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I'm a long-time veteran of the Harvest Moon series, and while I realize that Neverland is trying to
distinguish Rune Factory into a separate franchise ...
Their sudden bastardization of certain core Harvest Moon gameplay mechanics in Rune Factory Oceans
really shook me with surprise.
I watched all the videos by OtogiClover and came across one showcasing the "farming" in the game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J92vAdZPIN4 (Skip to 3:08)
For a franchise so heavily steeped in tradition ... this whole game is a real shocker.
Taking away the ability to manually tend to your crops is a huge deal for me.
List of shocking changes to the core elements of Harvest Moon farming/mining:
* Infinite seeds, wave with a "magic wand" to plant seeds randomly.
* No more tilling.
* You can no longer water your own crops.
* More friend points with a monster = different crops.
* No season changes, plant on "magical islands" instead of farm plots.
* Use wand to make rock piles which monsters turn into ore ... no more traditional mining.
* No more shipping bin.
* Feed monsters with cookies or you won't be able to grow crops or mine.
... You don't even start the game being able to farm!
I understand that every franchise has to evolve ... but what was wrong with the mechanics
of the previous 4 games? Why did they feel such a need to overhaul the entire system?
Isn't the ocean mechanics, different setting, and unique plot structure enough?
... Something feels a bit off about this game, like it's straying a little too far away from what a
Rune Factory game should be.
I fear that Neverland's "new-and-improved" Rune Factory may be the beginning of the end of Harvest Moon as we know it.
If Marvelous takes liberties like Neverland when making the next Harvest Moon game,
the traditional elements of Harvest Moon may give way to a more "Farmville" type of experience.
If Neverland is deliberately de-emphasizing the farming aspect of a farming video game,
then I fear what's next for our beloved franchises.
Does anyone else feel that a watering-down in the core farming elements may be a permanent
directional shift in the Rune Factory / Harvest Moon franchises, or is this game just a one-time experiment?
because its not harvest moon, its rune factory.
they always wanted to have the "friend with monster" storyline, but honestly, you could go the other 4 games without getting a single monster if you wanted, now you pretty much need to get them, its a change that i didn't like at first, but that made sense.
3DS Friend ID: 2165-6318-4182 (Barioth)
When I think of Rune Factory, I think of
Rune Factory: "A Fantasy Harvest Moon."
Rune Factory: "A Monster-Raising Action RPG."
Apparently, the developers thought otherwise.
In Rune Factory I honestly thought hack-and-slash gameplay and monsters were more of a diversion,
like fishing or mining, rather than the main feature of the series (farming).
While you're right, it's a bad progression for Rune Factory because farming is what distinguishes
the game from the millions of other hack-and-slash titles and the more robust monster-raising simulators out there.
If Harvest Moon starts to deviate from the norm as well,
Harvest Moon may start to lose all of its fans and completely fade away.
Argh, yes. Agreed 100%. My desire to get RFO dropped immensely when I heard that they nearly got rid of farming. I hate the whole concept of raising monsters, but this one will FORCE me to. Bleckkk.
As another veteran of the series, this deviation has left me disappointed. I don't think HM will follow this route, thankfully, considering RF is developed by a different company, and the fact that farming is the whole point. But it does have me worried about the fate of RF. Luckily, it seems the change was met with lukewarm reactions, so maybe they'll realize it was a bad idea...?
I set unicorns on fire for fun. :D
just like what i say to the guy above me on his own thread complaining , if you want to play the traditional go play Harvest Moon. One of the reason they take away the "traditional" farming is because they can not figure out a way to balance the RP usage, if they use the traditional farming method in Ocean you character will probably literally stunk farming forever unable to do exploring until you bought everything avaliable because we don't have enough damn RP.
Obviously I could just go play Harvest Moon if I wanted a traditional experience.
That's not the point of this article.
Rune Factory is effective as a video game because it offers something that
no other JRPG can: the ability to farm.
If Neverland is dismissing the farming aspects as "irrelevant" to their franchise, then I
(and many fans of the franchise) have no desire to support them any longer.
It's like taking the action-adventure out of a Zelda game ...
or the shooting out of a Call of Duty game.
Rune Factory is a farming game with dating + RPG elements.
Neverland established that with FOUR GAMES.
To completely change it now betrays their fanbase.
The point of this article is to see if anybody else is miffed or worried about these changes besides me,
and to speculate if they might seep into the traditional Harvest Moon franchise.
Marvelous is simply just trying something new.
They still have farming elements in the game, and I doubt they will ever completely remove them. The series is tied to Harvest Moon.
But yes, they have downplayed farming a lot in this game... but can you blame them?
Look at children today... do you really think most of them want to 'Farm' in a video game? They want fighting and monster taming and pretty girls and etc.
This game was developed to strike a cord with people who would not normally pick up the series, as all the Rune Factory games have been... they have slowly started leaning more and more towards a fast-paced game filled with adventure and RPG style nuances... in other words, Rune Factory is an RPG, not a farming game.
To 'strip the farming elements' from the game really does not ruin the gameplay, but fulfills it's objective of making it more fast paced.
Of course, yes, us fans who love the farming elements are being brushed aside for now for a new group of gamers.... but seriously, Marvelous is a business, and the one thing they want to do is make more money... and I'm sure they believe this is the way to do it.
And of course, I'm someone who grew up on Harvest Moon, from the first game and on, it has always been my favorite series and always will be. I love the farming aspects... but times simply change. That's simply just life.
And of course, none of this mentions how almost everyone complained about the 'Runey system' of the last game... so with such complaints, what were they to do but to scale back the farming? They went farther than they probably should have, but when there were so many complaints maybe they saw it as a larger problem?
So really who here is to blame for this change? Marvelous, or the fans?
I'm not blaming anyone, but I will say this.... I, personally, never once complained about the Runey system.
... Said me.
Look at the popularity of Farmville.
60 million users and rising.
Harvest Moon has survived as a franchise for 15+ years.
Children still love (and have loved) to play farming video games.
8 years ago, my child sister loved Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life,
not because of the bachelorettes, but because she loved the farming and the animals.
There's something uniquely cathartic about the act of farming that appeals
to men and women of all ages.
Roguelike RPG gameplay and dramatized, harem-based dating are products of Neverland's
pandering towards the otaku rather than the casual gamer.
That's not the "new audience" Neverland should be targeting if they want
to maintain a healthy interest in the franchise.
I am not an otaku by any stretch of the word, and neither are most people,
even in Japan.
With Rune Factory getting progressively more surreal, the franchise has
progressively lost hundreds of thousands of international sales
with each new (and more radical) entry.
The lukewarm reception and first-day sales of Oceans in Japan speaks to the poor ability
of Otaku-styled gameplay to sell domestically in Japan.
Otaku-based Japanese RPGs, as evidenced by the poor sales of NIS America's niche titles, are
floundering to appeal to new audiences internationally.
I don't mind a fast pace ... or the presence of adventure / RPG elements.
But the more Rune Factory continues to lean away from farming + economic simulation,
the more the franchise will suffer.
The Runey system was a poor innovation in my opinion ...
but at least it didn't mess with the ability to farm.
I can tell you the kids that don't like to farm won't be looking into niche titles like HM anyway. But for the ones that do, they have HM.
I don't think they'll continue with the new system, though, since the removal was met with negative to lukewarm responses. I haven't heard anyone praise the element, at least.
It strikes me that they experimented a lot with RFO, and did in fact fall short severely in multiple areas. The female side of the game is lacking, they got downplayed farming A LOT, and there's not even a shipping bin anymore! Instead, they decided to focus on the RPG elements and ocean exploring, which I wouldn't mind if they didn't have to sacrifice so much for them.
I do wish they could have a balance. Neverland can handle characters really well, and make them very interesting and fresh, which is the main reason why I like the newer RF games and why the first one didn't work for me. And they can do the RPG elements just fine. RF3's battle system is really quite fun, and I enjoy gathering ingredients and making things out of them.
But what they cannot do very well is the thing Marvelous can: The Harvest Moon stuff. Farming and ranching primarily. In RF1, farming wasn't very necessary due to fishing and mining and really only existed for the purpose of regaining RP. In RFF, they botched the system by adding Runeys (WITHOUT explaining them, and making them near impossible to maintain without a guide of some sort). In RF3, once again, farming is really more a commodity and isn't necessary at all, plus the soil system is irritating (AP and ToT did it right). The only one where I really felt like the farming did something was RF2 (in the first gen, anyway), but there was nothing to spend money on.
I can understand if they want to aim more towards the RPG crowd and away from the niche. But in the process, I think they'll lose a lot of fans, and the core of the series. If they took away farming, would it really be Rune Factory anymore? Rune Factory, the spinoff of Harvest Moon? Or would it just be another RPG with a monster and dating system? Them trying to take the elements that make it a unique and charming experience... Is that truly a good idea?
...Perhaps Neverland should collaborate with the Harvest Moon team and create the ultimate RF game. Take all the best elements of RF: fun fighting system, expansive crafting, and colorful characters. Then combine them with the best of HM: Balanced and fun farming system (AP's comes to mind, but the traditional one works too), cute little animals to take care of, the traditional festivals (HM64's set, please), and a rustic setting. Then everyone will be happy. :D
(holy cow that's quite the wall of text)
I set unicorns on fire for fun. :D
A side game making changes to go in a different direction over the main game. Never hears of that before. All sarcasm aside, what the hell did you guys expect? RF and HM are too separate series.
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