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PS2 Staff Review by Chris Burke

Graphics: Eye candy is what sells the game a lot of times and this game is not lacking in that department at all. In fact if you were to just look at the screens that a lot of sites have up and even what the in store demo from Sony lets you play it looks fantastic, especially with all of the other items moving in the background. But when you reach the higher levels of the game it really kicks in the wow factor. If you have seen the movie Contact and remember the worm hole scene near the end imaging a level like that with fireworks going off in a worm hole and swirling all around the screen. I feel this is really the showcase title of the launch so far and it takes real advantage of the Emotion Engine. Sure, Kessen has beautiful graphics but it's not done in real time like on Fantavision. I would have given the title a 10 in the graphics department but after seeing the later levels I think they could have done more with the first two levels that take place in the city. Eye candy junkies should be sure to pick this one up.

Game Play: I cannot really find anything to fault with the game play of this title. The controls are simple you just use two buttons and the left analog stick. The game has a moderate learning curve and if you don't read Japanese, which I don't really do all that well, it'll take you maybe 30 minutes to get the hang of the game play and a bit longer to master. The game consists of 8 levels to start the game then the game gets deeper after you finish the first 8 levels. Then the difficulty level kicks up and you can play Extra 1, which are the same 8 levels at a much harder pace. There are other mini games that you can play also after completing the first 8 levels. At first I was frustrated that there was no continue option, you have to make it through the 8 levels and then you can save to continue on, but the more I played and the more I though about it made a lot of sense. It for one makes you become a better player to continue, number two after finishing Street Fighter EX 3 and getting all the characters in a couple of sittings I was glad to have a game that gave me some depth to the game play and had me coming back for more.

Music/Sound: There is more to this game than the organ music that has been made more of a big deal than it really is. The sound is very clear and loud, if you have a receiver with an optical input for audio, USE IT, if not BUY ONE because with titles like this coming it makes a difference. The music picks up the pace with a techno beat as the game moves on to its breakneck pace at the end. The overall game sounds are good but explosions of the actual fireworks have been toned down a little, most likely to not blow out small TV speakers, and sound wise that is my only complaint.

Addiction/Replay value: Well, because there is not really an opportunity to continue the game every time you mess up during the game this game rates high on the addiction and the replay meter. I mean you make it all the way to level 7 are you just going to give up and not give it "just one more try" before you go to bed or off to work or school? I know I've pushed it a couple of times already. This isn't missing days of work or a plethora of sleepless nights title like Starcraft, and that's why I didn't give it the Holy Grail of 10. It's a twitch game puzzler that makes you come back for more and it has a lot of depth in comparison to most other puzzlers.

Coolness Factor: This is one I just had to throw in. This game with its packaging and video scenes between levels and campy organ music is just way too cool. If you've seen 70's TV shows on TV Land or just remember them first hand you'll know what I am talking about. The whole underlying theme of this game and its packaging. It has kind of a nuclear family, Wonderful World of Disney feel to it. Plus when you play back your levels after you have saved them you can even watch them in Psychedelic mode among others for that 70's Show vibe to it.

Overview: Fantavison is one of the best and most original puzzle games to come along in a long time. It's nice and refreshing to see a game that is not a blatant Tetris rip off. It does borrow from a lot of the other puzzle games through the lining up of colors like Tetris, Bust a Move and others but the similarities end there. This is a GREAT party game especially when you have other than your guy friends over, you do have other than guy friends right? This is definitely a library title that you keep around for a rainy day two years from now and have fun all over again.

Chris Burke
Aka Digital Turtle

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"It's a twitch game puzzler that makes you come back for more and it has a lot of depth in comparison to most other puzzlers"

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