It's Christmas come early in the Everybody Plays office! With several huge Harvest Moon/Rune Factory fans on the team, we're beyond excited to be able to confirm that the long missing-presumed-dead instalment, Rune Factory 4 will finally be getting a release. And even better - it's out next week, on Thursday 11th December.
Originally shelved before it's European release when the game's developers, Neverland folded, we'd pretty much given up on it making an appearance over here - with some of our crew even going as far as to pick up an American 3DS just to play it. Many months down the line, the news broke that publisher XSeed had picked up the rights to the game, and were planning to release it in Europe after all - but the radio silence that followed still had us slightly worried. Until a few days ago, that is, when a PEGI rating cropped up online, hinting at an imminent release. An imminent release which has now been confirmed!
As Steven Tarry, Marketing Manager at Marvelous Europe commented: "We know how great Rune Factory 4 is, which is why we're so happy it's releasing in PAL territories. 2014's been a great year for Nintendo gamers, and this really is the icing on the cake."
For those who haven't played a Rune Factory game, it's a strange mix of fighting monsters, farming and wooing the local bachelors/bachelorettes - but one that works surprisingly well. In the fourth instalment, the cunningly named Rune Factory 4, players fill the shoes of a Prince or Princess, and help the small, picturesque town of Selphia achieve "lasting peace and prosperity" - by getting your hands dirty growing turnips and bashing goblins. Because in the Kingdom of Norad, even being royalty is no excuse to sit on your backside all day.
But being in charge does have it's advantages too, as you can use the game's new 'order' option to hold festivals, make changes to the town, and otherwise make Selphia into the talk of the kingdom. Promising a substantial story and a cast of crazy characters to befriend and romance, and given that Rune Factory 3 had a mermaid with a morbid hatred of squids, a witch that liked experimenting on other villagers and a girl who talks exclusively in opposites, we're expecting similar greatness from Rune Factory 4, especially considering the huge amounts of praise that have been heaped on the forth game in the USA.
But despite it selling out several times in America due to unprecedented demand, Rune Factory 4 will only be getting a digital eShop-only download release over in Europe/Australia. Priced at £24.99, it'll hit the Nintendo 3DS downloadable store on the 11th December - that's next week people!