In the first part of a regular series, Karen takes on Fantasy Life in a variety of 'lives' and documents her adventures.
One of Fantasy Life's most notable features — the upcoming life sim/action RPG from Level-5 and Brownie Brown — is that it has twelve jobs, or Lives, that players can fulfil in the game. Working 9 to 5 in a Fantasy Life will be an ongoing series here on Nintendo Life where I spend a full working day playing one of the Lives and share my impressions with you, our valued reader. One thing that I was not told when I was brought on as a writer and asked for feature ideas is that I was also volunteering to write my proposed features should they pass editorial muster. Good times, I say, good times.
The first thing to do in a new game of Fantasy Life, obviously, is create a little pixelated id monster of an avatar. I am two things that make character creation an absolute trap: exceedingly vain and nominally fastidious. Luckily for me the ability to adjust facial features is more limited than in Mii Maker, so pinning down the most pleasing appearance I could get with the available options was expedient enough. The big problem is that this character's look has to adapt to many roles within the game world, and after spending far too long trying to find a hairstyle that could effortlessly go from lumberjack to magician I decided on a Bayonetta/Wendy O. Williams style 'sod it all' punk 'do and still ended up cheek-pinchingly cute. Having given up all hope of equal representation of the Lives of Reveria in look or name, my character is called Fennel. All of my names for pets, mounts, etc. are drawn from spices, as I suspect that although cooks are only one of the many lives, they are in fact the secret power brokers of Reveria.
In my first morning in Castele I introduced myself to my landlady by falling out of bed with a loud crash. Pam is a mystifyingly familiar kindly matron whose spare bed in the attic has allegedly seen many a fledgling adventurer, but she assures me that she always changes the sheets in between. Outside of Pam's house I find a summons from Castele's king stuffed into the mailbox because it's apparently too much to expect that an adventurer with no memories of his or her previous number of years can wake up as a fully fit unit of economic production without the king's personal seal of approval.
On my way through Castele's main square I meet Flutter the butterfly, who will go on to function as my conscience, majordomo, neck piece, and funny guy to my apparently good-natured but utterly silent apple-cheeked straight man. The two thugs that Flutter is in trouble with are straining themselves trying to understand why a butterfly can talk but I'm trusting that the mushrooms Pam put in this morning's omelette explain the phenomenon, at least on my end. I head off to the Guild Office to get my first life licence for the hunting Life, even though I was already issued the clothing complete with silly headgear at the end of character creation. I chose hunting as my first Life because collecting spare animal parts seemed like the best way to get to know the land I probably grew up in.
At the castle, King Erik looks to be roughly eight years old with precision bobbed hair you could cut paper on. The other members of the court seem to be too intently polite to be put out by the kings apparent condition, so I'm assuming that it isn't the mushrooms talking. With the state requirements satisfied Flutter and I leave to meet Fern, the hunting master and Castele's most urgent candidate for self-help. Fern's attitude suggests that she may be currently questioning her Life choices in addition to being too cool for you, but she grudgingly takes me as a student after I complete a personally issued challenge wherein I show up Ferns other slacker pupil, Huntin' Pete. Pete is such a slacker that his own grandmother personally asks Fern to drop Pete as a pupil because he's such a slacker. All of this goes to show that when applying for a job you're only as good as the other applicants.
Laundry list of Life challenges in hand, I arrive in the East Grassy Plains, eager to prove myself a steward of the wilderness by shooting arrows into Reveria's most beautiful creatures. Combat as a hunter is reasonably straightforward. You aim, you shoot, you wonder how a bow could possibly have this much recoil; yet it's also useful for incrementally pushing you away from attacking monsters. If you've ever become dependent on auto-aim you are suddenly and subtly reminded of this fact. Having a pet is very useful to hunter combat as your pet can run interference while you safely snap your catgut away at the monsters until your not terribly durable pet faints and you deservedly get your own kneecaps chewed on.
Life as a hunter was certainly enjoyable, but since the challenges are full of 'kill number of creature' cull quests it didn't feel as different from other games as it should have. I got most of that Fantasy Life flavour from accidentally launching myself through four chapters of the main story in this sitting. Since all the fresh air is killing me and Castele fashion could use an Alexander McQueen style enfant terrible to shake things up, please join me next time when I'll be taking up the tailoring Life.
Rank achieved: Adept
Useful for: Acquiring bow skills, pretending that Fantasy Life has pet classes.
Quality of Life: *** of *****
Additional comments: Bows seem overpowered up until the very moment when they seem underpowered.