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Introducing Fantasy Strike, a Fighting Game for Everyone

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Introducing Fantasy Strike, a Fighting Game for Everyone

I’m excited to announce Fantasy Strike, a fighting game that’s coming at the genre from a different angle. We’re stripping out a lot of complexity that fighting games usually have and building everything around the idea of simple controls and easy execution while still being a serious, competitive e-sport.

My background in fighting games goes back more than 25 years. I played Street Fighter 1 in arcades as a kid (Yes, really). I played many versions of Street Fighter and Guilty Gear competitively in many tournaments, including three Top 8 finishes at Evolution. I was also lead designer of Street Fighter HD Remix. I love fighting games, but they’re generally really hard to play. I’ve been frustrated for a long time that so much of the fun the genre has to offer is inaccessible to most people.

I’ve made several efforts to bring the fun of fighting games to a wider audience. My card game called Yomi distills many of the dynamics that occur in fighting games down to a tabletop form, so even people with no dexterity skills can experience parts of what makes the genre great. My book, Playing to Win, explains the mindset of top fighting game players, so that everyone else can try to learn how the great players think. On Street Fighter HD Remix, I was able to slightly simplify the inputs to do some moves, and generally make the game a bit more accessible. But not until now have I been able to make an entirely new fighting game from the ground up, centered around the idea of including as many players as possible.

Fantasy Strike has simple 1-button inputs for all moves. It doesn’t even have crouching, so even movement is simple. But let me tell you about my favorite feature, which is actually a 0-button input.

Throws used to be really powerful in fighting games, but after years of players complaining that “throws are cheap,” developers made them weaker and weaker. I think that’s the wrong way to go about things though, because powerful throws are important to prevent a game from being too defensive. So in Fantasy Strike, we have powerful throws, but we have a unique feature that means you can always get out of them if you expect them.

That feature is called a “yomi counter.” To perform it, you let go of your controls. That’s right, you let go of the d-pad and buttons, and though you are completely vulnerable to any hit or combo, if an opponent tries to throw you, you will automatically reverse it. You’ll throw them instead, and you’ll do it with a fancy, awesome animation special to your character. You’ll even get full super meter on top of that.

Yomi counters are a bit hard to pull off in the heat of battle, but not because they are difficult to perform (obviously!). They require a really good read, but it’s oh-so-sweet when you land them. They are hype tournament moments waiting to happen.

Right now we have 8 of the original cast of 10 characters from the Yomi card game in Fantasy Strike. We’re going to do a whole lot more polish and tuning, add more characters and modes, and implement online play using the excellent GGPO networking technology. Though we don’t want to ship until it’s truly ready, we love showing previews to our fans the whole way through development. Getting community involvement as we build the game keeps us on the right track, and it’s also way more fun that way.

Stop by our booth at PlayStation Experience December 3 and 4, and check out our progress so far!

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18 Comments

2 Author Replies

  • Yomi is fun.

    I like this idea of distilling things down. Not because I’m bad at fighting games (tho I am) but because I simply don’t have the time. I college I could devote time to learning the games and that was the best I ever got at fighting games. But last night I was playing the new BlazBlue and my execution has gone to ****. With work and my other hobbies, I just can’t sit down long enough to really fix it, at least not without giving up on other things I love. I still like playing fighting games so hopefully this will give me the chance to enjoy them without quite as much of a loss to the other things I enjoy.

  • Interesting background you have…..I’m curious about your game :)

  • I’ve always admired fighting games from afar. There is something I find intensely interesting in the diverse lineup or character and under torrent of strategy. However, I’m simply not great at them usually because I’m poor at memorizing a catalog of moves.

    Reading about your pedigree and the design behind this game I’m extremely excited for it.

  • Ha! 0-button moves sound awesome!

  • lol you guys completely copied Evil Ryu’s Ultra 2 from Street Fighter IV just like how Marvel Contest of Champions blatantly stole Chun-Li’s Critical Art from Street Fighter V with Spider-Man.

  • Sign me up as a fighting game enthusiast I’ll welcome any form of fighting game.

  • This sounds entirely auto pilot.

  • The concept while interesting reminds me of mobile games that try to pass themselves off as “fighting games” nowadays. Still, seems interesting, hope to see some gameplay at psx, potentially, maybe an alpha/beta signup?

  • Hmm. This is going to die. People aren’t idiots. I feel insulted for everyone that they think games need to be dumbed-down.

    • This isn’t “dumbed down” this is making a genre available to more people. Most gamers aren’t joystick jockeys and some like myself just can’t stress their hands like that for any length of time anymore.

    • You’re conflating “simplifying controls” with “dumbing down”, which is a flawed way to think about this. Fighting games aren’t just about being able to hit multiple buttons consistently; there’s a meta there, and that’s obvious to anyone who plays them. Its about looking for opportunities, taking advantage of when they open up, trying to psyche out your opponent, trying to set up traps, etc. There’s so much going on in a fighting game – this here is simply removing the wall of “Can I pull off this special move right now” and getting people past that to “I need to hit that special move here”. Stop being insulted and start understanding that ;)

    • Sorry, but lowering execution actually is dumbing down the game despite what you guys are saying. Execution is absolutely critical to fighting games, and taking that away will ultimately lower the competition. Various moves in all of fighting games have different levels of difficulty due to how powerful they can be. An example would be Gief’s SPD. It requires a 360 motion because it is an inescapable move that does lots of damage. Making that easier would cause that move to become practically broken.

      Also, execution can be used both for yourself and against your opponent. You can take advantage of some combos that can be character specific to give yourself a bit of an edge, or use ones that require a certain positioning to open up more possibilities and make your opponent look out for more angles of attack. Conversely, you can position yourself to where it could be rather hard for your opponent to combo, like only being able to combo with a super and forcing them to be good at confirms.

      Taking away these elements will just make the game so bland, much like how the original Mortal Kombat was.

  • Looks and sounds super promising! I love my fighting games – I’ve been playing Guilty Gear Revelator for MONTHS now, but I also dig games like Naruto and J-Stars and LastFight (I love that free-roaming design; have ever since Bushido Blade and Power Stone). I think I get the advantage to different types of fighting games, that could potentially reach more types of players. This reminds me of Rising Thunder, actually, from the sounds of it, but that game got canned so its cool that your game emerged – I want to see what something like this can do in the marketplace. Hopefully shake some things up and attract some new fans :)

    • I agree. I love Guilty Gear. It’s so wonderfully designed. Damage proration (different from damage scaling) is a great mechanic that makes combos starting from jabs be not too powerful. Burst is one of the best mechanics in all of fighting games. YRCs (and RRCs) are fun and implemented well. I could go on, but I’m a big fan of the series.

      Fantasy Strike being at the opposite end of the spectrum is just another choice. It lets us put even more emphasis on getting to the strategy part right away. Less about spending time in training mode and more about doing the moves you and combos you want to do right away, since those are just the basic tools anyway.

  • So I just started supporting you guys on Patreon and gave the playable demo a taste; its’ pretty promising! I mean, it took me a battle or two to adjust to the pacing (I wish the health lasted longer, and it took me awhile to realize that jumping + specials did different things) but once I did I was having a blast. You guys are really onto something, and its clear if people just give it a bit of a chance and excuse the super early pre-alpha state of the game (some of those hit boxes, and the invicibility states, and all that stuff are definitely going to be tweaked a lot. And the basic presentation and animation transitions and stuff could certainly use polishing). I actually really enjoy checking out games in early states, and from some other fighting games I’ve played that were crowdfunded (Combat Core, Them’s Fighting Herds, etc.) you guys have nailed a really interesting, promising core here and its gonna be fun to see you build things up from here :) I would like to see a bit more of a ground game though, and maybe a clash system for when both fighters hit their Ultimates at the same time (even if its just like “Here’s a short QTE sequence; whoever hits it first lands their Ultimate”).

    • Thanks for your support on Patreon. That’s exactly what helps us do all polish you alluded to. And like you said, I hope people realize just how pre-alpha we are. We have more characters to make, more game modes, more features to add, and TONS more polish to do.

      Some characters are further along in animation than others. Grave, Jaina, Rook, Valerie, and Setsuki have most of their moves animated to a first pass. Geiger has like half of his first pass anims and half placeholder. DeGrey and Midori are all placeholder animations. But it’s really the visual effects that we’re most lacking in right now. Grave has almost all first pass visual effects, but all other characters have only placeholders right now. We have a ton of visual effects in the works, so stay tuned. We have lots more animation in the works right now too.

      About hitboxes and invisibility states, it’s all in the right ballpark already actually. We’ve already had tournaments. But yes that stuff will definitely be tweaked a lot as we go. There’s a lot of little improvements we have planned already.

      You wish the health lasted longer? I actually like how fast the rounds are, but your feedback is noted!

  • As a big fan of Yomi and Codex, I am very excited for this game.
    I dream it comes in a premium physical copy with action figures. (or figurines)

    Please don’t release it digital only. I want my physical copy.

  • Not gonna lie, I thought this was semi-sequel to PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and I got really excited!

    But this looks pretty cool too. Interesting simpler control input, but not as simple as divekick ;), while still allowing for a lot of variety. I prefer fighting games that involve clever outhinking of the opponent over brute button mashing. So I’ll keep this on my radar. Keep up the good work! :)

  • The trailer didn’t really reveal much, I like the character the design. Would be awesome if you could create your own fighter, but I doubt they enabled it.

  • Oh I’ve read Final Fantasy Strike…for a moment thought it was a fighting game of FF a la Dissidia.But this game looks cool,I’m a lover of fighting games so…will keep ma eyes on it.

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