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Fantavision
Preview By: Marty Weisenburger
Developer:   Sony
Publisher:   Sony
Genre:   Puzzle
Est. Release Date:   10-26-00
Posted:   10-10-00

I think I figured out why the PlayStation 2 is so often criticized for lacking anything new, interesting, and/or entertaining. The simple fact, it seems, is that all of the PS2 games that are getting any hype or coverage are the games that aren’t innovative or exciting. Think about it; all the PS2 games you’re hearing about – Tekken Tag, Ridge Racer V, Madden, etc. – are sequels or rehashes. Even Metal Gear Solid 2, perhaps the single most anticipated game on the system, is a sequel to a game that appeared two years ago on the PSX. The more interesting games seem to take the back seat to anticipated sequels like those mentioned above. Take Fantavision, for example – this one came out of nowhere in Japan, and with a cool premise, flashy graphics, and addictive gameplay, came as a pleasant surprise to gamers bored with the PS2’s other offerings.

Although the gameplay could be described as a flashy, updated Missile Command, accepting Fantavision as such would be failing to see what the title is really all about. Here’s how the game works: Point to a bulb, link it with two others of the same color, and then detonate them. Since you’ll often have more than one bulb color onscreen at once, you’ll have to link a flashing bulb, which let you detonate two different colored bulbs together. The energy bar at the bottom of the screen, slowly draining throughout the round, will be replenished each time you set off a chain. The higher the chain, the more energy you’ll get back.

If you think that a game like this would need the coolest looking fireworks ever seen, you’re right – and Fantavision delivers in the visuals department. Beautiful particle effects and explosions set the scene here, making the game into an Independence Day show onscreen. The backdrops, which include nighttime views of futuristic cities and beaches, look great, too. Throw in a replay mode that allows you to view your skyshow from any angle, along with Matrix style slowdown effects, and Fantavision, while certain to be a lot of fun to play, will be just as entertaining to watch.

With its classy presentation, top-notch graphics, and addictive gameplay formula, Fantavision is easily one of the better-looking titles in the PS2’s launch lineup. Fans of puzzle games and people looking for something new and cool in general would do well to keep an eye out for this one on October 26th.

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