Fighting games are a classic genre, but they can be tricky, and often challenging genre for newcomers to delve into. What begins with the simplicity of defeating your opponent in hand-to-hand combat soon ramps up in intensity and difficulty, as players need to learn classes of fighters, as well as the statistics of certain attacks.
Of course, this is further compounded by the importance of learning combos, which can mean the difference between victory and defeat. This usually leads to a massive hurdle to be overcome and can be quite discouraging for players. This experience is prevalent with more core fighters, such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. Fortunately, with all the resources of today’s video games, it is possible to create game mechanics that are easy to learn, yet hard to master. This is the mission of Fantasy Strike, a new, fresh fighting game from Sirilin Games.
Fantasy Strike comes from the passion of fighting games and is helmed by former pro in the fight-game arena, including former developers on Street Fighter. As passionate fighting fans, they absolutely live for the satisfaction of facing opponents in 1-on-1 battles for victory. However, they saw that there was a massive void missing, and that was a good, balanced entry into the genre. Games, such as Soul Caliber and Street Fighter, are not too kind to those completely new to fighting games. Fantasy Strike looks to change all that to benefit gamers, as well as hone a new level of play in the fighting arena.
I had the opportunity to sit down with the game, check out how the game handles, and face off against a complete stranger. My first impression is that the game had a very distinct, colorful visual look, with a solid amount of detail. For some reason, and probably because I have been playing this lately, the visual look of Fantasy Strike reminded me greatly of The Last Blade 2 by SNK, which is a weapons-based arcade fighter from the 1990’s set on the backdrop of mythical Japan.
I chose to play as a well-rounded character, a samurai looking character, while my opponent chose a nimbler character. From the onset, the characters were fresh, and the controls were slick. Buttons are labeled to one weak attack, a strong attack, and two specials. There are no combos featured in the game. However, there is the use of both attacks, movement, and the building up of specials. Additionally, there is the use of the “Yomai” Counter, which will happen if players don’t use their controller during a throw.
Admittedly, I was getting my butt handed to me, but I appreciated the accessibility the game provided. I was landing blows, making moves, and pulling off specials. However, I simply just haven’t played fighting games as much as the man next to me. Whoever my opponent was, he even started educating me on the attributes of particular fighters. I managed to win a few rounds but ultimately, it was he who won the match.
Despite suffering many defeats, I was greatly appreciating what was being done here. The game felt responsive, and I felt that I had a chance to take on my opponent. It was all a matter of decisions I was making, as well as precisely using the special attacks. It was also quite the delight to see the animation of the fighting and color visuals.
During the character selection screen, I noticed just how vividly realized the characters are. One was a stone golem, big and strong, with high HP and devastating attacks. However, he was slow to maneuver in these attacks. Another, which I did not have a chance to play during my demo, was a woman who used her paintbrush to strike opponents. Each blow she landed exploded in a rainbow of color, which was quite a sight to see.
My next match had me as the golem, while my opponent was a nimbler character who used his watch as a weapon. His nimbler speed did get the better of me, and mentally, I was getting frustrated, the more I played, the better I got. I was able to successfully defeat him in a few rounds, and I was getting better at grappling. Though, the man I was facing was quite good. I was unable to use my special in the manner to which I had wanted to. Several dozen times, my opponent would have his character use a stopwatch, slow down time, and nail a pretty crippling attack from behind However, I got to learn how to block, and the block did save me from crippling damage.
With that, my demo with Fantasy Strike ended. I shook my opponenets hand and got to learn quite a bit about the mechanics of close fighting. I feel that if I were to play this game more, I would be more capable. For those avid fighting fans, this should serve as a unique treat with a lot to offer. Look for Fantay Strike to land sometime in 2017 for Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.