Hey fans, Leontes here with Sirlin Games. We had a blast demoing Fantasy Strike at this year's Southern California Regionals. With the help of JWE Vman and SRM Mad King we ran some pretty hype tournaments on Saturday and Sunday.
While we were surprised to be able to run TWO 45+ player double elimination tournaments over the weekend(!), we were even more floored by the incredible response the FGC had to our game, in particular that of the Injustice and Killer Instinct communities. After the event, I reached out to many of the players who hung out with us at our booth to ask them two questions; first, who's your favorite character in the game, and second, what's your favorite thing about Fantasy Strike? Here's what they had to say:
Circa Nicky, 1st place Killer Instinct at SCR
"I LOVE DeGrey. He's by far the coolest looking character to me. He's got class, style, and has a spoopy ghost bae. That's all I need. Gameplay wise, I love his simple yet effective frame trap/setplay style. If he corners you, you're gonna have a bad time. And I love that.
The game overall is perfect. Fantasy Strike is the epitome of what a balanced, competitive, FUN fighting game should be. You are rewarded when you play well. You are punished when you play bad. Making good decisions will allow you to win. Making bad decisions will kill you. It's simple, but once the mind games come into play, it IS the most layered meta I've ever experienced in a fighting game. Winning in this game feels great. You KNOW you outplayed your opponent. If you lose, you always know why you lost, and it doesn't feel bad necessarily. Losing TRULY is learning in this game. Anyone who is a fan of competitive fighting games will love this game, period."
Circa Forever King, 4th Place Injustice 2 at SCR
"Jaina is definitely my favorite character! It just so happened that she was the first character I tried because I thought she looked cool out of everyone, and I had so much fun with her I rarely switched to another character! 2nd favorite is Rook.
The game is great because it is so easy to get into, there are no back forward motions, down forward motions, or charge motions for any character in the game. Every single attack and special attack is all 1 button, but you can do different attacks by jumping and using that button or holding toward/away from the opponent and pressing that button. But while the game is simple to play, it also keeps intact many aspects of fighting games people love like anti airs, whiff punishing, punishing unsafe attacks on block, teching grabs, etc. On to the point of teching grabs, you tech grabs in this game by pressing absolutely nothing, which is called a Yomi Counter! It's interesting because no other fighting game has this mechanic, but it works and I love it. You're always going to pressing something at all times whether it be an attack, walking back or forth, jumping, etc. So if you get hit with a Yomi Counter, you know that your opponent KNEW that you were going to attempt to throw them!"
Zipstar BXXDYZ (right), Killer Instinct Commentator
"Favorite character Geiger hands down no questions. I love that he’s like a time wizard, his play style is based on defense and "TIMING".
Man, the game itself there's so much to say. For anyone who thinks it looks simple or too easy...the game is only as easy as your opponent’s skill level. There is no cheesy stuff that hits you even though you made right choices. If you make the right choice you are rewarded period. The health system may look crazy but it is honestly one of my favorite things about the game. It makes you play smart. You can't just throw things out without a purpose because the consequences are large. Yomi counters are so cool in the risk reward area. Stand still and get a huge reward or get popped in the mouth lol.
Character diversity in this game is beautiful. Not one character remotely resembles another and you can tell there was plenty of time put into the balance of the game. I could keep going on and on but I think you get that I love the game and think it’s a work of art."
Kitana Prime, Injustice/Mortal Kombat community leader
"Jaina is my favorite character in the game, hands down. I love my annoying women with air projectiles, to play defensively, and splash in a hint of risk. She fits me perfectly. One touch and I never looked back.
Fantasy Strike's simple to pick up gameplay makes it very easy to dive in and immediately have fun. However, it has enough of the deeper fighting game mechanics to add a realistic sense of depth beneath it's simplistic surface. I definitely felt like there was still much to learn/react to, and even though movesets are intentionally small, there's a freedom and style any player could lend to their character choice."
Circa Aphex, Top 8 Killer Instinct at SCR
"My favorite character in the game is Valerie. I love how rushdown heavy she can be and she has some of the nastiest setups that chunks so much health even if blocked. She has great range too so she can play the neutral/footsies game really well.
The game is simplistic but can be competitive at the same time. It's great in a sense that anyone, whether they be new or are FGC veterans, can pick up and play. The mechanics themselves are easy to get a grasp onto and it makes for some interesting matchups; some matches ends quickly and some take a bit based on how the players make use of them. The inclusion of the Yomi Counter also brings a good display of mind games to the table; are they gonna throw or not? It keeps you guessing which is great in a competitive match and even when landing a Yomi Counter brings in satisfaction and a payoff too. The game itself brought players from different titles (KI, Tekken, IJ2, etc.) together and brought in so much hype! Even new players who have no knowledge of FGC terms can pick it up and compete with the pros!
PXP A F0xy Grampa, Top 8 Injustice at SCR
"Grave, he automatically fit my lame style, where I just want to play a strong fundamental ground game.
The game feels good all round to be honest, it feels like any player from any game can pick it up, adopt strategies from their own game, and then apply them successfully in Fantasy Strike. However, if you're also a new player, you can pick it up and play too, it feels like the skill barrier can be more easily overcome (or the reason why you lose is quicker to see and therefore quicker to be able to apply a counter strategy) since it's easier to teach these sorts of strategy due to the execution barrier being so simple."
BxA Jackal, Top 8 Killer Instinct at SCR
"Right now my favorite character is Lum for sure!
As far as the game itself goes, it's easily one of the most pleasantly surprising fighters I've played in years. The game has a unique identity, while maintaining the spirit of a classic fighter, with some interesting twists. The system is definitely worth a closer look. The 'Yomi counter,' is one of the most unique mechanics I've ever seen in a fighting game, and while the base combat system is similar to that of a traditional 2D fighter, the character archetypes and the way they function within the game allow for expansion past that."
PG Hayatei, Top 16 Injustice 2 at SCR
"My favorite character at the moment is definitely Setsuki.
Yomi counters are really satisfying to hit on someone; it feels almost disrespectful because of how risky it is. The gameplay is really fluid and it feels good to hit someone. People from any fighting game can pick it up easily and start enjoying it really fast. The offense is kinda really broke but it's fun to fight around it."
EANIX Biohazard, Top 8 Injustice 2 at SCR
"My favourite character in the game is Rook. With the limited amount of time we got to play the game, I wasn't able to explore the other characters as much as I wanted to so I decided to just play Rook. I gravitate towards big body characters and was intrigued by his command grabs and armor.
From what I've played of the game I was really surprised by how easy it was for a newcomer to pick up. I liked the fact that each "special" move was mapped to just be a different button; it’s nice to be able to rely on reaction over execution. The difference in life bars made sense, having an agile/quick hitting fighter as a glass cannon and a slow grappler as a tank is something that you don't get in a game like Injustice 2. It was a welcome change to what I'm used to in fighting games. The Yomi counter was something that I found a lot of players would go for when I fought them because of how strong Rook's normal throw was. For me to use it on an opponent was usually due to missed inputs or a read. Though the roster was smaller than what I was used to seeing, there is so much variety and depth in each character that was playable. If Fantasy Strike is seen in future tournaments I could easily see it being picked up by a lot of different communities, the characters have a strong relation to the Street Fighter cast in their gameplay, the rounds go by quickly and add up to very hype matches when a character can die so quickly. Very interested to see more Fantasy Strike in the future!
We made a lot of new friends at SoCal Regionals, and I want to personally thank you all for making it our most memorable event ever. I also wanted to give a shoutout to all of the other players who entered our tournaments: Rogue Slayer, EMPR Menzo, DaaChronicle, Madzin, Dawn Hibiki (Saturday Winner!), Killer Miller, Royale, MIT, DJT, Bio Billy Bones (Sunday Winner!), Timtastic, Hoku, kuroppi, Outlawshawn, Travnks, CrashOverride, Swordsman 09, Light Buster, Soda, Zaaspacer, DannyBoy, Josuke, Last Laugh, GSfrosty, and many many more.
We hope you guys continue to support us in the future. If this is the beginning of the competitive Fantasy Strike scene, I can't wait to see what it looks like in the future!