Come Learn about Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny

I recently got on a conference call roundtable with publisher Natsume to learn more about the upcoming Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny, its future and, of course, a little on its past. Tides of Destiny is set to release for the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii this coming Tuesday. Read on below to get the exclusive low down on this soon-to-be-released RPG that promises to suck you in and possibly never let you go.

In Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny, you will have a game that promises you far too many hours of gameplay; whether it’s combat, farming, or finding your perfect soul mate. In the game you play as two friends, Aden and Sonja, who have been trapped in the same body and now must find out just what the heck is going on. You initially control the male Aden, but don’t get too cocky because Sonja is right inside of you and she won’t be afraid to tell you how it is. With this game mechanic of a person inside a person, and the mystery that surrounds the islands you must visit, and you have one of the deeper narratives in the history of the series.

For those girls who enjoy the series, we were assured by Natsume that Sonja would be playable, but only after you have unlocked the secrets of the island at a certain point in the story. At this point, if you do select to switch to Sonja, all of your progress through the game with Aden will be transferred over. Both characters have plenty of choices for mates, though Aden has a few more girls around the bar to choose from, but sometimes its all about quality over quantity right?

The Rune Factory series has always had more of an edge towards the farming and social aspects of everyday life, but this time around the combat is pushing through the two and trying to get its attention too, with Natsume promising a more robust fighting system than ever before. What this means is more weapons, magic, and all those goodies you would expect from most RPGs. It is not just normal battles either, as you can expect to be fighting some big foes as you take the fight to the ocean on the back of your golem. These battles are promised to be huge in scale, maybe reminding some of us of a certain Colossus game. Your golem is not just for fighting though, as he can stomp on islands to reveal new areas or islands, such as ones purely for crop raising or ones full of treasure. In fact, the game looks to be mostly about exploration, as the farming and social aspects have stepped on the brakes a bit.

Tides of Destiny is the first Rune Factory game to release for the PS3 and Natsume is very excited about the opportunity that the PlayStation 3’s large install base presents. In fact, they have given the PS3 exclusive content in the form of online leaderboards and enhanced 720p graphics over the Wii version. The game does use motion controls, but the Move controls are set to mimic the Wii controls and are not used in combat, instead they are used for daily chores and activities. With the online capabilities, Natsume has not ruled out possible downloadable content, but said nothing was in the works right now. The game will also feature thousands of lines of voice acting, though the original Japanese voice acting does not make the trip out West.

After the close to hour-long Q&A, I came away very excited to try out this JRPG, even though I have never played a Rune Factory game in my life. The game may not have mass appeal, but it should find a very strong following on the PS3 with its interesting blend of combat, farming, exploration, and dating. With all of this, and hours upon hours of gameplay, this looks like the perfect time to jump into the series. To jump in on this JRPG goodness, make sure to stop by your local retail shop on Tuesday, October 11th and pick up a copy. Look here too for our full, in-depth review in the coming weeks.