Fantasy Strike (PC) Preview

By Ofisil 03.08.2017

Review for Fantasy Strike on PC

Those who are very deep into the world of fighting games, and especially all-things Street Fighter, have probably heard of David Sirlin; a pretty popular super-fan of the genre, as well as someone who has had some professional experience with it, as he was the one behind the tweaking of Super Street Fighter II: Turbo HD Remix, the… err, 1000th version of Capcom's good ol' money-maker. That man had a dream; to provide all kinds of people the means to enjoy this world, but minus the complexity of it all. Through his company, Sirlin Games, he is now very close at fulfilling that very dream via Fantasy Strike, and Cubed3 takes a big strong whiff at its smelly pre-Alpha version.

Forget about multi-button inputs, forget about 360-rotations, semi-rotations, and quarter-rotations, and finally forget about having to memorise long and complex move lists. There are only a few moves per character, and only a fraction of them require something more than simply pressing a button, as even the Specials are single-button moves Fantasy Strike was made with a specific kind of mind-set that wants everyone to step into the fray and simply have fun, and, yet, its level of simplicity is actually pretty deceptive.

Screenshot for Fantasy Strike on PC

Yes, pulling of moves doesn't need much skill, but don't be fooled by that. While complex input commands have been put aside, this happens in favour of a much heavier focus in timing and "reading" of the opponents. This adds a pleasant layer of strategy into the mix, as every move counts, especially since the health bar is comprised of only a few "chunks," leaving a tiny room for mistakes, making battles feel surprisingly more tense than usual.

Due to Fantasy Strike's design, the available fighters aren't just "a bit more strong" or "a bit more fast." Instead, each one plays a whole different ball game than the rest, whether that's the versatile archer Jaina, the strong but slow grappler Rook, the extremely fast ninja Setsuki (personal favourite), or the aggressive… painter, Valerie. The cel-shaded art style definitely feels a bit poor at the time, but the cast surely gets points for variety.

Screenshot for Fantasy Strike on PC

Note that, because the gameplay has some major differences with other fighting games, even veterans will have to approach this as something completely new, and spent quite a lot of time in order to understand the underlying mechanics, and learn when to do what and how. One particular mechanic that will feel very strange, for instance, is the so-called Yomi Counter, which is basically a counter to throw moves, which requires… doing nothing to pull that off - a mechanic that's annoyingly hard to get the hang of, yet very rewarding when you do manage to use it well.

Screenshot for Fantasy Strike on PC

Being a product that's very deep into the development phase, it's pretty obvious that many of its parts are incomplete. From the generic, almost boring audio-visuals, subpar net code, lack of game modes, and, finally, the heavy need of polishing in regards to the actual battlefield mechanics, there's currently a lot of work to be done, which is utterly understandable right now… But! A little complexity would be more than welcome.

Frankly, the central idea behind Fantasy Strike is awesome, but it needs more than that. In other words, Sirlin Games must have the characters do much more, while keeping the controls as simple as they are now, not to mention a revamp of some of its systems, like the way the Special move gauge recharges, as it currently fills up by doing nothing at all. Luckily, even this small glimpse at this title's pre-Alpha state feels to be on the right track.

Screenshot for Fantasy Strike on PC

Final Thoughts

Sure, the "A fighter for everyone" concept is great and all, yet the big bet concerning Fantasy Strike's future will be whether it will balance its extreme control simplicity (which is awesome), with a little more depth, and thus, have a higher replay value, which, currently, is somewhat way too low. Nevertheless, this definitely looks promising.

Developer

Sirlin Games

Publisher

Sirlin Games

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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