Fantasy Life

Fantasy Life is a role-playing and life simulation game developed by LEVEL-5 for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013-14. The game features a main storyline, multiple quests, and Life classes, which are the main focus of gameplay. The main storyline is cute and rather enjoyable, but it's strongly enhanced by the optional quests and Life system. The Life feature functions very similarly to World of Warcraft's professions or Final Fantasy's job system. There are twelve Life classes, total including four combat, five artisan, and three gathering professions. My favorite feature of this is that you are not locked into just one Life outside of the first chapter; you are able to level any of them. I like to level my artisan and gathering Life professions together since they harmonize so well together. The game is very open-ended, and you can beat the main storyline as any one of the classes though I prefer to play as mercenary for those parts.

One morning, a giant meteor crashes into the roof of your apartment in Reveria which is the start of a grand adventure. Shortly after, you receive a letter from the king of Castele and have a fateful encounter with a tiny, white butterfly, appropriately named Butterfly (Flutter). As a silent protagonist, Butterfly becomes your voice and interacts with most of the people you meet. The game is full of fun music, beautiful scenery, and a very colorful cast of characters. Other features that I absolutely adore are the ability to purchase and decorate your own house and pet companions that even can travel with you (with the downloadable content).

While it's not required, I think it's important to play with the downloadable content as soon as possible if it's a game that you think you will truly love just because of how many more features it adds to the game. There's an entirely new area to explore, skill cap for Life classes increases from 15 to 20, level cap increases from 99 to 200, there are two new chapters, a lot more character customization options, a friendship system with allies, and just so much more!

Life Choices

There are twelve total Life classes in Fantasy Life, and you're never restricted to only one. You're able to switch to a different one whenever you desire so you can level multiple ones at the same time! Some work beautifully to level alongside each other. There are three different types of classes: combat, artisan, and harvesting. Combat includes the powerful Life classes that allow you to power through enemies which is helpful when trying to work through the story. Artisan and harvesting classes work wonderfully together because you can gather materials in order to craft various different things like furniture and clothing. In order to obtain experience and level your Life, you must create, collect, or fight in order to obtain experience. There are also some associated quests for each Life that are required to complete in order to reach the next rank.

I'll briefly go over them all here just in case you don't know much about them!

Alchemists use flasks and are able to make medicines, bombs, flasks, and accessories that you can equip.
Anglers use fishing rods in order to capture fish in any body of water. Fish can be used for cooking!
Blacksmiths use hammers in order to create weapons, artisan tools, and heavy armor.
Carpenters use saws in order to create weapons, furniture, and artisan tools. They also can make materials for use in other Life professions.
Cooks use frying pans in order to cook food that can be used for restoration purposes.
Hunters use bows in order to fight enemies from a distance.
Magicians (Wizards) use staves (wands) in order to cast elemental spells at foes from a distance.
Mercenaries use two-handed swords in order to inflict close-range, physical damage on enemies.
Miners use pickaxes in order to collect ore from veins. The ore collected can be used by artisan professions.
Paladins use one-handed swords and shields in order to inflict close-range, physical damage on enemies and defend themselves from attacks.
Tailors use sewing needles in order to create clothing, accessories, and fabric furniture pieces.
Woodcutters use axes in order to collect lumber from trees. The lumber collected can be used by artisan professions.

I've played with most of the Life classes, and I really love them all. However, I do have a couple that I prefer!

Mercenary - This is my favorite Life in the game because I love how powerful my character is when taking on stronger foes. She carries a giant sword and swings it around in order to inflict a lot of damage. The movement is so fluid and fun to watch too. I do struggle a bit with the later combos, but I can usually get the hang of them if I practice for a bit.

Miner - I'm not really quite sure why I love mining so much in this game. The ore veins are so pretty to look at, and the pickaxe makes such a satisfying sound when you hit it. I also get a little laugh to see "boss ore."

Cook - I really like all of the artisan Life professions for some reason so this was hard to choose. I ended up choosing cook because I love cooking in real life so I think it's really fun to make some of my favorite meals in the game.

Favorite Allies

One of my favorite things in games is the ability to obtain relationships with and fight alongside other characters. Fantasy Life doesn't disappoint here, and I adore so many of the allies that you meet in this game. There are two other allies that I absolutely adore, but they are spoiler-y characters so I am going to refrain from putting them here because I can't seem to stop recommending this game to my friends.

Laura

Laura is the rebellious princess of Castele that regularly sneaks out of her bedroom against her parents' wishes. She's independent, courageous, and loves to go on adventures so she is always willing to join your group when asked. My favorite thing about her is just how much she can appreciate nature, monsters, and animals. She's young so she tends to act without thinking when it comes to things that she is passionate about, but she is incredibly brave and does not hesitate when facing danger which are really admirable traits. Laura may look like a princess, but she has the spunk and spirit of an adventurer.

Olivia

Olivia is the governor of Port Puerto who, like Laura, is a free spirit marching to her own beat. While she holds a government position, her heart belongs to the sea and she wishes to be a pirate. She struggles with others' acceptance and balancing her government responsibilities with her desire to be a pirate. Throughout the story, she learns a lot about who she is and how to follow her dreams. Also, she dresses like a pirate! How can she be any more awesome? She makes me wish that there was actually a pirate Life in the game!

Odin

I knew that Odin would be my favorite ally from the moment that I met him. As captain of Al Maajik's knights, he's incredibly strong and honorable. He is super burly and may look a bit scary since he wears a full suit of dark armor, but he's actually a really lovable character. He appears stoic, but he really opens up throughout the game and you can learn a lot about him. Above all else, Odin puts protecting the Daemon and the rest of the Al Maajik royal family above all else. He is driven by this desire and offers to protect you on your adventure too. Odin is also super strong to have in your party, and I love watching him wield that giant sword.

My Character

This game is actually so much fun that this is the second character that I made. My first character was primarily a wizard, and while it was a lot of fun, I just kept staring at the mercenary class in awe: beautiful armor, huge sword, and so much strength! When restarting, I decided to finally try mercenary out. I'm not disappointed at all. My character is so strong and cool! In this playthrough, I am attempting to max out the rest of the Life classes which is something that I didn't do before.

I took a little screenshot of my character so far. I'm currently still in the middle of my playthrough so she might not be too impressive, but I love her! This screenshot is from March 29, 2016, and I plan on trying to update it as I hit big milestones.

Thoughts

My favorite thing about this game is the Life system and all the cute little outfits and abilities that you get when you are a specific Life. This was the main reason that I purchased the game because I love other games that are similar. In my opinion, this is where this game really excels. The list of achievements for each Life keeps the game really fun and interesting, especially if you want to continue to level your rank. I'm a completionist in these sort of games so I restarted my file in order to level all of the Life classes together. The combat is really fun as well though sometimes I think the controls can be kind of confusing because some actions require some pretty precise timing so button mashing is not effective. The harvesting and artisan Life professions are my absolute favorite though. I am always running around mining and cutting down trees so I can create new armor, clothes, and weapons. I absolutely love tailor too because you can make some gorgeous clothing. The plot is cute, and I really love most of the characters. The ally system is awesome too because I grew really attached to some of the characters, and I was really excited to see that I could bring them with me. The scenery is gorgeous, and it's a pleasure to explore. Also, I will forever love games with optional fetch, craft, or monster elimination quests. There's just so much to do.

For me, One disappointment about this game is that there originally were going to be twenty Life classes. This is also really apparent in the opening cutscene because it highlights all of the current ones plus some other characters that are not associated to any Life but clearly have some sort of profession. Truthfully, I do not know how far along in development these other ones were or why they were cut, but I am pretty disappointed that they don't make an appearance. The following Life classes were apparently cut: Treasure Hunter, Merchant, Mail Man, Scholar, Fortune Teller, Street Entertainer, Pilot, and Farmer. I am most disappointed about Merchant, Pilot, and Farmer being excluded! If a sequel ever was made, I'd love to see these all appear though. I would also love to see a combat class appear that excels in daggers, speed, and evasion, similar to a rogue or ninja. Overall though, I really love this game despite these few shortcomings.