Review of FantaVision
Keeping in mind that Fantavision appears to be a turned upside down Missile Command game, you can hopefully begin to visualize this very unusual game.
We start off at night (of course) with a cityscape emblazoned in lights in the background meeting up with a river in the foreground. A boat lazily powers down the waterway. All of a sudden from the bottom of the screen a stream of bright green illuminates the night sky…this is quickly followed by a red and than another red stream of color. You move your cursor over the end point of the red stream and press X to register your contact and than move to the next like color. Once you have connected for example three reds you can then press the action button and presto, you are rewarded with a beautiful fireworks display of three red clusters. Sounds simple right?
Well, it is pretty simple actually but there is much more than just linking up similar colors. As the game progresses multiple colors emerge from the ground and you need to figure out how to link all of them together into what is called a string. To help you out you are given bonus items and stars to click on. If you are fast enough you can click on 14 or more streams at a time, and then execute the action button to get an incredible burst of colors on the screen at one time. For each firework you execute you get points. Each missile that streams off the screen is a lost opportunity. Once you have completed the allotted amount of points you go into a bonus round where you try to squeeze off as many string and combos as you can before time runs out. After that its off to the next stage with a new location as the backdrop.
The game pretty much advances in this format but as you move further into the game the pace can get frenetic to the point where you are basically trying to click on everything on the screen and just hope you match up enough colors to execute a nice string. In addition to the different colors there are also a good number of different types of fireworks displays that you can witness. Some of the displays that you can put together are simply breathtaking.
The two player game is a bit of a let-down due to the fact that manic button pressing wins over tactics and careful thought every time. Sure, you can play the game properly, but its a bit depressing getting your ass whipped by a five year old who simply hits all the buttons very quickly.
Boy oh boy…the first thing that is gonna smack you across the old eardrums is the cheesy music that plays during the opening and at the stage intermissions. About the only way I can describe is that it is very similar to listening to Laurence Welk at his worst.
Thankfully the sound effects are another story. All of the crackles, bangs and BOOMS of the fireworks are captured brilliantly here. For those of you with a nice home theater setup, play this game with a subwoofer connected…the explosions will rock your world!
On the graphics front, Fantavision is a wonderful example of just how powerful the Playstation 2s particle calculating capabilities are going to be. The fireworks displays are incredibly depicted and accurately modeled. Trust me, to date you have never seen anything on a home console like this before. Other than that, it is basically a fireworks simulator and being that, the PS2 is well up to task of delivering the goods.
And thats pretty much it… Fantavision is an interesting game to say the least and one that will keep you amused for a decent number of hours. Unfortunately hours is about all you are going to get though as the game is rather short with only a couple handful of levels to get through before its lights out. Still, there is something very addicting and compelling about this title due to its originality and basic style of play that make it a great niche title to pick up.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'FantaVision' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Rooney © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 30 FantaVision in-game screenshot slideshow
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