PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Sony Computer Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 03/09/00 (JP), 10/26/00 (US), 11/24/00 (EU)
ALSO ON: PS4
Fantavision is my favorite kind of mobile game. You pick it up for a few minutes, play through three or four levels, get a higher score than you did last time, then switch to a different app. There’s fireworks and pretty colors and lights and weird spacey music, and the whole experience is fun for about five minutes.
When the world was young and the cities were free.
Problem is, Fantavision isn’t a mobile game. It’s a PS2 launch game, one that cost actual cash money to play. From my limited research, the game launched at fifty dollars, just like the rest of the lineup. This means you could pick up Fantavision for the same price as Tekken Tag Tournament or Madden NFL 2001 or Dynasty Warriors 2. Considering the majority of the PS2 launch games contained actual content (TimeSplitters notwithstanding), this is an absolute ripoff.
I can still hear you saying you would never break, never break the chain.
Let’s say you plunked down some hard-earned Gore/Bush-era dollars for Sony’s fireworks display. What could you expect other than a sense of searing loss?
In Fantavision, fireworks of different colors and shapes ascend into the sky from any number of directions. Your job is to link fireworks of multiple colors together, make them explode, and create chain reactions that increase your sense of awe and wonder at the PS2’s particle simulation capabilities. Making fireworks go boom involves a circular cursor in the middle of the screen and a line that emits from the cursor when you move the analog stick. As the line moves over the fireworks, you press ‘X’ to chain them together, then ‘O’ to make them explode.
A brief moment of rest.
Fireworks eventually fizzle out, and if you miss enough, your life bar will decrease to nothing. Since the game throws out fireworks hard and fast, it’s all but necessary to learn the Advanced Technique known as daisy chains. When you link three fireworks of one color together, then select a multicolored firework, you’re able to link fireworks of a different color together for a larger daisy chain. Learn daisy chains and you’ll beat the game’s eight stages within thirty minutes.
Not even the universe herself can contain Sony’s fireworks displays.
To Fantavision‘s credit, I got caught up in trying to combo all the fireworks and explode all the chains. The game launches fireworks quickly, particularly towards the end of each stage; at times, it’s all you can do to keep up. In these zen moments when you’re having a good run, Fantavision feels like the blissful spaced-out experience Sony intended. Once you descend from that high, however, you realize how barren Fantavision really is. Aside from the one-player mode, there’s a hard mode for the devout, and a two-player mode if you can convince another person to play a game called Fantavision.
Beyond space and time, only fireworks reign supreme!
If you paid fifty dollars for Fantavision back in 2000, you got ripped off and I feel bad for you. I paid five dollars in trade credit for this at a used game store, so I can’t complain. I maintain that Fantavision would be a perfect free-to-play mobile game today. The game’s colorful, bright, and addictive in short bursts. Young kids would eat it up, which means Sony could clean up with microtransactions (I do not condone this, but I can see it happening). As it stands, Sony’s still charging fifteen dollars for Fantavision on the Playstation Store, which remains fourteen dollars too much.
PAYING LITTLE TO NO MONEY FOR FANTAVISION: C+
PAYING MORE THAN AN AMERICANO FOR FANTAVISION: D
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This is your last warning.