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Fantasy Life Review

Fantasy Life

Release: 24/10/2014
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Brownie Brown
Genre: Nintendo 3DS Reviews, Role-playing
PEGI: 10+
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OUR SCORE

Excellent About Rating
           
 
9.5 - Gameplay
           
 
9.0 - Video
          
 
9.0 - Audio
          
 

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Fantasy Life Review

Fantasy Life really is a fantasy. But it’s a good fantasy, and one that will take up a lot of your time. It is not everyday you get to swap between 12 different occupations, ranging from fighting to crafting to gathering, but in this charming and addictive title from Level-5, you can. Although the game struggles with some pacing issues throughout, the overall charm and depth of the game makes the smaller issues seem unimportant, making Fantasy Life one of my personal 3DS Game of the Year nominations. 

Depth to the Max 

There is so much to do in Fantasy Life, it almost becomes a problem. Should you complete the story – 10 hours in total if you wish to complete it – or perhaps try to accomplish some side quests? Or, try out a new life? That’s Fantasy Life in a nutshell. Real life is hectic, fantasy life is hectic. There is always something to do or places to discover. If you do venture exclusively through the story, you will potentially miss half of the Fantasy Life world!

I could have played as a Hunter, Mercenary, Wizard, Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, Cook, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Tailor, or Alchemist

The combative instincts in me made me choose the Paladin class to start the game. Alternatively, I could have played as a Hunter, Mercenary, Wizard, Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, Cook, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Tailor, or Alchemist. There are no shortage of options, and perhaps of them all, I picked the worst to begin with. 

Before I touch on the few minor issues, it’s important to describe what’s going on in Fantasy Life. To sum it up, it’s a little bit of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, with a mixture of charm, incredible music, and an endless to-do-list. It is a to-do-list that is full of repetitive tasks; despite their repetitive nature, however, each and every fetch quest or crafting request comes to a satisfying end: another satisfied villager, extra Dosh – money – in your pocket, a potentially rare item, and being one step closer to that next level or Bliss reward. 

 

 

Bliss? Leveling Up? Different Classes? It all sounds confusing, but the game does a great job of introducing each, which is partially the reason for why the game is slow off the hop. While Bliss – hearts awarded for completing the quests given by your trusty butterfly sidekick – rewards are nice,  leveling up is key to progression; when you do, you earn skill points that can be attributed to a number of skills, Initially, I was worried that each Life would upgrade on it’s own, but was excited to see that the leveling is continues across every life, and skills are not limited to one particular Life. 

There are significant mutliplayer features that I had very little time to review. However, from what I did play, it is very promising. It’s great to trek across Fantasy Life with one of my friends, especially when it came to taking on monsters that I, by myself, was not powerful enough to defeat. Trust me, you will encounter many of these, and unless you want to wait until you are level 50 to beat them and see what riches they have, I’d find a friend to journey with.

Small Issues 

The game is not perfect, although understand that the problems are minuscule when compared to what this game accomplishes overall. The first issue is with the story. It was definitely interesting enough to keep me captivated through my 20+ hour adventure, but points of the story suffer from pacing issues. 

Fantasy Life is in the 3DS Game of the Year conversation

In a number of situations, it was a matter of getting information twice. For example, at one point you will receive a letter from someone in the castle. The letter says to come to the castle quickly. Your butterfly companion – yes, your companion is a butterfly – then wants to talk to you…to tell you that the letter says you should go to the castle, so therefore, you should go to the castle. It’s a minor problem to be certain, but one that happens a few too many times. 

The other issue I had with the game stems from my original disappointment in selecting the Paladin Life first. Combat is not particularly strong in this title, which is a disappointment for someone like me who defaults to this type of class and Life. When it does work, the attack animations are boring; after a while, the battle simply become the process of pressing A to attack and X to defend – or to use a special move – until the enemy is defeated. Things get a bit more interesting as you level up, but you sacrifice your shield to perform special attacks. 

Fantasy Life Review – Conclusion 

There is so much to do in this game, and I cannot even come close to addressing everything here. You can ride horses, bake apple pies, and even have a dog or cat follow you on your adventure. That’s what makes this game so great. If you so choose, the game can be completed playing as only one Life. This game so much game here for the person looking fro a fifty hour adventure, and yet so little that it can be completed by someone looking for only a ten hours adventure. The game is created in such a way that it appeals to a wide audience. Level-5 has created a gem, and while you wait for that next big 3DS hit, this will definitely keep you entertained for as many hours as you will let it, which for me could exceed 50. Fantasy Life is in the 3DS Game of the Year conversation for sure, so make sure to try this out!

Positives

  • Interesting Story with great cast of characters
  • Great soundtrack!
  • So much content, every life feels different
  • Great multiplayer features

Negatives

  • Minor story pacing issues
  • Combat isn’t particularly deep
 

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Article By

Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

Follow Adam on:
Twitter: @AdamRoffel   

 

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