Fantasy Life / Where I've Been by Runewuff

...busy playing Fantasy Life is the answer.

Described by someone in one of canidaeookami canidaeookami's streams as "a cross between Zelda and Animal Crossing" that was enough to intrigue me, drop a hint to my mom when the pre-Christmas sale papers came in, and voila, got it for Christmas.

http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/XxUG3UOFGMJvO0WVl-YBcKpqgPCshcNS

Yes, it's a kid's game, and yes, I've been hooked on it.

It has a number of I would say improvements on standard RPG chiches. First off, it's all about cross-classing. Some are obvious, like a Warrior who can Smith his own weapons, or a Carpenter who can Cut his own Wood, but the classes support each other in unexpected ways. For example, now that I've played it, seems like a Cook who can Hunt and Fish would work rather well. But the thing is, it won't stop you from playing the entire game as some random noncombat class, like say, a Tailor. You will not reach an unbeatable boss and get stuck.

Though, to switch the fanboy off for a moment, there's a lack of difference between classes - game mechanics are recycled heavily, no doubt assuming players either wouldn't try them all and notice, or they'd be little kids and not care. All the crafting tables work exactly the same, whether it's Carpentry or Alchemy, and all combat is similar. I would say only Fishing and Magic have their own unique gameplay.

The thing that took me by surprise, is, I kept waiting for the standard RPG thing to happen where you're locked into a boss battle and can't advance until you get past that obstacle. Or trapped in the ending sequence and can't do anything except the ending. And Fantasy Life... just... doesn't do that.

The storyline quests, the side quests, and boss battles are all separate.

The story is pure story, lots of text cutscenes, creepy music, jokes that were pretty good... you don't need any skills or gear to do it. There's a handful of storyline boss battles but you're given lots of help each time, and gold and experience are handed out in large quantities. You could be a level 1 Dressmaker and do the entire storyline, no problem.

Then the game starts.

Finishing the story does not change the world or end the game, it merely opens up all the areas to visit and all the shops.

What I thought were "sidequests" are the game, how you build up your character, at your own pace. Experience points are handed out as liberally from making things, and helping townspeople, as they are from combat. Each class has it's own boss battles, just sitting there on the map. They are optional. You'll know them because, suddenly fight music!

For Angler, the only class I did every quest in, the final "battle" was a giant golden fish. First time I encountered it, I could barely dent its stamina, while I was completely exhausted quickly. By the "end" of the game, equipped with an enhanced rod I made while Carpenter, and a blue coral necklace that enhanced my skill I made while Alchemist, it was still an epic struggle, but I eventually caught that legendary fish. And that was the true ending for me.

Unlike other RPGs, it's not about completing the storyline, it's about taking it at your own pace, and fulfilling your personal goals as player. I found it very relaxing.

-Level 50-
-Legend Angler-
-Hero Carpenter-
-Hero Alchemist-
-Master Wizard-

(...next time I'm gonna be that Warrior Smith!)

Fantasy Life / Where I've Been

Runewuff

15 January 2015 at 02:11:26 MST

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