Remembering the Original 3DS with Tomodachi Life
Play this game before you chuck out that old handheld!
With the release of the New Nintendo 3DS fast approaching, I find myself looking back on games I enjoyed on the previous system, and that includes some of the quirkiest titles I could find anywhere -- for instance, Nintendo's weirdest endeavor yet: Tomodachi Life.
Literally translated as "friend life," this quirky life sim is full of scenarios that will make your head spin, like going on a beachside walk with Christina Aguilera, or singing in a metal band with your best friends. Pretty much anything can happen -- even things you aren't expecting.
I was hooked from the very beginning, importing my own Mii for a bit of narcissistic fun on the island I would soon become the caretaker of. The peaceful-looking apartment complex I would soon move into belied the off-the-wall charm and happenings of the rest of my humble little island, which I had named myself.
I made some necessary physical adjustments and altered my Mii's eye color, height, build, and hair, and then went onto the important stuff: giving my Mii a voice and personality. You can alter your Mii's voice by starting with a default timbre, or you can go wild and use the sliders to assign a voice that makes sense for your digital representation or whichever wacky character you've decided to create.
When all the vanity choices have been decided, you have a set of sliders to adjust to give your character a personality, mixing up how direct your Mii's conversation style is, how quirky they are, how friendly they are, and other various subsets of personality that will become integral to the interaction between island inhabitants.
Completing favors for your Mii yields experience and items as they level up, as well as the ability to learn new catchphrases and poses. This is your key to discovering what each individual Mii likes and enjoys, and that's right at the heart of Tomodachi Life. You'll want to take care of all the Miis you bring on board, mainly to watch them grow and evolve, as they enter relationships with each other, fall in love, get married, and sometimes bring children into the fold.
There are several places on the island that you'll want to explore, but the main draw, like with the eerily similar Animal Crossing, is checking in on your Miis periodically when you have about 30 minutes or so to see what all they're up to. I truly mean it when I say you can't possibly predict what kinds of situations you'll find your diminutive little island-dwellers in -- and that's what makes it so darn fun. It's not the kind of game you play for hours and hours, but one that you soak in little by little. It grows on you over time, to where eventually you're so enamored with your little Miis that you couldn't imagine life without checking on them for at least fifteen minutes a day.
I know the little handheld that could is reaching its breaking point when it comes to usefulness, but before getting rid of it you should absolutely check out this bonkers game and see if you can resist its iron grip. Be warned: Once you start playing, you'll never truly stop.