Review – Fantavision 202X (PSVR2)
The beautiful thing about virtual reality is that you get the opportunity to experience events that you normally would need to be outdoors to enjoy. One such experience is watching beautiful fireworks go off from the comfort of your own home; without worry about weather, expensive fireworks, and accidents! Fantavision’s port from PS2 developed and published by Cosmo Machia for PSVR2 allows you to do just that!
In essence, Fantavision 202X is a stage/level based arcade game that puts you in outdoor scenery. You’re in charge of chaining fuses of same colours together for maximum points and bursts of beautiful fireworks, similar to a match-three puzzle game. The game has a retro presentation using what seems to be purposely cheesy narration, sound effects, and fake advertisements in between stages on a CRTV. Even the tutorial is narrated by a lady which many might be taken aback by how “bad” she sounds, but it feels endearing and on purpose to how the game is presented.
The game’s main pull is that you’re put into what seems to be normal scenery (floating above a scenic view of a city at night) then becomes progressively “interesting” like being in outer space with mecha flying past you. While Fantavision 202X has gameplay, immersion and experience is its main focus, but it also serves as its downside. From a casual perspective, you are in awe of the point of view and the scenery. However, upon closer inspection, it fails to delivery high fidelity graphics in comparison to what you would see in other PSVR2 titles. The fireworks and lighting are beautiful on their own, with decent reflections, but with a bland setting, which takes a bit away from the experience.
Apart from graphics, the gameplay for Fantavision 202X is simple. You want to match up three or more of the same colour flare, press a button to detonate it and the firework goes off. There’s different types of flares: Daisy, Peony, Willow, Splash, Wide, and Multi, allowing you to strategize which flares to focus on in order to maximize your chain for higher scores and avoiding a Game Over. You can easily complete a stage by just detonating the flares as you like without worry for points, but if you want to reach those high scores, you will need to learn and master it which will give it some replay value for those that enjoys those types of games.
However, my favourite part of Fantavision 202X is the firework experience. You will often get moments where you activate Starmine Mode for extra points and a beautiful show of fireworks in the middle of a stage. Also, you have the option to Replay your stage similar to fighting or racing games, giving you some cinematic freedom in changing camera angles, or adding basic weather like rain or snow. This allows you to just sit back, and enjoy the show!
Fantavision 202X can be played with a DualSense controller outside of VR, using a television or with the PSVR2 headset and a singular Sense controller (although it can be done with both). Due to this, there is some conflict with how the game is controlled, which can be frustrating. When you first boot up the game, and you’re like me and have the headset and Sense controllers already equipped, the game asks you if you want to play it on TV or with PSVR2.
Typically this isn’t a big deal, as other games like Resident Evil 4 VR Mode will do this, however you can only make this choice using a DualSense controller. This is a minor issue during set up, but adds frustration when the game is confused as to whether or not you want to use DualSense controls or point to the flares using the Sense controller, which have made me miss more than a few flares. For a casual play on Easy Mode, this isn’t a big deal, but I can imagine those aiming for high scores could potentially get frustrated.
Overall, the game has eight stages, which is fun to do in short sessions; sit back and enjoy Replay mode, or aim for high scores. Gamers looking for a simple firework experience may see this as a high price tag, but fans of match-three puzzle type games will definitely get more out of this. A fun VR game, but with optimization issues, isn’t really a must-buy from the wide selection of games already available on launch for PSVR2.
“Shiny fireworks are shiny, but background is BLAND” – Gordon Ramsey
Match-three puzzler, point & click, easy to pick up but hard to master
Fun cheesy narration and ‘splodey sounds are good
Fun Factor: 7.0
Great for quick sessions or sit back and relax watching a replay
Final Verdict: 6.5
Fantavision 202X is available now on PSVR2.
Reviewed on PSVR2.
A copy of Fantavision 202X was provided by the publisher.