Excerpt: I'm going to be bold and just come out say it: Rune Factory 3 is easily the best game in the series. It's everything Neverland and Natsume promised fans, and its execution is done so well that it's hard to find much to complain about. Rune Factory Frontier was my favorite game in the Harvest Moon realm, however, as good as I thought it was, Rune Factory 3 blew it out of the water.
Excerpt: The name pretty much says it all. Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon takes the well-established farmlife formula of Natsume's Harvest Moon games and transplants it into the type of baroque fantasy world found commonly in Japanese RPGs, complete with an amnesiac protagonist and plenty of dungeon-crawling.
Pros: Combat integrates into farmlife formula surprisingly well, Plenty of unique activities to keep busy with
Cons: Actual combat feels stilted, 2D and 3D graphics don't mesh very well
Rich characters populate farming game; has combat, too.
Common Sense Media
5 September 2009
Summary: Parents need to know that Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is an action role-playing game for the Nintendo DS. Players assume the role of Micah, a half-human/half-monster character who must unite two feuding towns and lead them against an opponent threatening to destroy them both. While combat plays a significant role in the game, it's quite benign, with enemies disappearing in flashes of light and/or puffs of smoke.
Conclusion: Rune Factory 3 doesn’t really change the formula in the third game on Nintendo’s portable. Anyone new to the series will be able to pick up the game and have no problems with it; yet new comers will see how the game is the same thing, gameplay wise and story. A fresh coat of paint isn’t going to work forever for Rune Factory. Still, the game is a lot of fun and I can’t put it down. Depending on what you do in the game it will take you 5 to 10 hours to beat or longer.
Excerpt: Over the years, Natsume has spawned any number of Harvest Moon sequels, ports, and variations. It comes as no surprise then to find a fantasy iteration of the popular farming sim with elements of an action RPG. Well, maybe it's a slight surprise. After all, the series has always focused entirely on farming and finding a wife. With Rune Factory, however, the franchise finally departs from that.
Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon (DS) - Review
11 April 2008
Excerpt: Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is a very apt title. The game takes the classic Harvest Moon gameplay and blends it with a generic fantasy action RPG, while encouraging you to grow full fields of crops which act as factories producing "rune spheres" of energy. But before we get too deep into the mechanics, let's go over the basics. All of the classic Harvest Moon gameplay is still in place.
Summary: While Rune Factory 3 is every bit as addictive as it's forebearers, its place on home and handheld consoles is becoming less relevant with time. Natsume need to make a serious leap to Facebook and iOS with the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory series if these much loved titles aren't to be forgotten and buried by new pretenders to their throne.