- Game: Fantasy Strike
- Consoles: PS4, Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PC
- Publisher: Sirlin Games
- Developer: Sirlin Games
A Fantasy Strike review code was provided by the publisher.
Past and current fighters tend to have a pretty high skill ceiling. Pulling off half-circle motions while hitting a button simultaneously, then transitioning that process into a combo-ender is a tall task for some. While some fighting games have gone out of their way to ease newcomers into the genre, there is still a host of mechanics in each one that may prove to be a bit hard to master. Enter Fantasy Strike, a more streamlined approach to the modern-day fighter. Sirlin Games’ “easy to play, difficult to master” mantra bleeds through every pore of this surprisingly worthwhile fighter. Fighting game beginners, intermediate competitors, and expert tournament players will get an equal serving of entertainment out of this easily approachable brawler.
Fantasy Strike acts as an extensive playable lesson on how to excel in fighting games. Its varied roster covers the most basic of fighting game roster archetypes and clears up any confusion you may have regarding its definitions. You’ll get to choose from a collection of “zoners,” rushdown,” “grapplers,” and “wild card” characters – each roster member presents their own combat stylings that fall under each aforementioned category. Once a battle begins, you’ll need to make calculated maneuvers with a mix of basic attacks, grabs, and special/super moves that are activated with the simple press of a button. What starts out as an easy fighting game system to wrap your head around quickly graduates into intense rock-paper-scissors matches that test your combat mettle. While a few members of the roster are a bit lacking in the “cool factor” department, there’s still a lot of fun to be had with their unique movesets.
It’s clear that the developers behind this Fantasy Strike paid close attention to the very best features of its contemporaries. The visuals adopt a clean cel-shaded appearance, the mode suite is fulfilling, and the online play is powered by the method most preferred by online warriors (Rollback Method). Fantasy Strike does its best to appeal to single-player focused gamers and that subset of players who love to take the fight online. You can stay offline and enjoy your time battling the CPU in arcade, survival, daily challenge and tutorial mode. Or if you prefer to hop online, there are friendly matches and ranked tournament bouts that’ll keep you busy. Fantasy Strike does a fine job of presenting a worthwhile suite of modes to fighting game fans who’ve come to expect a full package. What makes this feat more impressive is the fact that it’s all coming from a fighter developed by an indie studio without a ton of financial backing.
While there’s a lot of modes on display here, not all of them are fully featured and worth returning to. The arcade mode, in particular, is pretty weak – the “too short to really mean much” story stills are a lame payoff after having to deal with tough AI rivals. The daily challenge mode’s concept is cool, but it quickly loses its luster after a few days of play. At least the survival mode’s different levels of numbered opponents provide something decent over on the single-player side of things. Much of Fantasy Strike’s fun is delivered through its multiplayer modes and strong tutorial/training modules, though.
Fantasy Strike Takeaways
Fantasy Strike acts as the ultimate playable lesson for anyone looking to enter the world of fighting games. Its selection of characters may not bring you in, but its fun and simple approach to button inputs and combos will definitely keep you. Figuring out each character’s playstyle and the best ways to utilize them against other character types never grows dull. The game’s visuals are solid, the soundtrack does its job, and the offered modes fill it out quite nicely. While some of those modes are more entertaining than others, the overall content suite and addictive gameplay offered by Fantasy Strike are worth investing in.
Our Fantasy Strike Review Score: 8 out of 10