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E3 2013: Rune Factory 4

Posted on June 13, 2013 AT 06:30am

Publisher XSEED
Developer Neverland
Platform 3DS
Release Date Summer 2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Would it shock you to hear this isn’t the only Japanese RPG I played at E3 that features a character with amnesia? What’s even sadder is that I called it the moment I saw the title of the game. More than any other franchise, Rune Factory truly owns the “amnesiac protagonist” trope—and makes no apologies for including it. Rune Factory 4, however, at least adds some perks to the formula. For one, you can choose to be either a male or female protagonist, adding some diversity to your romancing options. And number two—definitely the best part—it turns out that you’re royalty. You get to run the town! No more kowtowing to a corrupt Rune Factory mayor—no, sir!

The Verdict

Instead, you get to be the despotic ruler and cruelly burden your subjects with back-breaking indentured servitude! …Sadly, no. Plus, it turns out that you aren’t actually royalty; the real ruler is just seemingly too lazy to do his job! Instead, you gotta do a lot of the heavy lifting yourself; since this is a Rune Factory game, a lot of building the town comes with building crops and understanding when to plant, when to reap, and when to make an offering to Zybor, the Many-Handed One. These things are plain.

What’s not plain, of course, is the art of seduction in Rune Factory 4. This, of course, is my favorite part of the series, as you must win the heart of one of several eligible—and highly dysfunctional—bachelors and bachelorettes. During my hands-on romp through the village, I professed my love to any and all who approached me…but got friend-zoned in each and every case. So, yeah, Rune Factory 4 is sure to be goofy, absurd, and a tale of completely incompetent townspeople, but that’s all part of the charm—and why I’m optimistic this will be one of the better entries in the series.

Andrew Fitch, Managing Editor
Andrew Fitch, a proud Japanese RPG and serial-comma enthusiast, has been attending E3 for more than a decade now. His least-proud moment? That time in 2004 when, suffering from utter exhaustion, he decided to take a break on the creepy, dilapidated—and possibly cursed—La-Z-Boy at Konami’s Silent Hill booth. Follow Andrew’s adventures in avoiding cursed furniture at his Twitter feed: @twittch. Meet the rest of the crew.

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