'Fantasy Life' getting a juuuust-before-New Year release

Fantasy Life, the portable RPG that Level-5 has been working on for three or four years at this point, finally has a solid release date.

Fantasy Life, the portable RPG that Level-5 has been working on for three or four years at this point, finally has a solid release date.

The Fukuoka, Japan-based publisher announced in this week's issue if Famitsu magazine that the game is coming out for the Nintendo 3DS on December 27th, just in time for kids in Japan to spend their New Year's gift cash on it.

Fantasy Life began its, er, life at the Level-5 Vision press conference in 2009, where it was shown off as a 2D Nintendo DS title with graphics that made it look something like a medieval version of EarthBound. (This was perhaps no accident, because Brownie Brown, one of the developers on the project, also worked on Mother 3 for Nintendo.) At the next Level-5 Vision event in 2010, though, the game had made a complete turnaround, becoming a 3DS title with polygonal graphics and a new look that gave it more of an Animal Crossing kind of touch.

Despite this very long development period (especially by portable standards), not a whole lot has been revealed about the game. "I think some people may think this game is a straight-on online RPG," Level-5 head Akihiro Hino said last week, "but we're really trying hard to make this a game you can enjoy by yourself. I like MMORPGs, but I like single-player ones just as much. Fantasy Life isn't an MMO, but like with MMOs, you're free to fight RPG-style battles and you're also free to go fishing or chop down trees or whatever as well. So we're making something that's fun to play alone, but even more fun when you go online or use StreetPass."

The 3DS title will get its first playable reveal at the Tokyo Game Show this weekend.

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