Rune Factory Frontier

The third game in the fantasy farming series
SeriousGamer - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Mild Violence: Bloodless combat with a sword and other weapons. Enemies disappear after defeat.

Scantily Clad Womean: One character wears an outfit shows a lot of her stomach.

Alcohol Use: One building is a bar, character can purchase wine.

Spiritual Content: Character can preform fantasy magic (throw fireballs, teleport). One building is a church. Some people are involved in the church. Elemental-type spirits float around the landscape and can be used to change things around town. Plot deals witha non-living entity that recieves conciousness.

Mild Profanity: A swear word is implied.

Rune Factory is described as the fantasy version of Harvest Moon, or Harvest Moon only with a sword. Those statements are not far off the mark. Frontier is the third game in the series and also the first one to be released for a console. Unlike Rune Factory 2, it follows the continuing adventure of the hero of the first game bringing characters both old and new together for a third romp through this anime-styled world.

runefactoryfrontier-3

Plot

Frontier begins after an undetermined amount of time after the first game. Our familar hero, Raguna (though his name can be changed) sets off on a new journey after a girl goes missing. The girl is quite important to him, so he leaves his farm behind and sets out to find her. His journey takes him to the village of Triponi where he finds himself on yet another new farm in need of repair. In between farming, foraging, and possibly wooing one of the local ladies, Raguna finds himself trying to uncover the mystery of a whale-shaped island suspended above the village.

Gameplay

For anyone who’s played a Rune Factory game, or even a Harvest Moon game, the controls here might be somewhat familiar. Even so, they do take some getting used to. You use the Wii Remote and Nunchuck or the Classic Controller to swing your hoe, water and harvest crops, give gifts and talk to people, and use your sword.

Two meters display your Rune Points (RP) and Health Points (HP). Working and fighting deplete your RP. When your RP is gone, your HP starts to fall. When that empties, your character passes out and wakes up the next day at the church.

Offensive Content

Violence

The violence in Frontier is quite tame. You swing your sword at enemies who wield other weapons. (swords, bows, maces, etc.) Impact is shown, though all that happens is a number appears showing how much damage that attack did. Enemies groan and fall over after defeating them and then disappear.

runefactoryfrontier-2 runefactoryfrontier-4

Spiritual Content

Like most fantasy games, magic is featured heavily. Your character starts out with the ability to teleport back to the farm or, if you happen to be exploring Whale Island, the starting point. Overtime, he learns other “spells.” All of these a largely fantasy based, such as throwing fireballs. In addition, some enemies are also fantasy based, like orcs and goblins. There is also a book for creating magical staves that you can buy and use.

Floating around the town, you can see little creatures called Runeys. The Runeys are spirit-like creatures that when caught, let you change things like make your crops grow faster.

Some less-than-fantasy spiritual elements include a church. Inside the church is a character refered to as the “mother” of the village. This is along the lines of a religious title, such as Father, Mother, Sister, etc. In addition, one character works at the church to become a nun. Though there is a church, there does not seem to be any mention of God or even gods.

********Plot Spoilers**********

The plot in this game centers on Whale Island, a floating island in the shape of a whale. The island is revealed to be alive somehow and informs you that its power is running out and that it needs your help finding Runes to replenish it.

********Spoilers End**********

Sexual Content

You can get married in this game. Like most Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games, there is no sex; your wife just gets pregnant.

One female character also wears an outfit that exposes a good portion of her midsection.

One building in the town is a bathhouse. This is common for Harvest Moon/Rune Factory games to have a bathhouse or hot springs in it. What’s not so common is that you see Raguna bathe. He’s shown in the springs naked from the waste up. I was somewhat surprised to see this in a series where the bathing is only heard and not seen. While we don’t see him entirely, I felt this wasn’t needed.

Alcohol Use

One building in the town is a bar which you can buy wine from and presumably drink.

Mild Profanity

One character comments that something is a “pain in the…” Though the statement goes uncompleted, it’s suggested that a swear word was about to be thrown in.

runefactoryfrontier-6 runefactoryfrontier-5

Conclusion

I’ve been a fan of Rune Factory since the first game. It seemed like an interesting road to take the Harvest Moon series in. I looked forward to having something to do other than farm and talk to people over and over again. When I heard Rune Factory was coming to the Wii, I was thrilled about it. I thought it was about time I got to see this game in 3-D.

It’s an enjoyable game, but sadly, for Christians, there is a lot that isn’t so enjoyable. The mild violence really isn’t so offensive. For most Harvest Moon players, the purchasing of wine is not so bad either. But I thought the stomach-baring outfit of one character wasn’t needed. Is there something so wrong about having RPG women that wear something that covers everything? The same goes for the inside look inside the bathhouse. The inclusion of a church might also be a problem, especially since God is pretty much non-existent in the world of Rune Factory. Instead, spirits, magic, and runes fill that void. The implied swear word also made me cringe a little.

All in all, Rune Factory Frontier is a fine addition to the series. Still, there are a lot of issues that most parents may have with letting their children play this type of game. I would only recommend it if they understand the difference between the fantasy world of Rune Factory and the real world. I’d also recommend that if any of this content offends you not to play it. If you find that the waters here are too full of mirk to enjoy, then don’t even get your foot in it.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

About this game