Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon Review
Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Neverland 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Natsume 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 18, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

One thing I really appreciated about Rune Factory 2 was the control options. The control is mainly button-based, with most attack and agricultural-based commands tied to a certain button. However, there are stylus input options, which are really useful for navigating long and complex menus. I would traditionally balk at a control scheme that uses both stylus and button inputs, but both input methods work well, and a combination of both works surprisingly well.

Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot

The graphics in this title are also very good, and the visual style of the game has the series' trademark anime look with a little bit more of a fantasy-inspired, rustic feel. The graphics use a combination of highly detailed 2D environmental elements with nicely modeled 3D characters to achieve a very unique look. Although the different characters do suffer from a little blurring, the graphics are very solid overall.

Music is also very good, and each area in the Rune Factory landscape has a cute little tune accompanying it. The title song is also very catchy and is an interesting J-Pop number that sounds great. However, the voiceover in this title is not so good. The voiceovers are very infrequent; to the point where you never know if you will get voiced dialogue or scrolling text. The voiceovers are also hit or miss in terms of quality and just don't really cut it.

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My one major criticism of Rune Factory 2 is that it is too similar to last year's Rune Factory. Even though the Rune Factory series feels like a huge departure for the Harvest Moon franchise as a whole, I would love to see this series mature and develop. The story, though very charming, bears one too many resemblances to last year's title and a lot of the core mechanics and quests remain identical to those found in the original. Still, Rune Factory 2 is the best Harvest Moon title to come out this year, and if you are just itching to get your agricultural juices flowing, Rune Factory 2 provides the perfect vehicle to do so.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
Graphics look very good and feature a nice mix of both 2D and 3D elements.
4.4
Control
Although the entire game can be played with buttons, stylus options come in handy when navigating complex menus.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The score is very nice, and the opening song is quite catchy. However, voiceovers are infrequent and hit or miss in terms of quality.
4.0

Play Value
Although Rune Factory 2 gets off to a very slow start, the gameplay is extremely rewarding and it is easy to get lost in this title.

4.1
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Multigenerational storyline lets you play as your child!
  • Befriend monsters to help on your farm!
  • Exciting new gameplay modes via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection!
  • Upgrade your skills and forge your own powerful weapons and tools!


  • Screenshots / Images
    Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon screenshot - click to enlarge

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