's seen its fair share of changes as well.

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Harvest Moon: Light of Hope shows how that all's been going.

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Stardew takes advantage of all those different styles, then wraps them up in the simplicity of an older Harvest Moon game. You've got the dungeon exploration aspect, farming, socialization, quirky townsfolk, building, and customization.

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There are several, varied goals to work towards as well if you want to restore the Community Center, which goes a long way in keeping things interesting.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-cb6ef.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-king-cb6ef.jpg","type":"slide","id":"197941","description":"

ConcernedApe's Stardew Valley took the world by storm when it launched a few years ago. It was yet another farming simulation game in a market full of them, and at first glance, it doesn't seem like it really does much different.

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If you give it a longer glance and compare it to its biggest competition, you find Stardew Valley isn't just unique among the farming-life sim genre. It's the best offering out there right now.

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Rune Factory has monsters, and Farming Simulator has...farms. Harvest Moon is an all-time classic, while Story of Seasons tries to improve on the formula with more and bigger of everything. Staxel and My Time at Portia take the farming sim in a completely new, and much bigger direction.

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They each revolve around a specific trait or activity that gives them a unique identity.

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Stardew Valley manages to combine elements of everything, though, including combat, exploration, crafting, and life-sim. The characters are a big draw too. Yes, Penny tells you a thousand times that she likes helping kids learn, but she's an easily recognizable character — a trope, but one that's tied more to everyday life instead of media conventions.

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More importantly, it makes farming the core focus, which is typically what you're looking for in a farming game. It's not just a fun mechanic thrown in out of obligation. It's integral to progressing in the game and to getting a sense of satisfaction.

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Can't Get Enough Harvest Moon? Check Out These Other Farm Sims https://www.gameskinny.com/ebre1/cant-get-enough-harvest-moon-check-out-these-other-farm-sims https://www.gameskinny.com/ebre1/cant-get-enough-harvest-moon-check-out-these-other-farm-sims Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:44:00 -0500 Sarah Elliman

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These are our top farming simulators similar to Harvest Moon, but there are many more out there! Explore and enjoy the fantastic and diverse gaming genre that was bought to prominence by Harvest Moon.

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What did you think of our list? Do you have any favorite farming sim games that we left out? Let us know in the comments below.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/r/farmforyourlife-2013-072a8.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/r/farmforyourlife-2013-072a8.png","type":"slide","id":"175693","description":"

Farm for Your Life (PC)

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Farm for Your Life is an incredibly quirky take on the farming simulator genre as you still plant crops as you would with Harvest Moon, but you also must build up your defenses to stop zombie attacks. It is an intriguing combination of Plants Vs. Zombies and Harvest Moon with many funny and intriguing experiences to be had. Farm for Your Life adds in a survival element to the tried and tested formula perfected by Harvest Moon.

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Farm for Your Life offers a variety of gameplay aspects, from tower defense to farming simulation and time management. Combining all these aspects, you create an incredibly fun game that becomes addictive faster than you would think.

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Farm for Your Life is available through Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/3/5/235a297657446fb.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/3/5/235a297657446fb.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175692","description":"

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

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Everyone is aware of this adorable simulator full of cute animals running around and asking for your help. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the perfect game to get into casually, especially with the release of the mobile version. You get to set up your house however you want it while being able to fish and collect various objects around the world. Animal Crossing is a perfect addition to your simulator games without being too taxing.

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Animal Crossing is a calm game that follows the real passage of time and allows for a high level of customization throughout the game. Although this doesn’t have any farming aspects, there are still many activities to take part in and enjoy the community present in the world.

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf is available on Amazon from $28.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splash-9e88c.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splash-9e88c.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175691","description":"

Wild Season (PC)

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Wild Season is incredibly similar to Harvest Moon and has a very similar aesthetic as well. The game has roots in the visual novel and RPG genres and promises to deliver on a fantastic story as well as being a great farming simulator. Considering that Wild Season focuses on the story element surrounding the simulator, building and maintaining relationships with townspeople is now more important than ever.

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If you’re looking for a very similar gaming experience to Harvest Moon, then Wild Season is your ticket. It doesn’t venture as far out of the genre as the other games that have been mentioned, but it does breathe new life into the genre.

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Wild Season is only avaliable through PC, and you can buy it here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/6/1/c61fdfe41d1ac013b6a6c7295e54ca4a-original-35498.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/6/1/c61fdfe41d1ac013b6a6c7295e54ca4a-original-35498.png","type":"slide","id":"175690","description":"

World’s Dawn (PC)

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World’s Dawn is a beautifully designed game that introduces extensive farming simulator elements that go beyond the original Harvest Moon. World’s Dawn shares similar functions as those of Stardew Valley, with you being able to farm, hunt, and fish as well. There are over 30 NPCs to interact and build relationships with, so you will always be keeping busy with this one.

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World’s Dawn builds upon the foundations set by Harvest Moon and tries to expand them into new territories. You’ll be able to achieve a truly fantastic experience when exploring all the features that World’s Dawn has to offer.

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You can purchase World's Dawn through Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/playstation-49177-11355184102-a4c50.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/playstation-49177-11355184102-a4c50.png","type":"slide","id":"175689","description":"

Shepherd’s Crossing 2 (DS)

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Shepherd’s Crossing 2 is an open-ended sandbox that gives you the opportunity to play the game the way you want to. There are aspects of the farming simulator that you can ignore entirely, giving you greater customization within your game. Shepherd’s Crossing 2 combines all the wonderful aspects that were perfected by Harvest Moon -- relationships and farming -- and then allows you to shape your world the way you want to.

\n

Furthermore, Shepherd’s Crossing 2 is considered a much more difficult game to work through than Harvest Moon. So, if you're looking for a challenging farming simulator game, then Shepherd’s Crossing 2 is the right one for you.

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Sheperd's Crossing 2 is incredibly hard to get hold of online, unless you want to pay over $200 for it. You can always check eBay and local stores for the game. If you like the sound of Sheperd's Crossing, then the first game is available on PS2 for $19.99 on eBay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/u/n/runefactory41018131280jpg-884630-1280w-08213.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/u/n/runefactory41018131280jpg-884630-1280w-08213.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175688","description":"

Rune Factory 4 (3DS)

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There are many installments to the Rune Factory franchise, and each title is a perfect homage to Harvest Moon that instills fantasy RPG elements. You don’t just farm or build relationships in Rune Factory -- you can explore dungeons and craft weapons or armor among other common RPG activities.

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Farming simulators like Harvest Moon are great role-playing games to start with, and Rune Factory builds on this and mixes it up. If you love fantasy games and farming simulators, then Rune Factory is perfect for you.

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Rune Factory 4 is available from Amazon for $29.99.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-stardewvalley-image1600w-c41e1.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-stardewvalley-image1600w-c41e1.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175687","description":"

Stardew Valley (Multiple Platforms)

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I know you expected this one, but how could we create a farming simulator list without Stardew Valley? Upon its initial release in 2016, Stardew took the gaming world by storm, with both critics and gamers issuing overwhelming praise for the farming simulator. The world of Stardew Valley is expansive, and the story, combined with the interactions with NPCs, makes Stardew Valley one of the best games out there.

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Build up your home and your farm the way you want to. Before you know it, you will have sunk hours into the game while still having more work to do. Stardew Valley is not just a must-have farming simulator but also a must-have game in general.

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Stardew Valley is available to purchase from multiple platforms; you can buy the PC version here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-16120635575-1ccb608c81-6f91f-ab4a2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-16120635575-1ccb608c81-6f91f-ab4a2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175686","description":"

Since the Harvest Moon series first made its way onto the gaming scene in 1996, its extensive installments and gameplay variety have made it a force to be reckoned with.

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Harvest Moon isn't the only farming simulator out there, however; there are numerous games with similar mechanics that offer a fresh take on the farming gig. We’ve picked out seven fantastic games similar to Harvest Moon that you won’t be able to keep your hands off.

"}]]]>
10 Ways to Improve the Rune Factory Series (If They Ever Made Another One) https://www.gameskinny.com/ig7ik/10-ways-to-improve-the-rune-factory-series-if-they-ever-made-another-one https://www.gameskinny.com/ig7ik/10-ways-to-improve-the-rune-factory-series-if-they-ever-made-another-one Wed, 07 Sep 2016 06:41:14 -0400 Rena Pongchai [Kazurenai]

The Rune Factory games were created as a spin-off series to the popular Harvest Moon (now known as Story of Seasons) franchise. It kept the signature farming and dating sim aspect, but introduced new gameplay such as fighting and taming monsters, giving it that RPG flavour you didn't even know you wanted. 

Moderately successful, it came as a shock to many fans when the developers filed for bankruptcy in 2013, despite releasing Rune Factory 4 (2012) which had been one of their most sold game to date. This was especially upsetting to those in the EU such as myself, who thought they would never even get to play the game

However, the publishers at XSEED pitied EU players so much that they graced us with a digital copy on the Nintendo eShop in 2014. While I am on the fence about digital purchases, I was so happy that never have I been so throw away my money (digitally).

Rune Factory 4 did not disappoint and had many improvements, such as the option to play as a girl. But already, I was waiting for more... except there was no more right? 

WRONG! (I hope.) Marvelous commented that there may be more releases on the RF franchise in the future, so not all hope is lost. 

Thus, to keep this hope burning, I decided to come up with a list of features (which I've painstakingly reduced to 10) that would make the next installment a much more smooth sailing experience. 

1. Character Customization


Our preset heroine/hero.

How I could spend hours trying out different looks for my character before ultimately choosing a look that I'd end up regretting later on. Sadly, in all the RF games to date, there has been little chance for that. You're presented with a pre-made default character that may have a few costume changes, but most of those are just outfit recolors or costumes that don't change your character's text sprite, leaving you feeling a little detached.

The HM/SoS games have gradually been introducing customization in its newer entries, and I think RF should follow suite. 

 

2. Rank / Job / Profession 

My "Love" skill basically consisted of me feeding and petting my monsters everyday.  

One of the things that makes the games unique is that you can gain stats from everything. Fighting, farming, eating, sleeping, bathing and even walking.There is such a vast amount of activities that you don't even need to farm, despite that being the main selling point. 

So, why not create a little ranking or title that is dependent on what skills you've invested in? You can be the most famous tourist shop in Selphia -- or the best monster tamer in all of the land. What about the best warrior? The best cook, becoming a new chef at Porcoline's? The possibilities are endless. This could be an extra that's added post-game, perhaps. 

3. Royalty/Shop System

166 Gold for 1 strawberry? I'm not a thief, I'm a business(wo)man!

RF4 also introduced a shop system where you can open your own shop to sell items to NPCs passing by. While a neat game mechanic, it was a little lackluster. Apart from earning more money than shipping, there was no other benefit for the extra effort. I earned so much money, and I was hoping there was an option to upgrade the store so it's more a tiny shop in front of your house.

It became a chore and I just ended up ditching it. I did deeply enjoy it though and they should definitely bring it back, provided they add some intricacy and upgrades to it. 

 

4. More "Realistic" Romance System

The romance and dating-sim aspect is one of the main objectives of the game. Give gifts = get love. Once your affection level with a character is high enough, you may confess your love, get married, and have a child.

In RF4 however, once you view all the love events, you basically annoy them into agreeing to date you. That would be fine if it weren't for the fact that it includes saying "I love you" being told "Don't joke around" -- even when you've been saying it every day for the last 60 days. If I was joking, why would I be dedicated to run to your house until you wake up at 7am to give you your favorite dish and profess my love? Psycho? Maybe. Obsessed? Definitely. But joking? Now YOU have got to be joking.

Nothing weird about this...

They also included the option to date ALL the bachelors/bachelorettes at once with no consequences whatsoever. I even confessed to someone WHILE on a date with someone else and they did nothing. I say, if you're going to include a "harem" option then go all the way. Get caught cheating, break up, terrible reputation. I feel that there needs to be some consequences. Don't just leave me to dwell on my guilty conscience! 

And one way to alleviate my guilt of marrying one and leaving the rest leads me to my next point...

 

5. Bring Back the Matchmaking

Some of the possible marriages in RF2 - Aren't they cute?

In RF2, if you aren't quick enough to capture the girl of your dreams, "rival events" will occur which will marry them with their canon-guy in the game. Similar to how you court your future partner, you also have to trigger these rival events before they are able to marry. It was essential because the second half of the game places you in the body of your protagonist's child and they, in turn, can have relationships with the other children,  fleshing out the world more and making it feel like time passed since the young characters were now adults themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

(Credits to the OP of this forum post for above screenshots.)

I think it's definitely nice to see your other bachelors and bachelorettes that you essentially rejected, have their own happy endings. I mean, its fine if you want them to cling and long for you after you get married -- but again, my guilty conscience won't let me.  

6. More Types of "Relationships"

By "relationships", what I mean in particular is having options to get closer to other villagers that aren't romantic interests but equally important.

An example could be having a "best friend" who could have more dialogue/events unlocked and give you stat boosts if you add them to your party, similar to your husband/wife or child.

This would be much more preferable for your remaining bachelors/bachelorettes, as they wouldn't become awkward third party members especially if you went the harem route prior. This would also add replayability and more importance to other villagers post-game. 

But I love you like a friend!  

7. Better Organization

With so much to do in the game, sometimes there are certain aspects that can be changed to make life easier. However, some of the shortcuts the game does give can become misleading, such as how expanding the wardrobe means to expand size and not clothes availability and combining cooking tools does not combine them physically or externally but put them into one "convenient" menu with no way to change it back. So here are some needed shortcuts that they should add:

  • Animal Book: A "book" to sort and re-order monsters rather than physically moving them to another barn by running back and forth.
  • Notes: A page for you to make quick notes on because there's so many things to do, it becomes incredibly easy to forget your place and your plans the next time you play.
  • Separate Pocket for Farm Tools: Farm tools and items are combined into one bag, making it tedious to scroll through thus, should be separate like spells, weapons and accessories.
  • TV: The only way to know if a storm is coming (which destroys many crops and is annoying) is through a random NPC. Having a weather forecast on a TV would make life easier for everyone. 

8. LOAD Button (Instead of Resetting)

I will win one day... and if not, I'll just keep resetting.

Reloading games to benefit the player is a common practice in gaming nowadays. While some outcomes may be set in stone, such as the weather or certain events, many other events such as contests can easily be fixed if you just reset everything you lose! Right? Right. However, in RF4, there is no load button, and you would have do a 'soft-reset' to restart the game. (Hold L, R and Start or Select button). 

But with forced resetting comes consequences, and many glitches occur when a player has reset too many times. Sometimes temporary and sometimes permanent, a variety of glitches have been reported -- from image and sound distortions to freezing in certain scenes and being unable to advance through the game. So by adding a Load button, it would save a ton of time, save files, and most importantly, prevent angry and frustrated players.

9. UNDO Button

Since the A button is used to attack, interact with things, pick up things AND throw things, it's probably not hard to assume that I've picked a rare item or something along the lines of being very important, and thrown it into a very convenient lake or monster or person and can't take it back. This most often happens in dungeons when I'm fighting a monster and while trying to change weapons and attack, I forget I accidentally picked up a rare drop I needed while doing so and -- whoops, splash, gone. 

Here's me re-enacting my fight-and-throw-by-accident moment using a giant pink melon...

And there it goes.. 

 Because of how fluid the controls are, I think it shouldn't be too hard to add some sort of "Undo" button for situations like that, although I do know I need to stop being such a klutz and learn my lesson...

10. Improved Story

Rune Factory

Now this last one isn't a necessary, but having a more in-depth narrative, or at least that doesn't start with the protagonist losing their memory and never getting it back, would add something new to the series. I understand that the whole point is for the player to assimilate themselves in the character's shoes and that what matters is the "now", but I'm hoping that rather than strong-willed, adorable and kindhearted soul, we get an angst, tsundere and silent (in personality, not dialogue) main character that has their own story, rather then one that becomes built up after losing their memory. 

 -----

And thus ends my list! Regardless of whether they add any of these changes or not, I'll be happy enough if they just released another entry! (Although I'll be wishing for a undo button because I can't take any more heartbreak of throwing my rare items in the lake!)

Do you agree or have any other suggestions? If you haven't played Rune Factory, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so and join me in my prayers for another game!

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Rune Factory 4 European Release Canceled https://www.gameskinny.com/ok57s/rune-factory-4-european-release-canceled https://www.gameskinny.com/ok57s/rune-factory-4-european-release-canceled Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:16:33 -0500 Courtney Gamache

To the misfortune of many European gamers, the wonderful 3DS RPG game, Rune Factory 4 has had its release canceled. We can be thankful in the states that the game has already released, while also feeling sorrow for those who will have to live without.

Why was it canceled?

According to the publisher, Marvelous AQL, whom was in-charge of the European release, they found difficulties when securing the title for the territory and therefore must cancel the set-spring release. They made a statement thanking Europe for their support, but regrettably must back out of this release.

We regret to inform you that the European release of Rune Factory 4 for Nintendo 3DS has been cancelled.

While Marvelous AQL has made every effort to secure the title’s release for this territory, it is, unfortunately, not possible to do so at this time.

MAQL and MAQL Europe would like to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm for their European releases. Please look forward to announcements on new MAQL titles over the coming months.


Last of its kind

The most heart-wrenching part about this tale is that Europe might never experience another great RPG game from the developers at Neverland. Due to unfortunate events, the developer closed their doors last year, which could mean Rune Factory 4 is the last within the series.

If you're lucky enough to own a 3DS within a United States region, you can most definitely buy a copy of Rune Factory 4 and play it without any problem. For more information about Rune Factory 4, the game website is up with some details for this epic 3DS RPG.

Have you played any Rune Factory games? Will you not be able to play it? Comment below with your thoughts on this circumstance.

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