I couldn't wait for my birthday. My brother LDK mailed me another copy of the Professor Layton game as a belated Christmas gift, which I promptly traded for Rune Factory 3 (RF3). The last time I played Rune Factory 2 (RF2) was in early 2009, and I never got past the first week of Rune Factory Frontier for Wii because K had just opened Monster Hunter Tri. :P
Anyway, K posed an interesting question during one of the brief breaks I was taking from my new game: "I noticed that Rune Factory always gives you a male protagonist chasing after potential brides. If given the option, would you pick a boy or girl main character?" Huh. Well, RF2 did allow you play either gender in the second half of the game, and I chose a girl out of curiosity.
I'd like to say it doesn't matter either way, but past behavior shows I automatically select female characters if they're available. Nevertheless, I have no qualms about pursuing digital girlfriends and feeling satisfied when their affection level toward me reaches 10. In fact, one interesting thing about RF3 is that instead of having 2-3 girls that I can't decide between, this time I had one clear winner from the start, Raven.
Other more notable changes in the game include a faster clock (the days are shorter), transformation into a wooly sheep monster, the need for crop rotation, and multiple weather changes in a day. Many gamers have complained about the frequency of hurricanes, which can destroy all your crops within minutes, but I tend to concentrate on improving relationships and crafting skills, rather than actual farming.