Fantavision (video game)
North American cover art
|Developer(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Fantavision (Japanese: ファンタビジョン Hepburn: Fantabijon) is a puzzle video game developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, which released as a launch title for the PlayStation 2 in 2000. It is a real-time puzzle video game involving fireworks. It relies on quick color matching and symbol recognition skills.
Fantavision originally started out as a tech demo for the PlayStation 2, but it surprised many as it was released as an actual game. Initially, the game was released in Japan, only featuring single-player mode. The American and European releases of the game, which were launch titles, were released with two-player mode support. The game was also released for the PlayStation 4 via emulation in December 2015.
Fireworks or flares are launched onto the screen, where they hover for a period of time before disappearing. The player controls the direction of a "guideline" ray extending from the circular cursor which allows a flare along the ray to be "captured". The goal is to string together three or more flares of the same color, and then detonate the flares. More points can be scored by creating a chain reaction, by causing new flares to touch the sparks of detonated flares of the same color, and by creating a daisy chain, which allows flares of multiple colors to be detonated at the same time. Flares not detonated within a certain period of time are considered missed flares, and cause a Play Meter on screen to decrease; the game ends when the Play Meter is empty.
During each level or stage, the camera slowly floats through a darkened environment which serves as the backdrop against which gameplay takes place. There are a total of eight stages in four areas. In addition to normal fireworks / flares which can be detonated, white stars periodically appear during play. These can be captured and detonated along with an existing set of three or more flares. For each star captured in this fashion, the player earns a letter of the word "Starmine". After collecting all eight letters, a large glowing Starmine is launched onto the screen. If the player captures it and detonates it with at least three colored flares, a time-limited bonus mode is entered where a large number of fireworks appear at a rapid pace. The more flares detonated along with the Starmine, the longer the bonus mode lasts.
A two-player versus mode is also in the game. In the mode, players frantically detonate fireworks in a race to a preset total of detonated flares. In this mode, there are additional power-ups which can be captured and detonated to either increase the size of the play area (while decreasing that of the opponent), or switch play areas and undetonated fireworks with the opponent. By using these mechanisms, it is possible to steal flares intended for the opponent's side of the screen, including during an opponent's Starmine bonus.
Development and release
The music from the Japanese version consists of electronic music composed by Soichi Terada, while the North American version uses a mix of electronic and new age music composed by Ashif Hakik, and the European version, composed by Jim Croft, containing mostly dance music. While there are no official soundtrack releases for the American and European soundtrack, both of the Japanese soundtracks were released.
A sequel, Futari no Fantavision, was released in Japan on July 4, 2002. Major differences include the two-player mode and a remixed soundtrack.
Fantavision received "mixed" reception, according to the review aggregator Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one eight, one seven, and two eights for a total of 31 out of 40; it also gave Futari no Fantavision a score of 30 out of 40.
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