Preview: Battle Fantasia
Have you ever wanted to beat the stuffing out of one of the fuzzy creatures from a Disney movie? Personally, I've always wanted to have a go at one of those creepy possessed brooms from Fantasia, which were the source of a good many childhood nightmares. Thanks to Arc System Works and their new brawler Battle Fantasia, terrified 7-year old movie goers everywhere will finally have their chance at revenge.
Battle Fantasia is fixed to turn our childhood memories on their heads and violently pummel them. Things that you never imagined you'd see on screen will happen in Battle Fantasia: The bunny from Bambi will bitchslap Christopher Robin,Captain Hook will whale on Tinkerbell, and Pinocchio will cut loose from his strings to deliver the hurt. Of course, all of the fighters in Battle Fantasia bear only a slight resemblence to their Disney counterparts in order to (hopefully) avoid a noisome lawsuit. The whole thing has an anime gloss that ensures the characters have as much in common with Japanese RPG archetypes as they do with Western animated icons.
The folks at Arc System Works know a thing or two about making a successful fighting game, thanks to their success with the Guilty Gear Series. The European publisher of Battle Fantasia, 505 Games, states confidently that the game is "as close as you’ll get to playing a Japanese arcade game in the streets of Tokyo, without ever leaving the comfort of your sofa."
In keeping with the fantasy themes of the game, Battle Fantasia also has elements familiar to fans of role-playing games. Instead of having a standard health bar, characters have hit-points that drain away as they take damage. As a result smaller characters have less health but are faster and harder to hit, whereas larger ones can deal more damage but are lumbering hulks.
Battle Fantasia includes a variety of different modes, including story, practice, survival, time attack, versus mode and online multiplayer. What’s more, by playing through the story mode, it’s possible to unlock new costumes for the fighters, along with a range of artwork by Guilty Gear series creator Emiko Iwasaki.
The graphics make use of cell shading to make 3D models appear more like 2D animated characters. Combined with a crisp HD resolution, Battle Fantasia is one of the nicest looking fighters to come out so far this generation.
Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will be able to get their hands on this game via download in Q1 2009, which translates to Spring 2008.
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