More than just a job…
Level-5’s RPG Fantasy Life on Nintendo 3DS is a beautiful life simulation game where you’ll begin your new journey in the land of Reverie.
Beginning the game, you’ll create an avatar with customization from choosing a chibi hairstyle to selecting the tone of your voice. You can select from twelve different trades available, each job giving you an opportunity to learn and build new skills in your brand new life. Once you’ve chosen your job, you can immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Reverie, engaging with delightful characters and absorbing yourself into the interesting storyline of Fantasy Life.
Selecting your employment doesn’t mean tying your character down to one type, as you have the option to switch between trades if you wish to, and gain more skills in your chosen field. In Reverie, your vocation is known as your life and to begin this new life you must obtain a license. Once you’ve been given your license, your rank will rise as you complete life achievements. As your rank rises you will be able to utilize different skills. Each life comes with a separate set of skills, however, you can continue to use skills you learnt from a previous life, even when playing as something new.
When you’ve got so many interesting trades to choose from, such as becoming a tailor and making your own clothes, to indulging in cuisine and becoming a cook, it’s really difficult to decide. At first I would concentrate on one trade, before I decided to switch out and try a different job. Mainly because I wasn’t sure whether to build up my experience in one job, or divide my attention amongst many and become a jack of all trades. You have the opportunity to visit the local guild office if you want to change jobs and you may find you would rather become a paladin or hunter, rather than a blacksmith or miner. The objective of each life job is level up the trade and gradually unlock new and interesting skills to help you on your adventure.
There are some delightful and interesting characters within Reverie, who you will interact with. Some will help you on your adventure, while others will set you tasks to complete. Once you’ve met some of the colorful characters, a brief plot-line plays out in some incredible cut-scenes and you’ll be able to earn Dosh, the Fantasy Life currency, by defeating enemies in battle, selling flowers and other items or working on the variety skills you will learn from mining crystals or making your own weapons.
Stars are points earned in each different life as you complete various challenges and quests throughout the game. Stars allow you to rank up and learn new moves and techniques.
You will also be rewarded with Bliss, and Flutter the butterfly introduces you to this reward system. Bliss can be collected while enjoying daily life, working and making new friendships. You’ll also benefit from Bliss Bonus points, which allows you to unlock various features within the game, such as purchasing new pets to extending your shopping experience. I opted for turtle riding through Reverie, because it looked so funny, but there is the choice of getting a horse and galloping across the land. Although, if you do decide to dismount your animal of choice, they will happily wander off and leave you in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!
The game is laid out with the choice of choosing from a variety of quests to taking on new challenges. Challenges can be anything from defeating a select number of enemies, to cooking up the perfect fish dish. Once you’ve selected a quest, the quest shows up in your inventory, although you can only take 30 quests at any one time. One thing I have learnt from playing Fantasy Life is that it’s better to take on a few quests, rather than wandering around taking on way too many. You’ll find a backlog of quests and often it’s difficult to remember where you initially encountered the first ones.you can only take 30 quests at any one time.
Many of the quests have you wandering around the world map, collecting select items and returning them to the owner, or defeating monsters. Combat, depending on what trade you chose, results in hand to hand melee, projectiles or using magic spells. Fighting is performed in real time and is fairly interactive, giving you the chance to level up and gain experience and the opportunity to come face to face with some really strange and bizarre creatures.you can only take 30 quests at any one time.
During the game, you’ll be able to engage in Bounty quests, and this means you’ll be able to defeat various enemies and collect your bounty reward by checking in with the local bounty clerk. The bounty clerk will give you Dosh or some weapons and equipment for your bounty duty. Once you’ve filled your inventory up with the abundance of valuable items and equipment, you do have the choice to unload some of those items in your home once your inventory gets full. Believe me when I say that you collect an incredible amount of goodies within this game. Hoarder is an understatement. If you do manage to gain bliss points, seriously opt for the bigger bag, because you’ll find your inventory will be overfilling regularly on your journey.
The storyline was a bit of a slow burner for me personally, and although the game has a interesting story, accompanied by some visually crisp cut scenes, it did take me a little while to get acquainted with the various characters within the game. You’ll come face to face with characters such as King Erik of Castele and the humorous Pam Candy and her funny personality, and you will be engaging with Flutter the butterfly on a daily basis.
The various quests and challenges are flexible, meaning you can pleasantly take your time as you wander through the different areas of Fantasy Life and there’s no real rush to get anything done. Exploring the environment, you’ll come across some funny monsters, open treasure chests and earn yourself some Dosh along the way. Earn yourself enough Dosh and you’ll be able to explore the idea of a new abode to reside in. Initially you begin your life in an attic, but there is an opportunity to save and invest in a new home if you wish.
Experiencing the different life jobs is extremely fun and the game is host to a number of mini games, giving you the chance to brush up on your cooking skills by engaging in a task in a designated time, to sewing something unique for your character or home as a Tailor. All the trades allow you to experiment and enjoy the game that which you find in a typical RPG.
Fantasy Life is a solid RPG with more than just a little Animal Crossing thrown into the formula. The result is a deep, enjoyable and entertaining game that will last hours and hours, and always has something to do.