It’s been a few... months since the last first hour review, but that’s okay, I’m happy with everything else I’ve been doing with my extra time, and you’re probably happy because you’re reading this and not the comment section of my Persona 3: FES review.
So while I have your attention, let’s talk quickly about Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny. Rune Factory is a shoot-off series of Harvest Moon, and I’ve talked about both sets of games quite a bit here. I’ve never really enjoyed console Harvest Moon games since the Nintendo 64, and never played the previous console Rune Factory game, so I decided to take a chance and try out Tides of Destiny for the PlayStation 3 (also available on the Wii). Honestly, part of me just wanted a game I could play in front of the kids since Uncharted 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 don’t go over very well.
This will be an incredibly informal first hour, as I didn’t even bother to take notes, but I suppose if you’re looking for a formal first hour review you would have gone somewhere else a long time ago.
Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny opens with a teenage boy and girl running through what appears to be a dungeon of some sorts on an unknown mission. You’re briefly separated, and given control over the guy as you fight off a few bad guys. The fighting felt very loose, a bit like the original Kingdom Hearts, but the sword slashes came at a very rapid pace. After the quick battle, it’s the girl’s turn to sing some song and awaken... something. Nothing is well explained and this whole intro seems like it’s trying to point out that both kids are good at something.
The game moves on and the pair meets up in a forest, they exchange pleasantries (they don’t seem to be a couple, just good friends), and then walk to a pond. This is where things get weird: a cutscene shows the boy and girl merging bodies into the boy, and then they talk to each other trying to figure out where the other one is. Turns out the girl is now inside the boy’s body but they’re both able to speak with their own voices.
So this is the future of Harvest Moon games? Okay. Need a bit of time for this to sink in, but the first townsperson who wanders up, Odette, seems pretty keen to the idea. Maybe she’s into that? After a bit of talking, we’re able to name our combined pair’s two parts, defaults Aden and Sonja, and then discover that not only were our heroes combined into one body, but they might have been transported into another dimension, or an alternate reality. Obviously one of those.
Odette takes us on a tour of the town, slowly walking about 15 steps before showing off the next building. After meeting a few potential Harvest Moon style wives and an extremely effeminate priest, we arrive at the guest house that we’ll be staying. A few more obvious explanations on how to use the game’s calendar and diary, and the first hour is complete. Well, this didn’t quite take a full hour but my kids were bored to death at this point. Harvest Moon games are notorious for their slow beginnings but the hand holding has gotten really bad over the years.
Minutes to Action: 4
Would I Keep Playing? Well, I plan to, but the game I was planning to play with the kids might not be exciting enough for them. Hopefully Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny picks up a bit as it goes along, especially as the battle system seems a bit promising. The story is incredibly bizarre though, and makes me wonder what the point of combining the boy and girl together was? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.