Written by Twisted Ideas
It’s time to get a Life. Fantasy Life is brand new RPG from Level 5 where you can fight dragons, save the world and build a table. It’s a mix of Animal Crossing and Rune Factory with its own unique charm. What will happen in your Life?
Developer: Level 5
What is it?
The kingdoms of Reveria are not in good standings with each other but Life is peaceful. The peace is disrupted when mysterious stones fall from the sky turning animals feral. You live in the kingdom of Castlelle and about to start your Life. One morning you find the town bullies picking on a talking butterfly. This butterfly has the ability to hear the wishes of people and she decides to join you as The king asks you to visit the kingdoms of Reveria to investigate the stones falling from the sky.
How does it play?
Fantasy Life is a 3rd person RPG adventure. The game is filled with monsters, quests and activities that reward you with experience, loot and money. When you level up you will earn 2-3 stat points which you can allocate to your stats to customize your growth. Certain categories increase the effectiveness of certain skills in different Lives.
After the game’s introduction, you have to choose one of a possible 12 Lives: Paladin, Mercenary, Hunter, Magician, Blacksmith, Miner, Angler, Cook, Tailor, Carpenter, Alchemist, and Woodcutter.
A Life is comparable to a class type and is organized by three categories:
Combat – They hunt and seek new and dangerous monsters. These types come with unique fighting techniques that can be can be used across other Lives.
Gathering – They explore the world seeking resources pertaining to their craft. Woodsmen and Miners have a minigame where they look for the material’s sweet spot to quickly remove it from the earth. Anglers have a simple tug of war against the fish, letting up when the line’s strain is high.
Crafting – Take materials and supplies to produce new products. Crafting involves a minigame which can determine the quality of an item’s stats or effect based on your performance.
I think a nail in a board is a good idea for a weapon.
Each Life has its own unique missions regarding their specialty. Stars are an alternative experience gained from your Life Master after completing and will eventually raise your Life Rank; Achieving higher ranks unlocks new skills, stat bonuses and missions for continued growth. You can choose to change your Life with no penalty other than the use of some unique Life skills.
The game is divided into chapters, starting with story that unlocks new areas and exploration before the end of the chapter that leads you to new points of interest.
Throughout the game the people of Reveria have several quests to offer. These quests often require unique items from most of the Lives. The encourages you to learn all the skill from different Lives and raise their ranks to complete the quests.
Giant Dragon? I’ll let my dog handle this one…
Butterfly also has Bliss Requests; These are more akin to game accomplishments for completing story, finding points of interest or reaching milestones. You are rewarded with Bliss, another alternative experience system that gives permanent gameplay rewards; These can be upgraded storage and item bag space, stores having better items or even being allowed to have pets.
There are online features that allows you to play with friends or strangers.
How does it look?
Fantasy Life has simple graphics with a light-hearted cartoony appearance. Story scenes are where you see the most character animation outside of movement and combat. The characters don’t show expression in their faces but rather their body language and comic book like reaction effects. Simple, yet effective.
How does it sound?
The game has an upbeat music even during combat and night. It matches the happy tone of the game and is a relief to hear.
What do I think?
Despite the its “for kids” appearance, Fantasy Life is a fun and addicting game for all ages. It’s a mix of Animal Crossing and Rune Factory. You get the childlike feel, colorful characters and customization of Animal Crossing without passive aggressive people telling you that you haven’t played the game in 3 years… From Rune Factory, you get the life sim integrated with combat but with younger characters and a more carefree atmosphere.
There is a glut of content and it’s easy to be distracted. It’s a circular cycles, you find quests that requires you to take up new Lives or search for materials. On you way to do so, you’ll find new quests before you complete the first wave. Then quests require Lives to be at a higher rank to complete compelling you to complete life missions, so on and so forth. It’s overwhelming but satisfying because how much you can accomplish.
The design is simple allowing for freedom of play. While the game has combat, you can avoid most fights. The game encourages you to take up several Lives, you can play with a single Life even if it limits the content you can do. You can even play the game fairly passive. You can choose to avoid some fights and mandatory fights are fairly easy for non-combat Lives. Even a simple cook can save the world.
The pot gives me +10 to Defense and +11 to making soup.
The most annoying aspect of the game is traveling. Quest, missions and gathering spots leads you to so many places that I had to write down and organize what I needed to cut down on legwork. You can quick travel to your homes and use transportation services but several points of interest are very scattered. Castlelle has shops on each end of the town. The blimp and airplane services usually aren’t near each other or the town exit and the airplane only takes you to the foot of a dungeon. When you have so many quests that you want to wrap up, it gets pretty tedious.
The story is probably the weakest point of the game. The story isn’t bad, it’s actually pretty unique approach for a fantasy adventure, the games just more engaging and fun. There’s probably too much dialogue which than there should be, despite the story to gameplay ratio. There are a lot of conversations and they’re longer than you’d expect. Level 5 probably realized this too because you can choose to skip the tutorial missions when taking a new Life. Like myself, you might find yourself skipping a lot of the dialogue just to get back to the game.
Should you get it?
Fantasy Life is the most addicting and content rich 3DS game I’ve played since Pokemon X and Y. It’s charming and there’s so much to do that’s rewarding that Fantasy Life can steal hours and hours of your actual Life. If games with a lot of quests interest you than you will want Fantasy Life.