I’m at a loss for words. Those of you who have spoken to me in the comments section or on Twitter are probably having a good laugh at the notion, but it’s true. I’m not really sure what else I can say about Fantasy Life. Especially since, by now, you’re probably playing, too. You know what I’ve been telling you for the last three, playtest diary entries.
Fantasy Life is a good game. Rather, it’s an extraordinary game. It’s as fun alone as it is with friends. You will be as happy pursuing the story as you will killing time by making products, fighting monsters, or exploring Reveria. This is one of those rare titles where even the tedium of repetitive tasks is waved away by the fact that each action, no matter how small, improves your character or experience in some way.
I’m coming close to the 20-hour mark, and I’m nowhere near completing the story. Instead, I’m an Expert Blacksmith and Tailor. The only time I ever felt something close to disappointment was when the Pet Vendor in Al Maajik made me feel incredibly guilty about trading my pink cat for one of the more Egyptian-themed ones he was giving away. He told me the returned ones sometimes cry at night. Way to make me feel like a monster, Nintendo.
It’s so good that I ignored my usual attitude towards expansions and DLC, too. I’ve only ever purchased one add-on at launch, and that was the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3. (I have an unnatural love for Garrus.) When it comes to other games, I’ve either waited for the ultimate edition of a game, hoped for a sale, or done without. With Fantasy Life, though, I grabbed the Origin Island expansion the second it was available, even though I’m probably a month away from accessing most of it. That’s an optimistic estimate, by the way, since I’m playing Fantasy Life in the most round-about way.
Part of the reason I’m okay with this is that I’m already enjoying two aspects of the Origin Island expansion. My character has a fabulous new hairdo. More importantly, I like knowing characters are getting stronger by being around my heroine, due to the power of friendship. The fact that even more content is now there, hidden away, has provided an incentive to keep moving forward. I eagerly approach storyline quests, because it brings me closer to the bonus content.
Even the online multiplayer works well. I haven’t been able to enjoy as much of it as of late, as I was too focused on more solitary, Blacksmith and Tailor-improving measures as of late. Still, when I have used it, I’ve been impressed with the experience.
Weeks later, and I’m still enthusiastic about Fantasy Life. I can’t see it fading. From what I’ve seen from friends on Twitter and Facebook, I’m not the only one. Truly, this is one of 2014’s greatest successes. I just wish I saw as many people playing this in my StreetPass Plaza, as I did going through Super Smash Bros.