Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Platinum Log: Rune Factory Tides of Destiny

When I was 15 years old a massive ice storm trapped me home for days. School was canceled, we lost internet and cable, and all I could really do was stay away from the windows (as trees were falling down across town), and play my video games. One such game was Harvest Moon 64, and although I had never really given it much of a chance before, it was just about the only game I had I hadn't finished. So, I sat there, played for a "bit," and watched the hours fly by. I loved Harvest Moon 64, and after "finishing" it, I was very eager to play more.

Jumping ahead quite a few years, my love for Harvest Moon eventually turned into love for the spin off fantasy version of it called Rune Factory, and my newer PS3 with very few games for it lead me to buy none other than Rune Factory Tides of Destiny. Now I had heard mixed things about this game from those who had played Japanese versions of it, but I really didn't care. The moment I learned my local GameStop had a copy, I rushed to the store before it was gone (as only a handful of copies came in apparently), and then spent the entire night in front of my TV. (Looking back now, this was during the early days of NGR... Amazing how time flies!)

While Tides of Destiny was in fact different from past HM and RF games, it was still something I really enjoyed. Farming was replaced with an automatic system where different captured monsters would grow different crop for you, but thanks to the new fully 3D world and focus on exploration, I didn't miss it much. Rather than constantly worrying about my farm, I was out in the town making friends, exploring ruins I had found at sea, and running around leveling up skills to make my character stronger. The story was also interesting enough for me to become more invested in these characters and their life, and by the time I finished I wanted to keep going -- so I did! At first I was planning on making this game my first platinum trophy on PSN, but after finishing most content I became less and less motivated. You see, after finishing all of the challenging trophies, and that is really left was grindy ones -- or more specifically "catch a cold 100 times." While this might not sound like much, it is... To get this trophy you had to pass out day after day hoping you would wake up with a cold. This means you would end your days early, possibly missing events and neglecting others, and then possibly wake up sick for the next. Considering the game has abilities to level in all categories (including walking), your character eventually builds up an immune system to sickness and it becomes harder and harder to catch a cold. This is why it can possibly take hundreds of in game throw away days to achieve this trophy, and why I walked away from the game.

Awhile later, after I got the platinum in Gravity Rush, I did return to RF to finish what I started, but because I waited, it didn't end up being my first platinum as intended. Even so, it was a game I really liked, and I'm glad I did go back for it eventually. Sure it might not be the best "Harvest Moon" out there, but it was still a fun RPG.


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