Major oversight on my part– I knew of this mini game in Layton since before it released, but got it confused with the Fantasy Life project that began as 2D before being rebuilt with lame 3D polygons. I believe that Fantasy Life, Layton London Life, and Mother 3 were all the same pixel artist.
I wish this person got to make more games, if it wasn’t for the games industry climate, I feel like this person would have moved along after MOTHER 3 to make an entire series of RPGs with another company… They’ve had their hand in plenty of projects, but none since Mother 3 have been much more than little minigames like this and that mobile app dragon breeding game or whatever (yuck)…
I can easily imagine all kinds of projects they’d be suited for…. Remakes, indies, RPGs, sports…. It’s a shame.
Fantasy Life got the ball rolling for my distaste of the 3DS’s software. I’ve written this in the 3DS thread also, and just a fair warning this is somehwat of a personal mega-rant:
I completely lost interest in Fantasy Life when it was moved to 3DS and the graphics were replaced with unexpressive, cheap looking and directionless polygons– that’s what began my distaste for 3DS in the first place, because that’s what most of the games ended up looking like, and compared to the vast quantities of beautiful 2D graphics from the original DS, the 3DS seemed to drop the ball for the potential of 2D sprites in stereoscopic 3D, with few exceptions, all of which I thought were amazing.. Fantasy Life especially seemed to take steps backwards in art direction, the 3D didn’t look like an expression of what was there in 2D. The direction took on more of a generic art style…
This looked SO much cooler man…
It may have been just mockups from the artist (they do these pixel landscape mockups a lot, see their twitter) which makes it even more devastating that whoever was in charge didn’t go with it… Polygons are preferred over pixel art because of cost and value perceived by customers… It’s heartbreaking. IMHO these pixel graphics have more texture, charm, character, intrigue, and value… But with what Fantasy Life became– a multiplayer experience– it just made more sense from a production standpoint. People went crazy for Fantasy Life when it came out….
Anecdotally, these years were some of the darkest points in my life mental health wise, and meanwhile the games industry was taking a huge turn away from what I enjoyed, making things even worse for me as I was playing just Dark Souls and nothing else… I had nothing to look forward to anymore and my favorite types of games were simply disappearing, replaced with, if I may be so frank, cheap, polygonal, iterative, garbage. Games had become mainstream in a way that diluted what was on offer. I feel like popular games had stopped building on what came before and instead just started rehashing things that most people forgot came out 20 years before, reskinned in inferior packages for the modern market. It’s when almost every game someone would mention to me seemed like something I’d already played before with much better art design and cohesive presentation! Games were becoming more expensive to make and less ambitious overall, you’ve heard it before and I’m not going to explain it here!
But you can see this artist was in a creative flow after Mother 3! They had it in them to keep making more deeply interesting RPGs…. The fact they’re still making Mother 3 pixel pieces says a lot.
(screenshots from beta64 website)