Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions Part 3

We’ve already looked at the uniforms fighters wear in Fantasy Life, as well as what gatherers don for maximum rock-bashing and tree-slashing. This week we’ll dish on the final four classes’ base outfits, which can’t possibly be as bad as the Hunter. Right?

Blacksmith

Blacksmith_Girl
Blacksmith_Boy

The Blacksmith smock gives me definite “evil dentist” vibes, but its other primary offense is just being a giant blob of nothingness. There’s no shape to either gender’s silhouette and the back suspenders are the only thing preventing this from turning into a Homer Simpson-style muumuu. All this loose-fitting drapery is certainly a fire hazard for someone working at a red hot forge, and the lack of gloves is begging to add fourth-degree burns to the ensemble. The hats are just sort of…there. I guess the guy’s gives a hint of a train conductor which has a six-degrees-of-separation connection to Blacksmiths via coal, but the girl’s is too Three Stooges to take seriously. Neither one is as offensive as the pot-on-head Cook, but they speak to the uniforms’ fate as a whole: sent to the Fantasy Life equivalent of Good Will after the first day.

Carpenter

Carpenter_Girl
Carpenter_Boy

As much as I love the guy’s channeling of 1980s’ fashion in both colors and size of headband, his lack of follow-through to fingerless gloves ruins the attempt. His breezy tunic with utility belt seems functional enough for a Carpenter, but as a whole this is too plain for anything beyond a meh. Meanwhile, the girl’s white harem pants, pseudo-pirate shirt, and random crotch pleat come together in a surprisingly striking ensemble. Her headband is even larger than his and appears to be made up of two scarves tied together to form Paladin wings on the sides, which is ridiculous but strangely not infuriating. Since the only constant for the Carpenter’s uniform seems to be a giant headband and gloves, both in sky blue, I think she’s done the best job of accessorizing the basics while feeling job-appropriate.

Tailor

Tailor_Girl
Tailor_Boy

The female Tailor looks like a minimum wage shirtwaist factory worker from the 1910s. The male Tailor is what I imagine Tom Sawyer looks like after Aunt Polly forces him to clean up. Either way, not the brilliant artisans of Fantasy Life that can craft an entire outfit from a piece of dandelion fluff. These are so boring that I’m just going to use the rest of their allotted space to talk about the Hero outfits.

Turns out, once you hit the Hero level of a class, you receive a new and improved job uniform. These are 100% better than their Apprentice counterparts both in battle statistics and style. The Blacksmith is probably one of the best improvements, transforming your steel-worker into a leather-clad goddess of royal purple and Yuna-style armsleeves/gloves that provide both protection and class. However, the Tailor is still a huge disappointment. While most classes receive a slew of interchangeable items, from hat to shoes, the Tailor only earns three pieces: a single-item “dress” (despite it clearly being a shirt, topcoat, and pantaloons), forgettable shoes, and a nearly invisible pincushion accessory. It’s some sort of ironic punishment that the class who makes all the clothes in the game has the least exciting wardrobe. I can’t speak to the guy’s version of the Hero outfit, but based on Bowtie McYawnSnore up above, I imagine it’s not much better.

Alchemist

Alchemist_Girl
Alchemist_Boy

Okay, as much as I hate the Tailor’s outfit, I hate the Alchemist’s more. Those are, objectively, the two worst shades of green you could inflict on someone. The girl has reentered muumuu territory and won’t even need a “baby on board” sign to get a free seat on the subway. She has three buttons on her dress that are accomplishing absolutely nothing, and just to top it off, here’s a ruffled white collar in case you thought she was any younger than 82. The guy’s is moderately less disturbing since his undervest is at least slightly tailored. But it’s also too small and shows off a hint of white undershirt, while his blue leggings disappear into same-shaded blue shoes like an adult onesie. They’re both sporting the most bland and shapeless bandana imaginable in the same solid vomit-green just to ensure you’ll never stop seeing it when you close your eyes. The saddest thing of all is that these are the definitive uniforms for less-than-Heroic Alchemists: Fizz, the NPC apprentice who helps get you acclimated to the job, wears the exact same dress and seems appropriately depressed about it despite her brave face.

That’s it for the basic class outfits. The verdict? Sell your uniforms on day one and buy a less-embarrassing Shark Hat. Your Fantasy Life will be better for it.

Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions Part 2

In the last Fantasy Life entry, I took a look at the four battle-focused classes and the differences between their male and female uniforms. This week we’ll do the same with the three gathering classes and the first (and likely most ridiculous) creation class. Oh, Cook, why?

Miner

Miner_Girl
Miner_Boy

Off to a good start. I have no idea what is going on with the guy Miner. It’s like he tried to replicate the girl’s outfit on a limited, tailorless, and fingerless budget. His acorn hat is even taller than the wizard’s, with a freakishly large pair of aviators glued to the front that are never actually used in the Miner Life. His crop-top is like a half-sized bankruptcy barrel, or a wrap-around dentist bib. Topped off with awkwardly long flood pants, and this is a no-contest comparison. The girl’s hat is a bit on the poofy side but still shorter than her head, so acceptable. Her tied crop-top frock is figure-flattering, especially when topped with a confident yellow kerchief. Even her shorts blow his out of the water, with an adorable pouch buckled to the back. If I was playing as a boy, I might just skip the Miner Life entirely to avoid this nightmare.

Woodcutter

Woodcutter_Girl
Woodcutter_Boy

I feel like Woodcutter is a good time to take a break for a Fantasy Life PSA: if you’ve read both entries, you’ve probably noticed the overwhelming number of ridiculous hats in this game. Especially if you’re Joey. They are abundant, but they’re also removable. Since every item of clothing is separate and exchangeable, you can swap out a different hat–or no hat at all–any time. The downside is a slightly reduced defense rating, but the upside is not wanting to sacrifice your doofy-hatted character to a Napdragon (that’s a real, adorable thing). As to Woodcutter itself, the designers seem to have swapped their gender rules around. The boy’s short-sleeved, pantsless dress is ultra-feminine while the girl’s much warmer ensemble has a more masculine aura. I still prefer the girl’s outfit: between the two, it’s the one Ron Swanson would wear, and thus is more woodsman-y.

Angler

Angler_Girl
Angler_Boy

At first glance, this outfit is preposterous, but the giant-fish-on-head grew on me over time. I guess it’s a fish disguise, or maybe a warning to fish that if caught, they will be shamed as the centerpiece for this ensemble. I prefer the guy’s hat because the eyes look adorably surprised, while the girl’s are soul-sucking black holes. However, his green-on-orange color combo screams “I’m actually a pumpkin,” and we’re not trying to intimidate vegetables here. The girl’s pink and blue is less offensive-bordering-on-dull, but when you’ve got a giant fish on your head, you can get away with plain Jane duds elsewhere.

Cook

Cook_Girl
Cook_Boy

What self-respecting cook would wear a pot on their head? Especially since this isn’t a required uniform: all the other chefs you work with in Fantasy Life wear toques. Even the indentured servant plushie, Sizzle. And it’s not some sort of hazing ritual of the newbie, either: once you become a Master chef, they don’t say “Okay, okay, here’s your real hat, haha.” What you see is what you get. I could move on to how the gloves are so insanely thick you probably can’t do much more than loosely grip a ladle, how the aprons are mad scientist oversized and who cares if you get food stains on those boring, blank undershirts, anyway? But no, I can’t get past the head-pots. So the guy’s is some kind of giant cauldron that is magically floating above his brow. That thing is obviously so big that it should be sliding down over his mortified face. The girl’s is more colander-shaped but with wooden handles that draw even more attention to her head, if that’s possible. This one is a toss-up, but I guess I give it to the girl because the guy is going to be dead from a broken neck before he could enjoy his win.

Finishing up next time with: Blacksmith, Carpenter, Tailor, and Alchemist.

Op Ed | Fantasy Life’s Life Fashions

I can’t say enough good things about Fantasy Life or its addiction-inducing combination of Action RPG and Life Simulation class meticulousness. After spending 60 hours slaying sentient trees, sewing shark hats, fishing for prawns in molten lava, and running all over town at the behest of characters too lazy to pick a couple of apples while standing five feet from an apple tree, I can confidently say: it’s good.

FantasyLifeOutfit1

But even better is its wide array of clothing, armor, accessories, and general customization opportunities. Every item that you equip changes part of your appearance: this includes your weapon, shield, hat, shirt, pants, gloves, shoes, and accessory. If you want to wear a Paladin’s helmet with a princess dress and a pair of mules, you can do so. If you want to run around in your underwear with just a cape fluttering behind you, you can do that, too. On top of that, most items can be “dyed” to a different color than their base, making the opportunities for personalization nearly endless.

FantasyLifeOutfit2

The majority of armor in the game is gender neutral, while clothing tends to be designated male or female-only. Men can’t wear skirts or dresses, women can’t wear tuxedos or diving goggles (that last one is extra perplexing). The gender fashion divide is most obvious in the uniforms you’re assigned each time you start a new “Life,” which is the name given to jobs/classes in Fantasy Life. There are twelve total, ranging from Paladin to Alchemist, and every Life comes with an accompanying outfit that you’ll change into upon first starting, although you can ditch it at any point after that.

ComfySlippersFemaleOnly

The Life uniforms, while similar, are different for a male or female character. And like other gender-specific clothing, you cannot wear the uniform of the other gender (even though the items will be available in-game). While this might offer an extra incentive to replay as a different character, it’s mostly frustrating because certain uniforms are definitely better than others. Let’s compare, starting with the battle classes.

Paladin

Paladin_Girl
Paladin_Boy

There’s not a lot of difference in the Paladin outfits, and this is one of the few uniforms that actually fits the female character properly. Her cloth skirt, connected spaulders, and royal blue pants add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise toned-down set of armor, which is mostly ho-hum for the guys. He does have a bit of hip-jut going on with flared faulds, but they’re oddly placed and way too short, making them equally useless as both armor and a fashion statement. They’re both wearing the tiniest poleyns imaginable, but characters in this game don’t really have knees, so they probably just took a random stab at what normal human anatomy looks like.

Mercenary

Mercenary_Girl
Mercenary_Boy

I love and hate the Mercenary class. Love because it’s a great example of the subtle differences between the two genders’ clothing: at first glance, we have essentially the same color scheme and collection of items. But there are tiny changes all over the place. The boy’s helmet has an extra Corythosaurus ridge for some reason. The burnt orange shawl he’s wearing has been tied around the girl’s upper arm. He has no armor on his upper torso while she has a lone spaulder and metallic bra. Which is where the hate comes in: what is the point of that thing? Besides the fact that it’s essentially just an iron bikini top, one of the breast plates is twice the size of the other. Is this a distraction technique to catch boob-ogling monsters off-guard?

Hunter

Hunter_Girl
Hunter_Boy

The first obviously divergent set, and it’s really not beneficial to either gender. The girl’s ridiculously oversized hat is two bulbous eyeballs away from being a Mario frog suit. Meanwhile, the boy is trying to pull off the classic “wizard beekeeper” look in the shade of expired mustard. I’m still going to give him the slight edge here since collecting honey actually is a recurring task in the Hunter Life. I’m also confused, yet again, by the girl’s randomly Extra Small-sized shirt. Maybe the Hunter’s Guild used all their clothing money on the boy’s thigh-length tunic, but they could have borrowed a few bolts from that absurd hat to make a top that won’t ride up every time she reaches into her quiver.

Wizard

Wizard_Girl
Wizard_Boy

These are only separated by a handful of tiny differences, but enough to award a fashion victor. The girl’s dark purple robes go along with the game’s strange choice of never dressing her in black, but it’s also more of a classic wizard hue. She has a taller hat with the crooked point more befitting a “witch,” while the boy has a short and straight top (best compared in the profile view). Unfortunately, with my choice of black hair on top of the black robe and hat, I picture this as a Bashlyk and cannot unsee it. The other biggest difference is, somewhat randomly, in their collars: the boy has a higher, pointed collar that almost looks like a fratty popped dress shirt from behind. The girl’s collar is softer and rounded, more “robe” appropriate. On all three of these, I give the advantage to the girl: and she knows it, too, from the look of her jaunty stance.

Next time: Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, and Cook.