Fantasy Strike | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, August 16, 2019

Fantasy Strike | Review | Switch

Disclaimer: I am pals with folks involved with the development of this game and I am absolutely going to shill for it, even if it doesn’t sound like it at first!

Pretend I didn’t just swipe a sceencap from the PC version.

On the surface, to the untrained scrub layman, Fantasy Strike is an easy fighting game that anyone can play. No complicated motions, no 100+ long movelists, and no weird anime gauges filled with classical kanji or corndogs or whatever ArcSys is making these days. That’s the game’s main hook: no complicated bullshit to go through before you can play the game “for real.”

This bullshit is absolutely not in Fantasy Strike.

I can no longer fathom being less capable than a literal dog and unable to perform a fireball motion which has existed for 30 years, but I imagine, for those who are, engaging with this game is going to be a grim, Nietzschean experience about coming to grips with hard truths about oneself and maybe also God being dead, because David Sirlin killed him. Okay, like, imagine for a second that someone claims that being unable to execute a shoryuken is a hoop that they’re not willing to jump through to enjoy fighting games. Here’s what’s going to happen: they’re gonna be able to do it with one button in Fantasy Strike, and then get absolutely curbstomped anyway, because being slightly good at fighting games requires a breadth of knowledge beyond how to wiggle your stick in a z-shape. Fantasy Strike rips that band-aid off right quick.

Will you fight? Or will you perish like a dog?

Maybe the strongest point of Fantasy Strike is that it drags beginner players to the most important crossroads of fighting games quickly. One road is of reflection and self-improvement. The other, a path of excuses and self-fulfilling impotence. How do you face the gut-wrenching feeling that comes from getting thrown six times in a row? Do you blame the game? Yourself? God (who is dead)? Your fucking cheater opponent? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way. You blame yourself and do better next time, or you’re a bitch.

Fantasy Strike has ten legally-distinct knockoff characters from Street Fighter and Guilty Gear, and a shared universe with some pretty fun card/tabletop games. That’s right, world-building! The Fantasy Strike single-player modes, including genuine arcade mode with endings and everything, are actually pretty fun for casual scumbags who play fighting games for single-player content. Who even are you? I should kick your fucking ass.

A wise guy, huh?

The Switch version of Fantasy Strike is extra great because you can actually play on one of those god-awful little Joy-cons easily due to the simple controls, and that means you can accost random people in public to play with you. You can cross-play with PC too! It’s also pretty much the only fighting game with good netcode coming out in 2019 so there’s that. For a small company, Sirlin Games has delivered a really complete product.

Fantasy Strike has a couple more radical features that every fighting game should steal. The sparks that pop when you attack your opponent are color coded to indicate if your moves have plus or minus frames, massively shortcutting the process of “knowing things.” Each character has a wonderfully succinct ~5 minute crash course video on their design and gameplan narrated by the godslayer time wizard himself, Low Strong Sirlin. Have you ever tried to look up a character guide on Youtube? That shit is 10-30 minutes of going over the frame data on eight different kinds of jabs and I don’t know what else because I fell asleep before they even got to special moves. These little videos existing at all, let alone right in the game, is a godsend.

Forty-five fucking minutes, are you shitting me?

Buy Fantasy Strike. You’ll maybe learn the fundamentals of fighting games and have fun playing online. If you’re already an experienced player, buy it and enjoy a solid game centered around footsies, hard reads, blowing up gimmicks, and goodass netcode. But, don’t let the beginners know it’s all a mind game to trick them into getting thrown six times in a row.

Final score: 

1 comment:

USER NAME!! said...

Wow good review and the writer is very handsome and smart