Explore the Oceans in Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny

(art by WeskerWhiskers)

I actually finished playing through this game some months ago, and just never got around to writing a post for it. This is one of many Rune Factory games–this particular version is available for the Wii and PS3. I played it on a friend’s Wii. It was lots of fun, but DANG, this will kill your productivity. Be prepared to spend many, many hours playing this game, because it’s looooooong and even when you win the main story there’s still a thousand more things you can do.

Rune Factory Tides of Destiny is basically a video game about real life. Just like in real life, you have a farm, where you can grow crops. Also, you can fight monsters with any weapon you wish. And if you choose, you can pet these monsters with a glove, which will entice them to do half your farmwork for you. You can also cook food, forge weapons, craft accessories, go fishing, and participate in bad minigames festivals. And just like in real life, you can travel the oceans atop a giant stone golem, which you can command to fight giant sea monsters and lift islands out from the ocean floor. But most importantly, this game supports shipping, so you can marry off your character to one of the island’s many adorable villagers.

You play as the boy character for the main storyline, but once that’s through you can choose to keep playing as him or switch to the lead girl, which allows you to pursue the romance side quests whichever way you prefer. I named the boy Cho and the girl Lisose, and used multiple save files so I can play as both of them. The islanders in general are a pretty fun bunch, though this game isn’t going to win awards for character development any time soon. All in all it’s just a game to relax with, since the dungeons and farming and everything else is generally rather simple and repetitive. There’s some aspects of the game that are better than others, but overall things even out for an enjoyable experience. I think in general it’s working with a really great concept for a video game, and I would like to see more done in regards to creating an environment with vibrant, three-dimensional characters who all have different ways of interacting with the player-controlled character. I think it’s fun to see your character get to know the islanders, fall in love with one of them, and eventually get married and have a kid–and still continue having monster-slaying adventures and epic farm life afterwards. Perhaps this is just something I’d like to see more in fiction in general–the concept of the protagonist’s life actually continuing after those wedding vows are said. Tides of Destiny doesn’t delve much into this since it’s kept rather simple plot-wise, but it is something.

Other than the shipping, I also enjoyed just exploring the oceans with the giant golem, which I affectionately named Nom Nom. I also liked collecting all the cuter-looking monsters that were available in the dungeons (eg the big, fluffy squirrels) and making amusing accessories to give all the villagers to wear. In the end it’s little things like that which make the game as fun as it is, and luckily there’s a lot of nice touches and a safe amount of camp to keep things fun and harmless. I haven’t played much of any of the other Rune Factory games at all, but I believe they generally follow the same sort of formula as this game (ie fantasy adventure mixed with farming and dating sim). If you’re in the mood for something along those lines, give one a try… but make sure you can afford giving up perhaps a hundred hours to play through it! x_x

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5 responses

  1. I played this game but never beat it. I actually liked RF Frontier and RF3 better. The farming aspect was too untraditional for me. I know they’re trying to shift RF into a more action-RPG type direction, but I come from a childhood of Harvest Moon. ;)

    July 31, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    • The farming in this game I think is a good example of how it did some things well and some things… less well. I didn’t like how you couldn’t pick the exact crops you wanted to farm, for example. And overall it was probably *too* easy to make trainloads of cash with all that farmland. But I’m probably happier there were less steps to take in order to grow the crops. My friend had Rune Factory Frontier and I enjoyed that (especially the rather hilarious characters), but it was way too hard for me to get very far into. All the storms ruining the crops and having to maintain the right proportion of runeys and never being able to find the villagers I needed to were all pretty frustrating (ie not relaxing, which I think is the better way to go for this sort of game).
      I recall trying a couple Harvest Moon games in the past, but I required a little something more… and I think Rune Factory is the ticket, weaving in save-the-island adventure game with the farming. I believe there will be a new Rune Factory game coming out soon (for the 3DS, probably?), so I’m curious to see if things will advance at all in terms of the series’ storytelling. I think there’s a lot of untapped potential in that regard.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm

  2. Ritsuioko23

    Hmm I’d say RF3 is the best in the series. Even better than this. This game is okay though. If you want a good character development like game play persona 3 or 4.
    Rune Factory 4 came out in Japan a little while back and I can’t wait for it to be localized. I’m surprised you just picked this game up. It was realeased back on October.
    I’m actually making a series similar to it. Though I’m writing novels for it before I make games. But Im hoping to have great character development.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:15 am

    • I’ve heard lots of good things about the Persona games. I haven’t had much time for video games the last few months (which may be for the best right now), but one day I’d like to pick up a copy of either Persona 3 or 4.
      I don’t play recent games very often, mainly because I don’t own any of the current systems (Wii, PS3, etc). So I generally end up playing games several years after they’ve come out. (All I own at the moment is a PS2, and my old laptop.) This game is actually an exception, since I was able to play with a friend.
      Good luck with your games and novels, Ritsuioko23! It takes a lot of practice to write engaging, three-dimensional characters, so be sure to keep at it.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      • Ritsuioko23

        Thank you! ^w^

        August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm

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