Due to the persuasion of a certain WGer (that would be you Houkito), I found this and Rune Factory 2 (More on this one when I actually finish it) in the pre-owned DS section of Gamestop. I haven't played a single Harvest Moon series title since A Wonderful Life.

The game starts of with Raguna (or whatever you want to call him) who stumbles into Kardia, exhausted from an apparent journey from somewhere he can't remember. Unfortunately this seems to be permanent amnesia as nothing of his past is ever recovered in the game. Luckily he collapses in front of a small house inhabited by a girl named Mist. She helps him recover and then allows him to live on her spare farm since he has nowhere else to go. Thus the tale of Rune Factory begins in a gist.

The gameplay takes three separate directions. We have the farming mechanic, the courting mechanic, and the dungeoneering aspect. To those who have played any Harvest moon series will not find much new with the farming or courting aspects aside from charging tools with power to get jobs done faster. Of course you can either sell the food you grow or you know, eat it. Chances are you'll either sell them or cook the food you grow to give to the other villagers to raise friendship.

The courting hasn't changed all that much since your second objective is to get a wife. You have a choice of seven wonderful women ranging from a somewhat pompous rich girl to the mayor's helpful but ailing daughter (whom you can cure). All that you need to do is just give them what they like and talk to them on special events. Nothing much else is worth noting about the courting system.

The dungeoneering aspect however is an interesting new direction in a Harvest Moon game. It requires you to go on dungeon explorations. In here there is an abundance of monsters which you can tame or Kill. In fact since there are no Cows, Chickens, or sheep, you'll have to rely on Bulls, Cockatoos, and Wollies for milk, eggs, and wool respectively. Oh and of course there is the mining aspect which allows you to upgrade weapon and your tools. The monster system is nice but there seems to be no way to really upgrade your monsters nor train them and in all honesty wasting space on your farm to grow their food is pointless since you need it more for the food for profit. Sorry monsters, you guys are cool and all, but If you're not giving me sellable items like Milk or honey, you ain't living on my farm.

There seems to be a problem with the story post game and post marriage. Nothing really exciting happens after the final boss is defeated and you marry your girl. Even your child's conception and birth are completely undermined and just sort of happens with no ceremony or heads up. Plus I can't name the kid. Lame. There is almost no replay value (albeit starting a new file). Unless you want see what it's like to be married to another one of the girls, it's not worth the replay that much.

Personally I find the game's cast to be fun and interesting bunch, but not very exciting. In the post game they don't really say anything new really and they seem to only praise me for saving the town and don't really seem to remember my marriage despite all of them at the wedding. I find it weird that despite I married Mist, one of the village boys, Zavier, still talks to me hoping to court with her. Funny kid, you ain't gettin' my woman from me!

Nonny's rating: 6.5/10. It's a good game, it is the first game of the series after all. The main storyline is engaging and interesting, though not exactly the world's greatest. The post game is terrible since you'll only be rehashing yearly events and once your child is born there isn't much left to do by then most likely unless you're gonna upgrade all of your tools and weapons to the best. Replay value simply is only dependent if you REALLY want to go through the story once more or if you want to marry another girl.

Who Nonny courted with: I played twice; First to Mist, second to Felicity.