Released: Sep 14, 2017
On September 14, 2017, Sirlin Games launched their fighting game Fantasy Strike onto Steam's Early Access platform after reaching their goal. A couple of days ago Fantasy Strike became available on Linux. I have recently played about 6 hours of Fantasy Strike and I will discuss details about the game as well as any dislikes I may have about it. Fantasy Strike is a casual fighting game with inspiration drawn from Street Fighter and more modern games. David Sirlin, the lead developer of Super Street Fighter 2: HD Remix and many other fighting games, has brought his expertise to Sirlin Games to make a fighting game like no other.
The first thing you might notice about Fantasy Strike is its stunning graphics. The 8 stages are each completely different from one other and have crisp breathtaking graphics for a cartoony fighting game. The 10 different characters are each unique and have their own special elemental abilities. The elemental abilities for each character are bright and colorful and really capture what it would look like if someone was really shooting wind, lightning, water or fire out of their hands. The graphics are on par with modern fighting games if not better than most.
There is some customization in the game. This includes changing the color of each of the fighter's outfits when you play them. There is also a way to change your outfit that seems to be inactive at the moment and maybe will be a DLC or an unlockable.
Although Fantasy Strike is a fighting game, it has simplistic controls. The game was meant for anyone to be able to pick it up and play, even nonfighting game players. Most moves are only single or double button presses which makes it easy for people to enjoy. Although it is simplistic in nature, the game is actually more in-depth than it seems. Each character's move in the game has a counter if you use a normal or projectile move, a special, a grapple, or a block at the right time. A special could easily be avoided with another special, a grapple, or sometimes a block. Grapples can be reversed by the other player using grapple of their own or simply pressing nothing will also auto reverse those moves with a special grapple of their own. The more you struggle when someone is grappling you or press buttons, the easier it is for the other person to succeed in the grapple. Jumping out of the way for some of the longer grapples can actually work as well since it gives you a few seconds to evade it. Projectiles or normal melee moves can easily be blocked, canceled with a projectile of your own, stopped by using your special, or simply jumped over. Any of these moves can be linked for some crazy combos combinations. Seeing how high you can get your combo counter each match is quite rewarding.
Fantasy Strike offers full controller support for most controllers available in the market. Although they use a PS4 controller setup you can map your controller of any brand to work with the game with the press of any two buttons on the device on the title screen. I have seen Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, Switch-Pro Controllers, Mouse and Keyboard, and even Guitar Controllers work for the game. I have played the game with an Xbox 360 controller and I recommend doing the same since it was so smooth, but I'd imagine most modern controllers would feel right at home here.
Fantasy Strike is somewhat story driven as most fighting games are these days. Each character has their own introduction video clip and special ending once they beat the singleplayer tournament. Some endings are funny and some are cool, but if you want a sense of story I recommend beating the game with each character.
There are many game modes in Fantasy Strike and many ways to play. There is Solo which allows you to play Arcade, Daily Challenge, or Survival. Arcade is the main story mode I mentioned above and Daily Challenge is a challenge you can do, for in-game currency, once per day. Survival is a sort of challenge type gameplay where you must survive waves of incoming enemies with only one health bar. As you kill enemies, one pellet of health is restored and trust me, every bit of health counts. Survival can be done with different difficulties. They are 20 opponents, 35 opponents, 50 opponents, or 10 cruel opponents which is the hardest. There also Practice Mode which allows you to practice on a target dummy. In local play, you can play a 1 vs 1 or 3 vs 3 team battle as LAN or on the same screen when the game releases on consoles. Finally, there is Quickmatch, which lets you play online with friends or random people and allows you to rank up for winning. You can choose to play with people your own skill level or anybody in general.
Fantasy Strike offers so much to do and is quite fun. Some people might not like simplistic and casual gameplay, but this allows for a wider audience of gamers that are able to enjoy the game. The game is so in-depth that it would be a perfect game for E-Sports or simply a game night at a friends house. Although the game was made by an indie studio, it is definitely a quality game. Content will be continuing to come out for the game since it is in Early Access and the developers say that have stages and other content in the works. Overall I think the game is a great game and would highly recommend it. If you are a fighting game fan or even someone new to the genre, I highly recommend giving Fantasy Strike a try, you won't be disappointed!