Battle Fantasia -Revised Edition-
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

The varied roster of interesting characters alone makes it hard to dislike Battle Fantasia –Revised Edition- and the newcomer friendly gameplay is also a plus. It doesn’t quite have the depth demanded by veterans and the pace is also considerably slower than other titles by Arc System Works, but it still has plenty to offer. It is a very accessible beat ‘em up and offers a great way for newcomers to dip their toes in the genre.

Gameplay: The character roster is small, but the game is accessible enough for newcomers to jump in and have fun.

Graphics: Although improved the visuals still show their age compared to more modern fighting games.

Sound: The over the top Japanese voice acting fits the game perfectly and the background tunes are quite good too

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Battle Fantasia -Revised Edition-

Developer: Arc System Works / DotEmu | Publisher: Arc System Works | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Beat ‘Em Up | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Battle Fantasia first hit Japanese arcades in 2007 before heading to the Xbox 360 and eventually Playstation 3, so it is not exactly a new title. However, this is the first time that it appears on PC and in “revised” format no less. For those not familiar with the game, it is a 2D beat ‘em up with a distinctive fantasy theme for its characters and setting. The game comes courtesy of Arc System Works, better known for their Guilty Gear and BlazBlue titles, but it is a little more newcomer friendly than their other work.

Battle Fantasia has a fairly typical backstory about fearless champions defeating a great evil which makes a comeback many years later to take on a new generation of heroes. However, the cast of characters are anything but ordinary and the line-up look like they would be more at home in a Japanese role playing game than a beat ‘em up. There are only 12 selectable fighters, but they are all very unique and none of them can be classified as filler. From a catgirl and cute rabbit wizard to a talking skull on a stick wielded by a life sized doll, you won’t find any dull designs in this game. Our personal favorite is Face, a cowboy outlaw with a bag over his head that makes him look like Earthworm Jim! Characters also come in all shapes and sizes, with massive characters like Donvalve Du Don towering over small ones like Marco or Watson. Interestingly enough, characters all have different amounts of health points and each time that they are damaged the numbers are indicated, RPG-style.

Although Battle Fantasia is a 2D fighter, the character models and backgrounds are actually 3D. The fights are still restricted to a 2D plane, though, but thanks to some improved visual effects the game is still looking good for its age. The visuals not only look sharper, but the background effects for the super moves have also been spruced up. It obviously still looks a bit dusty compared to some of the newer titles, but then again the price is also very reasonable. There are ten stages that serve as the backdrop for your battles and, while they are not exactly packed with detail, there are a couple of memorable ones.

In addition to the straightforward “Arcade” mode, Battle Fantasia also features quite a lengthy “Story” mode. This mode actually turned out to be a lot more entertaining than I thought as each character has two story paths to complete. The stories are pure fluff for the most part, but infused with so much enthusiasm and humor that it is hard not to be entertained. For example, catgirl Coyori spends one of her story paths chasing down a goblin that ate and ran from the café where she works, while in the other she travels the world compiling a new menu to drum up business for the café. You need to fulfill specific criteria to unlock the alternate paths though, but it is worth the effort. There are plenty of conversations between characters in story mode and it is all represented by some nice 2D character art.

Moving on, there is a practice mode where you can master your chosen character, survival mode to see how long you can last against a succession of opponents, and time attack mode where you can see how quickly you can beat your opponents. The game also features ranked and normal online matches, but we had very little success with these. If online play is your sole motivation for purchasing the game you might end up a little frustrated. Last up is the gallery mode where you can check out the neat illustrations unlocked by playing the other modes.

As we mentioned earlier, Battle Fantasia is a very newcomer friendly title, which make it a great point to jump in if you are not familiar with the genre. The moves are very easy to pull off, although we strongly recommend a controller, and everything is listed inside the game. Besides two punch and two kick buttons, you also have a parry button for repelling and reversing attacks. A gauge at the bottom of the screen fills up as you attack or take damage and can hold a maximum of three levels. A full gauge enables you to pull off some impressive looking super moves or “heat-up” your character for a limited time. The latter increases their power and allows for stronger attacks. Veterans might find the move selection a little limited, but overall we enjoyed the simpler gameplay. This revised edition also features all the latest balances, so exploits from previous versions have been eliminated. The audio is quite good, with full Japanese voice acting for all the characters and some nice background tunes. Incidentally, the 18-song soundtrack is available as free DLC for the game and well worth picking up.

Battle Fantasia never quite got the recognition that it deserved when it was first released, so it is great to see it make an appearance on PC. It is a unique title, with plenty of memorable characters and entertaining gameplay. Obviously it would be silly to compare it to the latest releases from Arc System Works, but newcomers should definitely check it out. It is not perfect, especially the online mode, but it will take a while to tire of the story mode and local multi-player matches. Just ensure that you have a couple of controllers in order to experience the game as it was meant to be played.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 / Pentium 4 651 / Celeron D 352
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 7900 GS / ATI Radeon X1600Pro / X1300LE
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 / Pentium 4 651 / Celeron D 352
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 7900 GS / ATI Radeon X1600Pro / X1300LE
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

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1 Comment

  1. L0B0L0Ki July 13, 2015
    Reply

    Always wanted to play this but they stubbornly refused to release it on PS3 and i didn’t own a Xbox 360. PS3 is busted now but I can finally play it on PC!

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