I’ve been playing Rune Factory 4 on and off for a week now and I’m surprised at how much more enjoyable it is than both Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing for me.
With Animal Crossing, I get bored of the limited amount of activities you can do per day and interacting with the villagers doesn’t really fulfill anything interesting. I don’t have a desire to keep specific animals from moving away, so I typically stop playing about a month in. The festivals and fishing are what kept me playing the longest.
With Harvest Moon, there’s no combat so once again I get bored of just raising a farm and interacting with people. I feel like Rune Factory has struck a good balance here. Once I set up my farming chores, I can go fishing, or do a dungeon, or even work on my own shop Recettear style.
I’m willing to forgive the overly anime-style of the game despite not usually liking it since the gameplay is so fulfilling. Really digging it.