BEST HARVEST MOON SO FAR Old Fans will be (very) happy and newcomers will also enjoy the addition of combat.

This game blows me away. I'm a fan of harvest moon, when I first heard of the concept I was already hooked. Friends of Mineral town for the gba WAS my favourite. WAS. Harvest moon DS was a huge let down, adding nothing that the gba games already added. And the touch screen implements were... lets not go into the touch screen imlements. Rune factory puts harvest moon DS to shame. It's amazing how the addition of combat really sets the game appart from HMDS. While the combat system is nothing special, it works beautifully, and you'll be happily slashing at monsters without hesitation. But what really makes the harvest moon games is the farming, the characters, and the way the game makes you feel part of the world, and thankfully thats all still there. The only real let downs is the lack of touch screen inovation. After playing the phantom hourglass it made me realise how benefitial using the touch screen to move, plant crops, fight monster ect. would be to the game. The second let down (one you'll hear about alot) is that some of the 3D characters are just plain dreadfull. When you get to name your character you get to see him front on. Lets just say that you'll be glad that you'll never see him in that view ever again.
Gripes aside this is by far the best game in the series, and the combat just makes it better and gives people who have never liked the series a new view. Many of my firends who didn't like the farming on it's own, find the combat a welcome addition. And most of all if you've liked any harvest moon befor, you shall definately like rune factory.

Visuals: 80 (bad 3d models really let is down but does little to affect the enjoyability

Audio: 95 (while it's Legend of Zelda text based, there is talking added occaisonly including some voice overs for your character (a first for Harvest moon) and the musics good to.

Gameplay: 95: (Just plain fun and the combat really tops it off)

Overal: 90 (Just buy the god damn game.