Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let's Talk About Shop-Keeping - Rune Factory 4

Back when I was in a froth of excitement for Rune Factory 4 and didn't know what to expect, I came across a list of things that was new to the series or at least this particular iteration of it.  It was all excellent stuff, but one thing stood out to me because of just how I am was the mention of the ability to run your own shop.  This is something I've been excited to do if it hasn't been obvious with my picking apart of Animal Crossing's Re-Tail system and my hopeful babbling for Hometown Story.  Because of my terrible computer, I pretty much can't play any PC game which includes the wonderful Recettear:  An Item Shop's Tale which is basically the only game I want to play as a consequence.  Hometown Story looks as if it will scratch that itch for a real, wonderful storefront simulator, plus it'll have the trappings of a Harvest Moon game that I am constantly seeking as well.

Anyway, to call what you do in Rune Factory 4 "running a shop" is....charitable.  At the very best, you're just running a Garage Sale out of a Castle which I guess lends some weight behind it for reasons, but there's absolutely no management to it.  If you'll refer to the screenshot above, do you see that little booth thing next to the overly elaborate mailbox just off-center of the top of the picture?  That is where you sell things from.  You sell things from a box in which you have placed things you specifically want to sell.  All you do is stand there while people walk up to you at a meandering pace and speak to them when they're near.  They will either say "Oh, I want to buy this for this price" which you can accept or refuse, and I have never once had someone raise their price if I refuse, say "Oh, I dunno..." which allows you to employ your business savvy of saying it's a good item or smiling vapidly (possibly other methods as the skill levels up more) to try and sway them to buy it and/or buy it at a higher price, or say "Just looking", which wastes everyone's time.

That's not to say it's bad, of course - it's not.  In fact, it's a damn fine source of money when it finally unlocks and because of that, it's only more of a reason to delve into raising your skills via crafting, forging and cooking, since you can sell everything that you make at a price that will at -least- be what you'd get for shipping it, but in most cases, more than that even.  Sometimes a lot more.  Of course, sometimes you'll only sell a 200 gold potion for 215 gold, but that's still profit (since you're almost always just gathering the materials for crafting/cooking/forging) and by using the 'Shop', you're increasing your Barter skill.  And even though you only use your Barter skill for the 'shop', it gives you stat bonuses like every other skill, so you always want to raise skills when you can always.

Much like Animal Crossing's Re-Tail, the only thing missing here is depth and that's fine.  Neither Animal Crossing nor Rune Factory 4 were built around shop-keeping and were I not completely infatuated with the concept as it was, I might suggest they veer towards superfluous territory.  Because of that, it's a given that their uses are going to be perfunctory in nature and, as stated, you can still make good use of them but it's not a 'proper' set-up.  That's ultimately what I still crave, of course, is that proper set-up and I should hope for all our sakes that Hometown Story offers that as it appears to.  I won't be done with Rune Factory 4 by next Tuesday which will make it a rather painful day (compounded by the fact that I will be purchasing Pokemon X on the same day with the express intent of playing it "sometime in a month or two") but the pain will immediately be eased by more Rune Factory 4.  Because it's quite good, if I haven't made that known enough by now.

seriously, the booth like, cuts off the top of the character's head, could they have maybe done -something- else?

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