~A impressive combination of gaming elements~

User Rating: 8.5 | Rune Factory Frontier WII
Rune Factory is a one-of-a-kind game that mixes several very different gaming elements together to deliver a package that will satisfy both casual and hardcore gamers to a certain extent.
-This mixes the good old Harvest Moon elements (Well..it is called a Fantasy Harvest Moon after all ) with RPG & Dungeon Crawler elements.
-You have two bars which you have to take note of.The HP and RP bar,if any single one of them runs out you will be sent to the Infimary and you get the risk of catching a cold (Your RP will drop even more quickly if you have a cold) and waking up late.Using tools,weapons...in short,any form of heavy labour will cause your RP to drop.However,you can go to the Hot Spring (If it is opened) or eat some food to regenerate your HP or RP.HP will only drop if your poisoned or damaged.
-If you played at least one Harvest Moon,you will find the farming system very comfortable to fit into since it's pretty much the same as before.However,if you do NOT know the function of certain tools,I will describe them down here...(For veteran players,you may skip this part if you want)
(Note that the better the tool is,the wider area/radius of effect it can be used or even have special moves at all)
(Note that using tools will use up the RP bar)
-Hoes: This is practically what you use on your field so that you can plant your seeds.Note that you can only use this tool on a flat piece of land in a Farming Area.
-Watering Can: You can use this to water your seeds and plants.However,it must be filled with water first.
-Hammer: The good old Hammer.You can use it to bash pebbles into pieces.Once you get a better hammer however,you can bash rocks and boulders as well.However,unlike some Harvest Moons,Rocks does not yield any form of items this time.
-Sickle: You can use this to cut down plants you do not need quickly and effectively so you can be spared from picking them up.Note that slicing fodder will automatically add food to your barn.
-Axe: You can use the Axe to cut down branches.Once you upgrade it however,you can cut down logs.Unlike previous Harvest Moons,you do not need to collect the lumber as it is automatically added to your Lumber Shed.
-Brush: Ehh...I kinda forgot the name to be honest.But you can use it to raise the happiness/friendship level of your animals.The Happinness level is vital if you want your animals to help you out in the farm or provide you with materials.It can also be used to tame animals in the dungeons (You have to get your animals off the dungeons in the first place anyway)
-Harvestor: You can use the Harvestor for multi-purpose functions.You can use it to collect materials from your animals and absorb Runeys(I will explain this later)
-Fishing Pole: Well,this should be fairly obvious.You can use it to catch...fish.However,everytime you throw your rod out near the water,a meter pops out.You have to make sure the meter arrow reaches the Blue or Green point in order to get a successful catch.Note that this applies for cooking and other similar productive features as well.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Well,next is the weapons (Yeah,I'm pretty much done with tools)
-Single Handed Swords: This is the faster but less powerful weapon.
-2 Handed Swords: Powerful but rather slow.Well...a lame introduction of weapons but that's pretty much what they do.
-Cane: Ah,yes,the only ranged weapon you can have.You can use it to cast magick depending on the cane type.
-Elements: There are Elements in this game.Like most RPGs,all Elements have their weaknesses and strengths so this is vital if your to go to dungeons and stuff like that.
-Multi-Purpose Weapons: Some weapons are of multi-purpose.Their damage is quite good but they can be used as a lumber axe or hammer as well.The weapons are called "Battle Hammer" & "Battle Axe" (As in general term) But they excel in neither sides.So if your looking for a bag space efficient item,this is probably the perfect choice.
-Storage: There are many types of storage.The initial storage you have can hold normal items.But later you can expand it.For now it only have 30 Slots.Later,you can buy facilities like Refrigerator to store food and a Lab Storage to store Potions and lab stuff.
-Item Levels: There are a varying item level for items.The higher their levels,the higher their efficiency.Food & Potions tend to heal more or have their special bonus effects last longer, Tools and Weapons either are more damage efficient or RP effiecient,materials tend to turn into better items when forged and cooking materials tend to turn into a better leveled dish.
-Runeys: Runeys are...well...cute looking spirits that are floating around the village.You can harvest them and turn them into Rune Stones which can be used to open certain doors or you can have some one use them to cast a Miracle for you.A Miracle allows you to have a bonus effect to your farm according to your wish. (You can choose what effect you want) However,it is unwise to over-harvest them or leave them untouched.Runeys are like wildlife in some sense.They eat each other.Other than the Water Runey,the rest gets eaten up by each other.If you can manage to sustain a high Runey Level,your crops will grow very quickly.Note that Fodder will spawn a certain Runey that is practically at the bottom of the food chain.After seeing this, you ought to know what to do.
-Expansion: Now...the Barn and Refrigerator does not come falling from the skies and all.You need to buy them.In the weekends,you can buy facilities and house tools from a peddler while in the weekdays you can pay some one (Well,for the sake of spoilers and all,I'm not saying who.) to build it for you.The downside is,their really expensive.
-Books/Recipes: Even if you have the finest Furnace to forge,the best Lab to create chemicals.It would be difficult if you don't have the Recipes.Recipes,like the previous Harvest Moons, "unlocks" new things to make,it increases your chance to successfully create a item.Note that cooking,forging,chemical mixing and stuff like that relies on a metre.The arrow must touch the Green or Blue area for a success.
-Materials: I don't have much to say about this.You mainly get materials off your farm or from monsters or from chests and boxes in the dungeons.
-Equipment: Again,after explaining the Elements,little is to be said about this.There is accessories,neck,head & torso equipment.
-Relationship points: Ahh...this is interesting...really interesting.There is two bar for your relationship with other people.The Love Bar and the Friendship Bar.The higher these bars are the better you get along with these people and they would soon send requests to you.Doing certain things and giving them the correct gifts will allow you to get into their good books.Once certain conditions are met you can even be married,initiate certain events and stuff like that.
-Gifts: Characters will occasionally say what they want in certain occasions.So do take note of them if you want to marry them or start their Events.
-Special Characters: Some characters need to be unlocked or need a certain reason for them to stay in town.So visit everyone often to see what you can get.
-Festivals: This is a perfect time to boost relationships.On certain occasions you can give gifts extensively or do certain events to impress the girls.
-Schedule: Characters have pretty strict schedules so you can expect where to find them when you get used to it.But it doesn't help much in the Second Year or in Festivals as everyone's schedule changes at this point of time.It will also change in rainy days so take notes on where to find the people you want.
Marriage: There are up to 12 different girls(Applicable for marriage).All of them have different personalities.There are other characters as well of course.Err...one of them can be quite troublesome...in fact,two...or rather...three.You will know why when you play this game.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Seasons: Spring,Summer,Autumn,Winter...the first three seasons can be used to farm crops.You can't grow anything in Winter...well that's not exactly true...
-Dungeons: There are several dungeons,each with their representing season.You can grow Spring Crops in Spring related dungeons at any time of the year.
-Money: Well..you can use it to buy simple weapons,crystals (They are rare materials for weapons...) ,seeds and stuff like that.You can put the things you want in the Collection Bin.Every time at 5 PM some one will come and collect it..
-Food/Potion/Medicine: You can cook up dishes,make potions and medicines to cure your sickness and HP and RP....
-Status Effects: There is Paralysis,Stun,Poison,Cold and stuff like that.Most effects are...gained in combat but Cold is due to the fact of...for example,fainting due to 0 in HP or RP.
-Facilities: There is a Refrigerator,Forge,Lab,Kitchen,Storage,Lab Storage,Bedroom & Bed.Which all can be expanded.Some are required for marriage...(Bed is rather obvious...)
-Forge can be used to upgrade and create tools and weapons...
-Lab can be used to create medicine and potions
-Bed is to be slept on...naturally.
-Kitchen can be used to cook food but you need to buy Pots,Frying Pans...etc. etc.
-Child: You will have a child after marriage.Depending on your answer to your lover,you will have a baby boy or girl.
-Mail: Around 6 AM - 7 AM,you will get mail from the delivery girl (She's applicable for marriage as well,if your wondering) Mail will occasionaly come to you from various characters and you occasionaly have to choose a response or give items to them via mail.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?!?: Well...it's rather hilarious to be honest.If your married,you can ask a girl out on a date and propose to her...but I warn you...it would make you near dead in some sense.Your wife would appear and bash you up real bad.
-Fruits: Depending on the Season,you can go to the Cornunipica Tree (Err...whatever it is called) to get different fruits.You need to use the Hammer to get the fruits down.
-Storyline: You do not need to rush things.You can go through the storyline anytime you want.
-Bonus Content: There is a Movie Selection,of which you can watch Anime Cutscenes you watched before.There is also a Skill sector...you will unlock the content one by one once you master your skills...
Pets/Barn Animals: Every creature have different abilities.Some can be ridden on,some can help you water plants,some can help you gather wild veggies and others can be harvested from.
-This is the end of the Review.Hopefully you will enjoy this game and thank you for reading this review-