Rune Factory 5: This hybrid of a farm simulator and Action RPG lets you set your own pace, making this game a very calm and relaxing experience. Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, Moonlighter… The mix of the farm simulator and Action RPG genres is becoming more and more popular, and it’s not hard to see why. To be able to cultivate land and take care of animals, you have to build buildings, and for that you need resources, so a trip to nature or to some mines can help us obtain what we need for our construction plans. A fight or two against wild monsters helps to give the adventure rhythm and, when we return home, what better way to interact with the inhabitants of the village and improve our relationships with them?
This is the premise of Rune Factory 5, which picks up the baton, ten years later, of a fourth installment that was very successful on Nintendo 3DS. The story is not very complex: we play Ares or Alice, young people with amnesia who save a young woman from being attacked by monsters. After that, we will arrive at the village of Rigbarth, where we will join a group of vigilantes called SEED whose tasks range from gardening to helping the villagers with their daily tasks, or even defending the town from monsters.
For the farm simulator part, at first we will start with a small garden in the courtyard of the SEED base where we will have to break stones, remove obstacles, plant seeds and water them daily to obtain our harvest, but later we will get space in the back of dragons (which we can easily access from points in the village) to extend our land. We will have many seeds that will give us different products, and then we can use these to cook or give gifts to our friends.
On the Action RPG side, we will find a series of open-air territories as well as an endless number of dungeons that we can explore, although be careful: often there is not much distance between groups of enemies that are easy to defeat and others that we they will kill in one hit, and there is no clear indication that we can take on a certain group or not.
In combat, there are eight types of weapons to choose from: short or long swords, double swords, spears, battle axes, hammers, fists, and staves. Depending on what we choose, the available skills and the combat system will change a lot, so it’s best to experiment until you find the one you feel most comfortable with. We can also seek the help of the villagers to accompany us on our adventure, as well as capture and take care of monsters so that they fight by our side; At any given moment we can create a team made up of both people and monsters, which will open many doors for us.
In the village, we can use the Directives to celebrate festivals or special events, as well as interact with the NPCs to talk, obtain objects, improve our weapons… although the most important thing is to establish relationships with them. We can improve our affinity with any character by talking to them daily or offering them gifts, and this will have its rewards: in any conversation we can press the L or R button to invite them to join our group and experience adventures together. Also, if our relationship with someone becomes very close, we can also declare our love and propose to them. In this respect, the options are wider than ever, since, for the first time, unions with people of the same gender have been included.