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Fantasy Life: An In-Depth Look

Updated on October 10, 2015
4 stars for Fantasy Life

Fantasy Life is a long awaited breath of fresh air for the Nintendo 3DS. On a platform that is overly saturated with sequels and reinterpretations, Level 5 shows they know what the consumer wants. That said, there are some negatives to this developer's hit.

The Good:

There are many good points to Fantasy Life. In-fact, there is so many good points, I feel a list would be more appropriate.

  • Saturated with content
  • Amazing crafting system
  • Multiplayer
  • Difficulty scaling depends on personal preference
  • Great writing with humorous charecters
  • Non-Trivial DLC available, while not taking away from the merits of the main game
  • Replayability

Fantasy Life comes packed with content right from the get-go. You start as one of 12 different "Lives." These are basically your class. You can choose anything you want, taking a crafting class will not limit your ability to progress in the story. Very few games balance this dynamic well and Fantasy Life does it amazingly. Each of these "Lives" has multiple ranks to strive for, each opening a new set of quests and abilities. You are not limited to a single Life and may switch back and forth at will. This provides for hours and hours of content, in addition to the main story.

The crafting system is well thought out and transitions smoothly with the story progression. Most items take 1-3 ingredients, most of which can be bought or commonly found. Some must be acquired through bounties, these can be powerful monsters or special gathering nodes. Each item can have 4 different grades: Normal, Good, Great, and Top. Each of these give the item a bonus depending on how well you did crafting it. Once you reach the Expert rank of a crafting class, you have the option of adding in extra ingredients to customize your gear and items. Crafting becomes more and more difficult the higher you progress, making it all the sweeter when you manage a Great quality craft on a High Level item.

The multiplayer is refreshing for a 3DS game. Most times it's a simple mini-game or task you can do with other during a multiplayer session with 3DS games, but with Fantasy Life you get access to the whole of the world. The only restrictions you have are that you can not progress story quests and that time does not move.

The games difficulty depends entirely on what you decide you want to do. The story itself is simple and can be done with a crafting or gathering Life. If you decide to strive to become a Legend of a "Life," then you will need to learn all about your Life and what you have access to. If you chose a combat life, this will mean defeating terrific enemies. If you chose a crafting Life, you will need to create high level rare items.

The story itself is rather quizzical, often being a bit out there. There are many people to meet and stories to learn, so I won't spoil it for you. That said, the writing is solid and provides an escape for some of the more hardcore players to relax for a bit. This will also bring us into the next section, the Bad.

The Bad:

There is only one bad part of Fantasy Life for me and that is the story itself. It is quite short and basically directs you where to go the whole way. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the game, which has you explore to find rare monsters and ingredients for your Life. While the writing is thoughtful and humorous, the storyline itself is lacking. If your only reason for buying this game is that you want to learn the story, then skip it. If, on the other hand, you want to experience a Life of your own, the story can be overlooked.

The Verdict:

I highly recommend Fantasy Life to anyone that is a fan of RPG style games. Its refreshing on a platform that is full of all the same thing. Fantasy Life will provide hours of entertainment to people of all ages, kids and adults alike. If you can overlook the lack of direction in the story, which is fairly easy to do, Fantasy Life brings an experience that is second to none.

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© 2014 Brian Mally

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