Have I gone into any long musings yet about London Life, the so-called mini-RPG bonus loaded with over 100 hours of gaming included with Professor Layton and the Last Specter? ::scans Grinding Down‘s archives:: Hmm…looks like a resounding no. For shame! I’ve lost a lot of Happiness.
First, let’s take a look at London Life Pauly in all his snazziness:
Pretty impressive, right? That snazzy top hat just melts your eyes. Normally, I like dressing in fairly bland clothing, the day-to-day stuff like a single-colored polo shirt or something flannel, but that 60 Formality really helps me get inside some of the fancier places in Little London, such as the casino. And you kind of want to get inside everywhere, as it opens up more quests, jobs, and people to mingle with. Let me set this all up a little better.
In London Life, you create an avatar and spend the majority of your days and nights talking with citizens, doing fetch quests for them, buying clothing, decorating your room, fishing, and earning money by completing a number of miscellaneous jobs. If it sounds a lot like Animal Crossing: Wild World, it’s because it is, with a few differences, some better and some worse: you don’t have a mortgage to pay off because you live in a tiny, small apartment studio; citizens in Little London do not really live lives, staying in their respective spots during the day and night times, speaking the same lines of dialogue over and over; and you have to be aware of your avatar’s Happiness, which I guess is a way to keep them alive. I’ve not yet run out of Happiness–though I’ve come dangerously close after some bad spouts of fishing–so I don’t really know what happens when the meter hits zero, but I don’t want to find out. A happy avatar lives better, they say. And there’s plenty to be happy about…
For starters, the writing in London Life is fantastic. And most has to do with the small observations or the flavor text for items, fish, flowers, furniture, and so on. There’s humor to be found in everything. Your avatar can basically examine anything he or she sees, and is rewarded with some text for it. Not just “It’s a desk.” This same level of attention to minutiae is prominently in Professor Layton and the Last Specter, found when tapping around the screen, and it’s greatly welcomed here. The music’s bubbly and bouncy, appropriate for each place you go into. And the graphics…my god, the spritework! It’s just heavenly, and it’s also amazing how well defined different items of clothing can be with just some simple sprites.
Okay, let’s take a look at my cramped living quarters, too:
Used to have a roommate, but he wasn’t down with my toy and stuffed animal collection, so he left. Toodles to him. Little London Pauly collects what he wants, when he wants. Not sure what the benefits of a roommate are, and I guess we share a bed Scott Pilgrim/Wallace Wells style, but whatever. With him gone, it just means I have more space to put stuff down. Such as a stack of books I recently bought. Yay!
I don’t know if there’s actually 100 hours of gaming in London Life, and I don’t really know how many I’ve already spent so far–maybe around six or seven–but there’s definitely a lot of things to do, and it’s just so dang charming that I’m going to keep on doing them until the charm wears off, which will most likely be after I stop getting newspapers full of quests every morning. Will try to check back in again, especially if I’m able to move into a larger pad or if I figure out how to open up that mysterious LOST-like hatch. Since the game is still so new and relatively obscure, there’s not a lot of info out there, which is actually kind of cool. It’s been some time since I’ve had to really figure something out for myself…