Ever wondered just what it would be like to punch someone in the face with a great big hook instead of a hand? Of course you have! Which means that Battle Fantasia is likely to be just the game for you.
Battle Fantasia, the latest title to blaze forth from Arc System Works, the legendary studio behind the Guilty Gear series, is a beat 'em up in the classic style. Players duke it out in balls-to-the-wall style across a 2D background with 3D characters, blending the gameplay mechanics of old school fighters with a modern graphical flourish.
The game's design really is the star of the show here, with the characters having a distinctly fantasy-themed style. Among the bizarre cast there's Urs, who dishes out pain using a weapon that looks like a bizarre cross between a lightsabre and a chainsaw; a tiny bunny going by the name of Watson who uses a bear trap to do the dirty to his foes; and the half-cat Coyori, who's always worried about folk looking up her skirt. Getting the picture yet?
Continuing with the fantasy theme is a health system that uses hit points instead of a standard health bar. Bigger characters will have more, but smaller fighters will be more agile, making it easier for them to hit and run without taking damage.
I really liked the game for it's simplistic gameplay. It has a lot of subtlety to it but still remains simple. The story mode is cute if you are the type that chuckles at character interactions. I can see it being fun with a lot of friends but I can also see the extremely odd characters putting off people. While it probably isn't making it onto my favorite fighting game list, it has a lot of charm and is easy to pick up. That part I like a lot because it means that friends can learn it without having to study up like they would for most other fighting games. It is a bit of a return to simpler times, like the old street fighters or samurai showdown.