What Is Fantasy Strike? Mechanics, Characters, Crossplay
Fantasy Strike, a free to play fighting game developed and published by Sirlin Games, is a 1v1 fighter focusing on battles designed to be less complex than traditional fighting games. The game has dedicated buttons for each action, including melee, jumping, throws, specials, and a super move.
As in most fighting games, the objective is to whittle your opponent’s lifebar down to zero to win a round. Whoever is the first to four out of seven rounds is given a match wins. Throws are used to break overly defensive players who are blocking too much, as in just about every other modern fighting game.
The biggest draw for this game is that it’s designed to be one for beginning fighting game players and veterans alike, without the complexities of pulling off complex combos and special moves. This takes care of one of the biggest barriers to entry in fighting games – the complex inputs. Indeed, even the life bars are broken into easy to understand chunks, where a character’s health is emphasized and most moves do one bar of damage per hit.
In the game’s lore, the Fantasy Strike tournament is the name of a fictional, Olympic-style tournament set in a fantasy martial art world, which is fractured by political conflict. Fantasy Strike also refers to the world the tournament takes place in as well as the cast of characters that live in that world.
Who Are the Characters in Fantasy Strike?
In a first for most free to play fighting games, all of the characters in Fantasy Strike will be available to play without grinding at all. All of the characters below are classified in a few different categories. Rushdown, zoner, grappler, or “wild card” character.
Rushdown characters are characters who can get in your face, and want to stay there no matter what. They have a number of tools to do so, including teleports, special movies that help them get around projectiles, and a number of options to perform once they are that will prevent you from escaping. They also tend to be good at mix-ups and guessing games that if you’re wrong about, you can say goodbye to your lifebar.
Zoning characters are the antithesis of Rushdown. They want to play keep away and use projectiles or long range attacks to keep you out of their “zone” of play, and playing your game. These characters tend to be more about keeping players at bay, and can be considered counters to both rushdown and grapplers in the hands of a skilled player.
Grappling characters tend to focus on grabs, meaning they are especially powerful in 2D fighters as grabs tend to be unblockable. Rushdown characters, if they aren’t careful, can be grabbed in the midst of trying to go for offense, while zoning characters tend to just play keep away against them. A grappler will sometimes have tools to help negate projectiles and get in so they can get those bone crushing grabs.
Lastly, the Wild Card category in Fantasy Strike are characters that don’t really fit into any of those archetypes, or could fit into multiple categories at once. These characters tend to have playstyles that would be considered goofy, and could throw off even the most experienced player with their weirdness.
- Grave Stormborne, Wind Warrior
- Jaina Stormborne, Phoenix Archer
- Master Midori, Mentor Dragon
- Setsuki Hiruki, Ninja Student
- Garus Rook, Stone Golem
- Jefferson DeGrey, Ghostly Diplomat
- Valerie Rose, Manic Painter
- Max Geiger, Precise Watchmaker
- Lum Bam-foo, Gambling Panda
- Argagarg Garg, Water Shaman
- Sirus Quince, Flagstone Chief Magistrate
- Onimaru, Wartime Strategist
- Bal-Bas-Beta, Clockwork Guardian
The Blood Guard
- Captain Zane, Blood Guard Anarchist
- Troq Bashar, Well-meaning Beast
- Vendetta, Undead Assassin
- Mysterious Super Powerful People
- Master Menelker, Deathstrike Dragon
- Mistress Percephone, Nox Oracle
- Gloria Grayson, Hopeful Healer
- Gwen Grayson, Doomed Wanderer
What’s a Yomi Counter?
One of the most unique aspects of Fantasy Strike is its use of Yomi Counters, which can be performed when not attacking by pressing no buttons at all. When Yomi countering, if the character is hit by the opponent’s throw, they’ll perform a counter throw. By doing so, you create an ebb and flow, where you have to anticipate what your opponent will do, otherwise you’ll get blown up by a series of attacks or specials. The Yomi Counter is risky, but ultimately very rewarding if you can pull it off.
How Does the Crossplay Work?
The update featuring new characters, free-to-play features, and cosmetic items is available today on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux. Designed to teach and demystify, Fantasy Strike shows players its systems clearly with in-depth video tutorials and innovative frame advantage visual effects. These helpful features are married with other amenities like one-click friend challenges and spectating, built-on-the-fly tournaments, cross-platform play support between all systems, latency-combating GGPO technology, and more.
This is unique among fighting games, which traditionally have not been built from the ground up to support online play, instead focusing more on the single and in person experienced. Fantasy Strike eschews that model largely, focusing on online play as the reality that many players deal with on a day to day basis. This is perhaps one of the most limiting factors in the growth of popularity among new fighting games. Combine this with the accessibility and game design from someone who worked on Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo and was a tournament player in his own right, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
“We worked tirelessly to find a way to maintain the competitive integrity of Fantasy Strike that our existing players love while opening it up to an even broader audience,” said David Sirlin, game director, Fantasy Strike. “We believe this free-to-play update continues our mission of crafting a fighting game that removes the barrier to being a contender, while also providing excellent value for those who want additional features and to support our work.”
Fantasy Strike is free to play, but the Core Pack ($19.99), which includes five additional game modes: Arcade Mode, Survival, the awesome powerup craziness of Boss Rush, local versus, and online friend matches. Otherwise you can play online casual play, online ranked play, offline practice mode, and offline “single match” mode against AI. You can also subscribe to Fantasy+, which is the game’s replay system, and gives each character Master costumes that only unlock at level 20 of using a character.