Rune Factory 4 Special Image
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81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

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  • Summary: Rune Factory 4 marks the return of the popular Harvest Moon spinoff that combines farming with dungeon adventuring. For the first time in the series, the player can select to play as a male or female hero, and potential suitors of either gender are also available in order to pursue love,Rune Factory 4 marks the return of the popular Harvest Moon spinoff that combines farming with dungeon adventuring. For the first time in the series, the player can select to play as a male or female hero, and potential suitors of either gender are also available in order to pursue love, marriage, and possibly a child. As the newly-appointed prince or princess, you can fulfill your royal duties of protecting the town from invaders, or take a more rural approach to governing by raising your own fruits and vegetables and helping townsfolk. Should some dungeon adventuring be on the days itinerary, you can select from the castles vast armament of swords, spears, and staffs along with magic for battle against dangerous foes, or even bring along a companion or friendly monster to aid you during your travels. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jun 10, 2020
    90
    Overall, whether you should pick up Rune Factory 4 Special comes entirely down to whether you played the original 3DS version or not. There’s a few new features: some things added to the trophy room to celebrate the series, new cutscenes, and a New Game + mode where you start off married. Plus, it being on the Switch instead of the 3DS allows for a higher resolution and a larger screen whether docked or in handheld mode. That said…there’s not a whole lot of actual content added.
  2. Feb 25, 2020
    90
    While no individual aspect is the best of its kind, the overall package exudes charm and entertainment that is hard to match.
  3. Feb 25, 2020
    87
    The Rune Factory franchise lands on Nintendo Switch with a new version of its fourth game, this time in high definition and with more content than ever. Although it was launched a few years ago, if you are looking for a title that you fall in love with and with a good length, this is your game.
  4. Feb 25, 2020
    82
    Rune Factory 4 is absorbing, packed with content and unique features. If you ever thought about combining farm management and JRPG, this is your game.
  5. Feb 25, 2020
    80
    For its flaws, Rune Factory 4 Special brings an incredible life-sim/Action-RPG to the Switch. There are few games in the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons series that match the complexity and fun of Rune Factory 4, and this port has me excited to see Rune Factory 5.
  6. Feb 25, 2020
    80
    Any Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, or Rune Factory fan should definitely check this one out on Nintendo Switch, as it has one of the most charismatic worlds I’ve seen in a game in the genre yet.
  7. Feb 27, 2020
    60
    This comfortable but clunky reboot of the part farming simulator, part dungeon crawler, part life sim is very much a product of its time.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Feb 25, 2020
    10
    Reliving this experience on the switch after years of being away from the series brings me joy. I enjoy the jack of all trades master of noneReliving this experience on the switch after years of being away from the series brings me joy. I enjoy the jack of all trades master of none type of game this is. You have dungeon-crawling RPG elements, to farming and town managing. You can tame monsters and hold festivals. Also, the new things that they added were great, like the Newley wed mode and the new episodes. It has a little bit of everything and I would recommend giving it a shot. I know when I started with Rune Factory 3 and was hesitant at first but soon I became a fan of the series. Expand
  2. Dec 17, 2020
    10
    Best childhood game ever. The storyline and everything is so well fleshed out, and I have so many fond memories of it. So glad and proud ofBest childhood game ever. The storyline and everything is so well fleshed out, and I have so many fond memories of it. So glad and proud of its return and well-deserved success. Expand
  3. Feb 27, 2020
    10
    Rune Factory 4 happens to be one of my favorite games of all time. It is a great blend of life sim, farm sim, and full on RPG. The cast isRune Factory 4 happens to be one of my favorite games of all time. It is a great blend of life sim, farm sim, and full on RPG. The cast is great and the have more life than any other game in the genre. It focuses around your character, male or female who loses their memory when confronted by a sinister organization. You find yourself a steward of a the land making decisions, raising monsters, cultivating crops, exploring a great story, and even falling in love and starting a family. Rune Factory 4 gives you countless hours of content to explore. Crafting is rich and rewarding, making different weapons and leveling up your skills with them is a great way to spend your time.

    I do want to expand upon the "Special" moniker and what is different between the 3ds version and this port. And honestly, there isn't a ton of change. Some balance changes, some additions to help remedy third act relationship issues, some up-resing of textures and animated character portraits that show up from time to time. There is new dlc, free until sometime in March that adds some stories read by the voice actors that give insight into what comes after the main story. Another DLC is packaged with the special edition of the game, but it is not substantial at all. I would have liked to see some major changes (like the difference between Rune Factory 1 and Frontier), however the game does carry a $39.99 price point, $10 higher than that of the 3ds version. And ultimately I think this Switch version is the best version to experience and a great jump in point for new fans.

    With some luck, and support for this title Rune Factory fans may also see Rune Factory 5 come to fruition.

    TLDR: If you like farm sims, dating sims, and/or rps with anime aesthetics, Rune Factory 4 will give you a great time at a decent price.
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  4. Jun 27, 2020
    9
    Having played both the original and Nintendo Switch versions I couldn't help but notice the various quality of life improvements, the biggestHaving played both the original and Nintendo Switch versions I couldn't help but notice the various quality of life improvements, the biggest one being the removal of RNG to trigger a specific questline. The main story is alright, nothing extraordinary within the RPG genre, but, what makes this a worthwhile narrative experience is definitely the interactions between the characters living in Selphia. All of them are memorable and likable; their personal questlines give you an insight on why the act the way they do. There was a specific quest in Margaret's character arc that made me tear up a bit. The only few flaws I can nitpick out of this game are that RNG is still involved in personal quest triggering, the new character animations are only available in newlywed mode, there are some unbalanced difficulty spikes (they can be dealt with Object X/failed dishes, but still), and you can't get some items until you meet a specific requirement, halting your sense of progression.
    Overall, this game deserves lots of love.
    Expand
  5. Sep 26, 2020
    9
    Hours upon hours with this game. I love its the jack of all trades and does it well. Grinding has been a pleasure. Only faults would be theHours upon hours with this game. I love its the jack of all trades and does it well. Grinding has been a pleasure. Only faults would be the necessary scenarios to marry. Very annoying but it is an old game so those Kinks I hope are worked out in RF5 Expand
  6. Oct 25, 2020
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Rune Factory 4 Special is a 3DS HD port. This is a spin-off series from Story of Seasons (formerly Harvest Moon). It's a great mix of many different genres and styles of games. I did not play all the routes of the game nor read all possible dialogues, it is a review of my experience with the game (I went on the 'route' of the best girl = Margaret).

    The first arc has a good variety of dungeons, bosses and enemies. The story begins more or less, then there is a twist that ties all the loose ends and mysteries generating a certain urgency / climax. The emotional issue was good in some parts and weaker in others. And why the **** do the credits roll, since there is still 2/3 more of the story to be told.
    The second arc starts well with a twist level on Doug's past, right after that there is action and an objective is established. But the structure of the second arc is much simpler. It is a very basic adventure with a simple objective. The villain of the bow has a certain substance despite being too "stubborn". The final battle is too long unnecessarily. But how they tied the other citizens to the battle was cool. I would say it was much less exciting than the first because the dragon is not present in this entire arc. I also found it unnecessary that ending in which the Dragon disappears, but okay.
    About this 'third arc' I say that the fanbase is wrong, this is not the final arc of the game, it is post-game. The story really ends in the second, nor did it need a third arc. It is true that he ties up some loose ends like the protagonist's past, but this happy ending from Ventuswill ... you could have 'fixed' it at the end of the second arc by not making him die (damn I gave spoiler). In the first 'dungeon' of the third arc there are 2 reused bosses, which even made sense for the story but it doesn't change the fact. And after that comes Rune Prana, which I do disgusting business. It didn't really irritate me, it was worse, once I was in a bad mood after closing the game (before this arc it was always the other way around).

    The game has a mechanic of random events that occur during the year. Which is very interesting in theory but not so much in practice. The number of them is very decent and the ones I saw are cool. They are where most of the development of the characters and their relationships take place. The HUGE problem with this is that some of these totally random events are necessary for certain things in the game. In the original, this was very problematic because even to get ahead in the story it was necessary to be lucky. In the Special edition this was semi-corrected, to advance the story you don't need to be lucky but to get married for example ... I wish you luck.

    The meetings are good. Some very fast and simple but even cool and others longer and with a humble development. But something that caught my attention was the system that deepens the relationship in these meetings (there are 6 levels and some of them are kind of strange but it is already some kind of development in the relationship through something secondary), I found this mechanics interesting.

    On Margaret's 'route' there are 4 events in the city and the event that unlocks the wedding. Three of these events are mild, generating some kind of development and one of them, despite being fast, is very heavy, especially when you discover why. In the final event (which unlocks the wedding) they tie 2 of the events together and make a great deep drama. My only problem was that the resolution of this drama I found weak.

    A very common problem in games with this style of relationship system is that your relationship does not affect the story. In Rune Factory 4 this problem also occurs, what affects dialogues in the story is the composition of your party, but your relationship with these members can change at most as they call you. Except that in the story if you have any characters in your party there is even a reaction from them but it is totally superficial, usually 1 to 3 words. However, there is a moment when their relationship interferes, at the end of the first arc, but at that moment I thought it was too soon (unfortunately it was at least). And when you add someone to your party, dialogues could occur during your gameplay.

    The gameplay has several aspects, for being a great mix, I will not go into all of them. The farm system has a very good depth in the right measure, without becoming something widely complex but offering certain 'challenges' and barriers that are broken with your own experience. The combat I found too basic, it has variations of 'gameplay style' but within those styles his variation is very weak (complex), but still, it is almost fun enough. But I liked that you had a 'bigger goal' to make money (planting), which is just getting stronger to be able to advance the story. It is worth noting that the pet system is very interesting.
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  7. Sep 23, 2020
    0
    I LOOOVE this game, the mechanics, the events, characters, they're all awesome. The history is kinda bland, so don't expect much in thisI LOOOVE this game, the mechanics, the events, characters, they're all awesome. The history is kinda bland, so don't expect much in this aspect. It's really cool to tame monsters and fighting is great, If I could rate this any higher than 10, I would. Expand

See all 20 User Reviews