Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
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  1. Oct 24, 2014
    Some will try to excuse this nonsense by claiming the game is for kids, but this cynical explanation implies we live in an age where we should lie to everyone, including our children, about what "adventure" entails.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 275 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 275
  1. Oct 24, 2014
    What a life! I was wondering if this was going to be as entertaining as it is adorable, and the answer is yes! I read a lot of reviews whereWhat a life! I was wondering if this was going to be as entertaining as it is adorable, and the answer is yes! I read a lot of reviews where people said this was a boring or repetitive game, but I don't think people are taking this into context as for what it is. Awesome animated graphics and the definite plus, along with a giant world. Open world play shines, along with being able to do so many different things. The crafting is just as engaging as any other game that has crafting, like Final Fantasy XIV for example. Are there fetch quests? Yes. If you get bored, simply do something else for a while. This is not a "hardcore" RPG nor is it as customizable as Animal Crossing, though the mix of the genres makes this better in my opinion. I think this game is very underrated and highly suggest this, as it is all about exploration and fun. Yay for Fantasy Life! Full Review »
  2. Oct 24, 2014
    I had no high hopes or expectations when Fantasy Life came out in Europe (a month before the NA release), and only looked for something toI had no high hopes or expectations when Fantasy Life came out in Europe (a month before the NA release), and only looked for something to kill a bit of time with while waiting for Borderlands and Pokemon. I was in for a surprise, because it didn't just kill some time, it slaughtered it!

    Fantasy Life grabbed me straight away and pulled me into its world like few other 3DS games have. Right from the start, I got addicted to the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do, and to go wherever I felt like going. Instead of fretting about which "class" I should play, and where I should spend my points, I could just start playing without a worry, because you can do everything with the same character, and there is no way that you can mess up. Even if you misplace your stat points, or change your mind later, you can eventually "respec" and reset them!

    In the mood for hunting monsters? No problem, go to the Guild Office and change to a combat life. Don't know what combat life to play as? Just level them all! Tired of bashing in monster skulls? Sure thing, go and fish, cook, or craft! Sleepy and not really up for either activity? Put on your woodcutter or miner hat, and run around gathering materials. Feel creative? Decorate one of your six houses with items you found, were given as quest rewards, or crafted yourself! All of this with the same character, no limitations, no need for multiple save games!

    Gameplay-wise, Fantasy Life somewhat resembles Rune Factory, but is a little heavier on the action. The combat is in real-time, almost Zelda'esque, but it's not overly complicated or even twitchy. Monsters and gathering nodes respawn, so you can farm as much as you want. There are no real death penalties, which makes the game easy and forgiving, but it's really all about leveling your lives (jobs), unlocking recipes, doing challenges, and getting (crafting and finding) the best equipment.

    Crafting consists of interactive, reaction-based mini games where you have to mash buttons as fast as you can, which also determines the quality of the items you create. They are all fairly same-y, with exception of fishing, but it still beats the "click a button and check back a few minutes later" kind of crafting that most other games have.

    It is worth mentioning that you can craft and gather while you're in a different life. In case of gathering that's just fine (you get slightly fewer materials if you mine while you're a paladin, for example), but for crafting you want the bonus that you get from being in the respective life (changing is trivial and painless).

    The story is not particularly complex or original, though I found it entertaining enough, but it serves the purpose of introducing you to the world and the lore. It's definitely on the light side, so if you're looking for a complex plot with many surprises, this game won't offer it. You advance the story whenever you are ready for the next chapter by completing Flutter's requests (mostly talking to NPCs and visiting specific places). Completing a story section opens up new areas, so there is no rush and you can go through the story mode as quickly or as slowly as you prefer.

    There are no "missables" in the game. You can't go wrong no matter what you do, and you can change your mind at any time without punishing consequences. The post-game and the DLC offer a lot of things that you can do, either solo or together with friends. "Tower Runs", for loot and experience, are popular, and are a good way to collect great loot for all of your lives!

    Day-one DLC is a downside, but it's quite crucial since it adds a lot of content, most of it post game, plus the friendship/social system. It also raises the level cap. Unless you can't afford it at all, my recommendation would be to grab the DLC right away when you start playing (friendship system and additional customization options as well as an extra pet type are immediately available).

    A great aspect of the game is that you never have to become all "OCD" over decisions. In the post-game, you can "respec" your character on the fly and re-assign your stat points (you can do everything even with the "wrong" stats, but they do give a bonus and it's easy to change them). Dosh, as money is called in Fantasy Life, is easy to farm, so if you want to go from being a paladin to being a hunter, you can do so within a few seconds. Whatever you feel like, in Fantasy Life you can be and do it. If you do everything, you're looking at about 200+ hours of gameplay here.

    For me, Fantasy Life is one of the best games the system has to offer. It came out of the blue and was a complete surprise to me. If you like Rune Factory and similar games, but always wished they were a bit heavier on the action, Fantasy Life will deliver. In many ways, it's even quite a bit like Skyrim, just packaged very cutely.

    If any of this sounds interesting to you, check out Fantasy Life. You'll quite possibly love it dearly!
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2014
    Jack of all trades, master of none. That phrase probably best describes my thoughts when playing Fantasy Life. The game, advertised as a lifeJack of all trades, master of none. That phrase probably best describes my thoughts when playing Fantasy Life. The game, advertised as a life sim, is actually a simple jRPG with an even simpler story. Fantasy Life's main strength lies in a vast, beautiful game world (by handheld standards) and addicting gameplay (if spite of it's simplicity). Multiplayer (online and wireless) is also surprisingly fun, although the game's niche status means you probably won't get to experience it very often. Unfortunately, major design flaws prevent Fantasy Life from becoming something more than a fun little timewaster. The game supposed major selling point - 12 different character classes (standard ones like paladin or mage, but also woodcutter, miner, cook, tailor etc) - falls flat when you realize most of them are essentially clones. This is especially true for crafting classes like tailor and blacksmith, all of which use the same minigame for creating new items. Another big flaw - questing system, which is the standard kill&fetch fare most of us got bored off ages ago with their MMO of choice. Moreover, the questing rewards are often so pitiful that doing them is simply not worth the player's time. Third and final flaw I'd like to present is music, which is boring at best, and painful to listen to at worst (just search for the Main Menu music on YT to see what I mean). There is also a hefty amount of smaller flaws (like horses terrible controls), but to prevent this text from becoming needlessly long and nitpicky I'd like to end my review here. Full Review »