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Fireworks are nice and Sony decided to create a whole videogame about them. Hurray! Hey, aren't you happy?

HarryThe first games released for the new Playstation really lack in originality. The graphics are sometimes wonderful, but they never push the new hardware to its limits; the gameplay is often a copy of previous titles for the old PsOne. Take for example titles like Tekken Tag Tournament or Ridge Racer V: they are good games but they are part of series designed for the old PsOne. Anyhow, considering the limited amount of time the developers had to study the PlayStation 2, some may say they really don't have time to do anything more in this first generation of PlayStation 2 titles. The first title developed by Sony, Fantavision, has originality. But you know, this is not enough to create a good game...

Gameplay : 7.0

Looking at the box of the game and at its title, it is impossible to figure out what's all about. You may think Fantavision is one of those wonderful RPGs (you know: Evergrace, Fantavision, Eternal Ring,  they sound well together) or you may think it is a game about LSD effects. First of all, Fantavision is a puzzle game. The king of this genre is obviously Tetris, with hundreds of clones developed by every software house in the world.  Probably each programmer has started working on a clone of Tetris. When you start playing a puzzle game be sure of a thing: sooner or later you'll have to stack, crush, destroy and delete blocks, fruits, diamonds, animals and God knows what else. And if you accept this rough definition of the genre, we can consider Fantavision a pure Puzzle game.

Over a background that usually represents a city, are thrown a lot of shells that in the first levels will climb slowly. Using a cursor, you have to select these colored fireworks before they explode; with a  line that starts from the selected shell and that you can move in 360 degrees using the left analog controller you can connect similar colored shells. When you have at least three shells connected you can set them off. The more fireworks you set off at the same time the more points you earn. If you are not able to select  a sufficient number of shells for a long time you'll die (hey, in the game, obviously!). This is the essence of Fantavision. But things are a bit more complicated. No, seriously.

There are three main colors for the fireworks: red, green and blue. But, for example, there is a particular type of shells which doesn't have any color at all. These ones are called Wild Shells and you need them to connect fireworks of different colors. They're like those cool special blocks in Tetris. When you set off a group of different colured shells you create a "chain" of Fireworks called Daisy Chain. For example, let's say you have already selected a blue shell and now you see three green shells on the screen. You'll probably be tempted to insult your Ps2, but if a wild shell appears in the sky you'll be able to connect your blue shell to this one and then from this to the three green fireworks. In this way you'll get a lot of points and a wonderful spectacle for your eyes. To tell the truth, in Fantavision there are several types of shells; just to mention some of them there are Star Items, Energy Items and Multifireworks. Each of these shells will explode in a different way and with different colors. If you like the genre, this game, with its  great variety  of shells and  the large number of chains you can create will grant you a good deal of fun.

The game is divided into 4 levels, each with 2 sub levels. Every level has its own physical laws: in the earth and moon levels  you'll see shells climbing  slowly, exploding, and then coming down according to the old good Newton's law of gravity. Obviously, in the moon, the fireworks will come down more slowly than in the earth levels.  On the other hand, in the space levels shells will arrive from every direction into your screen. The first time you start the game you have to play it in a Normal mode; it is definitely the easiest mode to beat it. But don't think that finishing the game in this mode  means you've finished Fantavision. In fact at this point you'll be able to select more difficult game modes. And, unless you are a Jedi Knight, this time you will have some trouble.

Sony added to American and European versions of the game a two player mode. In this mode, the screen is divided vertically into two big parts: one for each of the players. The more points you get, the more screen space you'll earn for yourself and consequently steal to your friend.

To conclude, the Gameplay for Fantavision is quite good. Probably if you are used to most complex game you'll hate it. But if you like the genre, you'll like Fantavision.

» Page 2: Graphics, Sound, Replay Value, and Overall Opinion

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Dual Shock 2
8MB Memory Card
Release Date
North America
October 25th, 2000
March 9th, 2000
November 24th, 2000
November 24th, 2000

Good light effects are used for these fireworks.

Connecting fireworks.

Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks!!!
More screenshots of Fantavision

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