Reviews: Rune Factory 4
Good, Improved, But Feels Empty
The fourth installment and my suspense of disbelief was already a bit challenged by the story. We're amnesiac and assumed to be the travelling royalty visiting to take over - the real royal, Arthur, arrives late and let's us take over the place; this part was already weird because who would think someone would name a girl Arthur? But that a Prince/Princess is to do farm work? Well, alright... Majority of the mechanics are the same as they were in the previous game, making it easy on players to not have to re-learn new mechanics too much. But the story is where it really fell flat for me, along with its characters. Characters in RF were never that deep to begin with, but these just feel like they have no big personality beyond their initial appearance. The tough, female knight actually likes cute things, but doesn't want to admit it, cause she thinks it makes her look weak and not professional with her job. The story is separated into three arc and the 3rd is really not important. It's just something to re-establish some status quo in the game, so that the player can then play as long as they want. Now, the 1st Arc is pretty short, but I felt it would have been decent enough, had it been made the entire game's story. Pacing would have to be altered, of course, but the ending for that part was emotional, there was a sense of urgency to the actions and the 'final dungeon' was well done. The 2nd Arc... tied everything back to the first game, which can leave players who didn't play the first game somewhat lost, and overall attempted to feel way too epic for its own good. An old bad guy appears, things go horrible for the Wind Dragon and the God-Complex and he'll destroy the world, yadda, yadda. Too much, too epic and it really had no place to be that epic. The ending, aside from still attempting to be epic and having us fight the Wind Dragon - simply to keep consistent with the previous games, was okay. Ended on a downer note, but not one that I could really feel sorry about. Not compared to the 1st Arc's ending. Finally, the events are now completely random. And set as the character gets up in the morning. And you need to view specific scenes, if you want to date and marry. Good luck Save Scumming to get that scene unlocked, without relying on pure, random luck.