Fantasy Life Overview (Synopsis and Features)

From the developers of the Professor Layton series, Fantasy Life offers a mix of traditional RPG adventure and tranquil village living. Gamers create a custom character, and then select from 12 different Life paths before setting off on an adventure to help save the land of Reveria. Each Life offers unique abilities, with the Hunter, Magician, Mercenary, and Paladin specializing in different kinds of combat, the Angler, Miner, and Woodcutter adept at gathering materials, and the Alchemist, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Cook, and Tailor capable of crafting hundreds of different items.

Each Life comes with specific challenges that, once completed, reward players with stars that can be used to unlock new skills. Gamers can also earn Bliss by taking on challenges from the butterfly companion Flutter, or acquire the currency Dosh and experience points by helping townspeople. There are hundreds of different items to acquire of craft, with some objects affecting the character’s stats, and others serving as potential home furnishings. As players advance through the game they can meet and unlock allies and pets to accompany them on quests, and they can even choose to lead a new Life in the middle of their game, opening up new opportunities in each of Reveria’s locations.

Rating: 70/100

Create a custom character and choose to lead one of twelve different Lives
Go on adventures, chop down trees, cook food, and craft hundreds of items
Change Life paths and revisit areas for new adventures

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Overview (Synopsis and Features)

An updated 3D remake of a 2003 Game Boy Advance title, Pokémon: Alpha Sapphire sends players back to the Hoenn region to explore, battle, and learn the secrets of Mega Evolution. As always, gamers assume the role of a young battle trainer who goes on quests to catch and train Pokémon, then engage in turn-based battles with other trainers to upgrade and evolve their Pokémon. The new PokéNav Plus tool lets players explore Hoenn’s unique locations, from its large central volcano to the surrounding satellite islands, get the latest local news, and track down elusive Pokémon in tall grass.

Gamers begin by choosing from three starter Pokémon, but they can rapidly acquire dozens more through trainer battles, random wilderness encounters, or trades with friends. Alpha Sapphire gives gamers access to the legendary Pokémon Latias, while its sister release Omega Ruby offers Latios, and both dragon-like creatures take advantage of the new Soar feature, which lets players navigate the skies above Hoenn, engage in airborne battles, and access mirage spots to track down rare Pokémon and valuable items. Gamers can once again build up their Pokémon’s stats in the Super Training mode, increase their bond by using the stylus and touch screen to pet, scratch, and play with the creatures in the Pokémon-amie feature, and trade and battle with other local or online players using the Player Search System.

Rating: 80/100

Learn more about Mega Evolution in this updated 3D remake of a Pokémon classic
Gather, train, and battle with dozens of beasts, including new legendary Pokémon
Form a stronger bond with Pokémon in the Super Training and Pokémon-amie modes
Join friends for multiplayer battles, messaging, and trades

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Overview (Synopsis and Features)

Square Enix once again melds RPG tropes with music-based rhythm action in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. Players choose pint-sized versions of more than 60 characters from the Final Fantasy universe and then tap the touch screen in rhythm with 200 different songs from the franchise. The Quest Medley mode lets gamers choose their own routes through short, medium, and long songs, while the Versus Battle mode lets two players compete in head-to-head action. Clearing songs and winning battles earns gamers Collecta Cards, which can be used to boost their characters’ stats.

Rating: 83/100

Choose from more than 60 characters and take on 200 musical selections
Use perfectly timed screen taps to explore worlds and battle monsters
Collect cards to level up characters

Bravely Default Overview and Synopsis

Designed as a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Bravely Default offers gamers a classically styled RPG with a few twists on traditional turn-based combat. Players take control of a quartet of heroes as they go on a quest to reunite powerful elemental crystals, exploring dungeons and engaging in battles along the way. Each character has a set of BP points for use during combat, and players can use the Default command to shield themselves and bank points for the next round, or the Brave command to do extra damage by moving twice in one turn.

There are 24 job classes from which to choose, including White Mage, Thief, Pirate, and Vampire, and characters gain new skills and level up their abilities as they engage in combat. Gamers learn more about each character as the story progresses thanks to animated interludes and augmented reality scenes that are accessible when pointing the 3DS cameras at special cards. Bravely Default also includes mini-game in which players help rebuild the demolished village of Norende by connecting with others via StreetPass or the Internet to help increase the population of the town.

Rating: 85/100

Join a quartet of heroes as they go on a quest to reunite elemental crystals and save the world
Choose from 24 job classes and engage in classic turn-based combat
Recruits friends online to help rebuild a destroyed city