When I first bought my 3DS XL, I was convinced I was going to play it constantly. I got Pokemon X, and I love Pokemon games! In fact, Pokemon X was my favourite since Soul Silver. And then I got Animal Crossing and Mario Kart and Super Mario 3D Land. But I still barely played it.
And then I got Fantasy Life.
Brought to you by the same people who are behind the Dragon Quest series and apparently the Professor Layton series (though I know nothing about those games), Fantasy Life is a game about… well, living the fantasy life, I suppose. You can level up different skills, whether combat or resource based. You can own and decorate a house, have pets, kill monsters, do quests, you name it. A quick way of explaining the game would be saying it’s like if Dragon Quest and Animal Crossing had a baby, though the game leans more towards the Dragon Quest side of things, I feel. The biggest difference in combat between the two franchises is that unlike Level 5’s similar game, Dragon Quest IX, the action isn’t turn based but instead happens in real time. As a magician, this entails lots of shooting and dodging. I can’t speak for the melee classes because, well, I’ve not tried them yet. I am a professional!
I find the skill progression to be somewhat reminiscent of Runescape, a game which I actually still play despite their more than questionable business decisions as of late. Runescape is all about levelling up in multiple skills, also including combat. Fantasy Life is, however, not an MMO, and is more centered towards a lighthearted, cartoony environment. It also has less people walking round saying “free GP pl0x” and “buying gf”, which I am eternally thankful for.
One part of the game which does slightly irk me is the amount of redundant dialogue. For instance, in Port Puerto there is a furniture store in which the lady behind the counter makes self deprecating comments about her service with every interaction. Whilst this may add a certain charm to her character as opposed to making her generic shop lady #56, it also adds roughly four screens of unnecessary dialogue per interaction. This is something which is found commonly around the game, including in the game’s storyline and when doing menial tasks such as reporting to your Life tutors. This is only a minor complaint, however.
So far, I’ve tried the Magician, Woodcutter, Miner, Blacksmith, Carpenter, and Alchemist skills. And I love them all! It’s very satisfying making your own tools, weapons, armour and furniture with resources you collected yourself. Alternatively, of course, you can sell your resources and just buy these things later on, but that takes away a certain sense of accomplishment.
So that’s my impressions of Fantasy Life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go play some more!