Epic Battle Fantasy: Minor Battles, Big RPG Elements

Epic Battle Fantasy

Epic Battle Fantasy was released by Matt Rosak in May 2009. It is a turn-based Role-Playing Game, or RPG, based on the Final Fantasy series as well as some of the other similar games. This game comes after the game developer Matt Rosek had made plenty of animations based on the same theme, so a game was always considered as being in the offing. It is here now, and by all accounts it should be great. Here are some of the key features of this new game.

There really isn't much of a premise upon which the game itself is based. Unlike the Final Fantasy games, which are really epic stories, some of which overshadow the game itself, Battle Fantasy 1 has the literal equivalent of naught as a storyline. However, as the game progresses, you start suspecting that that is definitely not the point of this game.

Battle Fantasy 1 seems to have been primarily for fans of RPGs, with there being several references to previous RPGs that one assumes might seem hilarious to RPG fans. The game is also populated by increasingly harder and more horrific-looking enemies that add to the "exclusively for RPG fans" sentiment that the game develops.

As mentioned above, the game is turn-based, much like Pokemon in the sense that you get to attack first, then your enemies get to attack with their own (pretty limited) attacks. Where it differs quite spectacularly from those games is the range of attacks and defenses available to you. "You" in this case refers to the two players that you control, the very imaginatively named "Player 1" and "Player 2". Player 1 is the typical cool hero, with a vast number of swords, blonde locks that would make many girls (and maybe even boys) blush and a pirate hat, presumably to atone for the shame of having hair like that. Pirate hats can make up for any type of shame anyway, so this was a good idea.

Player 2 is the dream of most men come true, a considerably well-endowed red-headed sorceress who can perform both black magic and white magic apart from summoning a number of Pokemon-like creatures to use powers on her behalf. The enemies range from surprisingly resistant blobs of jelly to Cyclops without his body but still in complete possession of his strength, and as the levels rise the enemies start getting much harder to beat or even damage. The damage that they cause through their attacks starts growing higher, plus some of their attacks can limit your power base. In other words, they can cripple you (or yous) before they kill you and that isn't a pleasant feeling at all no matter what the context.

Some of the attacks, like Power Metal by Player 1, which is basically set of speakers blasting heavy metal at the highest volume possible to cause damage to the monsters' weakest points: their eardrums, and Player 2 summoning Catastrophe, a huge creature that damages all the characters on the field, look great, even if they eventually end up being as effective against enemies as the gales caused by a mosquito's wings. But the attacks aren't enough and throughout the course of the game you will repeatedly be required to use the Sorceress' White mage powers to defend player 1. She does act as a meat shield quite a lot too because your enemies seem to favor bumping her off first. You get to buy some potions at the beginning of the game for healing and some such, and you can only buy these again when there are rests in between. Trouble is, there is just the 1 rest in the game, so you need to use your potions sparingly and well.

There's also an MP concept, which determines which special attacks you can use. You start off with a certain amount of MP and each special attack that is used consumes some of the MP. Regular sword attacks, however, do not consume any MP. HP refers to hit points or the health of a character, the decline of which obviously means that you're dying.

The graphics are really good in Epic Battle Fantasy 1. The characters are well-defined and detailed and there are so many bright colors everywhere, especially in the attacks themselves that seasoned double rainbows would pale in comparison. There are plenty of disappointments too, however. Firstly, the characters neither move throughout the game, nor change their clothes, poses etc. Secondly, the backgrounds themselves are pretty blurred and dull, and while it is understandable that making it as bright as the foreground might be overwhelming, currently it almost looks amateurish. And lastly, thanks to the heavy graphics used in the foreground, the game takes a very long time to load.

The audio is a mixture of some of the tunes from the "Final Fantasy" games, the "Zelda" games and some other RPGs as well. It is an "okayish" tune, but not very catchy or nice. Again, this part of the game also looks to have been tailored to meet the standards of regular RPG players. The best piece of music in the game obviously comes from Player 1's gigantic pair of black subwoofers as he deafens jelly with it. Moral of the story: Power Heavy Metal can make even jelly "jellier".

To reiterate, Epic Battle Fantasy has been designed while keeping the RPG player community and only them in mind with the title being a little deceiving - don't expect large scale epic battles with armies at your command, rather minor battles on an individual level. It might be appealing to people who aren't fans of this genre initially, but the true fun of the game lies in being able to recognize and revel in the numerous RPG references throughout the game. That ensures that other people are unlikely to take to this game as readily as they would take to it otherwise. There are some scenes, like when a one-eyed monster does something to Player 1 that gets censored (told you the blonde hair were trouble!) that should be universally appealing, but otherwise there's not much. All in all, a great game if you're an RPG fan, but one to play at least once even if you're not.