Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (Wii) Preview

By Az Elias 06.08.2011 14

Review for Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny on Wii

Marvelous Entertainment’s Harvest Moon spin-off franchise has become so popular, with hit games mostly on the Nintendo DS, that Rune Factory is now treated as a solid independent series in its own right. This is further proven by the fact new entries do not have the “A Fantasy Harvest Moon” subtitle anymore. After 2008’s (2010 in Europe) Rune Factory Frontier on the Wii, Marvelous has seen fit to add a new entry to the series for Nintendo’s home console, called Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny. Already released in February this year in Japan as Rune Factory Oceans, here is a look into what you can expect in the latest RPG/farming simulation game.

The key feature in Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny is that you control a male and female character as one. Aiden and Sonia, the two main characters, are childhood friends that one day get transported to Fenith Island. Aiden wakes up to find that Sonia’s body is nowhere to be found and her consciousness is trapped inside his head. It is at this point that the story begins as you try to understand what has happened and bring Sonia’s body back.

As is the norm in all Rune Factory games, there is a big emphasis on developing relationships with the people you meet, which can eventually lead to you getting married and having children. You can see the effects of what getting close to other females has on Sonia, as her consciousness will speak to you and show her jealous side. However, you will eventually be able to choose to play as Sonia and give her the chance to get close to the guys on the island, despite the number of potential grooms being less than the number of brides available.

Screenshot for Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny on Wii

There will be changing seasons in the game, which affect what events will happen, as well as cause NPCs to alter their clothing. In the summer, naturally everyone is in beach gear, and this also gives cause for a swimsuit competition. You will be given the chance to vote for your favourite female, hopefully with the intention of getting on her good side. Snow and rain weather changes will also take place, resulting in different looks for the town, and also allowing for events and chance encounters that might not normally happen in sunny weather.

By visiting the local Inn you can read and accept quests on the message board and complete them to receive items, discover new lands and develop your relationships with others. Many different types of weapons can be bought from a blacksmith, including dual swords, hammers, axes, spears and staffs. You will be doing a lot of synthesising in order to create weapons for yourself or gifts for others. Other key locations in the town include a bathhouse to replenish your health, a church to buy medicine and get married at the chapel outside, a shrine to offer money to make wishes and learn special effects, and, of course, your own home, which can be expanded with facilities to allow you to cook and strengthen your weapons.

Screenshot for Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny on Wii

Early into the game’s story, you will witness an event that reveals a giant named Ymir make its presence known next to your island. By hopping on board Ymir, you can use him to traverse the oceans and find new islands. Ymir can pick new lands up from the sea and these are then accessible to explore and farm on. The game’s real-time battle component comes into play on other islands, as you will often find monsters inhabiting them. The game is controlled using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but no motion play is involved in combat, disappointingly. Hacking and slashing is simply done by pressing the A button. Additionally, whilst controlling Ymir, you will come across other giants that you can fight against by punching and throwing boulders.

Befriending the monsters you come across is something you will need to get used to. By brushing them using a comb to turn them to your side, you can raise them, have them fight with you and also have them help with farming. In a slight change from Harvest Moon or other Rune Factory games, in Tides of Destiny planting seeds or watering plants is not the case anymore. Instead, monsters will maintain your farm lands, and your relationships with them determine the quality of crops they will grow on your behalf. The more you brush and feed the monsters, the better the crops they will produce. Certain monsters will produce certain crops. All you need to do is swing the Spirit Wand to sow crops, and come back to harvest them. Your monsters will do the rest and maintain your plants.

Screenshot for Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny on Wii

The art style used in Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny is reminiscent of the previous Wii game, Frontier, looking very colourful, solid and clear. Characters that you hand gifts to will wear them and you will see these alterations in-game. The same applies to equipment your main character wears, which is a neat touch. It is worth adding that 3D character models replace the 2D anime drawn portraits of past games when you speak with other characters. These 3D portraits allow for the characters to show a variety of expressions in conversation. This is all topped off with some lovely anime cut-scenes, relaxing and catchy music and lots of voice acting. Going off of the English-only voices in Rune Factory Frontier, you can bet this will be the case for Tides of Destiny too, but do not give up hope on Japanese voices not being an option either.

Screenshot for Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny on Wii

Final Thoughts

If you are a fan of Harvest Moon or previous Rune Factory games, then you will definitely want to keep tabs on Tides of Destiny. It slightly changes the way farming works by removing some more tedious elements such as watering, and the emphasis on story and combat means more variety. Of course, the traditional relationship developments, unique characters, events and quests that make these games so fun are all in place here too. Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny has been penned in for release some time this year in the US via Natsume, but no specific date has been set just yet, along with no mention of Rising Star Games bringing it to Europe anytime soon. However, with the English demo having been made playable at this year’s E3, it will hopefully not take too long to make its way over here.

Also known as

Rune Factory: Oceans

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

Natsume

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

Comments

Good read, Azuardo! Smilie Certainly another franchise that I'd like to check out sometime in the future. I do have one question though. Going by your preview, you would have preferred the combat to have motion controls, right? If that would have been waggle that simply replaces the A button to swing your weapon (just like in Twilight Princess), would you still prefer that?

Haha, that "disappointingly" is Jesusraz's fault! I actually never put that word, but he edited tiny parts before posting it up so blame him for that! Smilie

Personally, I like how the game plays using just the A button to attack. I don't like needless motion controls that would respond better with button presses. I do think there should be an option for motion controls though, and there might yet be considering the PS3 version is Move compatible. No reason why there couldn't be Motion Plus features too.

Maybe you should have a look into Rune Factory Frontier and see how much it is if you're interested in the franchise. I think I'd much prefer Rune Factory compared to Harvest Moon, as there's more of an RPG element and a story, so farm work doesn't get as tedious.

Thanks!

Haha, I knew there was something fishy about that "disappointingly" in there. Not something I'd expect you to write. Smilie

I could get Frontier for maybe around €30 right now which is not much less than a new Wii game. Do you think it would be worth waiting for Tides of Destiny to come over here?

( Edited 06.08.2011 21:29 by SirLink )

Might be worth waiting if you can't get Frontier cheap. Depends how much you're interested in it. Might do you well to have a look at some gameplay videos of Frontier to get an idea of how it plays. Tides of Destiny's difference is perhaps more about being able to explore a lot more islands, less tedious farming by using monsters, more combat and being able to choose to play as a girl, which is a first in the Rune Factory series. Sadly, there are only 3 males to pick from to marry, whereas Aiden gets a whopping 10 beauties to make his choice from. The only thing is we don't have much of a clue when Tides is coming out over here, so it could be year's end, or even worse, pushed into 2012 for Europe. Again, try looking at some vids for Tides too to see if you'd rather wait, or give Frontier a go first.

Yeah, blame my creative editing license there Smilie I vaguely recall people questioning Marvelous about why MotionPlus wasn't used in Frontier and there was some excuse about development missing the boat in that regards. With Tides of Destiny, though, there is simply no excuse, especially since the PS3 version is Move compatible...

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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I wouldn't hold my breath for this game to come out in Europe personally. Rising Star Games doesn't seem to be willing to bring any more Wii games to the old continent. I'd like to be proven wrong though Smilie.

Anyway, I'm importing the US version, just in case. I wonder why it hasn't been put up for pre-order on Play-Asia already...

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

I am a little worried that nothing's been mentioned of a Europe release at all. But I too hope for the best because it really is a good game from what I've already seen and played. Would be a real shame if it didn't make it's way over.

SirLink, Frontier is £12.85 at UK site The Hut, and £15.47 on our Amazon. Don't think either will ship to you, but a real shame, because those are some good prices.

Tides of Destiny is coming to EU, as far as I know...but I'm not supposed to know anything, so erase that from your memory, please! Smilie Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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@Azuardo: Well, going by the differences you named, Tides of Destiny certainly sounds like it's superior to Frontier. I'm a total sucker for pretty much anything Japanese-related, so the interest is definitely there. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up absolutely loving it. I'll be sure to check out some vids of both games to get a better idea of how they play. I think I'll wait for Tides of Destiny for now. If Frontier drops to €20 or less, then I'll definitely grab that though. Smilie

Ah, I'm not surprised that Frontier just happens to be much cheaper in the UK. Smilie

( Edited 06.08.2011 22:41 by SirLink )

SirLink - you based in Austria? I see RFF costs EUR 27,99 on Amazon.de Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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Yeah, I'm from Austria and that's exactly the offer I was looking at. Apparently it's the cheapest you can get it around here, even Ebay.de only has it for ~€30. :/

SirLink, ever considered browsing ebay UK instead? Sometimes you can get the games cheap, and they'll dispatch outside of the UK too for a little extra. I mean, I found one here for Frontier, which is only £3.50 postage to Austria (more for signed delivery). Just a suggestion though. You might grab some cheap deals this way for other games.

( Edited 06.08.2011 23:00 by Azuardo )

Yeah, I considered it before and still plan on looking elsewhere for some games in future. I haven't started using Ebay just yet because I have plenty other games to play but once I start hunting down some games I'll certainly use whatever I find. Simply had a look on Ebay.de just to see if the German version is at that price everywhere.

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Only problem for Eurozone residents is that buying from UK people on ebay automatically requires a Paypal account :/, because no UK seller accepts payments via bank transfer from Eurozone residents (I know UK isn't part of the Eurozone, but UK uses the same IBAN account system, so bank transfers are super easy to treat. Don't know what the problem is...). So if you don't have a Paypal account, you're pretty much limited to the rest of EU+Switzerland on eBay.

Anyway... got my RF Frontier for 14.50€ at a local Spar shop, a few months back. Was really happy with that find Smilie, though I still haven't started playing it.

@Adam : cough cough...

( Edited 07.08.2011 00:23 by Kafei2006 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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