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

Tomb Raider: Legend

Tomb Raider: Legend

After seeing how the Tomb Raider franchise was milked dry and ran into the ground I was a bit hesitant to pick up Legend. Fortunately Crystal Dynamics did a great job capturing all the elements that made the series a blockbuster back in the day. Its not a very long adventure, but despite a few annoyances it is well worth checking out. Gameplay: A welcome return to the roots of the series. Graphics: Good but could have been much better if created from the ground up for the Xbox360. Sound: Decent voice acting and a nice soundtrack.

Portal 2

Portal 2

Portal 2 proves that sequels doesn't have to be lazy cash-ins on the original game’s success. Everything in this game has been expanded and made better in some way and playing it is a blast. The humor and dialogue are spot on and the puzzles while not too complicated for veteran players still provide a few head scratching moments. Gameplay: More story, more puzzles, more of everything. Graphics: More detail and variety than the original game. Sound: Outstanding voice acting all round.

Saints Row

Saints Row

There is no denying that Saints Row stole most of its ideas from the Grand Theft Auto series but at least it pulled it off with style. Causing mayhem in the city of Stillwater is lots of fun and at times the game does an even better job than what Grand Theft Auto managed. If you like open world games then you might want to check out this one. Gameplay: Definitely worth looking into especially if you enjoy the GTA games. Graphics: Good but a few glitches here and there. Sound: Good voice acting and lots of humour.

Leave a comment

one × four =