Hello everyone! Many of you may already know this but this past February 13th there were some awesome announcements from the Nintendo Direct that will flabbergast fans of JRPGs with otome elements.
Apart from the new Fire Emblem game with dating sim elements, which has allowed us to play as female since Awakening, there was a huge surprise that no one was expecting: a remaster of Rune Factory 4 AND an announcement of Rune Factory 5!!!
Let’s talk about Fire Emblem Three Houses first. Unlike Awakening and Fates, it seems very likely that we won’t be able to customize our avatar, or at least not as much. This is because it seems this game will have 2D animation cutscenes where the avatar will be fully shown. This, of course, means that it’d be really difficult to change all the different aspects of the avatar, should we be able to customize them. Still, it’s not set in stone yet, so we’ll have to wait for more info. Three Houses will also be the second Fire Emblem title were we get to be the protagonist (remember that in Awakening the actual protagonist is Chrom), Byleth, and we get to be a teacher!! I found it to be pretty interesting and exciting since it’s not often that we get to know how the characters are trained to become full-fledged soldiers.
What I found both cool and hilarious was the fact that the ‘three houses’ thing that gives the name to the title is very similar to…well, Harry Potter 😆 . It’s as if Harry Potter went to the middle ages. The difference is that, here, we get to be the teacher, hell yeah ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). There is already some controversy, though, since Fire Emblem always comes with a little romance element to it and some people don’t know how to feel about a teacher dating their students. Personally, I don’t really mind. I mean, this is fantasy and the avatar looks young enough. Plus Fire Emblem Fates already made a sort of incest sort of not incest addition 😆 Though, if you think about it, it was pretty obvious that none of the siblings were blood-related to Corrin; they can’t turn into a fucking dragon nor have pointy ears 😆 (I’m glad, to be honest, or I wouldn’t have been able to
blame marry my pineapple husband Takumi).
The character designer in this game is Chinatsu Kurahana, mainly known for Uta no Prince-sama; but she was also the character designer for 7’scarlet. This is the first work she does for a Nintendo title. I like her designs; they aren’t as good as Yusuke Kozaki’s ones but, still, they’re not bad. I think my favorite character design-wise, so far, is Ashe…who I’m probably gonna end up marrying
because I’m weak to freckles so I guess this means I’ll be joining the Blue Lions first. Nevertheless, I’ll fully decide when more info is revealed or when the game releases on July 26th. The Black Eagles and Golden Deer look awesome too. I just hope they don’t split up the game in 3 like they did with Fates…as much as I like Fates, that was such a cash grab!!
Anyway, the game looks cool enough. I have to admit that I’m not as hyped as I was for Fates’ release but, then again, Fates’ plot wasn’t very good so I’m hoping this one is better on that regard.
And now, finally, what I’m most excited about: the Rune Factory games!!! For those who don’t know, Rune Factory is a spin-off series of Harvest Moon (now known as Story of Seasons). Just like in Harvest Moon, you can grow crops, take care of animals and befriend and/or romance other characters. Also, one real-world second is equal to one in-game minute. The difference with Harvest Moon is that Rune Factory has monsters instead of animals and a fighting system that lets you explore dungeons as well as fight monsters and bad guys. In addition, Rune Factory has a more linear-storyline unlike Harvest Moon, which is more ‘casual’ and naive. All this being said, I’ve never actually played another Rune Factory game apart from Rune Factory 4, but I loved it so much that I still became a huge fan of this series. The reason why it was such a surprise for everyone to see this title being mentioned is because, a few years ago, the developer (Neverland) went bankrupt despite the huge success of the title. Luckily, the producer, Hashimoto, talked about a hopeful message and, well, who would have thought!! There was hope for this series after all!! From what I’ve gathered, it seems Marvelous absorbed Neverland (meaning they hired Neverland’s developers) so that’s why the Rune Factory series was saved from death.
This may sound a bit superficial but, to be honest, the main reason I didn’t play the previous Rune Factory games is because you can’t play as a girl (well, you technically can on Rune Factory 2 and Rune Factory Oceans, but not from the very beginning of the game). I’ve got nothing against playing as a guy, it’s just that it gets tiring to see so many video games, particularly JRPGs, aimed at straight males. There are even times in games where you CAN be a female protagonist but the cast still treats you like a guy (I’m looking at you Digimon Cyber Sleuth). Rune Factory 4 was a breath of fresh air because it combined every aspect I love in games: the option of choosing a female protagonist, romance akin to otome games (much better than the one in Fire Emblem games, where it looks really forced), an action combat system instead of turn based, a farming system that doesn’t involve the whole gameplay (I love Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons, but I get bored after a while because there’s not much variety apart from the farming aspect), missions (you’ve gotta love Eliza the requestbox), a nice storyline (it’s nothing super amazing but it’s still a nice plot and you get attached to the characters, especially to Venti, the dragon).
Of course, this doesn’t mean I don’t love other types of games, but Rune Factory 4 encompassed a lot of aspects that I really enjoy in RPGs so it was a given that it’d become my favorite game ever. If you’ve never played Rune Factory 4, I really recommend you to get the the remaster for the Switch, called Rune Factory 4 Special. The game’s already awesome as it is, but the remaster will have some new features: the characters’ sprites will now blink and move a little, a new opening, more content once you marry your sweetie (called Married Life Mode), more in-game cutscenes and a new difficulty level called ‘Hell’ (welp, I know I won’t be doing that one on the first playthrough).
Wait for me Doug and Kiel, I will marry you both again.
What I really REALLY hope they include is dual audio…as much as I like the english cast, I’d love to play the game with japanese voices instead
especially when Hiro Shimono is among them. But, speaking of the english cast, something that will DEFINITELY need to happen is a recast for Vishnal’s VA. For those who don’t know, Vishnal was voiced by Vic Mignogna in 2014 and he is a sexually abusive asshole who doesn’t deserve to work in the industry anymore. I really hope they change Vishnal’s voice because Vishnal is an adorable cinnamon roll and it’ll be really sad if he gets hate due to this matter.
All in all, I’m extremely excited about this. It hasn’t yet been announced when exactly will this game be released for Switch in the West (for Japan it’ll be on July 25th), but it will be during 2019 so I’m over the moon with these news!! (((o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o)))
And, of course, we can’t forget about the announcement of Rune Factory 5!!! Gosh, I thought it was a lost hope but I’m so glad that I was wrong!! The only thing I hope is that they maintain the option of choosing your avatar’s gender cause’ you bet I wanna play as female again and marry a handsome fantasy guy!! (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)⁄
Anyway, that’s all folks! Thanks a lot for reading until the end, feel free to comment and see you next post!! (≧∇≦*)/