It’s hard to find a decent fighting game on PC, and harder still to find one that doesn’t require you to have preternatural dexterity and 60 fingers. Fantasy Strike, which launched on Steam Early Access yesterday, could be one solution.
A couple of years back, I had a chat with Seth Killian when he was still working on the now cancelled F2P PC fighter, Rising Thunder. The Capcom alumnus noted that one of the biggest issues in modern fighting games is the barrier for entry created by combos and special moves.
They require players not to just remember elaborate button combinations, but to be able to pull them off perfectly. If you can’t do that, then you’re just wasting time and giving your opponent an advantage. The time investment to ‘git gud’ isn’t one most casual players are interested in.
While Rising Thunder is no more, Sirlin Games appear to have picked up the torch. Fantasy Strike, at first glance, looks a lot like Street Fighter, but it’s a very different type of animal. It’s being designed to be played by newcomers as well as veterans, and every move requires only a single button to be pressed. And to escape a throw, all you need to do is… not do anything. Let go of the controls and automatically counter it.
The Early Access version comes with 8 characters; balanced gameplay; online and offline versus, practice and arcade modes; five stages, with more on the way; and support for both controllers and mouse and keyboard.
“Competitive games require a lot of iteration to get right,” say the developers. “We need months of time to develop the technical aspects of our netcode, to work on game balance, to add new features and game modes, and to increase our general level of polish. Now that the game is very far along and playable, we can best achieve the above goals by getting a lot more players involved. A larger player base will help us tune netcode, test balance, and guide us on our remaining features and game modes, so we're excited to bring you all into the fold!”
Fantasy Strike is available now on Steam for £15/$20/€20.