We attended the PlayStation Experience 2016 trade show where we exhibited Fantasy Strike. We explained to everyone that it's a fighting game that captures the strategy and decision-making of other fighting games, but that is designed from the ground up to be very easy to control.
The response to the game was overwhelmingly positive. This was a relief because we really did not know if people would generally like Fantasy Strike or not. I’m not sure how many people played the game, but it was hundreds. Maybe 500? Only 1 or 2 had negative feedback. EVERYONE else liked it. I wondered how much of this is from the awkwardness of telling us to our faces that they didn’t like it. That didn’t seem to be the case though because when we asked “how did it go?” people easily could have said “it was great!” then walked away, but most stuck around to tell us exactly why they liked it. It all seemed genuine.
We heard from many players that they either didn’t really play fighting games because they seemed too hard, or that they used to play fighting games but the genre got away from them (for example, the last fighting game they played was Mortal Kombat 3 or the original Killer Instinct, etc). When they heard our mission statement and that they were the target market, they were generally excited.
Because the Capcom Cup event was also at PSX, there were some pro fighting game players at the show. 3 of them came to our booth. Justin Wong came because he was curious about the game. LPN came because his girlfriend Rose made him come (ha!). GamerBee came by chance, only accidentally wandering by. These three are among the top fighting game players in the US.
GamerBee was amused that we had a fighting game, but assumed it was some bad game I think. He straight up said he had no interest in even trying it. But then Aphotix told him that LPN was sitting right there, playing Fantasy Strike already. GamerBee was then more interested and said ok he would try it. It was pure coincidence that LPN happened to already be playing at that moment. In the end, all three of these pros liked the game and said it was fun. GamerBee’s main feedback is he wanted character voices and better sound (fair!). When I asked Justin Wong if he liked it or not he said “yeah I like it, I really do. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have sat here playing 13 games of it with you.” I beat him 13-1, which he seemed to like. Don't take this as a brag about me beating him. Justin Wong is one of the best players in the world, and I fully expect him to dominate should he decide to take up the game in the future. ;) The point is that he seemed happy to learn that there's enough to the game that someone who knows that they are doing in the game (me) can easily crush even a real fighting game player who is new (him).
Aquasnake is another good fighting game player who came to the booth. He isn’t quite best in the country, but he is very good! He likes Fei Long and immediately wanted to play Valerie. His verdict is the game is fun and he wants to play more.
A popular youtube streamer came to the booth and he had already played the game, he is a Rook main. Aphotix talked to him and he asked if Aphotix could play against him “for real”. Aphotix said ok and then absolutely crushed him over and over and over. He seemed happy at this result, similar Justin Wong's thoughts. I think in general people are wondering if there is any skill to the game, so they actually are relieved to see that they get crushed by someone who knows what they are doing.
The person who played the most by far was Marcos, a writer from Shoryuken.com. He played a whopping 60 or 70 games in a row. (Yes, really.) He also interviewed me and plans to post news items on SRK of his impressions, as well as a separate post about my interview. He seemed very positive about the game.
Overall the show was a huge success and went better than we expected. Even our Sony rep was impressed at the amount of buzz we were getting. If you missed this show, maybe we'll see you at PAX South!