Rune Factory 3 Special

Rune Factory 3 Special
N/A
Metacritic
94
Steam
82.372
xDR
Our rating is calculated based on the reviews and popularity of the game.
Release date
5 September 2023
Developers
Steam reviews score
Total
94 (391 votes)
Recent
85 (14 votes)

Bridge the divide of an ancient schism between humans and monsters in Rune Factory 3 Special as half-human, half-wooly protagonist Micah. Farm, fight and fall in love as you revisit a classic in the series that perfected the blend of RPG & Life-sim genres.

Show detailed description

Rune Factory 3 Special system requirements

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
DLC
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Download Rune Factory 3 Special

You can download Rune Factory 3 Special from this page. Content is not free and distributed on a paid basis by Xseed Games, Marvelous Usa, Inc., Marvelous. Therefore, you will have to buy it before downloading it.

There are at least two options :

  1. download from official website — https://runefactory.com/rf3/
  2. download from Steam — https://store.steampowered.com/app/2243710
Reviews
Write a new review
Jarazz
Jarazz

Major Rune Factory Fan here and its definitely worth it. It will not have as much skills and options as Rune Factory 4 Special but it definitely has more quests and just as much Character interactions. Highly recommend this series for any one who likes Cozy Farming Simulators who likes to play and move at their own pace.

Brusque Lee
Brusque Lee

It's RF3. Played the hell out of this on my DS Lite, and the PC version is only improved. Rock solid performance. Supports DualSense natively. Even the DLC costumes are pretty worth it. This is an example of a perfect port.

If you've played RF4, there's a good amount of QOL that's sorely missed here, but it's basically in the same vein. If you've played SDV, this is the original masterwork franchise it's trying feebly to mimic.

You get to suplex demons with a gilded sheep and start a family with a genocidal mermaid. Just buy it.

Cropod
Cropod

My first time playing 3 and it was well worth it.
This damn game made me get RF4 for the third time.

(Side note: I really appreciate the request board showing character portraits alongside the text. It's a small detail but early on this helped me to learn the characters' names and faces.)

GodFlame
GodFlame

I have played the non-special version on NDS before and my goal always is marrying all the girls ( get backup save for each girl). But for some reason I always marry Raven and It take me more than 30 playthrough times to married all girls ( I marry Raven like 20 times XD )
Raven is still my best girl of all the RF series :))

Doug
Doug

A very refreshing take on the original Nintendo DS Game!!

The mechanics are all the same, just optmized for the switch/pc. A very nostalgic experience for those who played the game when it launched!!

There's really no additional mechanics like character gender selection or multiple followers implemented on the later series, but still a very nice game!!

Really recommend!!

Fallingferret
Fallingferret

Still as cozy and pleasant as it was when it released on the DS. With the exception of the environments a lot of assets have been redone and are of much higher quality than the smeared upscaling present in RF4S.

Mildly frustrating at how faithful they kept it, with (seemingly) no backported QoL from 4 or 5, specifically regarding item crafting and shipping. Did you miss crafting % success rates? Did you toss the wrong item into the shipping bin or realize later that you needed it for something else, and now need to find a replacement?

Overall minor complaints, really.

cryptid_momochi
cryptid_momochi

It should be noted that Rune Factory 3 Special, despite its quality of life improvements, is NOT better than the original game. I would not recommend making this your first experience with Rune Factory. Please please please play the original first. The original Rune Factory 3, while definitely flawed, is *peak* Rune Factory imo.

Playing Rune Factory 3 Special was a little bit like playing the game for the first time, except I already knew how the game would go. It doesn't add very much new content in the main game, though I can't say anything about the endgame because I am not there yet and never even beat the original (couldn't decide who to marry lol).
It's not the best optimized. I wouldn't say the original really was either, but the original had way less visual bugs. Sometimes the screen stays dark for just a bit too long when you use the transformation spell. I've watched particles (butterflies, namely) get stuck. On rare occasions, monsters will spin in circles.
You can really tell that they just took the original graphics for the backgrounds and interpolated them nintendo emulator style, maybe adding a couple more details here and there. The models are very HD in comparison, and I honestly wish they stuck with the original graphics instead of this strange middleground, especially given there really wasn't anything wrong with the old graphics.
Monsters do a *very* bad job at handling the farms. When you assign a monster to handle the farm, the expectation is that they will clear out all weeds, till all of the dirt, and water all plots. They do not do this. They seem to decide they're done when there's still about half the farm randomly scattered with weeds and grasses.

There ARE dialogue and voice changes. They seem to have replaced all voicelines. For most characters this is not a big deal, although hearing Micah's voice change had me cackling the first time I heard it. For most characters its a very easy adjustment and most of the changes do at least make sense for the character.
I will never forgive them for what they did to Daria, though. Daria absolutely would not say those words in that intonation. No.

haynesbird
haynesbird

The best game I've ever played on NDS.
I spent days and nights for years in my childhood on NDS. Out of hundreds of games I played, Rune Factory is one of the six games I remember till this day, and I'd rate RF and Pokémon series my top 2 favourites.

My childhood began when I discovered a Harvest Moon game on Gameboy Colour. I was 6 and the Gameboy was only powered by AA batteries that lasted half a day of gaming. I'd repeatedly farm from day 1 to just about to finish year 1, then the batteries died and there's no save option in the game.

I grew into a fan of Japanese RPG when the NDS generation hits.
One day I discovered Rune Factory 1.. farming, collecting, bonding with villagers, building a family, forging weapons, feeding animals, making meals, expanding my home, etc. ALL IN ONE. It's like finally I found my One Piece. The game system & design are dream comes true, there's no need to change anything other than maybe some new designs or small adjustments if they want to release new episode etc.

I had only played RF1 on NDS and wasn't aware that they released 2,3,4.
Luckily I found RF3 on steam and to my surprise the game feels like home to me but better.

I got the deluxe version with no regrets because I'm just a huge fan of RF, but honestly it's not worth it as it only added the swimwear mode which I actually prefer the normal clothing for the villagers.
This is my favourite game and I'm totally happy to pay just to have the game 'complete'.

My little wish is if I could customise my character in the future.

DONPA ULIE
DONPA ULIE

the new item/plant sprites look like clip art and very noticeably stick out
the ai-upscaled background art looks bad most of the time
no analog support, 8-way movement only even though the ds version had full analog movement using the touch screen
1:1 switch port, this game has no in-game pc settings like resolutions or rebindable controls

still the best farming game of all time
and the new models look great
but you should probably just play the original

domini
domini

It's exactly what I remember, with some HD art that I'm... fine with and one screen instead of two.
After playing 5, this is a much simpler breath of fresh air, and I'm enjoying it.
But nothing has changed, and you probably already know if you like this game or not.

Hereforremnant
Hereforremnant

A pretty good Special remaster of an older Rune Factory title. It has some qualities that make it worse than RF 4 or 5, like inventory space is very rough, the characters are extremely quirky out the gate & you have to get used to them, & controls can still feel clunky sometimes but that's kind of a given in RF with lining things up in the grids. I'd give it an 8/10 for still being an enjoyable experience, but get it on sale when you can still.

*Revised below*

Edit: So after a few more hours in, I think I'm going to change my score to a 6/10. I've begun noticing changes that didn't happen in 4 or 5 that make this objectively worse than those games:

I mentioned the item storage limits before, it's even worse than I thought. Your storage, whether it's your backpack, fridge, or storage box, do not stack different level items in them. If you have a level 2 green grass, & a level 1 green grass, they occupy two different spaces. The game already has a low amount of space right off the bat, this makes that situation twice as bad. 4 & 5 both let the same items stay in one stack, it would just arrange them from highest to lowest level. This concerns food potions fish & that sort of thing, cooking ingredients & gear & such. It doesn't affect drops from ore or monsters though, which is weird cause clearly they could have made it universal? IDK.

The rock also just has blatant misinformation in some of the item descriptions as it says "breaking it with a hammer will give you material stone" for Rocks. There is no material stone in this game, only lumber from wood. So rocks will only be useful in a handful of recipes, but you wouldn't know this unless you check third party sources to find this out. Otherwise you'd go through the whole game thinking you will need material stone, as you have in EVERY other Rune Factory, & hold onto those rocks thinking you'll need them at some point.

For good things I've noticed, crafting is both better & worse. If you're doing an upgrade or making something, you don't lose the materials if you fail or if it doesn't succeed. So at least you can keep trying until you get it, only spending more RP. BUT, you also can't do multiple crafts at once. You have to spam the buttons if you need several of something, 4 & 5 would let you make multiples at once so you don't have to keep clicking.

Otherwise, party limits are also really annoying. Only one monster or character in your group at a time is pretty lame. Considering the special edition has launched after Rune Factory 4 Special, & RF5, IDK why you would leave in such a worse change from the original game. So you'll just get your one person or whatever with you at a time & deal with it. Gear limits for other characters also sucks, in RF5, you could gear other characters just as well as you could your own character.

RF3 only lets you give them one weapon, & another item. Very limiting, I wouldn't be surprised if someone has done the math & shown that monsters can actually be stronger than other party members now this time around given care & food.

The more I play the more flaws I see :/
Definitely don't buy this full price, get it on sale & only if you've already played 4 & 5 & just want to play another game in the series, it's inferior to them overall.

Cyndy
Cyndy

I think I'm one of the odd ones out here, but I really like this game better than Rune Factory 4. I have no idea why 4 never clicked with me after trying it multiple times, but this game does. I'm hooked. I was never able to play this as a kid on the DS so I went in blind here and have really been enjoying it. I think maybe I like this one a lot better than the others because of it's simplicity and for some reason the graphics are better than 4 too, even though that one was remastered as well.

See, I like farming games but I tend to get bored with them after awhile because the main focus is on well, farming and animals and it's always the same thing over and over again after awhile. I love me some combat and fantasy in games too and this really scratches that itch. I enjoy the balance between the two here. However, the inventory space is rough and the UI is a bit clunky, but it's something I got used to pretty quickly. The story is good too, and I like the relationship building. I enjoy learning more about the characters and really get a kick out of Sofia and Sherman's way of speaking. It throws me off every time even though I know what they mean, lol.

I've not experienced any bugs or crashing and it works great on the Steam Deck right out of the box. I prefer to play using a controller because the keys are a bit weird and wonky, but I assume you can rebind them if you wanted to, it's not something I've tried though. Also, there is now ultra wide screen support which sucks,

RussianManSMWC
RussianManSMWC

Rune Factory 3 Special is a remake/enhanced port/what have you of Rune Factory 3 for Nintendo DS. It’s a farming sim RPG, where you farm, combat, and converse with unique residents of Sharance village.

I want to mostly focus this review on how well it does as a subsequent significant rerelease of the original DS game. Which, in summary, good enough but could’ve been better.

THE GOOD:

-The game performs better than the DS original, which is an obvious improvement. That version struggled to maintain a consistent framerate around other entities. Modern PCs and Nintendo Switch are up to the task.
-The graphics are also obviously improved. And unlike Rune Factory 4 Special, they are better on a technical side AND artistically. I think the devs took the criticism of simple upscales to heart and made an effort to make them more appealing (granted, upscaling DS assets wouldn’t cut it as much as 3DS ones). The item sprites are redrawn or at least updated enough to be more recognizable and actually look quite good. The models are also greatly improved, the human characters look nice, and monsters, I think for the most part they use the same designs as those from Rune Factory 5. Only backgrounds seem to remain AI upscaled. Still, I applaud the effort.
-You can skip crafting animations, which greatly speeds up the process (especially if you’re someone who tries to brute force a 10% chance item).
-The dashing is now mapped to a separate button instead of requiring to double-tap a direction, which is far more convenient.
-Upgraded material box and fridge have greatly expanded storage capacity. Great for item hoarders.
-You can change language options (text/voice acting) in case you are curious how original Japanese VO sounds like, a feature since Rune Factory 4 Special.
-All additions from the previous “Special” re-release: Newlywed Mode, Another Episode DLC, Hell difficulty, more than 2 save slots.

THE OK:

-The English script and voice acting have been completely redone, which is understandable, since the original was published by Natsume and that original work is likely in their basement somewhere, restrained by copyright issues. I heard that that script did have some issues/mistranslations, so this new translation is probably more accurate (they did keep all the old character names like how Chocolat is now Colette). As for the voice acting itself, I honestly think that some of the new voice lines tend to lack exaggerated emotion compared to the originals… but maybe I’m just being nostalgic and find the old VO charming. Of course, you can just change it to Japanese if you wanted. Or don’t. It’s your choice.

Now, let’s finally move onto LE BAD:

-This game does NOT include analog control. You’re stuck with d-pad movement even when using a stick, it sounds like a no-brainer change, it’s baffling why it’s not present. The thing is, the original DID have analog control… if you used the touch screen. Highly doubt you did, but it was always there, in the dark corner, saying nothing. They could’ve mapped that analog movement onto a stick, but they didn’t. But even if the original didn’t have it… c’mon, it’s such an obvious missed opportunity.
-This game does NOT fix clunky movement that was in the original. You have a slight slip to your movement, like you carry enough forward momentum instead of stopping dead in the tracks, which can make the controls frustrating early on (I had to re-learn this after not playing original game for a long while).
-The game does NOT include more quality of life changes, mostly from the future entries. This is a “brand new” game, released after Rune Factory 4 Special and Rune Factory 5, available on the same platforms, and is a mechanical step backwards. Makes sense if you’re playing originals back to back, not so much here. Some of these include Escape spell being a separate button like in Rune Factory 4 Special, better item storage (stashing an item makes it take its own slot instead of adding it on top of an existing one, e.g. you stash 2 iron and there’s already a 7 iron stack. Instead of adding on top of that stack, the 2 iron will take its own slot) and “Shipped” indicator for those looking for 100% ship all the items.
-Digital Deluxe Edition is legitimately overpriced. You pay 10 extra dollars for……………….. a swimsuit toggle. How is this enticing? Sure, it’s a very fan-service-y DLC, however, you didn’t have to pay extra for it when pre-ordering Rune Factory 4 Special on Nintendo Switch. That’s right, it was just a small bonus, for fans that haven’t been served in years. It was a nice little bonus, and now it’s whopping TEN DOLLARS??? Are you really going to pay for that? Freak.
-Credits don’t include original DS staff, which is really lame. Shouldn’t it be standard to include original credits? They worked hard on the original, y’know. This game isn’t even developed by Hakama, the new crew behind Rune Factory 4 Special and Rune Factory 5 which includes some of the original staff, like the series director, Yoshifumi Hashimoto. It’s by… Three Rings Inc. (and I saw some IREM in there). I think they were handed a checklist of how to make a “Special” re-release, which could explain it’s faithfulness… but I dunno. Just food for thought.

Overall, I think this is a good way to experience the original. It’s accessible, has some new content, great new visuals and a few improvements, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by the missed opportunities for more improvement, I think it could've been better. Of course, it also could’ve been worse, it could’ve been riddled with issues that weren’t there before (say hello to Half-Life: Source).

But, alright, what if you have never played a single Rune Factory game and this is going to be your first? How is it on its own? It’s… pretty good! It’s the first (numbered) entry to introduce fast paced gameplay, and it’s great. The characters are very unique and fun, the writing is, in my opinion, the funniest out of all entries, which makes this game stand out. The music is great, it has some of the most memorable tunes that I remember for a long while after putting the game off. It’s a little lacking in terms of content and its story is short compared to its successors, but it’s still a quality game with a decent about of things to do. Like most fans, I would still recommend Rune Factory 4 Special since that game offers much more, but you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s simply a great game.

samuel
samuel

not as good as the fourth but still a strong entry in the series.

while the story was quite surface level, I still really enjoyed it.
i think this entry probably has the strongest characters of the series. all of the characters are interesting in their own way and the friendship events were all fun to look forward to. in a genre where character interaction matters so much, I believe the roster for this game to be simply incredible.

after being spoiled by the fourth's dungeons, I think these dungeons are just okay. nothing too special, and definitely short, but that's fine considering the original release. that also leads into the length of the game. if you focus on the story, the game is definitely the shortest entry I've played (I have played 3,4, and 5).

after finishing the story, a lot of my interest was lost. apart from heart events, there really wasn't much offered. I planned on getting every achievement, but stopped halfway through as it started feeling like a chore which is the last thing you want from a cozy farm-sim game. during the story, however, I was thoroughly engaged and enjoyed my time with this game. maybe in the future I'll go back and finish the achievements, but finishing the shipping box list made me feel like I was wasting so much time.

if you were to pick up a Rune Factory game on PC, I would personally get this one last. this game is not bad by any means, I just believe 4 is unbeatable, and 5 is great in its own way (PC port definitely helped, avoid the switch version at ALL costs if possible).

anyways great farm sim game but not as good as 4 or 5 IMO.

reykjavixx
reykjavixx

10/10. The systems feed into each other beautifully and a consistent stream of rewards and milestones makes it difficult to stop playing. If you've been waiting your entire life for a Harvest Moon game with actually good gameplay, this is it. The only farming game better than this is Rune Factory 4 Special.

regalpain
regalpain

Huge fan of the rune factory games here. I'm on 0.6 hours and I'm about done with this one. Having movement bound to WSAD with all of the other controls also on the left side of the keyboard is going to give me carpal tunnel. With no option to rebind keys I'm going to have to look into either a 3rd party program to do it or pick up a USB controller. Till then this game is not playable for me. If you are not playing with a controller I would suggest not buying the game.

Honda civic 2014 limited edition
Honda civic 20…

rune factory 3 was already one of my long time favorite games that I already spent WAY over 5000 hours of my childhood in and I am fully prepared to do so again on steam. also it works perfectly on steam deck so far I haven't had any issues at all, haven't encountered and bugs or glitches either. genuinely the only thing I don't like so far about this version is how daria's new English voice actor says "rainbow!".. it's completely different from how she used to say it so it's taking some getting used to

Akyejj
Akyejj

I spent hundred of hours playing the DS version, this is one of my favorites games ever, never had the chance to buy a original copy but now i can finally give them the money they deserve for this masterpiece, i love all the games from this series and more people need to give a try, this is the perfect game for that, try this one and then 4, youre not going to regret it, the only negative thing i can see is we didnt get a HD version of the old openings perfect opportunity to finally see them in a decent resolution.

Jackal
Jackal

It's a good game overall but as far as it goes as a port it's a bit sad to see that they took out the multiplayer. Also, the new English voice overs pitched up everyone's voices while lacking the energy of the original cast.

WarWind
WarWind

Beware of some changes you might see (e.g. dialogue and dub) but that shouldn't stop you from playing this masterpiece of a game that came out for the DS in 2010.

Now shush while I make multiple saves managing different laifus.

snesevermore
snesevermore

If you're an old fan of the classic Harvest Moon and Rune Factory titles, you know exactly what this is. Remastered for better and worse, but otherwise it's Rune Factory 3 again. Buy if you'd like, but you're not getting much that's strictly new.

If you're a new fan fresh off of Rune Factory 5 or 4, there are things you're going to have to adjust to. Rune Factory 3 was a Nintendo DS game from late in the era, with improvements over the previous four games (yes, four - the Wii and PS3 titles are unnumbered spinoffs, basically) in as many areas as they could squeeze into a cartridge. Unfortunately, Rune Factory 4 and 5 have both improved in their own ways, so there are things that will be a bit off for you.

Movement feels a bit...squishy? The way they scaled the game is visually appealing, but it changes distances and scales subtly in a bunch of areas. To keep it working right, your character also moves a bit differently than you might expect from a game that supports analog sticks. Think of Pokemon BDSP - changing from four directional D-pad to analog stick changes a lot of the core design, and it's not always ideal.

Still, I loved Rune Factory 3 almost as much as the original (which is more nostalgia than anything). I am excited that more people can play it, even if it does have some issues that an emulated DS wouldn't have...in theory.

Albetorez
Albetorez

An underrated gem of a series that reinvented the genre and added more to it than others could hope to do at the time with such limited hardware. Rune Factory 3 is a smaller game, but there is a fondness in my heart for the nostalgia of playing it as a kid. This is definitely a game that can ease you into the series now that it's been remastered, as it is tremendously easy to pick up. The story isn't as grand as 4, which remains to be my favorite of the series even now, but it has a charm to it that can't be understated. If you're a fan of harvest moon, stardew valley, or any kind of farming sim/RPG game and you want to pick up this series, this is the best place to start as of right now. Also, Raven.

Professor Pringles
Professor Pringles

Great so far but dear god the VA choice and direction is awful. Micah sound too much like a girl for me to be comfortable to play as him and Raven has lost her deep mysterious voice for a brattier and younger sounding voice (even with her original VA being the only returning member from the original cast). Like I fell like I clicked on the Japanese audio where I would typically more higher pitched voices.

❣ bermuda muda
❣ bermuda muda

pia has been my number one waifu since i was a kid. so glad to have her back in my life with a fresh coat of paint. all hail pia. i love my stupid mermaid girl. shes so so dumb and i could not hope for a better wife.

ReactivePlatypus
ReactivePlatypus

Week 1: I am catapulted into a human village in the form of an amnesiac sheep. Suddenly I am human (still amnesiac) and some girl tells me to move into a treehouse and start farming turnips. Of course, I agree and proceed to make bank.

Week 2: The village lunatics take turns throwing beans at my face while I run around in a panic. Apparently this is a contest and I lost to the bratty toddler next door who bites people.

Week 3: I wander into the woods outside of town and get mauled to death by an ant. After I recovered, the local mermaid gave me a squid. I assume this was meant to be a gesture of affection.

10/10 so far. Looking forward to more adventures to come.

syl
syl

this game has very good feel good vibes. it feels like home. i played an okay amount on my modded new 3ds xl and it has lived rent free in my mind for some time. i told myself if it was ever re-released on a platform i had access to where i could support the devs that i would buy it. and here we are :) its a good steam deck game and im happy its back in my life so i can actually maybe one day finish this amazing AMAZINNGG game. love u rune factory devs. i hope u get another shot to make rune factory 6. praying we dont lose this series.

Bagelsworth
Bagelsworth

As someone who's never played RF3, I love this game despite the aged mechanics. I will say that if you've played the game before, you'd probably only really enjoy the nostalgia and go for waifus you never had the chance to go for before. Worth it for new players. Get it on sale if you've played on the DS already.

I can tell the character models and art have been improved just from seeing old screenshots and the like. They probably could have done some things to make playing the game easier for a modern audience, but it isn't a remake - just a somewhat enhanced port.

Guugs
Guugs

First off, this game is NOT worth it full price, especially since RF4 Special is also on Steam for A LOT cheaper. If you have never played RF3, I recommend skipping this and getting 4, considering that RF3 Special is literally a 1-1 adaptation of the NDS game, so is missing a lot of the additions that 4 added, such as a dedicated teleport keybind (you have to equip escape to one of your two magic slots), no Prince Points, only one monster barn, etc etc. It's also pretty short especially compared to 4, so you're not getting your bang for your buck. Skip it unless you want an inferior RF4.

ON THE OTHER HAND

This game was made for only one target audience as far as I am concerned. People who have had the pleasure of experience the original RF3 on the DS during their childhoods/teenage years and want to experience the magic again. I am up to the Unity Festival (Sorry, the Amity Fair now) arc and so far it has been very loyal mechanics wise.

I also know that the dialogue and VA change is a bit controversial with the community, but I personally find the dialogue changes alright, and the VA direction I have noticed, having dabbled with the Undubbed ROM of the original before, seems like they were mostly leaning towards the Japanese performances as inspiration. Other than a few of them being a bit off to me, like Raven, Marjorie, Wells, and God help us all Daria, I have no real complaints.

The price will be a massive dealbreaker for most though, and the Deluxe Edition is pretty much not worth it unless you want to see fanservice. (Though the thought of everyone in swimsuits during winter is a concept I CAN'T not do just once).

Oh, and unlike 4 and 5, the port is actually good. No issues that I have noticed that is.

One final warning, however, the plot REQUIRES your character to get married, but I'm sure most of us already knew that.

Overall, good game, forced marriage in plot, a nostalgia trip for some and a half-decent if overpriced introduction to the incredibly magical world of Rune Factory.

9/10 for returning players, 7/10 for new players

Also Carmen is best waifu don't @ me

Edited: It's the Amity FAIR now, not the Amity Festival. Implying that it couldn't have sounded any dumber.

ZaPapers
ZaPapers

A pretty decent updated port of an older title. If you like farming sims, this is a great entry to check out in the series. My only complaint is that a lot of the DLC should just be included in this edition of the game.

Kass
Kass

Rune Factory 3 is a bit more dated compared to it's successors, but in my opinion, has the most charm of all the RF titles. Everybody in this game feels unique, and background art and background music are both gorgeous and for me, bring a lot of nostalgia.

I do wish they'd added some of the quality of life features from RF4, but it's a remaster, not a remake. I'm just happy to play this title again.
I don't have many complaints about the game, but I will mention the ones I do have just in case they're deal breakers for anybody. First of all, the game is not very optimized for keyboard and mouse. I've uninstalled from my pc and have been playing on the steam deck and that works great!
The game also feels a little bit floaty when moving around but it's fairly easy to get used to, and just a product of it being an older game. The buttons have also taken some getting used to, though i'm not entirely sure why. I'll often find myself pressing the A button instead of the B button when I need to do something.

This last one is completely just a personal thing, but I don't like the new voice actress for Daria. In the original she sounded like a more hyperactive version of the artist from Kiki's Delivery Service, but the voice in this version just sounds like a total snob. I get needing to change the cast, but why not find similar voices to the original? Their voice being SO off really took me off guard in a bad way.

chjk122
chjk122

nobody will see this so I will just comment on how bizarre the screenshots for the steam homepage are

one is fighting the first boss at month three with the weakest weapon and an end game shield
one is year one spring 18th with already grown pink melons which would be wild
one is the eating contest but the time is 49:26

Splez
Splez

Best of the entire franchise.
If you liked any of the other Rune Factory games, you will LOVE Rune Factory 3.
I've had a blast replaying this, and will continue doing so.

RF3 has a lovable cast all with their own unique qualities and quirks. There's certainly at least one of them you'll fall in love with. But honestly, they're all amazing in their own way, and you may find it difficult to pick a favorite. To me? Sakuya is best girl. Hands-down.

hdmai
hdmai

RUNE FACTORY 2!!! HUH? 3??? THEY MADE A THIRD ONE????

It really is just a remake of Rune Factory 3 with minor differences and additions. The biggest thing you'll notice is the dub has changed (I have been playing with the JP dub which is an interesting experience, wow Minori Chihara as Sofia) and the script has been retranslated by XSEED. They did a decent job with this and the characters are still the same as you remember even if the lines are slightly different: Micah is still a sassypants, everybody is still weird in the head with hints of fruity, and Pia is still Pia. The intro song is also different (despite having the game having the same saving jingle using the same melody) and has a new animation thing to go with it. I liked the old one but having a new one to look at is nice too.

This is one of my favorite games ever made to the point that before I started RF3S I was starting to get anxious over whether or not it would be true to the game I love so much from over a decade ago, and I'm happy to say it's still the same game. The charm is there, the characters are still there, the bizarre balance is still there. I can recommend it to both new players and people who played the original.

Regifeathers
Regifeathers

Great remaster of a classic game. I never played the original on DS, but have been a fan of the series for years and this game does not disappoint. RF3 is a fast game, and not just in length - everything feels efficient and smooth and captivating. The remaster looks quite nice here and keyboard controls work well enough. I'll never understand why the Rune Factory series doesn't have way more love - its combination of farming/life sim + RPG is the best blend of those genres I've ever seen. I can't wait to sink many more hours into the game.

RyzenPhoenix99
RyzenPhoenix99

I don't often review games, but this one feels like it's been flying under the radar for most people, and it absolutely deserves more attention, so here's my attempt at spreading positive word of mouth.

If you're a Rune Factory fan, you're likely already aware that this game and Rune Factory 4 are widely considered to be the golden children (woolies?) of the franchise. That is for a damn good reason. And if you're not already a Rune Factory fan, I strongly recommend you take a chance and play 3 and/or 4 because they are some of my favorite games of all time. Much like Final Fantasy, each Rune Factory is a self contained story with new characters, and doesn't require you to have played any previous games. So if you enjoy farming games, dating sims, or dungeon delving RPG's, I urge you to play one of these wonderful games, and I guarantee you'll find something to love.

While lacking a few of the modernized features that later Rune Factory games added, Rune Factory 3 has plenty of it's own unique aspects that set it apart from other entries, and absolutely earns it's place as one of the best. It may lack some quality of life features like not consuming recipe bread if there are no recipes you can learn, or missing the more refined leveling, crafting, and upgrading systems later games have, but it makes up for that with some quality of life aspects that disappeared in later games, and in my opinion shouldn't have. For instance, access to new seeds is much easier, plants that notoriously take ridiculously long to grow in later games will grow a good bit quicker in this, leveling crafting is much smoother and less of a grind, and using higher level upgrade materials isn't nearly as hard. It also has features that are sorely missed in later games, the best of which, in my opinion, are the magic seeds.

Much like any other Rune Factory, the characters in this are loveable, colorful, and full of fun quirks and stories, and it makes choosing a love interest incredibly difficult. Almost 80 hours in, and I still haven't been able to pick between Marian, Pia, and Daria. The story is deeper than most Rune Factory games, with mature themes like racism and prejudice, as well as good lessons like accepting others and letting go of the past. This is the game where combat truly began to shine, and so it's every bit as fun as later games. It's also a fair bit more difficult than other entries, partially due to the slower progression of stat leveling, but it never feels unfair or ridiculous, and various means of upgrading and empowering yourself are always available. The crafting and upgrading systems are fun and in depth, albeit not quite as intricate as later entries. Still, I felt that it was also friendlier and more approachable in this one. Character events also function differently from later entries, and are typically directly tied to requests you take from the request board or mailbox, and as such it's easier to do whatever character events you want thanks to the lack of RNG involved in it. And I should mention that this game has, in my opinion, the prettiest town of any Rune Factory, as well as the most interesting and creative housing.

Overall, while this game may suffer a bit from it's age, it still absolutely holds up, and even trumps some aspects of later games, earning it the right to be played just as much as more modern entries. It's great story, loveable characters, unique systems, and ever present addictive farming, fighting, and crafting, makes Rune Factory 3 a must play for any fans of the genre, or fans of the franchise. I'd give it a solid 9 out of 10, and I sincerely hope more people give this gem of a game the chance it deserves.

Zettacide
Zettacide

A beautiful bout of nostalgia! I absolutely love the Rune Factory series, and 3 was my second favorite growing up. This is a very visually appealing, upscaled port. However, be warned:

While there are some little minor updates for QOL purposes, there are a lot of inconvenient changes if you started the series with Rune Factory 4. For example, the menu is laid out differently and is harder to navigate, basic attacks drain your RP, dishes have a success rate (you are not guaranteed to be able to make something even if you have the ingredients and the recipe - depending on your level, there is a percentage), and you cannot manually look inside your shipping box and immediately transfer things from your inventory to the box. Those are just a few things that did not get updated compared to 4S.

On the flip side, there are some things that are very convenient. The one that shines the most to me is that dishes stack! Crop seeds are also divided in the general store by season, which is neat.

These things in mind, this is still a great game. Shorter than 4S, yes, but the new Hell difficulty really makes it more necessary to grind to get to the end! I love it. If you're coming from 4S (or even vanilla 4 on the 3DS I should say) just be prepared to adjust to the older mechanics. Rune Factory 3 is still an amazing title in the Rune Factory catalog!

pia best girl btw

Denley
Denley

KILL SQUID, COOK SQUID, ROUNDHOUSE KICK SQUID INTO THE CONCRETE, SLAM DUNK A BABY SQUID INTO THE TRASH CAN, CRUCIFY FILTHY SQUID, TURN SQUID INTO SASHIMI, LAUNCH SQUID INTO THE SUN, STIR FRY SQUID IN A WOK, TOSS SQUID AT OTHER ENEMIES, POUR MAGIC POWDER INTO SQUID'S GAS TANK, JUDO THROW SQUID INTO CROP BIN, TWIST SQUIDS HEADS OFF, REPORT SQUID TO THE IRS, KARATE CHOP SQUID IN HALF, USE RUNE MAGIC ON SQUID, TRAP SQUID IN QUICKSAND, CRUSH SQUID IN THE TRASH COMPACTOR, LIQUEFY SQUID IN A MIXER, EAT SQUID RAW, DISSECT SQUID, EXTERMINATE SQUID, STOMP SQUID WITH STEEL-TOED BOOTS, COOK SQUID IN THE OVEN, LOBOTOMIZED SQUID, MANDATORY FILLETING FOR SQUID, GRIND SQUID IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL, DROWN SQUID IN FRIED CHICKEN GREASE, VAPORIZE SQUID WITH DELTA LASER, KICK SQUID DOWN THE STAIRS, FEED SQUID TO THE CUTE MERMAID GIRL WHO RUNS THE BATHHOUSE, SLICE SQUID WITH DUAL BLADES.

Rowf
Rowf

This game was one of my all-time favorites from my childhood. I've sunk far too many hours in to it, and replayed it plenty of times. It's one of the few games I've actually 100%'d.
To try and give it a fair review, I'm comparing it against the original, rather than as a stand alone game on a 1-10, with 5 being equal to the original, 10 being the best example of how a remake should be done, and 1 being so bad, that it's inexcusable.

Graphics: 10/10. This is how graphics should be done in a remake. They are gorgeous, they kept the same aesthetic as the original and just made everything better. It really looks like they took their time to try and capture the same feel as the original, but with a much higher quality. Beautifully done.
Gameplay: 4/10. Most of the gameplay is unchanged as far as I can tell, the only difference I've noticed is that when picking things up, sometimes your character will pick two of the same item up at once, which sounds like it'd be great and save a bit of time, but it actually causes him to lag or delay a bit before picking up the next item for some reason, and ends up slowing it down.
Music: 6/10. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. It's probably better than the original, but I can't hear a difference.
Voices: 1/10. So bad. All of them. It's awful. When I first heard them, I hoped it was just a bug, but no; the voices sound like someone tried to do an impression of the original and then increased the pitch on everyone to make them sound artificially childlike? And what the heck did they do to Daria?! She used to shout "Rainbow!" With such mirth and confidence. Now it sounds like she's trying to seduce it? It's just creepy and uncomfortable. I genuinely wanted to stop playing because the voices were so terrible.
Dialogue: 2/10. The whole game feels like they took the original text, and then rewrote it like a kid writing a report without plagiarizing. Everything's changed a little bit, just enough to be noticeable if you've played the original. For the most part that's not bad, it feels weird at times that you've got a transform belt instead of a transform spell? Just like... why? But the reason this rates so low is because they took out all negativity or hostility. Characters' personalities should have good and bad. When people are stressed, they say harsh things, it doesn't make them bad, it's what makes them human, and too many developers remove that humanity, and instead make the characters these always happy never upset dolls. I would understand if it was just removing Sofia threatening to beat you with a rusty hoe, or wanting to 'Drag you out in to the wilds to let the monsters have their way with you. Repeatedly' (Real quote from the original) But they didn't have to take away all the opposite speak shenanigans. They really gutted her, and it's sad. They also changed the option of getting Cologne to Perfume? Do kids not know what cologne is? Did they think that was necessary, or was it to make the game more woke?

Overall: 3/10. It's not unplayable, the graphics are beautiful, but that's really the only thing they did right, and I hate to say it because the game isn't terrible, it's just...bad. Worse than the original in too many ways. I regret buying it.

MESeele
MESeele

Worth playing, but far inferior to RF4 in every way but looks, and in that not much better. Special upped the graphics from the original, but lacks even the most basic QoL of RF4 and 5, which came out much earlier than this remaster.

Unless you're really hurting to play some Rune Factory and haven't played 3 yet, I suggest waiting for a sale. The regional pricing on this is horrid, costing as much as PS5 games after their recent price hike.

Sam
Sam

LOVE this game. In terms of pacing and plot it is superior to RF4, but shares the flaw of a tedious finale. Still, the point of all farming games and RPG games is the journey, and that part of RF3 is simply unmatched.

I strongly recommend.

Vigil
Vigil

A remaster of a cute DS farming-sim with some more magical elements and anime aesthetics than Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon. Because of that history, the game is much shorter than its sequels, but I found the experience endearing and incredibly cozy throughout. The game has such a pleasant feel to it for me, and I enjoyed the story being a bit more down-to-earth than its sequels, even if it is a lot shorter. Having played Rune Factory 4 and 5, I would put this game in between the two with 4 being the best in the series.

Sadly, the game has only bachelorettes and forces you to play as a male. If you want this game's experience but without those restrictions, Rune Factory 4 Special or Rune Factory 5 (also on Steam) may be of interest. But if you don't mind the restrictions or prefer a shorter experience, this game is absolutely worth considering.

mechaboy
mechaboy

Another lazy port. Seriously no sound sliders or in-game options at all? No way to get back to the main menu or reload a save? It's 2023, Xseed, and you're asking $40 for an AI upscaled 15 year old DS game.

The game isn't terrible, but any player of 4 & 5 will feel the difference in QOL advances from later games. Especially when summer comes around and hurricanes wreck your farm. Repeatedly.

Worth it at $20 provided you're okay with playing the game with Cheat Engine on.

A-kun
A-kun

Great, fun game though it lacks a few QoL changes made in Rune Factory 4: Special. This is the best 'play at your own pace' game. You can spend days just farming crops, fishing, mining, or collecting items trying to woo your favorite bachelorette (there are many).

The mechanics are simple to understand and while the story is the usual ho hum, the characters make it more interesting. If you are unsure between this, 4 or 5: Start here, then go to 4 and you'll have a much better experience.

Mimzy
Mimzy

The game of my childhood and it runs and plays fantastic! This is how a remake/remaster should look like! Alot was redrawn and smoothed out! Runs amazing even on my 6 y. old machine and still keeps all the charm from the old times. Rune Factory was always one of my favourite anime game series and RF3 has a special charm to it with an engaging little story. PPl who liked RF4S will love this one aswell!

Many QOL improvements from RF4S were also brought over to this! Like smoother farming, crafting and streamlining of enemy movements and combat! They really took their sweet time with this game but at the end it payed off. Its the best way to experience this little gem now.

Ok, now its time for me to get stupidly rich from strawberries and marry best gal/tsundere Raven again! :D

Just a Name...
Just a Name...

9 years ago this is the first Rune factory game that get me into this series, replaying this again make me feel like visiting an old friend that I never have.

I have seen people saying that Stardew valley NPC feels alive while they only speak about 2-3 same dialogue everyday,
the villagers in this game have their dialogue changes everyday for about 60 in-game days straight with some event-related dialogue, combining with voice acting really make them feel alive.

Everything you need to know is in the game itself without the need of using wiki. (Yes, looking at you guys, Harvest moon, Stardew valley)
What does this villager likes? when is their birthday? they will say themselves. Need crafting/cooking recipes? there is recipe bread. Heck, the villager even tell you about small mechanic like soil quality.

Combat is still enjoyable for such an old game, fast pace and responsive, you can use all the abilities even if it is not the weapon type you're using, which allow for different playstyles. With addition of Hell difficulty in special edition make the game feels challenging even for action game player like me.

Story-wise I even like this one more than Rune factory 4 itself (4 feels too lengthy and anticlimatic to me)

Yes, it is expensive for a remaster of old game but I would still always recommend this over Rune factory 5 anytime.

SuccHunter
SuccHunter

Pros:
+ A much better port than RF4 Special. The assets all look properly HD this time, and the colors really pop. Everything just looks a LOT better than in RF4 Special.

+ Great gameplay. Not the best yet, as RF4 takes the crown for that, but RF3 was when Marvelous really ironed out most of the kinks with the RF formula. The franchise truly hit its stride with RF3, and the gameplay is more polished, addicting, and fast paced than both previous entries.

+ RF3 is my favorite RF game out of them all purely because of the characters. They are all just instant classics - the Pia + Sakuya dynamic duo, Raven and Gaius, Karina, Sofia, and Raven, Colette and Marian, etc... Notice how I listed them all in groups. This is because not only are they all interesting and fun characters on their own, they have amazing chemistry and pre-established relationships with one another. You don't just get to know them as people but also as groups, and this is what makes this community feel so real and alive to me. The requests and story events also put you at the center of this community very quickly, and you instantly hit it off with everyone. In RF4 and 5, it took me a while to begin to like just a few of the characters - not even romantically, mind you, but just as characters. In RF3, it was love at first sight like 5 times in a row. I genuinely looked forward to talking to each character every game day to see what witty remarks or wacky hijinks they had to offer, and that is what makes this game magical.

+ The pace of this game felt a lot faster than in RF4. You get character events much faster, you build friendship points much faster, and you can finish the entire story within Spring and Summer of year 1. This may be a negative for some, but to me, I liked this. It let me experience the best the game had to offer almost right away. Combat especially feels a lot faster than in RF4. This is because they let you loose with almost all of the rune abilities, magic, and high level weapons literally half an hour into the game, and if you know which ones to get, you come right out of the gate feeling like fantasy John Wick.

Cons:
- Less QoL improvements compared to RF4. I didn't expect them to actually add any QoL changes in this port, but going back to RF3 from RF4 is a bit rough in places. However, this is a minor complaint compared to how good the characters, gameplay, and atmosphere of this game is.

- Newlywed mode is nice, but the Live2D models used in this mode are the stuff of nightmares. What did they do to the girls? Their Live2D movements are so stiff, so unnatural, and so awkward. I'd have vastly preferred that they just kept using the girls' static portraits that we've gotten used to throughout the entirety of the game. Again, this is a short optional mode, so it doesn't really affect the experience of the main game.

- The story is... serviceable. RF games aren't really known to have epic, peak fiction stories or anything, but RF3's story felt a bit undercooked. The final leg of the story in particular was shoehorned in and unnecessary. I'd say the real story here are the ones you make with the people of Sharance, as they are the ones that make this game the most fun for me.

TLDR: 9/10
Depending on who you ask, RF3 is either the 2nd best or the best game in the franchise. To me, it is the best, with RF4 coming in close behind. I played it once as a child, and now, I come back to it as a manchild. I am pleasantly surprised to say that it has aged amazingly, and you should definitely play it to see what makes Rune Factory such an charming and addicting series for weebs and Harvest Moon fans alike.

Rehncohro
Rehncohro

Missing a lot of the quality of life features of modern Rune Factory makes this remake feel kinda pointless. If came out before RF4S and 5, I'd understand, but when they go out of their way to add DLC outfits from later Rune Factory games, there's really no excuse.

MythicalButterfly
MythicalButterfly

This is the first I played in the series, and within a few hours I immediately became a Rune Factory fan.

The RPG and life sim blend is awesome. I'd love to see more like this, and I'm looking forward to what the developers release next for this series.

I really liked this game. I definitely would play it again.

I recommend it to anyone looking for something like this.

thecivilizedgamer
thecivilizedgamer

It's not as good as RF4, and it's clear that this is more of a port than a remake (there's some quality of life features that didn't get brought over from RF4 and 5), but I still really enjoyed it. The story is excellent, and the art and gameplay hold up really well. Solid music too, and the characters are as quirky as you would expect. If you like Rune factory then you'll probably enjoy this :)

(it's also a much better game than RF5)

Take Bert
Take Bert

I'm a fan of Rune Factory 4, Story of Seasons, way back when it was still Harvest Moon. I was excited to play this game because I never played the original, and I really enjoyed it at first.

Pros:
- Familiar mechanics if you've played RF4 or RF5, I find growing crops and talking to villagers to be pretty fun
- Game runs quite well on steam deck
- I assume there's some level of nostalgia here for others
- Game looks great considering it was originally on Nintendo DS
- Bachelorettes are cute

Cons:
- Too many seeds from crops, this was clearly considered in later titles but they should have fixed this
- The main plot is underwhelming. You are given amnesia, you walk around and collect orbs, then you solve racism (which really only existed in two individuals) with the power of friendship.
- As part of the main plot, you are shoehorned into marriage, a monster kidnaps your wife and hides her in a dungeon. It is lame and unfun that the actual climax of the game is a cheap damsel-in-distress plot device.
- At this point there is no excuse for not developing options like playing as a female protagonist or playing as a gay male protagonist. Inconsistencies with the way the main character is referred to in dialogue can be quickly corrected by machines these days.
- Fix the heal spell, it is beyond deafening

4/10. Play RF4 instead.

Mint Choco Chip
Mint Choco Chip

Really helped bring back child hood memories with the added remaster of texture and being ported over to PC. The only downside is that the developers removed the original opening theme song 'Happiness' by Yazumi Kana & 'Kaze no Youni' by Joe Rinoie. Wish the developers can bring these two songs back!!

Static
Static

A great entry in the series. A wonderful cast of characters and enjoyable dialogue. The weapon crafting system isn't nearly as in-depth as Rune Factory 4, but it still has a lot to offer.
The post game is enjoyable as well and the addition of the new difficulty level gives added value.

As a whole I still think RF4 is the best entry in the series, but if you like RF4 then I would definitely recommend this game.

Aryn Blue
Aryn Blue

Imagine the background Music from:
Ella Fitzgerald Blue Skies

My little Song...

I am fishing, fishing..., fishing all day long,
singing a Song.
I am crused but it´s only a small thing,
because my beloved is the only I think.
Singing my Song till she notice me,
even if it´s beat me.
Cute Monster small, big or strong,
we all go along.
Singing our Song till the next "Gong".
If I get boring singing my Song,
I see the next season is about to come.
If you like my little Song I would be happy harvesting Seeds,
till we finally meets.
Dancing while we all get along singing my little Song, till the last "Gong".

Autor: Aryn Blue

PS: Adding: 27.11.23
Use the Konfigurations Tool first^^ and do not forget to switch out the Keys how you like it.^^
If you already have Rune Factory 4 and 5 Special Costumes await you.
If you use a German Keyboard and play on Keyboard: Z is ENTER and you should switch out the Action key.

Lot´s of DLC !!
But be carful "Deluxe" just make that your future marriage candidates wear bikinis all year round, if you don´t want that, buy the Special.^^

Alex52432
Alex52432

a port of a great game, but there are multiple minor issues. The new English voice cast aren't as good as the original cast. Daria sounds like she is mocking her catchphrase, not announcing to the world "RAINBOW!" there is no way to load a save without quitting the game entirely. you can only do one request a day from a source. finally the audio needs more balancing options between sound effects, background music and voices. but the game is still better than most of the stuff that has come out in recent years.

malk
malk

I'm very mixed on RF3S. On one hand, I LOVE Rune Factory 3, but on the other, I would highly recommend the original DS version over this one, at least in tandem to this version for the extra content. There isn't really a whole lot Special adds other than being a native PC port and some small bits of new content in the extra modes. Special is relocalized, and honestly I do not really like the changes they made. The original version of the game had such a colorful, fun cast of characters and they've really been toned down in this version. Sofia in particular is a completely different character in this localization. Just not even remotely the same minus the opposite speak. At the end of the day, it's still a Rune Factory game, and Rune Factory has some of the most addicting gameplay of any game I've ever played, but like I said, I'd recommend the DS original over this version.

CookedPages
CookedPages

This entry into the Rune Factory series is a real classic. The characters and their stories are amazing and unfold very well compared to some of the other entries in the series. It was made before the advent of female playable characters, but there are 11 bachelorettes and this game came the closest to making each one worth going after in my opinion.

The gameplay is similar to 4 but slightly more simplified. Soil quality for example. It's still there and there are some easy ways to deal with it but I prefer the way it was handled in future games better. The only real complaint that can be made is that the game is rather short by the standard set by the later games, but you have to remember this was originally a DS game.

Speaking of which, some people are not as happy with the translation and voice acting and I completely understand. Change isn't always better, but I feel like the voice cast so far has been high quality. Though I miss Daria's original voice actress's RAINBOW more than anything else.

Overall a quality game worth playing especially for Rune Factory Fans. If you're new to the series, this is the game that got a lot of people into the fandom long before 4 came out and won all the personal favorite awards and isn't as intimidating as a place to start. I should also say that this is probably the fastest-paced Rune Factory though I never played Tides of Destiny. So be prepared for that. Since it is a farming sim though you can take things as slow as you want with no real downside.

Hope you have fun!