Now that someone replied I kinda have an excuse to write something again - I would feel bad about bumping a thread nobody seems to have interest in for no reason (shame, our RF3 thread was quite successful).
I got a hang of it by now. I wrote that 'initial impressions' thing shortly after I got Spring Island. I wouldn't call myself a HM/RF veteran but I played a few games of each series and got used to the way farming works in them. My initinal confusion was through the roof. If anyone is still wondering here's how it works:
- even though the game uses standard 4-seasons calendar (I digress but the way the town looks changes vastly throughout the year - it looks great) the seasons are completely irrelevant to farming. You have an island for each season (named simply Spring Island, Summer Island etc.) and it's Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter all year long on them. You don't get all of them at once, you 'unlock' more as the story progresses. The thing is even their names are of no importance as you can plant any flower/vegetable/tree (more about them later on) on Spring/Summer/Autumn Island.
- Like I said, you don't really get to plant jack's shit. What happens is this: you've got a so-called spirit wand and using it you can plant seeds on certain spots of island(s). Then the monsters you tamed plant seeds on those spots. Each monster has up to 4 types of seeds it can plant. Sadly, it picks whatever it plant at random (although it's based on your 'friendship level' with said monsers, too) so you'll get to use your sickle a lot (if I'll see strawberries and spinach one more time...). Then they simply grow those vegetables/flowers/trees until they are ready to harvest.
- each Island needs to get revived to get used. You collect spirits to do so. There are 4 (or 5, depending how you look at it - at first you can't use the islands at all) levels of uh... 'liveliness' of any island. The higher the level the more spots to plant seeds on you unlock.
- some monsters don't either plant stuff nor do they give you ingridents (like Buffamoos etc.), they are responsible for harvesting instead. At first I kinda ignored them but once you grow your islanda to the full size it gets really big and it will take a lot of time to harvest everything. You might want to pick up those harvester type monsters.
- also, there are seperate spots to grow trees on. There are only two types of them - oak and maple. They are used for making all sorts of things using carpentry.
- now, Winter Island. I'm not eactly a fan of the new system but it works so I don't complain about it but Winter Island is what I really love about it. Instead of growing vegetables/flowers on Winter Island you grow ores. It's a great idea - now you can stockpile on gold/sliver/platinum and all sorts of other things.
- that more or less covers it I think. Each island has 5 spots for animals, you have 10 additional spaces in your barn. That's pretty much it.
So that's farming. I have some other things I want to comment on, though:
- I LOVE how big the storage is now. 180 itmes! That's really great.
- I said that the new system of using 3D models instead of sprites is a matter of preference. After getting used to it I can honestly say that I prefer the new way.
- you can't buy any useful weapons/accessories at shop anymore. I really like that, too. You have to craft your own stuff.
- I liked how hard it was to get some money initially. Sadly, it gets much, much easier later on.
- I also dislike how you can buy eggs/milk/wool at shop. What's the point of taming and nurturing Buffamoos, Woolies etc.? (I still do it but it's a matter of habit I guess.) Shame.
- oh yeah, wood is gone, like I said. You enlarge your house etc. by buying upgrades (with money). The finishing works like it always did (more or less), I just didn't get the fishing rod from Joe for some reason.
- Like I said, time gets stopped in buliding. I love it. That's the way it should be.
- Your golem won't run out of RP as fast as I thought it will. Well it does hapen intiallly but later on (when it gains a few levels) it's not that much of a problem.
- items don't have 'levels' anymore. An item either has a star (i.e. it's kinda upgraded) or it doesn't. So now lv 5 onions anymore. I like it better this way in all honesty.
- I'm pretty sure there were lots of other things wanted to comment on but I kinda forgot them already and I'm getting tired from typing all of this so...
- Oh yeah, one thing I need to correct - the RP doesn't get replenished on it's own. I somehow got confsued about it (probably because it does get replenished a little once you gain a level in some skill).
All in all I think it's a great game. It's a shame nobody seems to be interested in it.