Rune Factory 4 Special (PS4) – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, simulation
Developers: Neverland
Publishers: Marvelous
Platforms: Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Rune Factory 4 Special (PS4) – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: Meaty package, Appealing
Bad: Inventory system feels dated, Clunky character models
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Even though Japan is already enjoying the release of the fifth Rune Factory game, we sadly still have to make do with another version of Rune Factory 4. Rune Factory 4 Special was already extensively featured on our site last year when the original 3DS game received an overhaul for Nintendo Switch players. We found the game to be very entertaining, albeit slightly dated at times. Nonetheless, the game still won us over, and before we knew it, we dived down the rabbit hole of working the field, battling monsters, and picking our ideal partner to marry. Now, Rune Factory 4 Special has been released for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 as well, and we were lucky enough to receive a review copy of this ‘new’ version. As we already have a lengthy review of this game, we will only be diving into the relevancy of this port, as well as its overall quality. To read our original review, click here.

After the game’s somewhat long-winded introduction, we once again found ourselves plowing a modest field in Selphia, while our chosen protagonist tried to remember their past. The game properly eases you into the mechanics, but it’s sometimes a bit hard to find the right character you have to interact with, and it would have been quite nice to have a few proper quest markers placed here and there on your mini-map. That being said, everything becomes clear quite quickly, and the game tries to balance all of its core gameplay elements. You’ll have to make sure you work the field and pick the fruits of your labor, while also going out to battle monsters, and then of course socialize with the inhabitants of Selphia, forging stronger bonds and potentially marrying the person of your choice.

As a whole, this game still holds up very well considering this was originally a 3DS game. We found ourselves quite familiar with the game’s base mechanics quite quickly, but we did notice the somewhat clunky controls. This was especially noticeable when trying to work the field and picking up and placing items. More than often we found ourselves struggling to pick up the item in front of us, especially when an NPC was standing close to the tile of the item we wished to pick up. We constantly found ourselves triggering conversations, while we merely wanted to grab an item off the floor. This is something that should have been reworked. It is probably the game’s biggest issue, as the hitboxes of nearly everything are atrocious by today’s standards.

Outside of the normal Story Mode, you’ll also find the Newlywed Mode and Another Episode. The Newlywed Mode merely allows you to pick up the game from a certain point, if you have already married certain people during the Story Mode at an earlier point in time. Another Episode is a series of short episodes that solely present you with some extra story content. These small episodes are fully voiced and present the player with small stories that revolve around the game’s most important NPCs. That being said, the simplistic static artwork that goes with these episodes feels a bit too basic compared to the visuals of the rest of the game. Nonetheless, it’s a fun inclusion to have these stories available right off the bat. These episodes could be considered as ‘extras’, just like you would find on a Blu-ray release of your favorite movie or series.

Conclusion

Rune Factory 4 Special is still a very amusing game to play through. The game mixes up a zen-like experience, with proper exploring and combat. The game does feel a bit dated at times, but the fun characters and interesting story make up for a lot. For those who have missed this game the first time around and like the series, we can easily recommend picking up this version. Those who already played the original, or already own the Switch version, might not find the Special content worth the game’s current asking price.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Rune Factory 4 Special (PS4) – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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