Fantavision
Graphics 6
Sound 6
Gameplay 5

As a launch title I can’t be too hard on Fantavision but apart from the nice colors there isn’t much here that set the game apart visually from the PSone titles. The gameplay is pretty solid, although button mashing can get you pretty far, but once you get the hang of it the novelty soon wears off. Fun while it lasts but not something you’d want to revisit too often.

Gameplay: A bit deeper than it looks initially, but not really up there with the classics.

Graphics: Pretty colors, but that’s about it.

Sound: Mostly dance tunes

Summary 5.7 Above Average
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Gameplay 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Fantavision

Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment Japan | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment| Release Date: 2000 | Genre: Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Amazon

Launch games for new consoles are usually a mix of flashy new technology that shows players exactly why the new hardware is better than the old and cheap chash-ins that are rushed out in the knowledge that there will be gamers desperate enough to purchase anything playable for their new console. Quite where a firework themed puzzle game with pretty but unremarkable graphics fit into this pattern isn’t clear but that’s exactly what Fantavision is.

I’ve heard Fantavision described as a cross between Missile Command and Bust-A-Move and I have to say that’s pretty accurate. Fireworks are launched and you have to use your cursor to “capture” three or more like colored ones and detonate them before they fizzle. The longer you wait before detonation the more fireworks you can string together and the higher your combos will be, but at the same time you are increasing the risk of the fireworks fizzling and losing everything. There’s a bit more to it like special item flares and different detonation types, but the basic idea remains very simple, detonate as many fireworks as possible.

Fantavision features some very extensive tutorials to get you up and running, but the basic idea is so simple you should have no trouble just jumping in. Unfortunately this means things can be a bit too simple and this is one of the few puzzle games where you can actually get quite far by just button mashing. It’s also a very short game so once you get the hang of it you’ll breeze through it. There’s not much replay value either and the two-player mode feels a bit tacked on and doesn’t add much.

The game starts with a very weird retro advert style intro, but the in-game graphics are nothing special. The detonating fireworks obviously look very nice, but the game looks more like a visualizer than a cutting edge launch title. The backgrounds are pretty plain which is good as they don’t distract you from the gameplay, but on the other hand, they make the game look even more dated

The “Starmine” sections look pretty nice as you detonate loads of fireworks in quck succesion but overall Fantavision wasn’t the greatest looking game when it first came out and is really showing its age now. The dance music fits the game nicely, but isn’t very memorable, unlike the creepily polite announcer that will keep you informed about what’s going on at all times.

Since its launch the PS2 has built up quite a nice library of puzzle games, but there’s been nothing like Fantavison again. This alone might make it worth checking out if you can find it, but ultimately there are much better games in the genre.

*Review originally published 2003.

Related posts

Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 ramps up the action and adds a partner into the mix, but the clunky controls really put a damper on the fun. The game is at its best when played in co-op but the single player experience can be a slog at times due to the dubious actions of your partner. If you are looking for scares then you can safely pass up on Resident Evil 5, but if you want a mindless shooter with some impressive set pieces then give it a try. Gameplay: Action packed but the controls and the AI partner lets things down. Graphics: Very nice, but some levels look much better than others. Sound: Good but not exactly memorable.

God of War II

God of War II

After the excellence of the previous game there were a lot of expectations riding on this sequel and gladly it does not disappoint. God Of War 2 is every bit as good as the original and surpasses it in many areas. There are lots of visceral combat sequences and you'll be cracking just as many tough puzzles as enemy skulls in this epic game. Gameplay: Brutal and over the top with a nice mixture of puzzles thrown in with the combat. Graphics: Some of the most epic set pieces seen in a PS2 game. Sound: Epic orchestral soundtrack and good voice acting.

Zuma Deluxe

Zuma Deluxe

Someone that has never played a version of this game using a computer mouse would probably enjoy it more but it is definitely not a bad game. The gameplay is very addictive and there are more than enough levels to keep you playing for a long time. Checking out the demo first is highly recommended however. Gameplay: Would have been better if the controls were more precise. Graphics: Nice but nothing special. Sound: Catchy tunes that will stick in your head.

Leave a comment

4 × 3 =