The latest installment of the Harvest Moon series, Rune Factory, adds more traditional RPG elements to the series. While violent combat and quaint farm life seem to have little in common, Natsume explains how the two genres merge.
There are monsters in Rune Factory that wander around idly, but the player won't be fighting them. When an encounter happens, the player can choose to send the monster back into the forest or try to befriend it. Befriending a monster involves putting on a "Friendly Glove," walking up to it and simply petting it. Little hearts will appear above the monster, and once a certain number is reached, the monster will become docile. The player can then use it to help plow the fields or chase away other monsters.
Of course, not all monsters are so tolerant toward being touched. While the player is wearing the "Friendly Glove," they are completely defenseless. Some ornery monsters may use this opportunity to attack and cause a ruckus.
Japanese gamers can try their hand at the art of domestication starting August 24th. No other release dates have been announced.