Wii

North America

Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny

by Neal Ronaghan - November 15, 2011, 10:27 am PST
Total comments: 6

7.5

It's like Harvest Moon, but you have a giant golem you can use to fight stuff.

Rune Factory is an off-shoot of the Harvest Moon series described succinctly by a producer as “Harvest Moon where you wield a sword.” For some people, that might convince them to run out and buy it, as the idea is sound if you’re into farming simulators. Tides of Destiny, the fifth entry in the series and second on Wii, is a good entry in the series that seems to bring enough refined content while still delivering the token gameplay that made Harvest Moon and Rune Factory beloved niche series.

The game begins with an overly long story setup involving Aden and Sonja, two friends who get thrown into an alternate dimension (or what is very likely the future). Aden is the only one who has a body, as his friend Sonja just exists in ethereal form to continually annoy and embarrass him. Oddly, everyone on the island, called Fenith, has no problem with this.

The game quickly picks up, but still operates on the snail pace of Harvest Moon games. You complete chores and fetch quests for fellow villagers, hoping to earn their friendship and get other rewards. There is also a farming component, though it’s significantly watered down compared to other Harvest Moon games. The seasons are represented individually on different islands. So instead of figuring out what crops to plants when, you just take the winter crop and plant it on Winter Island.

The simplification doesn’t soil the experience, though, as the combat mechanic manages to even out the experience. While it amounts to a button-mashing dungeon crawler, the progression remains fun throughout, especially as different wrinkles are added. You use a giant golem to get to these dungeons, and occasionally you control the golem in a fight, which is a nice change of pace. Additionally, you can tame monsters, using them to help you in different aspects of the game.

The presentation of the game is smooth and relaxing, with the island theme being used to great effect. Content isn’t lacking here, either, as the main story and subsequent post-game content could take players upwards of 50 hours. Since the gameplay varies from timing-based mini-games and fetch quests to fun combat (especially bolstered by a jump button) and laid-back farming, it’s not that monotonous of a grind, either.

Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny is kind of a jack-of-all-trades video game. The villager interaction, combat, and farming are all serviceable, but none of the singular aspects of the game are spectacular. Series faithful will no doubt dig this game, though they might be put off by the farming simplification. On the other hand, the fact that the emphasis is more on action might make this more appealing to action-oriented gamers. Although, at the end of the day, it’s still a Harvest Moon-style game, so there is that small chance that you’ll be lulled to sleep while playing it, even if you are having a great time doing so.

Summary

Pros
  • Cure for insomnia
  • Good mixture of combat, farming, and NPC interaction
  • Lots of content
  • Nice presentation
Cons
  • Farming is overly simplified
  • No standout gameplay element

Talkback

EnnerNovember 15, 2011

The last Harvest Moon game I purchased was Magical Melody and I've been interested in getting a new one, spin off or main line. I've heard good things about the Rune Factory series and was waiting for the second console entry to see if Natsume improved on the game. However, I've read some mixed reception to Tides of Destiny by fans of Harvest Moon/Rune Factory. That makes me wary. Then again, maybe the differences between the games won't matter to a newcomer like me.


Ah, this reminds me that I haven't played much in to Magical Melody. I should probably do that first.

DanielMDaniel Mousseau, Staff AlumnusNovember 15, 2011

Quote from: Enner

The last Harvest Moon game I purchased was Magical Melody and I've been interested in getting a new one, spin off or main line. I've heard good things about the Rune Factory series and was waiting for the second console entry to see if Natsume improved on the game. However, I've read some mixed reception to Tides of Destiny by fans of Harvest Moon/Rune Factory. That makes me wary. Then again, maybe the differences between the games won't matter to a newcomer like me.


Ah, this reminds me that I haven't played much in to Magical Melody. I should probably do that first.

Really it's up to you. Rune Factory just adds a RPG combat system into the mix. Plus on top of making farming tools, you can also make weapons and all that.

EnnerNovember 15, 2011

Mm, I'm just trying to figure out which Rune Factory to get. I've been trying to figure which is the best one but it seems they all have their weird faults.

HypotheliciouslyNovember 15, 2011

This Review Is Sponsored by EasyCure.

EasyCure. It's better than the HardCure.


*This post hated on by EmoCure®.

Quote from: Enner

The last Harvest Moon game I purchased was Magical Melody and I've been interested in getting a new one, spin off or main line. I've heard good things about the Rune Factory series and was waiting for the second console entry to see if Natsume improved on the game. However, I've read some mixed reception to Tides of Destiny by fans of Harvest Moon/Rune Factory. That makes me wary. Then again, maybe the differences between the games won't matter to a newcomer like me.


Ah, this reminds me that I haven't played much in to Magical Melody. I should probably do that first.

I recently bought the new 3DS Harvest Moon, which is basically a straight port of the DS game of the same name. Since I'm on break right now I may write a review within the next week or two, but I'm liking it based on the couple hours I played so far. I've never played any of the Rune Factory games, so I can't provide any perspective there, but if you want a traditional Harvest Moon this one seems fairly good.

nintendo1945November 16, 2011

Quote from: Enner

Mm, I'm just trying to figure out which Rune Factory to get. I've been trying to figure which is the best one but it seems they all have their weird faults.

I really reccomend Rune Factory Frontier. I played the game to death, logging over 100 hours just to finish the story (and I'm one of those people that sucks all the life out of a game as soon as I get it), and I enjoyed every minute spent. It does have it's flaws, but ot is definitely worth it. I think Crimm can vouch for me on this one seeing as he wrote the review.

Just as an aside, I have played Rune Factory 2 on DS, and I just couldn't get into it the same way I did with Frontier

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Genre RPG
Developer Neverland Company
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny
Release Sep 27, 2011
PublisherNatsume
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Rune Factory Oceans
Release Feb 24, 2011
PublisherMarvelous Entertainment
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