Rune Factory 5 Review-in-Progress
My excitement was through the roof. The anticipation for this launch was killing me. Then I got it. Rune Factory 5. In my hands, on my Switch. With roughly 10 years since the last Rune Factory game I was excited to see what the development team had in for us. With a more powerful console, we would get a superior product, right? Well, let’s dive in.
I like to get negative thins out of the way first, so let’s not waste time and just get into it. Rune Factory 5 is a janky mess. When leaving buildings, you will experience frame rate drops. When playing docked, you will experience input lag. When fighting enemies, the controls are just clumsy. Dashing, especially, was difficult to do, resulting in many deaths at the hands of monsters that just didn’t feel fair. IF you play Rune Factory 5, this is what you will experience. There is a day one patch, and we will update this with how it plays after the patch, but for now, based on our 45 hours, this is what it is.
Ok, that’s done. Breath. There are some seriously talented artists and story writers over at XSeed and Marvelous, and it shows at every turn. While environments are unfortunately bland and boring, character models are absolutely gorgeous, utilizing a beautiful art style that fits the game and the genre. The little 5-10 second cut scenes sprinkled throughout the story are especially charming.
But where the game really captured me was actually in the farming and crafting. It’s deep and complex, and in ways that Story of Seasons wasn’t, and may be should have been. While finding crafting recipes can be a bit hit and miss – and frankly luck based sometimes – the complexities in the crafting was fun to conquer. Not everyone will share my enthusiasm for the systems at play here, especially since you’ll need a lot of different crafting tables to get everything you want!
While XSeed’s previous title – Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town – likely should have had complex farming mechanics, it didn’t. That is why I was pleasantly surprised to see them here. You will need to think about soil conditions, the weather, and more as you attempt to grow the best crops possible. That being said, if you just want to plant, harvest and water…you can! There is no reason for you to pay attention to the various mechanics if you choose not to!
And when you get bored with farming, you can venture out with your sword into one of the many dungeons surrounding Rigbarth. You can choose to venture into these places for fun, or as part of a larger quest for the townsfolks. Ah yes, the townsfolk. Varied, unique, and often eccentric, the people you meet on a day-to-day business make Rune Factory 5 so much more enjoyable.
There are many mysteries to uncover in Rune Factory 5, and too many mechanics than can be discussed in one review. Ultimately, if you can get past the presentation and performance issues, there is a lot to love here, and so much to enjoy. It’s a deeper game than Story of Seasons to be sure, and will likely become my new go-to farming life simulation game for the foreseeable future!