Hands On Rune Factory 3

By Jenni . June 22, 2010 . 1:29pm

While attending E3, I spent quite a bit of time at Natsume’s booth. Partially, because I really like Natsume as a company, and partially because Natsume had four great DS games that were playable on the show floor. One of them happened to be Rune Factory 3, the latest entry in a series, which combines the farming and relationship building aspects of Harvest Moon with dungeon crawling goodness.


The Rune Factory 3 demo available was pretty much a full game, where I could jump in and control the hero right away. In a way, I think I’d have preferred if Natsume had done like Square Enix did with Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, and given a bite-sized demo to play. Mainly because with a game like Rune Factory 3, it’s hard to just pick up and start playing where someone else left off – you have no idea what they’d done.


Thankfully, one of the Natsume representatives was around to help me pick up an earlier save file. (Though, other demo testers had saved over the prepared slots.) There are once again two save slots in the game, which is about average for a Rune Factory title.


Prince, the name Natsume gave to the main character, then showed up in his own bed at his tree home. As mentioned in the preliminary game information, Prince lives in a tree, and has all of his planting areas around the tree, underground. After tapping the appropriate icons on the touch screen to check his inventory, and finding no seeds, I decided to step outside and see if there was anything to water.


Apparently, other demo players decided to focus on fighting, not farming. I figured I may as well do the same, since I didn’t want to hog Rune Factory 3. I asked the Natsume representative where an easier dungeon was, since Prince was only at level five, and was directed to go to the bottom right.


After entering the first dungeon, I noticed a few familiar enemy faces. The apple-shaped enemies and woolys were there once again, begging to be attacked. After wiping them out, I grabbed a few items from a field patch above me (a bamboo shoot and medicinal herb), then headed towards the left.


And saw Prince succumb to a wooly. Oh the shame.


Prince then awoke in an inn, being tended by the innkeeper. After that, I was told to head home and rest, to give Prince time to recover.


I had hoped to start up again after he awoke from his sleep, but there was a bit of a line so I contented myself to talk to the Natsume rep a bit more about Rune Factory 3.


What I found most interesting is that Prince could ask other townsfolk to join him in battle as partners. They would then fight alongside him and assist him in battle. I didn’t get to test this out firsthand (and neither did the two friends who visited Natsume’s booth with me), but it sounds like an interesting way to make dungeon crawling a bit more comfortable.


I also learned that the hero’s Wooly transformation is good for more than just finding out information the townsfolk might not willingly offer up to the hero. There is a war going on in Rune Factory 3 between the humans and monsters, and the hero, with his special transforming gift, may be able to help bridge the gap.


We’ll see if he can when Rune Factory 3 make its North American at the end of 2010.

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  • andref

    played the import and can’t wait to play and understand the text in english

  • RF3 is great :D! a great update, but still, the only thing these kind of games lack is something to do after getting married or something like that, is like, every of these games, when i get married there isnt anything else to do, destroying part of the gaming experience (for example, this might be spoilers, but i dont think is much of spoiler xD, i mean, you gotta know this if you wanna get married, in this RF3, you can only marry after beating the last temple, so after getting married, there isnt much to do)

    • andref

      What a strange decision, i heard it was a little bit earlier you can get married. Well its not a huge deal but its still kinda strange

      • yeah, the good thing is that now, with the bulletin system the RF2 had, each girl has her own story (besides all the normal jobs there could be) this makes the game more complete, the only problem is what i said before D:

        • andref

          guess its about time i play my import copy again, i was waiting to see when RF3 came out but now i know it comes out in Q4 there is nothing to worry about. besides the bulletin system, i like how RF3 added the ability to change into a wooly, IMO it allows a change in combat pacing and keeps things fresh and interesting

    • At least in Rune Factory 2, after you got married you kind of got to officially “start” the adventure and game. XD

  • For some reason, the thought of a Suikoden + Rune Factory hybrid popped in my head… Think of the choices with that amount of people to interact with!

    Apart from that, can’t wait to play this!

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