Title: Battle Fantasia Revised Edition

Platform: Steam, Windows

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Fighter

Players: Single player, Versus 1v1 (local or online)

Written by Bad Demoman 4th August 2015

Battle Fantasia is a fighting game designed by my favourite” fighting game developer, Arc System Works. Originally released in 2006 on Arcades, it wouldn't be seen in America till 2008, and of course us in the EU wouldn't see it till 2009. A full 9 years after its original release, it's now seeing a PC port worldwide. With its whimsical fantasy style, it can easily draw you in, but can it compete with the abundance of fighting games currently available?

The livelihood and a large majority of the fun in a fighting game comes from its variety of characters. Marvel vs Capcom 3, for example, has a bloated roster of 48 and Street Fighter 4 has racked up 44 playable characters across its many iterations. Battle Fantasia has a roster of 12 characters. This is by no means automatically a bad thing – a smaller roster can make a fighting game more approachable and easy to learn, with less matchups to worry about and less characters to learn. Smaller rosters can also mean more focussed designs and a lot more depth to the characters. This is, unfortunately, not the case with Battle Fantasias diminutive cast. Arc Sys is usually well known for their interesting, out-there character designs – usually, you can really tell when a character has been done by Arc Sys. However, as Battle Fantasia is styled after RPGs, the characters become an amalgamation of Fighting Game Cliches and RPG tropes. From a Grappler style Dwarf who runs a factory to a flaming black knight with one of the most amateur fanfic-esque names I've seen in a professionally made game (I mean, Deathbringer? Come on).

But perhaps the movesets will bring some variety, as after all the moveset is what really defines a character. Again, not the case. There's a Shoto, the aforementioned Grappler, a bog standard Charge character and a kung-fu catgirl with Rekka style moves. All what we've seen before from every fighting game ever, even from other Arc Sys games. Fortunately a few of the characters stand out as slightly interesting. Face (again with the creative names) is a cowboy-esque gunman with acrobatic rolls that cancel into other moves. His mobility and unpredictability make him really fun to play, if a tad complex. Unfortunately, as with most the characters, his back story brings us straight back to dull and overdone cliches. Face is a man who wears a mask who has been accused of crimes he didn't commit. He seeks the man who really did the crimes and stop me if you've heard this one before. The villain in question that Face is searching for, the previously mentioned Deathbringer, is the focus of many characters storylines. This has become standard for Arc Sys. It seems to be a plot point in every game they do as of late, and it's getting a bit tiresome. As a result, the story mode is quite boring, and treads very little new ground. Much like the story modes in Guilty Gear or BlazBlue, you will probably complete it the first time only to discover that only a fraction of your characters story has been seen. This is because the story diverges at various points, but not through making decisions. Instead, certain battles (There's no way of knowing which) will have certain requirements (There's no way of knowing these requirements either) that will cause the story to change. It's frustrating to have to play through a story multiple times, trying everything you can to just see a bit more story.

While treading no new ground with the characters or story, at least Battle Fantasias graphical style is unique. Its attempts at an RPG style are interesting, but largely superficial. Health bars are represented with an HP number alongside the standard health bar, and numbers showing how much damage is dealt display when hits connect. If the RPG inspiration had any effect on the gameplay, it would've added a uniqueness that Battle Fantasia sorely lacks in. Perhaps if characters were able to level-up mid fight? The Dragon Ball Z Budokai series pulled this off with decent success, among other RPG elements such as stats upgrading and use of equipment to upgrade your character. Even in more recent times, Dragon Ball Xenoverse has done the same. I feel like if the idea was expanded on further, it could make for an excellent game that distances itself from every other fighting game on the market, but as is Battle Fantasia does nothing of the sort.

Fighting games are massively reliant on their communities, as you'll be spending most of your time playing against others rather than the CPU. However, I predict that Battle Fantasia will be unable to sustain a community for particularly long. With its lack of interesting characters and scarcity of anything unique to offer at all, I don't see any reason why Battle Fantasia should be your fighting game of choice. But hey, Arc Sys kept the re-releasing to a minimum this time. So it has that going for it.


Unique Graphical Style.


Uninspired characters,

Underutilized RPG style.

Final Verdict,
Battle Fantasia gets a 5/10.


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