Review : Rune Factory Oceans

Rune Factory Oceans [Rune Factory ~Tides of Destiny~] | Cero A | Neverland Co. | MarvelousAQL | PS3 | Wii

amarec20110224-172825

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Rune Factory is basically a Harvest Moon (Bokujo Monogatari) spin-off and described as “A Harvest Moon where you wield a sword” and it’s true coz Rune Factory IS a fantasy Harvest Moon. So, not only farming, we can have other skills and hold weapons, along with taming monsters. Of course you can get married and have kids as well. Rune Factory Oceans is the 2nd game which is made for the big screen, with the first one being Rune Factory Frontier. Btw, I’m playing the PS3 ver.

Story

20110207222806d9aA young boy named Azel (Aden in English ver) lives in Finnith Island with her childhood friend, Sonia (Sonja in English ver). The land is basically filled with white dragons, which are flying above the island like bats, so it’s really hard for them to see the sky well anyway, but their lives aren’t exactly bothered. Until a certain day, Sonia was giving Aden a lunchbox, and a patch of light came from a pond. Both of them get sucked and they arrived somewhere else, with Sonia’s body inside Azel’s. A certain girl named Odette found them, and they explained their situation. Apparently they’re in Finnith Island as well, but things look odd to them. End of talk, Odette, which is working at an inn called Sisters, will be lending a house next to the inn to them so they can stay. Midway they also find a seed, and Sonia wanted to plant it.

The next day, the plant turned into a huge golem, and a girl from the blacksmith, Elena, which is a huge golem fangirl, decided to check it. They named the golem Ymir (can be changed) and basically Azel can cross the sea with this golem, discovers some sank islands, and explores them. Azel can revive some stone turned islands into his own farming place as well.

The plot starts when at the end of Earth Temple, where a bunch of goblin pirates attacked Azel and the captain accidentally destroyed a glass sphere which is the temple’s power source, and the temple goes dead, as in it turned into stone. In turn, he got a sphere to power up his golem. On the next temple (Fire Temple), he met a masked man who broke the sphere as well. And he keeps appearing til the the end. He basically wanted to destroy the world by reviving the legendary Native Giant, which is bad and will destroy the world, according to a wizard named Pandora. The Native Giant was beaten long time ago by the archdragons, and was sealed. Thus, there are dragon priestesses (Odette, and her sisters, Lily, and Iris).

At the final temple, the masked man broke the final sphere and revived it in the end. He came to the dragon shrine in Finnith Island. Azel chased him along with Lily but he controlled Lily. Odette and Iris came to help, and Odette’s body suddenly controlled and with the power of singing! Azel managed to beat masked man’s minion ghosts. After that, they brought Lily back to the inn. Apparently who’s controlling Odette’s body is the dragon which is still in his egg form since the former one left the island. In Odette’s body, it said they need to seal the native giant again with the power of dragon priestess. Unfortunately there are only 3 priestesses, with wind element priestess missing. The dragon said they can summon her from 200 years ago with the power of Cosmic Grimoire. After obtaining and translating it to ancient tongue, they summoned her she’s not present at all. According to Pandora, she fell somewhere in the time shift during the summoning. But they can hatch the dragon from its egg by obtaining fruits from the dead temples. After it hatched, it can weaken the Native Giant’s power by reviving the temples.

Using Ymir to fight the Native Giant, the masked man finally appeared after the Native Giant is destroyed. He said himself that he doesn’t need it anymore because he himself will become god, aka the next legendary golem so he can destroy the world himself (I suppose it’s that way, at least that’s how I translated it anyway). Mid battle, the masked fell off (out of nowhere, wtf?) and it’s revealed that the masked man is actually a SHE! Well not really anyway, it’s just he’s using Sonia’s body all the time. He explained that Sonia is actually the wind priestess herself, summoned from 200 years ago. That patch of light in the first time, was actually summoning her but she fell in the mid time when she and Azel met Odette the first time. That’s why Odette said “Have we met somewhere before?” and the masked man stole Sonia’s body is the main reason why she’s stuck in Azel’s body in the first place. She’s supposed to be dead coz he stole her body, but miraculously, she’s in Azel’s body. To tell the truth I’m confused as well щ(ºДºщ)

In the end, of course Azel must defeat the masked man, with such annoying battle, and he fell while bringing Sonia’s body. Thought they’re dead and Azel apologizing to Sonia “I’m sorry it had to turn like this, just when we found your body.” But do not fear, the power of singing saved them once again, by the villagers. Well only the priestesses are singing but who cares anyway. They’re saved by the spirits which were moved by their singing! Sonia’s body then is taken care in the infirmary, and while the dragon can return them to their own time, they do not wish so.

Characters

protagProtagonist(s) : Azel (CV. Sawashiro Miyuki) is basically a nice guy to everyone. Actually it’s a typical Rune Factory protagonist. They’re always nice to everyone coz he needs to finish requests lol. But when it comes to girl, he’s a ドンカン. While Sonia (CV. Shimizu Ai) is an awesome osananajimi, by making bento to Azel and created a flower crown thingy for him. Although she said she has no crush or so to Azel. In the end of the game, it’s possible to separate her from Azel and returned to her own body. If player decided to be Azel, she will stay in the Sister’s inn and vice versa. When they’re separated, Azel can marry Sonia, so does Sonia can marry Azel.

Bachelors : I said the player is able to get married and it’s true. It started by raising their friendship level. At the end of the game (again) you can start dating your personal fav girl/guy, and then get married in front of the awesome bell chapel. Unfortunately for otome lovers, we only have 3 candidates for bachelors, 4 including Azel (yes you can marry him too! Osananajimi is awesome). They are :

chelor

  • James (CV. Yoshino Hiroyuki) is the blacksmith’s older bro and he’s a siscon ( ゚∀(・-・). By a siscon, I mean for real. He used to have a gf, but they broke up. And one of the reason is coz he’s a siscon. But deep down he’s a nice guy, I mean he was gonna give his gf a platinum ring but he overcame his broke up and gave us the ring instead as an appreciation to help him. Of course after that he blabbers about his sister again. I mean even he wants Azel to tail her all day because he thought she liked someone, which is actually a name of a golem ヽ(`Д´)ノ (д´ノ) ヽ(   )ノ (ヽ´△) ヽ(´△`)ノ
  • Joe (CV. Konishi Katsuyuki) lives in a boat-house, along with his grandpa. He loves fishing, and basically a rival to his grandpa when it comes to it. He likes to find treasures as well, but his grandpa forbids it coz in oji-chan’s eyes, he’s still young and it’s dangerous. He always carries a surfing board anywhere. I myself haven’t increased his stat yet so I don’t know much about him lol. At certain point, he found a girl who visits Azel’s house often. Forcing Azel to found her identity, he stayed at his house til he fell asleep xD and Azel is still wtfing about what he meant (I’m pretty sure it’s Pandora but idk…)
  • Bismark (CV. Hayami Hideyuki) is one of the twins who’s working in Twins (Gemin in eng ver) shop. He’s a hardworker and very harsh to her sister in terms of working coz she’s a lazyass who only wants to play. He’s really shy towards girls. When increasing his friendship, he practiced dating with Sonia to face his cowardice towards ladies.

Bachelorettes : Luckily for Azel, she has more women to pick. There are 10 female candidates including Sonia herself (lucky bastard lol). They are :

bachelorrettes

  • Odette (CV. Asano Masumi) is one of the dragon priestesses (fire element) whose hobby is cooking. She works in Sisters inn. She makes awesome food which everyone likes, coz she often cooks for festivals. She usually asks Azel to eat his cooking, to see if it’s delicious or not. She also has a scar on her face, unknown what is it from.
  • Lily (CV. Inoue Kikuko) is the oldest of the three sisters, dragon priestess of the earth element, and a terrible chef. She, like Odette, likes Azel to taste her food as well but contradicting to Odette’s, her cooking is basically failed dish. She tried to make onigiri, but it’s really hard and she doesn’t even taste it herself XD But she’s really hard practicing cooking til she uses lots of band-aid for her fingers. Until the point Odette forbids her to step into the kitchen coz she will destroy it with her food and she decided to practice secretly when Odette’s outside. Of course she was found out and Odette is super mad. But Odette explained cooking is dangerous, coz Lily is a ドジっ子. Lily apologized and will call Odette every time she wanted to practice cooking.
  • Iris/Violet in eng ver (CV. Hanazawa Kana) has a major crush on Azel the first time she saw him. She works in the infirmary, and really likes to take care of flower. Because the flowers are easily destroyed by bugs, she really hated insects, especially ants. She’s blushing all the time she saw Azel but he’s stupid for not noticing anyway. So one time Iris asked Azel and Sonia to eat dinner together, while Iris put sleeping powders to the food. So Azel fell asleep but Sonia is still conscious inside Azel. Iris asked and Sonia being an awesome osananajimi, of course realized Iris’ feelings towards Azel coz it’s obvious. Iris asked if she has feelings, Sonia replied “no I don’t, it’s ok. Good luck with your love and I will support you!” stuffs.
  • Electra de Sainte-Coquille (CV. Tange Sakura) is a rich ojou-sama who lives in a mansion, the daughter of the mayor, Beatrix. Although she’s an ojou-sama and has a maid, she loves doing housework. She often works in the shop and inn as well. The reason for this is actually she wants to go to the school in the city. She wants to use her own money for the purpose of education. Hearing this, her mom doesn’t agree and both of them get into a fight. But then Azel helped them make up and her mom will support her.
  • Sera/Sierra in eng ver (CV. Mizusawa Fumie) is Bismarck’s twin sis and well, like I’ve said, she’s a lazyass. She doesn’t like working in the shop and she often asks Azel to play along with her, running away from her work, which makes Bismarck really mad. She’s really friendly towards others, but her attitude is just bad xD
  • Elena (CV. Itou Kanae) is the blacksmith of Fenith Island and a huuugee addict of golem, also James’ younger sis. She often works overnight and sleep during day because of her work. She invented golem and let Azel to fight it to test. The first try it’s broken right away, but after that it became really useful coz it helped destroying stones that were in the way to dragon shrine, and everyone gave applause to her. She’s really happy that she can be of a help. She’s not really positive towards James’ siscon-ness.
  • Mikoto (CV. Kobayashi Yuu) is a female warrior (which both Azel and Sonia didn’t realize that she’s female until later) who likes to patrol. The first time she encountered Azel, she thought he’s a suspicious person, thus facing his katana on him. She then told them that she’s actually a heir to a warrior family, but when she’s 16, a male baby was born so she’s unnecessary anymore. Running away from this, she sailed to Finnith Island til now. Azel thought something was off (coz both of them still not realized Mikoto is actually a girl).
  • Merupurin/Maerwen in eng ver (CV. Hirohashi Ryou) is a dark elf race, also the maid of Sante-Coquille mansion. Frustrated coz her ojou-sama loves housework, she felt useless as a maid. Her personality looks cool headed and somewhat a bit sarcastic. She often reads books as well. Azel suggested both of them working on the housework together, and the idea is accepted by Electra well and she said thank you to Azel so she can work like a normal maid.
  • Pandora (CV. Tamura Yukari) is a self proclaimed 魔王. She was found from a statue back during one of the requests. She was found as a ghost later in the cave, and decided to stay in Azel’s house, pretending to be nice. Not long after that (1 friendship point) she will be revived to her original body which is the statue, and treated both Azel and Sonia like her servants to take over the world ヽ(#゚∀゚)ノ┌┛Σ(ノ´Д`)ノ. She was actually on the verge of taking the world, until she made a stupid mistake and turned herself into stone. Thus resulting to be buried under the ocean rofl. Although she said she’s evil, she actually acts nice to the kids in the church and likes to play with them.

Others : there are other characters such as the priest Grei (Gerard in eng), Beatrix, Bacchus, Kirt (Quinn in eng), Nitt (Kelsey in eng), Jaslyn (Jocelyn in eng). Lol with the name changes. Grei is a ┌(┌ ^o^)┐ priest (dafuq I know but I think he’s just that way, flirting with Azel), Beatrix is Electra’s mom and the mayor, Bacchus is Joe’s grandpa, Nitt and Kirt are the kids in the church, taken care by Grei, and Jaslyn is a woman who only comes to Finnith at Thursday and holiday, loves to research about islands and others.There are also 3 cameo chara from previous RF. They are Tabatha, Annette, and Candy.

System 

While the system is pretty much the same as previous Rune Factory series, there are some twists in here because of the word “Ocean” in the title. Here are the systems and the differences from previous titles (pros and cons)

  1. You don’t have lands to plant crops in Finnith Island. Odette only gave you a house. And after that, I’m effing confused to find how the heck I am supposed to make money. Instead, during your oceans exploring, you will find 4 islands that will be your main for crops/mines/woods which are Spring Island, Summer Island, Fall Island, and Winter Island (special for mining).
  2. You don’t need a hoe, a watering can, and seeds anymore. You only need to tame monsters, and they will plant the crops for you. You only need to use spirit magic to grow some small plants and they will make crops according to what they can grow. Each monster can grow max 4 types of crops. The same goes with mines and woods. The thing is, you need to harvest the crops, smash the mining rocks, and chop down the woods yourself, unless you TAME another monster that can do so. Each island can hold up to 5 monsters, while your own barn can hold up to 10 monsters. You also need to increase the friendship with monsters and feed them so they can produce better crops (giant size, more expensive, rarer plants) because when they have 0 smile icon, it means they will only plant the first item on their list. Sounds easy? Not really coz when you have many monsters, the crops grow so fast that they can grow it in one day. And if you don’t want to take risk decreasing your harvest time by taming monsters specially to harvest, each time you harvest could take 6 hours which really limits your activities every day. Even I’m annoyed with it.
  3. runfo11425a00DThe word “Oceans” itself means oceans. You can explore the oceans with your lovely Ymir and discover sunken islands. Sonia will give you a hint when you found an island, and the map will give an “!” sign. You can fight giant monsters in the middle of the sea as well. It sounds fun UNTIL you realize the truth, which is it takes so much time to move from one island to another. If it’s from one corner to another, it can take 12+ hours or so. It consumes so much time. You can ask the legendary dragon to teleport you, but at the beginning of the game you’re poor. Basically you have 0 money and the dragon loves money so yeah. When you’re starting to get rich in mid story, for the purpose of the story, it WILL leave the island and the egg. It means you cannot teleport anywhere unless you finish the story (which will hatch the egg later on).
  4. While the crops/mining/exploring system sucks balls for me, the friendship system is better. When you’re talking to them and it shows the end of meter on a certain level, they will ask you to talk with them. Each event then will increase their friendship level (FP) by 1. The max number is 6, while bachelors/bachelorettes can be increased til 10.
  5. Another advantage here is you don’t need woods to expand your house. You can buy it simply from James, who’s selling stuffs for your house in the square. If you want to expand it quickly, or buy cooking/crafting asap, the best chance to do it is on the 3rd bargain sale every month. It will give you discounts and cheapen the price.
  6. Unlike previous RF series, this one doesn’t have a special box to sell your items, and no one will pick it up. It means you have to get yourself to one of the shop and sell the item. This becomes one of the problems for me, because I never like selling stuffs in the first place. The fun thing is, you can bargain the price with the shop owners. This skill is called “haggling” and the higher the skill, the easier it is to increase the price of per item.
  7. Request board will show the main plot related quests and sub-quests. Main plot related quests will be shown with golden turnip icon, and the hardness will be shown with the number of turnips, 3 being the max number. There are also repeated quests, which mean although you’ve finished, it’ll appear again and again. Quests increased FP meter a lot and it’s not like they’re mad if you cancelled their requests. Unfortunately you can only take one request per time.2011020722280747a This is only annoying when you’re doing Jaslyn’s request coz she’s only in the island on Thursday and holiday.
  8. Battle system in here is basically hack and slash like Sengoku Basara. Monsters will appear from a sphere that you must destroy or they will respawn. There are 6 choices of weapons. They are dual blade (Azel’s main weapon), one handed big sword, katana, hammer, axe, and magic wand. Unlike Rune Factory Frontier (Wii), we cannot use sickle or fishing rod to fight monsters anymore lol. Player can also bring up to 3 monsters rather than only 1, that can support you during battle. If they’re too far, you can always call them to teleport near you. Too bad I can’t ride the wolf to go anywhere again orz.

Graphics 

RFO graphics is pretty good. But to tell the truth, I prefer Frontier where they show the animated like CG instead of game graphics when the characters talk.

differ

They actually do this because they want the characters to use accessories freely from the gifts you gave them. This is actually funny and because of that, the festival where all the villagers wear mask/accessories become one of RFO’s traits. Another plus point is you will actually see the characters in swimsuits for real, rather than a figure only. I won’t say anything about animated cutscene coz it’s done beautifully as always. Too bad RFO only has little animated custcene story related. In the previous RF, the animated cutscene usually happens during marriage but I’m not sure about this one.

Sounds & Music 

The opening music is pretty good. But I’m bored with the BGM song, minus the final boss song coz it’s cool imo. I know I shouldn’t compare it with previous titles, but being the same official title, it’s there. Usually RF changes BGM music when the season changes (spring, summer, autumn, winter) but not for RFO. I realize this is because every season-islands has different BGM than other normal islands but the town is where I walk every day. I don’t go to the islands every time so I can constantly listen to its different BGM songs. The songs in the town give so much impact to me. Which is why when the cameo chara make appearances and changes the BGM, I felt nostalgic lol.

As for sfx, players would probably be annoyed on the sfx Azel made when he’s doing everything. Literally everything : fishing, brushing, fighting, etc. My whole family made a fun of it when I’m brushing/taming monsters orz. The minus point of Rune Factory series is that the whole dialogues are not fully voiced. Only some of them are voiced. Mostly when you passby them and they will greet you, but when they’re talking with bubble speech, it’s half assed done (ノ ̄д ̄)ノ

Conclusion

20110207222857c06There are pros and cons but this game definitely left me more cons. There are lots of holes in the plot, and it felt unfinished. The system is pretty annoying as well. I play Rune Factory coz I want “A Fantasy Harvest Moon” not a “raise your monster game and plant dem crops” game. While the story felt short, there are times where player cannot do anything/continue story because sometimes it’s FP related or quests related which makes the rest of the time felt boring. The time used for ocean discovery is wasted a lot, specially hunting for materials.

If you are a fan of this series, try to grab it and play it for killing your time. But if you want to experience a real “Fantasy Harvest Moon” for the first time, don’t grab this, grab the first game for the DS coz to me, it’s the most exciting one. Or you can play this game specially for romance purpose is ok as well xD but if you’re an otome at heart, you might be bored trying to finish the main storyline then play as Sonia to woo the boys’ hearts 😀

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One thought on “Review : Rune Factory Oceans

  1. Destiny trucos y guias Ps3 November 28, 2014 at 1:32 am Reply

     No me da la impresion un gran videojuego,
    empero es distraido

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