By Patrick Aguda / July 19th, 2022
Graphically, the game looks okay. The environments are average and the enemy designs are forgettable. The final story boss was especially underwhelming for me. The game really shines with the main character designs and models, though. Each character looks nice and their designs really fit their personality. The in-game character models match their 2D art well, which I appreciate. I do give the game a pass since it was ported from the Nintendo Switch, but I do hope they step their game up in the graphics department if they continue the series.
The music is hit and miss. I enjoyed the town BGM that played in the morning, nighttime, and during Festivals. The morning and nighttime BGMs are nice and relaxing, while the Festival BGM really fit that party atmosphere. The dungeon and boss music are forgettable, though. The same boss music is used for almost the entire game, and it gets old fast. I do wish they had a more upbeat track that would get my blood pumping for the regular fights instead of just playing the field BGM, something that would fit the actiony combat system.
Localization wise, the game seems fine. However, I did find two issues that seemed odd. One, there was a time the protagonist was speaking but it said their name was Cecil, instead of their given name. The other issue involved Hina’s post-story event dialogue. After completing a main story portion, each villager has special dialogue concerning what just occurred. However, in the late game, and after the main story is finished, Hina does not seem to have the special dialogue. She just repeats the same thing twice, one after the other. This has to be a bug of some kind, since every other character had something special to say after completing the main story except Hina.
Continuing on from those, the game also has some other bugs and issues that bothered me during my playthrough. First off, is a bug that apparently carried over from the Switch version. If you go to a different area, there is a chance that the BGM will just stop. So, you will be playing with no BGM until you decide to reload the game. It’s a shame this bug was not fixed when porting to PC. Another issue I found, was while entering Atohl’s End. The game was stuck on an infinite loading screen, and I had to force stop the game and reload. I was unable to recreate this bug after the first time, but I thought I should let readers know that there is a chance it can happen. I also experienced a game stopping bug during the final story boss fight. The boss stayed still and didn’t do anything, so I wailed on it until I was unable to damage it anymore. After that, I couldn’t do anything. I just waited there until I decided to reload. After reloading, the boss moved normally and I was able to complete the fight, but this was not the type of issue I thought I’d run into during the endgame. One last issue I’ll talk about involves gifted headwear. In Rune Factory 5, you can gift headwear to your party members and they will wear it. I have had two separate occasions where I would gift headwear to Lucy, and then it would randomly disappear. I don’t mean just visually either, it actually disappeared from her equipment screen too. The headwear would reappear after a day or two, but the fact that this happened in the first place is jarring. These are some of the issues during my playthrough. I wish XSEED would’ve spotted and fixed these errors while porting the game.
Rune Factory 5 runs like a dream on PC, much better than my previous experience with the Switch version. I was able to run the game at a smooth 165 FPS at 1440p. Even with a weaker PC setup, I think you can run this game smoothly. You have options for resolution, shadow quality, frame rate, anti-aliasing, dynamic hair and clothing movement. You can tweak these settings however you want to fit your PC rig.
It took me around 45 hours to complete the main story, and there is still plenty for you to accomplish after that. You can attempt the game’s post-game dungeon, continue farming and fishing to your heart’s content, work on capturing more monsters, and even find yourself a lifelong partner. So, even after the story is done, you’ll have plenty to keep yourself busy.
I have a love-hate relationship with Rune Factory 5. I love the relaxing atmosphere and simple daily life activities, straightforward combat, and the Rigbarth citizens. My experience was unfortunately muddied by questionable enemy design, an absurd difficulty spike, and numerous issues and bugs that found their way into the final product. I think if you’re a longtime Rune Factory fan you might find something to like. However, if you’re a newcomer, I cannot recommend buying the game at its $59.99 retail price until they fix some of the issues I mentioned earlier. If the game is on sale, and the game is updated, I say knock yourself out. The best way to play the game is on PC, and I guarantee you’ll at least love the characters and simple farming life.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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