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FantaVision – A PS2 Throwback

The first puzzle game on the PS2 is a sumptuous visual feast combined with great addictive elements. Taking the traditional task of linking like colors together and using it on a series of fireworks, Fantavision is easy to learn but, like any good puzzle game, almost impossible to master. There are powerups, combos and some great two-player action. The multiplayer is what really sets the game apart from most puzzle games, in fact, letting two people fight for space onscreen, pushing the separating line back and forth by performing combos. That’s good inspiration for making chains.

The first PS2 game ever revealed to the world was breathtaking. It represented a new world of gaming, a new generation of amazing graphics. People stared at the display, safely protected behind a glass case and separated from the masses by a length of velvet rope. There were moans of excitement; there was excited chatter. People wanted the PS2, just to play this game. The game, of course, was GT2000. The first PS2 game from Sony, however, is Fantavision. The world is a strange place sometimes.

Not to say that Fantavision isn’t a great game in its own right, just that it’s a surprising choice to be the only launch game that Sony is releasing. To start out, it’s a puzzle game. Puzzle games are not the action-packed graphics demos that most launches are full of; they are thoughtful titles for gamers who prefer their stress to come from the brain, rather than the spine.

And Fantavision is a great cerebral experience. Players are given control over a fireworks show and must make combinations out of the various colors in an exercise that’s a bit Missle Command and a bit Tetris Attacks. Fireworks shoot onto the screen one at a time, and each has a certain hang time. Players have to move the cursor over one, highlight it, then move onto another of the same color as the first. Once three or more of the same color have been highlighted, they can be detonated — as long as none have fallen out of the sky by then.

The challenge in Fantavision comes from balancing getting big combos with not letting fireworks fall before they can be detonated. As undetonated fireworks fall, they fill a meter — and when it reaches the top, it’s game over. If a firework is highlighted and then released, though, it stays up in the air longer than it would, making the game something of a juggling act as players have to keep a dozen or so different fireworks floating.

In addition to the colored fireworks, there are multicolored ones that can be used to link the various colors together — creating longer chains — and there are even special powerups like flare balls, bonus point flares, energy recharging flares and star items. The star items are the specials of choice, however, eventually adding together to spell out the word S-T-A-R-M-I-N-E and resulting in, well, a starmine. What a starmine actually is may not ever be adequately explained, but let’s just say it’s a whole lot of fireworks all at once and it’s possible to get killer points from it.

The graphics are quite beautiful, with colorful explosions taking place as the camera flies over a variety of exotic landscapes. It’s possible to record a level’s fireworks show, in fact, and play it back without all the stats and such onscreen. It’s quite pretty. When talking PS2 Fantavision is a good title but as far as mobile gaming is concern, you can try Clash Royale and get good tricks at clashroyalehack.fr.

The Bottom Line: The only puzzle game on the PS2 is a real good one. As long as you like puzzle games.