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First Look: Rune Factory Oceans

Your main character in this multiplatform Rune Factory is male and female in one!

That beast is your ship in the new Rune Factory.

Rune Factory Oceans is the next entry in the Rune Factory series, Marvelous Entertainment's Harvest Moon spinoff franchise that mixes RPG and farm simulation elements with a greater emphasis on the RPG part. Famitsu delivered a first look at the the muliplatform PS3 and Wii title in this week's issue, and Famitsu.com has followed through with its own report, complete with screens (all of which are from the PlayStation 3 version).

In Oceans, you take control of a main character who is, in a sense, both male and female. Your male side is named Azel. Your female side is named Sonia. While Azel and Sonia were unique individuals in their own worlds, when transported to the world of Rune Factory Oceans following some unexplained incident, they came to occupy the same body, but with their individual consciousnesses in tact.

The result is that you'll be playing the game from the perspective of both genders. Of course, the game has the expected Rune Factory elements of love and marriage. It seems the Sonia side of your character won't like it when Azel gets close to a girl, and vice versa.

Azel and Sonia get flirty with members of the opposite sex.

Your adventure will take you out onto the seas, but not aboard a ship. Instead, you'll travel aboard a giant named Ymir. Ymir has such great power that he's able to lift submerged islands and sunken ships out from the water. You'll be able to take part in farming activities on newly recovered lands.

Ymir will also end up getting into battles with giant sea creatures. While details on this side of the game's battle system are scarce, a bit more is known about the game's expected real time combat system which puts Azel and Sonia up against monsters. Using a simple command scheme, you'll be able to unleash a variety of combos. You'll have access to weapons like swords and hammers. These can be strengthened via item synthesis.

Rune Factory Oceans is in development at Neverland Company. It's being produced by Yoshifumi Hashimoto and directed by Hosoya Ikeda.

A release is set for February 24 at ¥7,140. Famitsu lists the PS3 version as PlayStation Move compatible, but does not provide details.

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