By Spencer . June 29, 2011 . 3:11am
Rune Factory 4 has two protagonists; you can choose Les, a male lead, or Frey who is female. Both appear to have the same origin story, which involves your losing their memory. Les and Frey also have the uncanny ability to communicate with dragons and at the start of the story live life as a temporary prince or princess.
Marvelous developed a system around this where players spend prince or princess points to construct buildings. You can create a blacksmith, ornament building, or pharmacy. Buildings draw in tourists and your character gets a rating depending on how many people show up. "Beginner Prince" is the starting title. While you’re on the field, you can explore Rune Factory 4’s 3D maps and place crops anywhere. You aren’t limited to a grid in this game.
The biggest addition may be the sweetheart system. In past Rune Factory titles you would go from being friends to getting married. In Rune Factory 4 there’s a period in between where your character can be sweethearts with other characters. Yes, plural. It’s possible to date multiple guys or girls. Rune Factory 4 also keeps track of exciting moments while you’re dating. A feature called Doki Doki Zoom (doki doki is the onomatopoeia of a beating heart in Japanese) zooms in on scenes so you can see the facial expressions of the characters. You can take dates on picnics too and if you’re lucky you might get a love confession.
Rune Factory 4 is 50% complete and slated for release in Japan this year on Nintendo 3DS.