By: Ted Chow
With the fighting game scene resurging in popularity with titles such as Mortal Kombat X and Street Fighter V, here come a new challenger in the form of Battle Fantasia: Revised Edition. With Arc System Works localizing the game, I was genuinely excited for another fighting title to add to my ever increasing library. While it feels like more of a basic representation of the fighting genre compared to some of the company’s other work, Battle Fantasia is an old title that is a testament to how far fighting games have come.
As with most fighting titles, the controls and fluidity of the movement and responsiveness is what make or break a game. Battle Fantasia is well played on the keyboard, though a lack of key binding does limit the game’s overall package. There is also no built-in support for a fighting stick as this port leaves you with only the default settings. While key binding is crucial in a competitive fighting scene, the casual nature and simplicity of Battle Fantasia is a nice primer to fighting etiquette.
Brimming with a colorful painted anime-style aesthetic, the graphic art and cut scenes felt inspired by our eastern neighbors. The lighthearted nature of the characters as well as the in-game environments brings back many nostalgic memories of playing games such as Elsword. As a matter of fact, the graphics can best be described in that similar art style.
While the character models felt rough around the edges and sometimes jarring from the nicely painted cut scene animations, it was great for its time. The soundtrack also follows a similar suit in providing that lighthearted and warm cartoony music that melds well with the general representation of the game’s intent.
Battle Fantasia feels and plays like a casual fighter for those that don’t play a ton of fighting games. The minimalistic features and lack of intricacies in combos and fighting norms makes for an uninspired fighting game by today’s standards.
Basic attack commands are covered, as well as a super gauge that gives you more power as represented by an aura that pulsates out from your character. However, the fighting mechanics can fall prey to just abusing certain small combinations or cheap tactics to make it through the round. While a largely complex set of rules aren’t needed to make a game stand out, it feels like the game could have had offered more in the creativity department.
The game comes with a few modes for players to embrace and explore. Arcade mode is the most reminiscent of the old Battle Fantasia from in its arcade days and offers the classic setup of clearing multiple stages. Story mode is the game’s attempt at offering that JRPG adventure feel with lengthy cut scenes to establish a bit of lore and back story to our 12 playable characters.
As with any fighting game story, however, don’t come to expect anything revolutionary, but it is a nice lighthearted complement to the game. Additional modes such as survival, time attack and network multiplayer are also available if you want to invest a bit more into the game.
As far as achievements and completion goes for the Steam edition of Battle Fantasia, unlockable achievements are available, and there is also a gallery that provides you with some cool art from the developers during the game’s creation.
Different character colors can also be obtained as indicated by the achievement list to add a bit of customization to your statically defined characters. If you enjoy some competitive play, online ranking can also be viewed on a weekly, monthly and overall format if you wish to show off your fighting skills or just test your highest run.
Battle Fantasia: Revised Edition is a casual fighter first and foremost and will not likely be seen on the grand fighting stages. However, if you ever pondered what fighting games were like or what the hype was all about when it comes to things such as the Capcom Pro Tour or EVO, it is a nice primer into a tight knit fighting community.