By Spencer . October 17, 2011 . 5:00pm
I played plenty of RPGs as a knight, mage, and thief. There aren’t too many games where the protagonist is a tailor or miner! That’s what intrigued me about Fantasy Life. While I was waiting to play the Nintendo 3DS game at Level-5 World I thought about what "life" I would try. Postman and street entertainer were high on the list, but when I finally got to play the game, royal guard was the only class available.
Before I chose an occupation from the "life select" menu, I had to make a character. Creating an avatar was similar to making a Mii, sans the 3DS photo feature. You can pick options like gender, face type, nose, mouth, eyes, skin color, and ears. Since this is a fantasy game, there are elf-like ears. Even though Miis wouldn’t match the game’s graphical style, perhaps Level-5 can add in Mii support or a character converter.
My newly created royal guard character met with King Eric, who rules Curuburg. Eric gave me, now a freshman member of the guard, a mission to find Captain Mustang. I took a detour to explore the town, which was populated with colorful characters (perhaps, other professions?) before tracking the knight down who was standing in front of a forest. Finding Mustang wasn’t a problem since a mini-map with an arrow shows players where to go.
As one of the king’s soldiers in Fantasy Life, fighting was part of my job. I was sent into the forest where I encountered monsters. Combat in Fantasy Life is real time and only uses one button. The A button made my avatar swing his sword, but I could change how he attacked by changing the rhythm I pressed A. Mashing A made my character do a spin attack (eat your heart out Link) or I could pause to end with a jump attack. I also had recovery magic (Y) and a defensive technique (X), which made my character glow blue. Both attacks drained energy from the blue mana bar. Combat was easy to pick up and the fights weren’t much of a challenge so I made it to the end of the demo, which had a dozing dragon to see.
Life as a royal guard felt like life as any other action RPG hero. Level-5 says there’s more to Fantasy Life, though, since they designed the Nintendo 3DS game with fighting being optional. Curious to see how that’s going to work with classes like lumberjack and scholar.
Fantasy Life is slated for release on Nintendo 3DS in 2012.