On the surface, Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~ should score high marks with me. I love the fantasy genre and have spent countless hours playing a wide variety of fighting games. As a general rule, I tend to thoroughly enjoy Arc System Works fighting games as well. This updated version of the fighting game that released on PS3 and Xbox 360 several years ago is a valiant effort, but still has its share of flaws as well.
There is a story of light versus darkness here, with twelve different characters. There are several modes such as Survival, Time, Practice, Online (including ranked and unranked matches) and Gallery – ones you would expect from a game like this. The primary mode is your typical arcade style mode that pits your chosen character against others in a series of battles that play out a piece of the story’s narrative with each victory.
This is a 2D fighting title that allows you to unlock alternate costumes and a secret character, and for fighting fans the action is generally really clean and solid. The visuals are ridiculous and crazy, but in a generally good way as they are also very imaginative. The audio and music are just sort of there, never really getting in the way or annoying me, but they lack the charm of the graphics. The sound might have been helped with some English voice work, but alas you get the Japanese ones.
I played this game several years ago on the Xbox 360, and at the time Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~’s greatest strength was also its biggest weakness. In an effort to make the characters more unique from one another, they had different amounts of health at the start of the fight. This is meant to give the characters some counter balance, and allowed the team at Arc System Works to do something that was a little different in balancing the characters and their in-combat skills. A slower, more hulking character might seem an easier target and an inferior fighter, but if he has nearly twice the health of his more nimble opponent, the idea is that this balances things out.
It sounds better on the drawing board however, than it works in practice. Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~ is a fairly easy game to pick up, but it is not a hard fighter by any means. I can usually more than hold my own against tank-like opponents with greater health, because my play style allows me to usually keep from getting hit. Still, the majority of combat does feel good – at least if you are playing offline. Things are not so smooth when you hop online, where the game just feels poorly optimized.
I really do not know how else to describe it, other than to say characters feel incredibly sluggish – almost as though they are moving through water when playing online. I suspect there is something in the game’s netcode that needs to be updated, but it makes for a somewhat rough experience if your preferred method of play is online. There is a real lack of options in the game as well. Things like tweaking the visuals to improve performance are as lacking as an English voice cast. None of these things alone is a deal breaker, but they do diminish the experience in Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~.
This is an older game, and as a result the price on it is only around fifteen dollars. What it amounts to is Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~ feels a bit like the budget fighting game that it is. While it has an outstanding pedigree having originally been designed by Arc System Works, this is only a slight improvement over the original console title that underwhelmed me a few years ago. Aside from a few missing options and the sluggish online play, there is not a whole lot that is wrong with Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~, and if you are in the market for a unique, colorful 2D fighter? Then you could do a lot worse than Battle Fantasia ~Revised Edition~. That being said, it does not hold up real well to bigger budget recent releases in the genre either.
|Developer(s)||Arc System Works , DotEmu|
|Publisher(s)||Arc System Works|
Review by Nick