Earlier today, Nintendo released a new Nintendo Direct focusing on the quirky 3DS game, Tomodachi Life. Previously released only in Japan, this Nintendo Direct didn’t just give Western gamers a solid release date for their own region, it also let us delve into the wonderfully self-gratifying world on the Nintendo elite.
Before this special Nintendo Direct, I had little interest in the game, thinking it more a novelty than something I’d really enjoy. But after seeing this crazy video, I have decided that Tomodachi Life needs to be a part of my life.
A little bit Animal Crossing, and a dash of The Sims seems to make this new 3DS game a weird, wacky, one-of-a-kind game only Nintendo can create.
What exactly is Tomodachi Life you may be asking? From what I can tell from this generously long trailer, it’s a game that lets you act out any and all romantic fantasies with your favorite Nintendo characters. Want to go on a date with Samus Aran? How about hooking up with Princess Peach? Or perhaps going on that date with Mario’s brother Luigi? Yeah, you can (presumably) do all of that!
But in all seriousness, the game is a sim that lets you create or import Nintendo Mii characters to populate an island and go about their daily lives. It seems you can import Miis in a variety of ways. Any Mii created on your Nintendo 3DS system can be transferred over, as well as any(?) Miis met via StreetPass. This idea wasn’t fleshed out more, but perhaps they mean any Miis met via StreetPass that play the game. Regardless, the final way to get characters is through QR codes. Kind of like patterns and the like in Animal Crossing: New Leaf! Awesome!
Beyond just importing any and all people/celebrities/video game characters, watching the drama and action unfold in the game seems like it would just be a whole lot of fun. It’d be a relaxing game; like watching your favorite guilty pleasure TV show. You won’t have to spend a lot of time with it, but you can still get lots of entertainment out of it.
Speaking strictly of gameplay though, there wasn’t much that was shown off in terms of actual gameplay besides creating and editing your Miis. I’m sure the games you can play with them will come into the picture at some point, but I’m not thinking there will be a level of integration and interaction as with Animal Crossing. Still though, it looks like that’s not what Tomodachi Life is going for.
If I can sit back and watch the game unfold and stuff like the above happens, then I’m already on board for this game on day one! I mean, what other Nintendo game is like this? I feel like the Big N just decided one day to screw everyone else, and whatever game they damn well pleased.
The results are Tomodachi Life.
Back to serious talk, this game is likely not going to be for everyone. I think it will initially cater to the Animal Crossing/Sims crowd of gamers due to its character creation and interaction, but after that it seems like the game won’t feature much else in common with the aforementioned franchises. And gameplay seems to be on the low end, if this trailer is indeed giving us a full spectrum view of what’s to come.
The allure for me is the chance to get my friends together in the game and see what situations arise. Maybe real life marriages will play out in the game world. Or perhaps they’ll hate each others guts and now we have a fantastic talking point the next time we have a board game night. Or maybe we’ll say something funny to one another, I know that’s one of the best reasons I am still periodically playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I might even throw in Link from The Legend of Zelda in my game, and see what type of mischief he can cause. And what about pets? I wonder if you can have cats and dogs as well.
I suppose time will tell (or you can just read about the Japanese game, which has been out for a year now). The game is releasing June 6th of this year. I think I will be picking it up and enjoying it when it launches. Last summer I spent a great deal of time with my friends playing Animal Crossing, so perhaps this will be the summer of Tomodachi Life.
Thank you, Nintendo!