If you’re a long time PlayStation gamer, you might be familiar with Fantavision.
A launch title for the PS2 developed by Sony’s Japan Studio, it’s been updated and re-released on various formats since. Now it’s made its way to PS5 as Fantavision 202X, a PSVR 2 launch title that’s well worth digging into if you like puzzles and fireworks. Though you don’t need PSVR 2 to play it.
The concept of Fantavision 202X is simple, like most good puzzle games. In each stage, coloured flares fly onto the screen, and it’s up to you to move a cursor and connect three or more of the same colour. Do that and you can then detonate them, scoring points and filling the sky with a mesmerising firework display.
But of course, there are some complications, allowing for more advanced play and higher scoring opportunities. Flashing flares, for example, can be matched with other flares of any colour. They can also be used to then connect to more flares of another colour, creating a daisy chain. Match, say, two green flares, a flashing flare, and then three blue flares, and you’ll not only score big, but also be treated to a more vibrant and colourful display of fireworks. Rarely is skillful play rewarded in such a manner.
And there are other things to take into consideration, too. Each type of flare explodes in a different way, for example, exploding other flares of the same colour caught in the blast. And then there are power-ups which can be strategically connected to to boost your score or enable Starmine, a bonus mode where you can really score big. Needless to say, Fantavision 202X may be easy to pick up, but it also has considerable depth for advanced players.
It’s just a shame there isn’t much to it. You’re likely to complete Easy mode in one sitting on your first try, leaving only Hard mode to conquer. Aside from that, Dynamic mode can be enabled on each difficulty, bringing you closer to the action which requires you to look around a little more. And while there are leaderboards, they’re unfortunately local only.
A decent job has been done to make Fantavision 202X a thrilling audio-visual experience for modern audiences, particularly on PSVR 2. While the locations visited in each stage aren’t going to wow you, the fireworks are just as eye-catching as you’d expect. Play well, and the screen can be awash with colour. Things like haptic feedback have been employed, too, adding yet more immersion.
If you fondly remember Fantavision, or are a new PSVR 2 owner seeking out a puzzle game that they can learn to master while enjoying some beautiful sights, Fantavision 202X is undoubtedly worth checking out. It’s just a shame that it hasn’t been expanded upon for this release, as it feels a bit light on content these days.