Rune Factory 5 Review – Enduring Raw Edges for Great Rewards

Some games, like The Sims and Animal Crossing, draw you in with their laid-back routines, making it easy to get into the mechanics and allowing you to create your own experiences. The Rune Factory series embodies this style of play, combining farming, socializing, and dungeon crawling.

As someone who’s been playing the franchise since Story of Seasons was first published 15 years ago, I’ve always loved how the action/role-playing genre captures a sense of discovery. Whether it’s excavating a new locale that offers new items and monsters to feed or learning more about the town’s eccentrics, you’ll have a satisfying sense of progression in the long options. endless on how to spend the day. Rune Factory 5 succeeds in this respect, and in many ways it is one of the better entries in the series. Unfortunately, some technical issues, such as terrible frame rates, along with a poorly designed combat and upgrade system, dilute the experience.

Rune Factory 5 continues the tradition of an amnesiac plot to drive the story. You arrive in the town of Rigbarth mysteriously, with no recollection of how you got there. All you know is that something is wrong when the monsters are invading the land. In search of answers, you take a job as a ranger. This allows you to take requests from townspeople and conduct investigations into suspicious places in hopes of finding your next clue to the larger mysteries at play. Of course, for a subsistence income, you’ll need to farm along the way.

The plot does its job of bringing you into the world and providing connection points for you to continue exploring, but it’s the townspeople who create the experience. The cast is one of the strongest of the series, with lots of lovable and interesting characters. They weren’t as overdone as some of the previous entries, but I got caught up in their personal struggles, like Lucy missing her father, plus more humorous situations, like Ryker always wanting to take a nap. There are character-focused quests that provide additional layers to their everyday personalities.

As an action/role-playing and relationship/farm game, Rune Factory offers plenty of cool ways to spend your time. Focusing on the townsfolk can open up side adventures and eventually lead you to love. Catering to crops increases your profits quickly, allowing you to upgrade everything from the size of your house to the inventory available from town shops. Entering dungeons and defeating their bosses usually enhances the plot, but you can also level up, learn new weapon combinations, pick up items to craft, and tame some monsters to do. work on your farm or fight with you. The game has an engaging loop, and I never felt like my days were empty, but I quickly realized that many of these systems are just average or subpar in their design.

For starters, the fight, although improved from the previous entries, is difficult and the clumsy multi-button combo abilities don’t help. You tap R to dash, but holding it will trigger your spells. Small differences in input are the recipe for the disaster you expect; My magic menu appears when I try to dodge more times than I’d like to admit. That being said, I love the amount of different weapons available and how unique they all feel, from the melee-focused boxing gloves to the one-punch-heavy longswords . Using a variety of weapons has changed my approach to fighting. For example, with quick, low-drain dual swords, I can afford to spam attacks and combos, while heavier weapons make me step back and wait for the loophole to lament. with the enemy.

Unfortunately, Rune Factory 5 doesn’t encourage much experimentation with its various weapons. Players must level up the proficiency of each weapon to learn new combos and attacks. Starting from square one doesn’t seem worth the effort, and if I weren’t trying to get a full view of the game for the purposes of this review, I’d just be stuck with a weapon or two. in the whole game.

I’d love to see the awesome designs of the bosses (a personal favorite is a colorful octopus), but fighting them is frustrating. Boss is for viewing enemy patterns, but I never felt challenged, especially when I brought tamed monsters into the fray. You can also take the villagers you befriended to fight with you. They provide powerful team attacks on your character, but they all start at a low level and must earn battle experience before becoming useful. All the people who fought in my village died too quickly for my liking, and I didn’t find the cruelty worth it, so I often left them behind in favor of the monsters I had tamed. chemical.

That’s the thing about Rune Factory 5; everything is promoted by leveling up. On the one hand, this can be pleasing; otherwise, it may require tedious grinding. It’s not just about your fighting level; Your cooking, forging, crafting and chemistry levels are also centered around this progression system where trying out new recipes will make for better items, weapons and armor.

The only way to unlock the recipe is to blindly experiment, buy the recipe bread (available in limited quantities each day), hope the NPC reveals a recipe in random chat, or get the cake Noodles on quest or festival rewards. As you get to higher levels, it becomes really exciting to see what you can create. I’ve made a deluxe monkey shield, and can cook everything from chocolate muffins to star-shaped hash browns. Even so, upgrading weapons, armor or farm implements is too much trial-and-error for me.

Since you can craft, harvest, forge, cook, and mix potions, you’ll pick up plenty of items on any given day. Unfortunately, inventory management is a mess, making this quite difficult. Your backpack can only carry certain items, and I’m constantly running out of space. It took me a long time to move items to the storage, which I also had to expand continuously. To add insult to injury, the game doesn’t automatically group items together when you move them into the inventory, forcing you to find items that stack together to save space.

While I feel uncomfortable with my luggage space, it has never taken away from my love of discovery and the joy of finding new things. From finding bandit hideouts, crystal caves, lava caves, etc., every new area presents an opportunity – whether it’s finding rare items and ores to craft, finding new ones Powerful monsters to tame or obtain a new fruit can be used in recipes. Every trip you take feels rewarding – even if it’s simply strolling around town to discover something new about a villager.

Festivals and special events help to break up the calendar, and I love their interactivity, helping me complete small tasks like dodging and creating my own monster team for a tournament. Sadly, the events are short-lived, and the rest of the day is lost as the villagers just continue to stand around the festival grounds. For them more than one main, short event goes a long way to making these celebrations worthwhile and impactful.

Rune Factory 5 is pretty rough around the edges, but I still loved my time with it. Something about the way all the parts work together keeps pulling me towards it. Even after completing the main story I’m still playing, as I have recipes I haven’t unlocked yet, a romantic journey I’m starting and many upgrades I can still make to market. town. It has its flaws, but Rune Factory 5’s compelling loop of continuous development and exploration helps to mitigate a lot of these annoyances, so they don’t sting too much.

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