PN Review: Tomodachi Life
The first thing I’m going to say about this game is that it has consumed me. So I just need to get this off my chest. My name is Kaelyn Daugherty, and I am addicted to Tomodachi Life.
I’d like to compare this game to Animal Crossing but it’s a lot different. Tomodachi Life is actually a sequel. Its predecessor ‘Tomodachi Collection’ was a Japan exclusive, released in June 2009. Luckily Nintendo decided to bring the sequel to America or we would have missed out on something special. As many of you know, you are free to roam your town in Animal Crossing. In this specific game you mostly play with the touch controls. Using the stylus to choose where you would like to go by tapping the bottom screens menu buttons. This is your main mode of transportation. As you do not technically control what your Mii’s do, or where they’ll end up throughout the day. This lets you check in on them wherever they are just by tapping a button.
You start out on an uncharted island, which I named Windfall in honor of my love for all things Zelda. Now it’s time to create your first islander. You have the choice of importing Miis from your 3DS, using a QR code, or creating one from scratch. After you choose what he/she looks like you then name your Mii, and give it a nickname.
Also the game lets you spell out the pronunciation of your name so the characters in the game will say it just right. Which brings me to our next step, creating your Mii’s voice. You can customize the pitch, tone, quality, and accent of his or her voice which uses vocal synthesizer software. It reminds me a bit of how the old computers used to sound when they would say what you typed out. Last but not least you will figure out what type of personality you want them to have. I found all of this to be pretty neat. Giving each Mii different characteristics really brings them to life and makes them seem less robotic.
Not long after starting my game I had 5 new residents on my island. Me, my girlfriend Patty, Dwayne Wayde, Tasha Rhodes, and Granny G. Within minutes of creating my new friends they were becoming friends themselves. Wanting to visit each other in their apartments or meeting up at the café to gossip about the other Miis. Once when I went to check on my friend Dwayne he told me he had received a letter from someone wanting to meet up on the roof. I told him I thought it was a good idea to check it out. When we arrived I noticed another one of my Miis was there in disguise, a very bad disguise at that. She approached Dwayne and very clearly stated “I mostly come up here when I have to fart.” Then just walked away, leaving me there stunned with confusion.
In real life I was cracking up, but Dwayne seemed to be a bit disappointed. While they’re sleeping you can sometimes see what your Miis are dreaming about. My favorite so far was a dream about all of the Miis on the island, they had gathered for a special ceremony. They were dancing around a giant helping of apple pie chanting “all hail apple pie!” When my Mii woke up I surprisingly found a real piece of apple pie under his bed. These are just a few examples of the crazy things that happen in this game.
I really like how involved you are with the Miis. I was constantly pulling out my 3DS to check in on them, like every hour! They get hungry like everyone else so you have to feed them as the day goes on. Sometimes they’ll ask you to buy them some new clothes or they may be in need of some specific relationship advice.
You can create a band, change the interior of the apartments, or attend the nightly rap battles at the fountain. Miis can get married and start a family, or just go steady with one of their neighbors. One complaint I have is that one of my residents is 10 years old and she can date any one in the apartment complex. That includes Mii’s 4x her age. She was heart-broken that I found this to be a bad idea and thus became depressed. It’s a bit weird in my opinion.
A lot of people are upset about this game not including same-sex couples. I am not that offended by it. Nintendo has included many diverse characters in their games. I do wonder why it was over looked though, especially after what I stated in the latter part of the last paragraph. So while I won’t be spending my days frolicking the beach with Patty I suppose Dwayne Wayde is the next best thing. He’s pretty cool after all.
The graphics in this game are pretty comical to say the least. It reminds me of the Wario Ware series. How they incorporate real life images into the video game world. For example, all of the food in the game looks as if someone took a picture of each dish and then copied it onto the game. When your Miis take vacations all of the scenery is actual pictures taken around the world of various plants, animals, and architecture. This gives you the opportunity to take some pretty ridiculous pictures. By the way, you can snap a photo any time throughout the game by pressing the X or Y button. I’ve taken at least 600 pictures since starting 4 days ago. Like I said a lot goes on in this game. The 3D graphics are nothing to be excited about. But if you enjoy using that feature, it’s there.
The mini games and side quests are a bit repetitive, but not enough to really annoy me. They usually never want to play the same game twice in a row. Also the concept of some of the mini games changes a bit each time, which keeps it fresh. You also receive special gifts and treasures from your Mii when you complete a game. You can sell these or give them away as gifts.
Since I never got to use the street pass feature in the game I can’t tell you much about it. I know that your able send your Miis away to camp out on other people’s islands, Miis from other islands will visit you as well. There’s no telling who will pop up on your island randomly, I cant wait to see the Miis everyone will create!
If you’re wondering about replay value, it’s all still new and shiny for me. It seems this will be a game where you’ll want to unlock every item, and really see everything the island has to offer. Personally, I have a feeling I’ll be checking in to see what my Miis are doing on a daily basis for a while. After all I am their creator, their provider, their…dare I say it, God!
While I wouldn’t recommend this to the so-called “hardcore gamer” I’m glad Nintendo brought a game like Tomodachi Life to the 3DS. It’s a hilarious, charming experience that brings you closer to your Miis then ever before.