I don’t know how to check play time in Rune Factory 4, but I’ve played a lot more since I last posted about it. About 10, 15 hours more I estimate. It still freezes on me from time to time, but less often that it used to.
Freezing issue: I went into the game settings and disabled everything there: portraits, BGM, voices, sound effects, everything. Rune Factory without the BGM and sound effects is just so weird, it doesn’t feel right at all. But thanks to that I only get one or two freezes per day – real time 24 hour day, as opposed to several freezes per game day. I’m making real progress now.
Circle pad issues: RF4 lets you use the directional keypad to navigate so it’s not a big issue. Even though the keypad on the 3DS feels a lot stiffer and less responsive than the PSP and DS pads. As long as it works, right? The circle pad is actually much better though. It doesn’t stick in any particular direction any more, but it’s much happier going right than left and forget about running in a straight line.
Sticky Y button: Will you believe it actually fixed itself? It bugged me during Stella Glow (randomly undeploying and unequipping units, zooming in and out of maps), got worse during 7th Dragon III (pulling up the Field Skills menu all the time, taking people out of my party). At one point it got so bad I couldn’t run five steps without the Skills menu popping up.
I got so frustrated I… well I didn’t exactly bang on it, but I gave it a very firm, sharp press, like CUT IT OUT ALREADY! …And it did! I haven’t heard a peep out of it since! I haven’t dared touch it since, which means I can only map magic to X in RF4 and not Y but at least now I can play it without text randomly starting to fast forward. Too bad nobody says anything particularly interesting.
I’m having a good time, though progress feels much slower than in previous RF games. You need a license for just about everything, then you have to unlock seeds and recipes in stores and then things are so expensive. But it’s a good thing compared to the first Rune Factory where you could be a multi-millionaire in just a few months.
I’m sure things will pick up once I’ve unlocked a few more seeds and fully-equipped my kitchen. At least forging and crafting are easier than before because you can use a fair number of substitutes AND failure rates are very low because of changes to the success/fail system.
And hopefully I’ll get bigger dungeons to explore too. Yokmir Forest and the Water Ruins are just too small! I just finished the Water Ruins, btw. The boss was so cheap, he pretended to be dying and then got up and attacked me again! That’s just not done. I gave him an extra-special beatdown just for that. I rescued the guy within who is kind of cute but an annoying jerk so I’m sticking to Arthur for life. Beside he has amnesia too. That’s my gimmick!
The festivals have all been fun so far, especially the defluffing festival. Fluff fluff fluffity fluff! I won handily with Dual Blades, and now I’m torn between sticking to Short Swords or switching to dual-wielding. Maybe when I have better armor and accessories to make up for the loss of the shield. Seeing all those numbers popping up all over the place is just too sweet. Fishing festival and bean toss festival were all nice in their own way. If I could get lures to attract fish faster I could really get into the fishing in this game.
The only real letdown in Rune Factory 4 has been the characters. Yes, they’re all nice decent people, and they have a lot of different things to say every day, which is great but ehh… they’re so… bland. So… boring. Just, zZzZz… you know? What a bunch of milquetoasts. Marvelous was probably trying to dial things back after going overboard on the crazy in Rune Factory 3, but now they’ve made a bunch of identical bores. I usually go wild at the start of RFs giving everyone presents and trying to learn about them but this time I’m not going to bother.
Also Ventuswill is doing that stupid “I know what’s going on but I’m not gonna tell you because then the game would end after 2 hours” nonsense I hate so much in RPGs. Booooo, hisssss. I make sure to fire a few fireballs in her general direction every time I go in there. It’s not like Rune Factory games ever have fantastic stories anyway, just tell me already!
Aynywayz, a luta continua. I’m on standby until the next bit of story unlocks/doesn’t unlock. In the meantime I’m doing quests and buying tools and growing crops and all the other stuff people play RF for. See you with another update in the near future.