GameZone's David Sanchez reviews Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny for the Wii. What changes did the developers make to the series' formula, and were those changes really necessary?
I'd pass judgement on that gameplay, too.
I tried so hard to like this game, even after being severely disappointed, but I just couldn't find much enjoyment in it at all.
Tides of Destiny may not be the best Rune Factory game, but it's not as bad as this guy's making it out to be. The Rune Factory series is a spinoff of the Harvest Moon series, so there will be some elements that seem monotonous. While the farming element in ToD was greatly minimized, I found myself keeping more monsters in this RF game than I did in any of the others since they're essential for farming now rather than optional. The Runey system is gone too, which I didn't mind too much in RFF, but some people hated it. Is ToD better than RFF? Not really, but it isn't terrible either. The characters are a little quirky, but what was implied about Gerard here is messed up. Quinn and Kelsey both show adoration for him as a father figure, Quinn is just shy and there are shy people in the real world too who haven't been abused. It's odd that the author here suggests that the characters are boring. While they may offer repeat requests sometimes their reaction to the main character does change as he becomes closer friends with them. The dungeons are also more difficult than in previous Rune Factory games, and require more planning and grinding to clear. Compared to Skyward Sword this game might not seem like much, but I still think it's a pretty good game. With the cooking, blacksmith, and alchemy elements, the combat, exploring, and the social aspects, I think there's more than enough to do before 2pm of each in game day. Maybe the author didn't realize that you can replenish your HP and RP at the bathhouse once a day for free.
I really couldn't stand the characters in this game. Yes, their reactions differed as more requests were completed, but after my initial impressions of them, I had a hard time really caring about the game's cast, with the exception of the jolly old drunk dude. I was well aware that the bathhouse restored HP and RP, and while that was great later in the game when there was more to do, the first several hours felt ridiculously boring. I enjoy character interaction, I like reading text, and I have fun with side quests. Everything in ToD, however, felt horribly mundane. And this is coming from someone who had a lot of fun doing everyday tasks in games like Animal Crossing. The tasks here just felt like uninspired fetch quests. Personally, I just really didn't like the game. Were there a few good moments? Of course. But overall, I really expected more out of ToD. And this is me speaking as a fan of the Rune Factory series. I really wanted to like this game, but I simply couldn't.
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