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05 July 2010

Rune Factory Frontier [Wii]

Plot Synopsis: 6/10
Rune Factory Frontier is, for all intents and purposes, the same as the original Rune Factory, for the Nintendo DS. Part of the game is spent building a home and a life for yourself in the town you find yourself in, building friendships and romances along the way. The other part involves crawling into the various dungeons nearby to defeat the problematic monsters that inhabit them. As you work your way through the dungeons, you find and acquire items and materials that allow you to make weapons and armor to make you stronger, or tools to make life on your farm just a little easier. Nothing drastically different.
I'll give the plot a 6 out of 10. it's not overly complicated. If you've played the other two Rune Factory titles, for the DS, it's pretty easy to figure out what to do.

Game Play: 7/10
Game play is fairly straightforward. My only complaint is that the game insists on making you use the nunchuk for the Wii-mote, but it seems rather pointless and redundant. The joystick is the only part of the nunchuk you even use regularly, and the directional pad on the Wii-mote itself does nothing, outside of the menu screens.
Barring that issue, the controls that are crucial to getting through the dungeons are fairly intuitive. It takes a bit to remember which button pulls up the map of the town, and which looks up at the sky, but since those aren't things that will affect whether you live or die, it's not a big deal.
So, the game play will get a 7 out of 10. The controls aren't perfect, but the issues aren't really all that problematic, in the grand scheme of things.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics here are fairly decent. They aren't going to blow anyone's mind, any time soon, but you can easily tell what you're looking at, at any given moment. There was never a moment where I couldn't tell what something was supposed to be.
I'll give the graphics an 8 out of 10. Perfectly adequate. They were as good as they needed to be.

Audio: 5/10
First things first. The opening theme irritates the hell out of me. It is your typical bubbly, upbeat J-pop song, and doesn't really seem to fit with the overall feel of the rest of the game. Quite frankly, I've lost track of how many other J-pop songs I've heard that sound exactly like it.
The music in the rest of the game, while adequate, is largely forgettable. Sure, it does a good job of setting the mood, but when I'm not playing the game, I can't even remember how any of it goes.
What very little voice-acting is in the game, is, again, very typically, over-acted. As a result, it can be a bit grating.
I'll give the audio a 5 out of 10. I feel the game would fare better if the opening theme and voice-acting were a bit more subdued. Otherwise, everything else is acceptable.

Overall Score: 6.5/10
Honestly, I'd have to say that only real die-hard fans of the franchise will really enjoy this game. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table, other than being the first game in the franchise that was developed for the Wii, instead of the DS. I don't dislike it, but I can think of other games I'd prefer to play, over this one.

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