IGN recently put up some screens, videos and an interview with the game's U.S. product manager. The video shows off the game's new direction: combat. It all looks pretty straightforward, but that energy you spend fighting is going to have to come from somewhere - the crops you produce. We're undecided as to whether this is really going to work, surely the peaceful gameplay is what gives Harvest Moon its unique feel?
Aside from the combat, it looks like all the series' traditional elements are in place: tending crops, making friends and wooing the girl of your dreams by presenting her with vegetables. If only real life were so simple.
Cooking and forging will be handled via the touch screen, along with inventory management. You'll also be able to trade items and screenshots over wi-fi, perhaps landing a husband or wife in the process. The accompanying video gives a July release date for Rune Factory.
[Update: fixed grammatical error]