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No-frills fighter Fantasy Strike leaves Early Access today

Striking stuff, that

I love fighting game characters nonsense. I guess you have to have a Ryu knock-off by law, but look at this Fantasy Strike lass. Can you imagine how much of a nightmare those colours must be to maintain? Gosh, this bloke just turned into a dragon. That four-armed goop frog (my new son) just kicked the sense out of a panda. Absolutely smashing stuff. Well done all around.

Fantasy Strike, designer David Sirlin's "wot if fighting games without all the input nonsense", Kickstarted into development back in 2016. After spending time tinkering with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Sirlin reckoned he and his team could make something a little less intimidating. Stripping away all those back-half-circle-kick-punch input complexities, Fantasy Strike has spent the last few years putting the spotlight on straightforward face-punching.

After all that time waxing on and off in Steam Early Access, the team at Sirlin Games are ready to let Fantasy Strike loose.

Fantasy Strike kicks off its 1.0 launch with a new Boss Rush mode. On its face, Boss Rush is just like any other fighting arcade mode - batter increasingly difficult AI baddies until you're the last one standing. But they give the AI some tricks to pull: here, you've got fish slapping across the screen, dragons milling about, and bombs falling about the place. Seems a bit unsafe if you ask me.

To combat this, and the increasingly smarty-pants AI, you'll be putting together a deck of powerups. It's all a bit roguelikelike, with synergies, combos and higher-tier gold abilities to make your punches punchier.

Today's Launch also marks the start of Fantasy Strike's first competitive season, resetting everyone's stats from Early Access. Controller support has been touched up, making it easier to get a friend to plug-and-play with their pad of choice. A lengthier list of what's changed with today's release can be found in the launch announcement.

Fantasy Strike is out now on Steam for £24/€25/$30.

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