Fantasy Life Review by: ZlinqxThe story of my lives
Fantasy Life, this seemed like a very interesting game to me apparently being marketed as a mix of a life sim and an RPG, in the way that it lets you train various professions (or lives as it's called in the game) of which there are twelve These varies from combat lives (like mercenary or paladin) to non combat ones (like angler or cook) it's an interesting concept though it's previously been tried in a few games before this one.
Of course when I noticed this game was also developed by Level5 who are also known for many games in the famous Professor Layton franchise, it further peaked my interest... So let's get into it shall we?Looks kiddy and sounds kiddy... I'm pretty sure it's kiddy.
Right of the bat, I'd figure I'd mention that this game gives of a very "kiddy" feel overall which is something that can either make or break the game for a lot of people. This starts with the aesthetics, having a very cartoony and kiddy feel to them. Everything from the environments to the characters and even some of the enemies and there's lots of colour. While I do find the graphics to suit the style they're seemingly going for and they don't look bad, from a technical standpoint it isn't really impressive, as some have said before and I'd probably have to agree, while it has some flair here and there it mostly looks like a scaled up DS game but like I said that doesn't mean the game actually looks bad just seems like a waste of potential.
As for the soundtrack it also goes along with the kiddy feel and for the most part I'd say it's well done. The soundtracks all fit each situations well and I found most of them to be pretty good. Though I wished there was some more variety, like how there's a theme that re used for most bosses in the game and the same track always start to play when fighting normal enemies. Also while I did find them to be somewhat good and fairly fitting there wasn't really any soundtrack that was really very memorable to me.Definietly 100% original story.
The same feel is present in the story. Though this is another fairly generic RPG/adventure story. These mysterious objects called doom stones are falling at intervals from the sky, which are causing chaos around the world as they corrupt the otherwise "peaceful" creatures (I use that word lightly as most creatures will still attack you on sight >:c ). And through a series of unlikely coincidences you end up being the one tasked by the king of your town himself with finding and destroying these doom stones to restore order and eventually find out why they are falling from the sky and stopping it to... I dunno save the world from impending doom or something, -i
nsert a mandatory friendship lesson here-Here we go again
Well to be fair, despite the somewhat generic set up the story isn't all bad. A unique thing about it is that there's really no overarching plot villain you need to stop though I'd assume that it is going with the whole kid friendly feel of the game (don't h8 each other m8 everyone's gr8!)
The story basically plays out in chapters that can be likened to missions, which you unlock after having met certain prerequirments most of the early ones are pretty much the same, you get a letter from the king basically wanting you to come to his castle at which point he says something like "oh noes a dummy stewn has fallen from the skye at -i
nsert location here- you needa go destroy it cuz no else can cuz we're stoopid and laze". Which after going through a lot of dialogue and walking basically just culminates in a boss fight where you don't actually have to fight the boss (unless you want to) but just go around it and destroy the doom stone (who knew it could be so easy).
It's not really until later you start getting to the root of the problem and the missions start to vary a bit more. There's some likeable (albeit fairly shallow as you'd expect) characters and it managed to keep me somewhat engaged. I personally find the kiddy feel that is ever present in the story a bit charming sometimes. And I liked how it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously as the story still retains a somewhat light hearted feel most of the time and even breaks the 4th wall making fun of some of the cliché's present in the game... Though they're still there.
That isn't to say the game doesn't try to throw it's fair share of plot twists at you but they're usually hinted at quite a few times before it happens so it ends up not really being that surprising. So while it does the job and has it's moments, it isn't really a masterpiece by any means and if you're looking for a story of epic proportions you'll be sorely disappointed since the game really seems more focused on gameplay side of things... But let's talk about that.Living the life... Grinding.
So as I've previously mentioned there are basically twelve lives (which I'll just refer to as classes to make it easier). These can in turn be divided into three categories, fighting classes, gathering classes and crafting classes. All of the different lives somewhat feed into each other, combat classes defeat enemies to get loot, gathering classes chop trees, mine ores etc to get resources which are in turned used within the various crafting classes to create items that you can use in various ways.
Now I somewhat like the way they chose to handle the class progression.
Basically you're only able to be one life at a time. To switch you'll have to go to one of the guild offices in each town. Now you can gather resources or craft things as a mercenary but you wont be able to advance in other lives.
To advance your life as there's basically ranks going from fledgling to master You'll have to do different tasks such as cooking different specified dishes as a cook or mining different ores as a miner and using certain skills. I like this way of handling it since instead of say killing x of the same monster all the time this encourages you to do several different things to rank up your life which helps alleviate a bit of the grind.
With that said the gameplay of each life don't vary too much from one another. The crafting classes for example basically all consists of the same minigame which involves timed button presses and rapidly tapping the a button with a slight change of scenery based on what life you are (though how well you do does impact the quality of item so that's something interesting at least). Hence while you're encouraged to do different things as a specific life. The lives themselves often end up being similar to one another gameplay wise which is unfortunate since it does make it feel very grindy if you plan to master every single one.Not much else to do and it's not really that difficult.
Once you've completed the somewhat short story there really isn't much to do besides trying to master the lives and trying to earn dosh (the game currency) by selling your items to shops in the towns. There are quests you can get from villagers in the different towns but they basically boil down to simple fetch quests, like kill x of this monster or get me x of this item. They're not really fun and the rewards are often times not worth it. You can buy and decorate a home as part of the carpenter life but it's pretty much only there for looks and there's not as much depth to it as say in a game like animal crossing.
There is a multiplayer mode which means you can play with a friend online and try to master the lives together. This can be a bit fun but you'd have to have an external way of communication ready as there really isn't any way to communicate in the game.
You can explore the world and find dungeons with bosses separate of the story ,both combat and non combat ones interestingly enough like really hard to fell trees or giant fish to catch (which lead to a fun moment as when I tried to chop a tree suddenly a theme I never had heard before almost aching to one winged angel started to play). It is one of the more fun parts of the game but all in all the only reason to do these are to advance even further into specific lives which means more grinding.
Combat also ends up feeling tedious. While the combat classes can have a bit of variety the enemies use the same strategy of chasing after you until you go outside of their comfort zone, their attacks are usually fairly easy to avoid even bosses and usually when you aren't able to defeat an enemy it's simply because you need to advance more into your specific life to gain better stats and deal more damage not because they're really very tricky to defeat strategy wise.
As such the game isn't that difficult just very time consuming if you try to master all lives and defeat all the bosses. And while that may take a long time to do most people who play it in long bursts will probably burn out on the game before that and realize it boils down to mostly just a big grind.
There is a DLC that unlocks a new location that contains more story objectives as well as unlocking new ranks and more things to craft and take on and a few other features but I'm not going to factor it into review since you have to pay for it, you'll also have to reach a certain level to access it which means you may have to grind quite a bit to actually be able to access it. But for those who really enjoy the game and want more it's there.Is this life worth living?
This can game can still offer enjoyment as a more casual laid back experience played in short bursts (somewhat in an animal crossing way) and may last you longer that way, or if you're the kind of person who likes grindy gameplay. lf it sounds like something you would like and the more interesting aspects won you over then pick it up. But if you expected a hardcore super engaging Action/RPG experience, then this isn't going to be the game for you.