Arc System Works’ Battle Fantasia -Revised Edition has made its way to Steam several years after its initial release in arcades and subsequent moves to various consoles including the PS3 and Xbox 360. I don’t know about you, but the very first thing I do anytime I try out a new game is open up the settings and fiddle around with literally every option. And let me tell you, Battle Fantasia has very few options. You can change the resolution and/or toggle fullscreen only by exiting the game and doing so in the mini launcher that it has. And that’s basically all the choice you have when it comes to graphics; people who have spent thousands on their rig will experience the same graphics as those of us who use a potato to play games on.
Similarly, controls can only be changed outside of the game. Changing them, entering the game, testing them out, exiting the game, and then changing them again can be a bit of a hassle if you’re really picky about these kinds of things (like I am). I assume this is due to the fact that the game was released for arcades and consoles 5 years ago, where those types of options don’t matter. But, if Arc System Works is going to tack on a “Revised Edition” for the PC version, I assumed those kinds of things would be included. Audio though, is all changed in-game, so at least that’s nice.
But I’ll move on now to the game itself, which isn’t half bad. I immediately started out with story mode, choosing Cedric, a priest-student type. I didn’t expect much in terms of plot since it is a fighting game, and I didn’t get much out of it. The majority of his plot was Cedric running after another playable character, Marco. Marco would meet the other characters one by one, insult them, and run away, leaving Cedric there to fight them. That was basically it- so I switched over to Coyori, the cat-girl waitress. Her story mainly consists of chasing after a dine and dasher, who runs by the other characters, saying a ‘cat monster’ is chasing him, which causes each character to fight Coyori upon her arrival. Again, nothing too riveting.
But the gameplay itself was pleasantly surprising. There’s a fairly small roster of characters, and none of them really have a daunting list of moves to memorize in order to play them effectively. This, combined with the cartoon-y graphics and humor probably give this game more appeal to casual players like myself. Unlike most other fighting games, I actually feel like I fully understood Cedric and Coyori’s movesets enough to not be embarrassed. Plus, there’s a variety of gamemodes aside from the story, including time trials and both online and local multiplayer. Upon release the multiplayer has quite a bit of lag problems, but honestly offline play, both vs AI and local multiplayer, is enough to keep anybody entertained for a large chunk of time. It should hold you off until multiplayer gets tuned up, at least.
All in all its a solid fighting game. Right now you can pick up Battle Fantasia – Revised Edition for a discounted $13.50 on Steam, before it returns to its original $15 price tag. Consider it if there’s some nostalgia value for you, or if you’re looking for a fighting game with an easier learning curve.
A fighting game with a forgiving learning curve
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Plot - 6/10
Design - 6.5/10
+ Unique, varied characters
+ Nice graphical style
– Lacks many typical ‘PC features’
– Uninteresting plot