Fantasy Strike Review
A simplified fighting game? Since when do we have those here?
Fantasy Strike is a fighting game with a peculiar twist: in contrast to other games of the genre, the controls are simplified. It’s made from a former developer of Street Fighter series, David Sirlin. In Fantasy Strike, you do not have to remember particular combos or other oddities, as the game is made for both veterans of the genre and newcomers. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any challenge at all! While it is easy to learn, it is hard to master. It isn’t just smashing buttons: one single error can be fatal.
For starters, the game has ten playable characters, divided into four categories: Zoners, Rushdown, Grapplers, and Wild Cards. While a higher amount of characters would have been great, those that the game offers are fun and varied. You can play as an anthropomorphic fish, a man that can transform into a dragon, a time traveler or an archer. Those characters are not hard to play with, so I suggest trying out every one of them to see which one is your favorite!
Fantasy Strike is easy to learn, and it welcomes all kind of characters. It is intuitive and it is hard to mess up with the controls. If you are playing with friends, matches will feel fairer in contrast to other fighting games, since it’s really intuitive. There are the usual moves, like jumps and grabs, but “special” moves like the Super and Yomi counters. Super are special moves that deal great damages to your foes, and Yomi counters can be done only when an enemy is trying to grab you, all you have to do is…nothing! In order to activate a Yomi counter, the player shall not press any of the controls when their enemy is trying to grab them.
Fantasy Strike presents itself with a multitude of game modes, divided between Online and Solo.
While playing the online mode, the players can choose between Casual Play, Ranked or Friend Match. In the first, the player is able to pick one character for a quick fight versus another player. In Ranked there are fast 3-on-3 tournaments against 7 others players. Every time you win, you are able to rank up to fight stronger opponents. Online mode is fun and fast. I never encountered problems regarding lag, as the game uses GGPO’s rollback-style networking, making the matches flawless.
To my surprise, in Solo, players can pick a great variety of modes: Arcade, Daily Challange, Survival, Boss Rush and Single Match. Arcade mode is essentially the story mode for each of the characters, where the player goes against 6 other characters that become stronger as the game proceeds. Daily Challange can be played every 24 hours, where players must face endless, rapid hordes of opponents. Survival mode plays mostly like Daily Challange, but players can pick the number of opponents. In Boss Rush, the player is able to pick upgrades for their character to be used against 8 other ridiculously overpowered characters. But hey, you are too! Lastly, in Single Match, you play against a CPU character of your choice.
The solo mode surprised me, as I didn’t expect this much content. The stories are nice, even if they don’t go in too deep, and they help to relate to the characters more. Daily Challange and Survival are fun, and they help to train for the “real” matches. Boss Rush is extremely energetic and enjoyable, and it is a blast to play. I seriously believe that the solo mode can stand for itself, even without the online. Both are really fun and the Nintendo Switch’s portability can be even used for local matches on the same console!
The music is splendid. It feels nice and it is perfect for the matches. It’s both relaxing and lively at the same time and it is really great. The art style is nice too, it’s cartoonish and it fits with the genre. The only complaint I have about it is that the Nintendo Switch’s textures are a bit washed down compared to the PC version, and the screen resolution could have been a bit better, but it still plays smooth.
In conclusion, this game is made for everyone, and it’s made to be accessible. Veterans, newcomers, and casual players will all enjoy Fantasy Strike and its simple gameplay. The team behind it really did a wonderful job and put passion in the game, and it can only be praised for how well it was made.
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Reviewed by Senpavo on the Nintendo Switch, game provided by Sirlin Games.