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The latest iteration in the fantasy RPG/farming simulation hybrid, Rune Factory 4 is out today, giving 3DS gamers a chance to split their time between the peaceful life of a farmer and the decidedly less peaceful life of a dungeon-diving adventurer.

XSEED Games today announced that Rune Factory 4 is finally available for the Nintendo 3DS both in stores and through the eShop. Originally beginning life as a spin-off of the Harvest Moon series, Rune Factory has since evolved into a beast all its own, sporting plenty familiar Harvest Moon touches wrapped in an action-based RPG that will see the player trading the hoe for a sword in order to battle monsters, loot catacombs and overthrow hulking bosses.

Rune Factory 4 is a fantasy life simulation game that blends farming, crop management, harvesting and traditional RPG dungeon battles all in one gameplay experience,” reads a statement from XSEED, the folks responsible for the US localization of the game. “As the game opens, players will find their character falling from an airship and landing atop a charismatic dragon. Amnesia-stricken and disoriented, players can select either a male or female hero and take their place as the newly-appointed prince or princess of Selphia.”

While one might question any civilization that immediately grants royalty status to any old stranger who literally falls out of the sky with no recollection of who they are or where they came from, it’s a fun setup for a game that promises to be a jack of all trades for fans of lighthearted stories, fun characters and some good old faction monster slaying.

There are literally dozens of systems at work here, including farming, dating, monster taming and, of course, battle. As you become friends with the citizens of Selphia, you’ll gain more access to useful items, abilities and the like. You’ll also earn points that can be spend on making royal decrees, adding new festivals to the town calendar, expanding your facilities and stocking local shops with more and more content.

While the game releases today, Gaming Blend’s review of Rune Factory 4 isn’t quite ready for prime time just yet. I will go so far as to say that, if anything mentioned above sounds like your idea of a good time, then you’ll probably find a purchase of the game to be a wise investment. For the full rundown, though, I’m going to need a couple more days to get things in order.

Put simply, Rune Factory 4 is a big, big game with lots to do, and I haven’t quite finished my review run. As soon as I feel comfortable with sharing my full thoughts and giving the game a final verdict, we’ll have it up on the site and ready for your perusal. Until then, it’s back into the dungeons I go.

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