I’ve spent the past two weeks so far packing up my little studio apartment and slowly moving everything over to Tara and I’s new place, now officially known as The Leaky Cauldron. Cause, uh, when it rains, the ceiling leaks. How fun! And I’ve discovered a number of videogames that I bought and kind of forgot about as I shove them into boxes and bags. One unmemorable piece of plastic and coding turned out to be Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, which I bought during an extreme spout of depression back in late June. I thought it might help fill the mild void that FarmVille left; side note, I was never addicted to the Facebook farming game, but I did log in every day for a few months to see what was what, but eventually lost interest despite liking the idea of crafting a piece of land into exactly what I wanted.
It’s a farming game with a mix of monster killing/monster raising, but I never got very far with it. It’s also been described as “Harvest Moon where you wield a sword.” The mechanics of it all though were very cold and regimented, leaving me confused and unsure of my farming skills. I basically started the game as Raguna, a fellow suffering from amnesia and wandering into the local town called Kardia. There he meets a girl named Mist who gives him a piece of land to farm and then…well, then you farm it. No tutorial really, no explanation. Exploring the city’s shops and houses allows Raguna to meet a host of characters, eventually finding himself face to face with the mayor who will allow him to enter the first cave and clear it of nasty monsters attacking Kardia. From there, Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is open-ended. You can continue farming, trying to earn money by selling logs, woo women from town, or go cave-clearing. Or you can do what I did and try to clear the first monster cave only to get so far and then run out of health, exit out to rest, and go back to find ALL THE MONSTERS I PREVIOUSLY KILLED RESPAWNED. Meaning, I was not moving forward, only wasting my time.
Supposedly the storyline will not continue on unless new caves aren’t opened and cleared by beating the boss at the end. Greaaaaaaat.
Well, let’s try farming. Maybe I will become an expert farmer instead of a supreme warrior. So, in Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, you have two gauges to keep track of: Hit Points and Rune Points. I think we all know how HP functions (if not, maybe Grinding Down isn’t the blog for you), but Rune Points more or less convert to stamina, and just about every single action Raguna takes uses up RP. If you run out of RP, then every subsequent action depletes your HP bar. Let’s take a look at what uses RP: digging, planting, watering, picking crops, swinging weapon, cooking food, and so on. RP is essential to living life, and it’s a shame because after maybe planting 9 seeds and then watering them, you’ll have run out of RP and are then forced to go to bed to restore your bar. And that, to me, seemed to be all I could do, day in, day out. I tried selling some logs and plants to make some money, but had no idea what to buy.
Either I’m missing something or I’m just not good at this game. It might be a mix of the two, but I found myself growing bored very fast as doing the same exact tactics over and over was not very fun. Maybe someone can explain it to me? If anything, Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is a gorgeous-looking game. So there’s that at least, but it’ll most likely never get played again…