Rune Factory 5 is a Harvest Moon-style farming and life simulator that feels like it was made for the Switch. It offers some unique features, including an open world not seen in other games of this genre and four seasons to change up your gameplay each day (even if you play all year round).

Rune Factory 5 is a game that was released in the year 2015. It was developed by Neverland Co., Ltd. and published by Marvelous AQL on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. The game is set in a fantasy world where players take control of a young hero who must find their way back to his or her hometown while fending off monsters and solving puzzles along the way. Read more in detail here: rune factory 5 release date.

Rune Factory 5 Review: Early Harvest

As I enter the furniture shop, the rain is pouring down with no indication of stopping. I was not going to let the inclement weather keep me from purchasing the new kitchen table I had been saving for. Palmo, the owner, greets me and I enthusiastically prepare to pay over my hard-earned money. There’s just one issue.

“NO!” exclaims the speaker. Palmo is ecstatic. My pick-up inventory is completely depleted. Palmo can’t — or won’t — simply hand me the cooking table, so the chemical table I neglected to take home lies in the corner, waiting for its new life to begin. That means I’ll have to return home with the chemical book, return to Palmo’s, and then return home with the cooking table. I don’t mind; it’s a drag, but the thrill of finally being able to make something with those components at home exceeds the tedium.

It’s been over a decade since the last updated Rune Factory, so you’d think the devs would do something fresh with Rune Factory 5 — maybe shake up inventory management or tweak how the game works. Instead, the graphics are the most major change (apart from finally incorporating same-sex marriage, which XSEED championed).

Rune Factory 5 takes the leap to 3D, but the experience suffers as a consequence, with a shockingly detrimental impact on the feeling of location. Characters and the ongoing allure of its familiar, almost soothing farm loop are what make Rune Factory 5 so lovable and valuable.

Early Harvest is a Rune Factory 5 review.

After a gorgeous opening part, Rune Factory 5 starts out like any other Rune Factory game, with an amnesiac protagonist. The gender binary remains intact, thus Alice or Ares may not remember who they are, but they know how to combat monsters. That’s excellent, since your first mission is to protect a young infant from a rogue Wooly.

The child ran away from Rigbarth in pursuit of her mother, but the monsters caught up with her before S.E.E.D. could get to her. The Rigbarth section of S.E.E.D., the country’s self-appointed guardian organization committed to safeguarding the public, is chronically understaffed, or was until you showed there. You return to Rigbarth as the organization’s newest recruit, joining a small frontier town.

The overall tale of Rune Factory 5 develops slowly, as it usually does in the series, with various interesting mysteries springing up along the way. People and were-people transform into monsters, Rune energy flows rampant in old ruins, and a mysterious horror lurks behind the scenes. It incorporates several of the larger narrative aspects from Rune Factory 4, including a marriage candidate who is a Norad Kingdom fugitive royal. However, it falls short of its predecessor in terms of emotional impact.

It does, however, feature a pleasant and immediately lovable cast of people who absolutely shine owing to a very great English writing. From the outset, the characters in Rune Factory 4 fit into distinct kinds. The cast of Rune Factory 5 still fits into distinct characters — the quiet bookworm, for example, and Heinz, the crystal store owner, who is a dad joke machine — but they seem and behave much more human. It’s a joy to get to know them, and they’re undoubtedly one of the best casts in a farm-sim game.

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However, the graphics for a few characters slips into the traditional “anime lady” look, which is a disappointment since Rune Factory has generally avoided that cliched design decision in the past.

The main issue is that Rune Factory 5 often seems as though it is struggling against itself. The actors and setting should feel closer than they have in the past. After all, it’s a rough frontier village where everyone watches out for one another and seeks to make the world a better place.

Because of the town’s unusual layout, everything and everyone seems too far away, as if Rigbarth were a sea of loneliness, and each structure is a beacon of camaraderie. This is generally acceptable because of the camaraderie, but it lacks the powerful feeling of location present in Rune Factory 4.

Palmo’s business, for example, is located on the outskirts of town, with just the crystal shop close, and even they are separated by a considerable distance. That would be OK if the space were intriguing, but it isn’t. There isn’t any ornamentation or visual appeal. It’s just some hazy grass. Rigbarth has the sensation of a beta version of itself, which is exacerbated by the clumsy character motions. As a consequence, it’s impossible to feel tied to the location or its development.

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Although the Nintendo Switch may struggle with more demanding games, there’s no reason Rune Factory 5 should be missing textures and having pop-in difficulties, much alone the same framerate issues that plagued the original Japanese release in 2021. Those performance difficulties are disheartening, particularly considering Pioneers of Olive Town also had troubles last year, but one of the most serious concerns is how they effect boss encounters.

Although the monsters in Rune Factory 4 have clearly telegraphed actions, the encounters are nonetheless suspenseful and need precise timing and a thorough understanding of the weapon system. Because the 3D models in Rune Factory 5 move so slowly and the animations take so long, you have plenty of opportunity to flee and even begin fighting the monster before they complete their own move. Boss battles are more of an annoyance than a challenge or something to look forward to.

Other minor faults include floaty and inaccurate movement, as well as large yet empty and basic dungeons.

It’s disappointing, particularly since Rune Factory is a combat farm-sim mix, but the farm-sim portion of the game is good enough to support the remainder of the game — despite being essentially similar as Rune Factory 4.

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You still have an overwhelming number of skills with perplexing leveling requirements — “love magic” levels up when you throw enemies with fist weapons, for example — villagers grow to love you if you spend time with them, and you’ll raise monsters rather than normal livestock if you spend time with them.

The majority of your farming takes place on the new Farm Dragons, which are basically elemental-themed sky farms with wider fields and more crop planting. It’s a little inconvenient not having all of your farm supplies right outside your door, but you can give the dragons specific crystals to help the weather, produce optimum growth conditions, or both.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it,” as the old adage goes. Perhaps after a decade, Rune Factory’s unique combination of social simulation, agricultural labor, crafting, and house décor might be enhanced or even revolutionized, but Marvelous may have decided to bring the franchise to a new audience before taking any risks.

Longtime fans may be disappointed, particularly given the absence of endgame material, but the concept has such a cozy and pleasant feel to it that it’s difficult not to get caught up in it. 

The Bottom Line in Rune Factory 5

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Pros

  • A fantastic ensemble of well-written characters.
  • The comfortable Rune Factory farm loop hasn’t changed. 
  • Finally, same-sex marriage is included.
  • Festivals that are both enjoyable and useful.
  • Palmo is the result.

Cons

  • The story follows the beats of RF4 a little too closely.
  • This was a poor performance.
  • The Rune Factory loop hasn’t changed.
  • There is no material for the endgame.
  • Difficult dungeons and a few boss battles that aren’t really necessary.

Even though it’s been ten years, I wish Rune Factory 5 had been delayed a little longer. Though extra time and polish may have made a big impact, the transition to 3D was unavoidable. The cast and everyday life are still fantastic, going above and beyond Rune Factory 4 in some ways, but there’s a feeling that Rune Factory 5 wasn’t done growing when it was harvested. 

[Note: The copy of Rune Factory 5 used in this review was given by XSEED.]

The “rune factory 5 steam” is a game that’s been around for a while. The game was originally released in Japan, but it has finally made its way to the Western market. There are many different aspects of this game that make it worth playing.

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