In case you missed yesterday’s announcement, Level-5 studios’ RPG Fantasy Life is finally coming to North America for the 3DS. And in case you don’t quite know what the game is about, Nintendo Treehouse just spent a little while with the game, and we were sure to get all the major details.
Fantasy Life is all about choice. Apart from customizing how your character looks, you also modify their life class, which affects how they fight, what they make, and what they can gather. There are three types of classes to choose from: battle, crafting, and foraging. Your battle class is obviously what you do in battle. At the least, you can choose between being an archer, a swordsman, or a mage. Your crafting class decides what you can make with your resources. A blacksmith, who uses ores in crafting weapons and other items, would fall under this type. Your foraging class tells you what supplies you can gather in the world. An angler can catch fish, a woodcutter can cut trees, a miner can mine ore, etc.
While you’re limited to your selections in the field, you can change your classes at any point by returning to town. And while expanding your horizons is great, continuing down a single path has its own rewards. Every time you use a class ability or skill, that class gains experience and levels up, meaning you can forage for more advanced materials, learn new skills on the battlefield, and create new and better items. There’s no penalty for switching your class; your skills earned remain intact for when you want to switch back.
Combat is fairly simple. Enemies are visible in the game and fought on the field. If you see something you want to fight, or something that wants to fight sees you, then the battle begins on the spot. Run out of the way of enemy attacks to survive and then get your own in to win. In the demo we saw the swordsman has a spinning attack where he swings his sword in a circle a few times and a jump strike where he leaps forward. If you win, the enemy might possibly drop an item or a bounty box. If it’s an item you can pick it up no problem, but bounty boxes will attach themselves to you and have to be carried safely back to town or certain areas scattered throughout the world. These bounty boxes have prizes and bonus items inside, but they can be destroyed by enemies (or yourself if you don’t want to deal with it). Foraging is a no-brainer; find some material on the field and if your foraging class matches it, you can get it. Crafting, at least with the blacksmith, requires beating a short mini-game to successfully create an item. Do well enough, and you could get multiple of the item, or a better quality one than intended. There are at least 139 items that can be crafted in the game.
Adventuring isn’t all that you’ll be doing in
Fantasy Life. There’s also a story—featuring beautiful animated cutscenes and music by Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy—about the player character somehow saving the world. You aren’t forced to follow the story; you can do it at your own pace. Your life classes have their own questlines as well, so by switching them up you’ll be able to do more for the world’s inhabitants. According to the Nintendo Treehouse hosts, the game features an amount of text equivalent to a 21,000 (yes, twenty-one thousand) page novel, so there’s sure to be a lot of interaction with the townspeople. Finally, Fantasy Life isn’t a solo adventure. If your friends have a 3DS and a copy of the game, you can invite them into your world to run around and do as they wish. You aren’t limited to a multiplayer zone; the entire world is as open as before, meaning your friends can fight by your side through the entire game should you wish.
The more I learn about
Fantasy Life, the more I wish it had come to the United States sooner; it’s a completionist’s dream. The game will find its way to American shores this October.