Battle Fantasia

REVIEWBattle Fantasia is a 2D fighting game by Arc System Works, brought to life using a colorful 3D graphics engine featuring 12 diverse "RPG inspired" characters & backdrops. Running on Taito's Type X2 hardware, it is the first game to use Taito's Vewlix arcade cabinet, which allows the game to run in resolutions as high as 720p. The home versions also run up to 720p, and look nearly identical to the arcade version.


Battle Fantasia character selection screen.


Battle Fantasia
brings you into a fantasy-like world... with vividly detailed environments, a soundtrack that may trigger nostalgia of some of your past favorite role playing games, and an inspiring cast of characters that might make you ask "Hey, haven't I seen you in some RPG before?" If the characters and backgrounds aren't RPG enough for you, "HP" actually comes directly off of the characters as they take damage, ascending upward (ala Final Fantasy style). The character's total hit points are even displayed under their life meter. ^o^

All of the in-game menus are incredibly sharp, presenting a sort of "storybook" visual style. The character selection screen shows off beautiful full-body character artwork elegantly placed in front of cool, subtle background animations. The "HD" world map and VS screen also do their part to bring you into the world. Battle Fantasia also pulls off an entertaining yet simple story mode, with large character busts that come alive with a handful of well done animations and some excellent voice acting... surely one of the best looking story modes in a fighting game I've ever seen.


Marco's dragon's name is Char-Siu, which means Chinese barbeque pork.


Once you get past the great visuals & immersive setting of Battle Fantasia, you'll find a rather deep gameplay system with roots in classic 2D fighters. Battle Fantasia feels more like the later of the Street Fighter or Samurai Shodown series than the fast paced, air-dashing friendly Guilty Gear series that Arc System Works is known for. All characters have a good selection of priority attacks, command priority attacks, special moves, and some satisfying super moves which pans in the camera for dramatic effect.

The pace of the gameplay is slow and steady for the most part, but certain characters can pull off some kickass fast-paced combos as well. There's also a solid parrying system in place which allows nearly all moves to be parried, including super moves (ala SF III series). "Heat up" mode is also available during gameplay, which uses up your characters super meter, and gives characters enhanced special attacks and/or movement along with increased attack power... Some characters also receive assistance from their animal friends while "Heated up".


Hey Urs... do you really need that weapon to fight him?


No doubt, everything for a solid 2D fighting game is in place with Battle Fantasia... but there are further details present that really allow this "2.5D" fighter to stand out. Character facial animations take advantage of the 3D graphics engine (some of which are hilarious), and really correspond with what's going on during the fight. Character taunts are also quite  satisfying, and all characters even have taunts "randomly" while standing still (and different taunts for standing and crouching)... not something that you usually see in a fighting game. 

Overall, character animations are fantastic; but there are a few quirks worth mentioning. Firstly, while characters are standing or walking around, they don't seem to be looking at each other... they more-so appear to be "staring off into space." Characters also seem to "skate" around when walking forward and back because the movement speed is faster than the actual walking animation. Some other animations are a bit awkward, but that seems to be a trait of a few of the fighters themselves. On that note, the somewhat quirky characters are one of the game's only flaws. I'm not sure they really have the lasting appeal of more well known fighting game characters out there.

An colorful cast of characters.






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Page Updated: February 10th, 2024
Developer(s): Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Arc System Works, Aksys Games (), 505 Games ()
Designer(s): Emiko Iwasaki
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 3, PSN, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date(s): April 26th, 2007           Arcade
May 29th, 2008
Sept. 16th, 2008
Mar. 6th, 2009
Dec. 24th, 2009
July 7th, 2015                Steam - "Revised Edition"
Characters Marco, Urs, Olivia, Watson, Ashley, Cedric, Donvalve, Coyori, Freed, Face, Odile & Dokurod, Deathbringer

Featured Video:

Related Games: Mace: The Dark Age, SoulCalibur III, SoulCalibur IV, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Sengoku Basara X, Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core, Arcana Heart, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter 4, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact Regulation A, Castlevania Judgment, Samurai Spirits Sen, Fate/Unlimited Codes, Kenichi, Chaos Breaker, Golden Axe: The Duel, Blade Strangers, Granblue Fantasy Versus, DNF Duel

Gameplay Engine

 8.5 / 10

Story / Theme

 9.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 9.0 / 10


 8.5 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 8.0 / 10


 8.5 / 10

Art Direction

 9.5 / 10


 7.5 / 10

Options / Extras

 7.0 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 9.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 7.0 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 8.5 / 10


 7.5 / 10


 8.4 / 10

 Review based on PS3 (Japan) version   


Final Words:

Battle Fantasia is a beautiful 2D fighter that brings together classic 2D gameplay with a next gen graphical touch. The cast of characters are instant classics for the most part, but some could have been developed a bit more. More than likely, you'll find a character or two that'll fit your style, but no doubt you'll also come across a few characters that you absolutely hate.  They truly are a mixed bag of personas, which isn't really a bad thing. I must say I would've liked to see a few more villains in the game, because the roster does seem a bit lacking when it comes to "bad guys".

In all its glory, Battle Fantasia does seem to be geared towards a younger audience, although there are some key gameplay elements that are far from "kiddie". The roster of 12 characters is pretty standard for the first fighting game in a new series, but with a setting as interesting as Battle Fantasia's, one could only hope for a larger variety of characters to choose from. With that said, I hope to see a sequel someday. I'd like to see what else Arc System Works can do with this franchise, because there is potential here.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


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