Rune Factory 5

released on May 20, 2021

Set off on a grand adventure in a fantasy world with the latest entry in the Rune Factory simulation RPG series. After losing their memory, the hero lands in a small town blessed by nature. There, they are recruited into a band of peacekeeping rangers, and their new life begins. In addition to their normal duties, the hero can farm the land, cast a line into the nearby river, and so much more! Team up with townsfolk to battle monsters and unleash powerful combination attacks - just one of the features new to the series. The stage is set, and the curtain rises on an exciting new adventure in Rune Factory 5!

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Watering time
Grow big and strong ok?
Maybe you disagree with my ranking so lemme just say I've not played a rf before. I found this easy to jump into but tbf ive played a lot of Stardew valley. I'm currently having rough days recovering from ankle surgery and in a lot of pain and this game is getting me through the pain spikes.
Also idk if it's just I'm an adult but a lot of the adults that aren't romancable are the ones I wanna kiss on the mouth with tongue. But I get that would be weird in canon cause the main character is young.
I think maybe it's a bit much for the switch, mine seemed to chug a bit. Idk about like technical stuff but something's up cause it would be noticable during long gaming sessions maybe someone else who knows what's up can talk more about that.
I could see someone who finds the technical issues unforgivable and distracting. I lost about a day or twos in game time cause the game just kind of froze up. Which given the nature of the gameplay being grindy/repetitive (which I enjoy deeply, I know it's not everyone's cup of tea) is frustrating
That being said I am deeply enjoying this game. I don't know if I'd go back and play older rf games but if another comes out I'll have my eye on it. Not sure though but I might read up on which older games people enjoyed and why.

still cute and charming, but not as good as rf4.

Review in progress:
Rune Factory 4, but worse in every way. Looks and feels like an early PS2 game, and not even a good one at that. Horrible writing/characters/story, forgettable soundtrack, poor graphics/production values despite the high price tag, and unsatisfying combat. New entries in a franchise aren't supposed to feel like a huge step backwards. What is this, Pokémon?

Hoo, boy. Even nearly two decades after the fact, we’re still witnessing stragglers adjusting to HD -- a growing pain undoubtedly facilitated by Nintendo’s commitment to standard definition. Not that this was a Nintendo-exclusive thing, mind – Kingdom Hearts III’s numerous delays couldn’t mask its PlayStation 2-styled environments – but even years after the Wii’s exit, Japanese developers are still discovering that, yes, high-definition gaming is more than just saturated bloom and detailed graphics. In a way, it’s interesting how this has all translated into the hubbub surrounding the underpowered Switch console; really, I can’t say I’m a graphically-inclined individual, yet the likes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Game Freak’s Pokémon offerings remain stunning gaps in quality among peers and predecessors alike – blocky polygons and fuzzy, stitched-together environments inducing all the cringe of an amateur 3ds Max experiment rather than the immaculately-polished products you’d expect from gaming’s biggest properties.
Of course, gameplay remains king, yet Rune Factory 5 is a sober reminder of how such stumbling blocks bleed and pervade throughout the proverbial fabric. It’s one thing to note how the graphics are only a marginal improvement over the series’ 3D debut in 2008’s Rune Factory Frontier, with its GameCube-era visuals a ghastly mesh of muddy textures and blocky compositions that rarely tap into Rune Factory’s brand of lush, pastel fantasy. Yet it’s the lethargy laced in it all – from the sluggish combat to the oversized environments to the clunky room decoration (“what do you mean the chairs have to be three feet from my dinner table?”) – that render Rune Factory 5 a frustrating exercise in dated familiarity; an uninspired facsimile of its handheld legacy’s cozy compactness.
(Heck, even the American release can’t mask all the glitches from the game’s messy Japanese launch. Character animations fidget and sputter, their heads stammering like worn-down automatons rather than the living, breathing townsfolk we’re supposed to marry.)
It's a darn shame, too, given there’s a good game underneath it all. The feedback loop so inherently addictive in Rune Factory rings true here, and the prudent farmer will quickly exploit crops and materials to hoard wealth and supplies alike. In this never-ending cycle of pastoral capitalism – one the game frequently peppers with dungeon-crawling, monster-taming, and institutional conspiracies -- do we meet Rune Factory 5’s lovable cast, their individual foibles endearing us little by little as we settle down and perhaps even sprout the seeds for love. (Lucy, an athletic go-getter who masks her perceived inadequacy with perfectionism, was my bachelorette of choice.)
Yet when thinking back to the stellar ingenuity of Rune Factory 4 Special – its fertile soil rich and plenty with abundance, yielding an impenetrable depth of options and features – the half-baked harvest of Rune Factory 5 imprints a disappointment not even the vindication of married life can banish. It’s not that it doesn’t want to tap into the malleable whimsy of, say, rolling around on an apple-shaped pet just because – it’s that it can’t, and while it never breeds overt contempt, the static direction of a turning point entry such as this raises concerns all the same. Perhaps the implications of a spin-off title might be the soul-searching Rune Factory needs?
(By the way, does the festival music have to be this obnoxious in every game? Thank goodness for Switch’s portability – I can’t imagine subjecting others to that unending cacophony.)

I've played most Rune Factory games and I think this is the best one. While this fixes many of my issues with the prior games, it introduces new ones. Mainly, the plot and combat are barely integrated with the farming and community.
I beat all dungeons, including the post game, by Autumn of year 1. I still hadn't dated anyone, despite talking and gifting every day to the character I wanted to date, and I had barely done any farming because money isn't that useful. You can easily beat all the combat challenges by just using what you find in dungeons, either by using dropped weapons or crafting. Ally monsters are so powerful that you don't need your party to be community members, so their affinity doesn't matter either.
If you want a game where you farm in the morning, talk to villages in the afternoon, and go to dungeons in the evening, this isn't it. You're encouraged to just go to dungeons non-stop for two in game months, and after that you're left with a regular Story of Seasons game with no combat challenges left. I still like Story of Seasons game so I still enjoy farming for the sake of it. Otherwise, while issues from 4 are fixed, like the random heart event system being fixed, or the re-balancing of enemies to have less sudden difficultly spikes, you'll overall just be done with the game much sooner than other games in its genre. This was short and sweet. Barely any reason to play into year two, but what's here is fun.

Watering time
Grow up big and strong, okay?
I hope it comes out okay
Watering time