I love gaming. As anyone who has read my bio knows, the only thing I miss from my pre-baby life is being able to waste a whole day playing games. I still can fit the time in, but often that means either not writing (ohnoes!) or not cleaning (not quite as bad, but you feel pretty guilty about it after a while ;p ). The lack of time means that by the time I finish playing a game it’s old news and I’d feel kinda backwards posting a review.

The solution: ‘first taste reviews’. Working in a video games store as a day job means I rarely miss out on a game on release day, and I’m usually so excited I find some time over the following few days to at least get a start in so I’m hoping to start writing some reviews on how the game feels at the start.

artwork used on the Australian cover

artwork used on the Australian cover

Fantasy Life 3DS is the latest offering from Level 5 (who gave us Ni No Kuni and the Professor Layton series). You reside in the fantasy realm of Reveria and the story unfolds in this land.

The game has a very MMO feel to it. After you customise your appearance (very similar to making a Mii) you then get to choose your job, known as your Life, with many options to choose from: alchemist, paladin, mercenary, hunter, magician, cook, tailor, blacksmith, woodcutter, carpenter, angler, and miner.

Unlike with some MMOs though, don’t feel too pressured by the choice, you aren’t locked in that job forever. Heck you’re only locked in that job when you’re playing a chapter of the storyline. As soon as the chapter’s finished you can change. And as many times as you want. I’ve already been a paladin, alchemist, miner, blacksmith, tailor, angler, woodcutter, and carpenter. And the game’s only been out three days ;p

Fantasy-Life-per-3DS-625x320Changing jobs allows you to satisfy all of the different requests from townsfolk (of course there are townsfolk requests, this is an RPG of course ;p ).

I’ve been so busy playing around with changing Lives(and leveling them up) and fulfilling requests I’ve only done the first few chapters of the storyline. The story still appears quite basic at the moment with certain ‘twists’ upcoming seeming pretty obvious(, but I’ll reserve ultimate judgement on the story when I’m a bit further along. The premise is interesting still, so don’t worry that it’ll be boring.

Napdragon and I chilling in the East Grassy Plains (actual in game image)

Napdragon and I chilling in the East Grassy Plains (actual in game image)

Skills you learn in one Life (like mining, woodcutting, fishing) can still be used when in other jobs(as long as you have lived the first life long enough to learn the skills before changing to the other job). So if you’re a paladin, but you’ve been a miner, and you come across a platinum ore deposit on the field you can just whip out your pick axe and start mining.

Because of this my personal recommendation would be to get to apprentice rank (or ideally adept) in miner, woodcutter, and angler Lives as early as possible.

The pretty forest spirit Elmie and I

The pretty forest spirit Elmie and I

You can also save yourself a lot of dosh (I love that they call the currency ‘dosh’) by using tailor, carpenter, blacksmith, and alchemist Lives. If you sew your own clothes, make your own healing potions, craft your own weapons, armor, and tools then you spend a lot less. I’m a money hoarder(at least at the beginning of games) but I hate to not have the best equipment possible.

I’d give anyone planning on playing the game the tip of: when picking your first Life pick one of the active classes (which includes woodcutters and miners, not just mercenaries, paladins, hunters, and magicians) because the others don’t have challenges to complete out on the field. If you pick a Life with challenges on the field you’ll meet some of those challenges just doing the storyline and level up that life faster. A good idea for anyone who doesn’t take their time with games (like I do) too.

largeI’ve yet to try out any of the Streetpass features (having not streetpassed anyone >.< ) so I can’t comment on them just yet, and I’ve yet to use the internet features also. If I’m particularly impressed or disillusioned I’ll report back for sure.

Overall I’m having a lot of fun with the game and unless the storyline really lets me down this will definitely be one of the best games for me this year.