Review Information
Reviewer Name: Dean Hanus
Game Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty Options: False
Game Information
Full Title: Fantasy Zone
Year Released: 1986
Game Type: Shooting
Max Players: 2

Welcome to another one of Dean's dodgy reviews, this time I will be reviewing a true Sega classic called Fantasy Zone. I do have to say that Sega's ideas of Fantasy were a little different from my own; I always have naked women in my fantasies. Anyway, the game started out life as an in the arcades, not long afterwards Sega did a kick ass conversion of it for their own home console. I don't really think this game needs much of an introduction, Iím pretty sure that all Sega fans know of OPA OPA? No???? Well, hereís the short version of the story: you play OPA OPA - a space ship with wings, you fly from world to world destroying everything in your path in order to bring peace to the fantasy zone... (Err ok) - replace the words Fantasy zone with galaxy and you've got Star wars.
The gameplay was never revolutionary even back in 1986, but the idea is sound, its the little things you can do in this game that really make the difference. The game is basic side scrolling shooter, but you can choose which direction to fly, you destroy enemy bases with your bombs and guns, doing so will give you coins to spend, when you destroy all the bases the end level boss appears and proceeds to kick your red little ass. A big feature of this game is the ability to tailor your ship for the level ahead, each round a shop will appear and allow you to buy new guns, bombs, speed-ups and extra lives. Just a tip though - don't buy anything other than big wings and twin bombs until you really need them. The prices will skyrocket later in the game!
The graphics for this game are bright, colourful and cartoony, beautifully converted from the 16-bit arcade version, not much is missing at all. The game is aimed at younger players obviously, but don't let that put you off itís a great fun addictive little game. The bosses are all very well drawn and unique to each level (except for the last in which you have to fight them over and over again)
Sound & Music
Music for the game suites the game graphics and style very well, cheerful and catchy little tunes that stick in your head for hours and drive you insane... in a good way! Sound for the guns and items being destroyed are all very good and simple, it all works very well.
Controls for this game are great, thereís no other way to describe them, at first when you only have small wings the controls are a little sluggish, but get some big wings and all is well, with faster engines though you do begin to need lightning reflexes to keep up. The first button fires the normal gun, and the second fires bombs, it does show that Sega could have done with another button on their controller to change guns, but no point in crying over spilled milk I guess.
Replay Value
Music & Sound
Replay Value
I first got this game back in 1988 - for me it was an instant hit, although I have beaten the game many times since then I still play it on odd occasion, and don't quit until its been completed again! I think this is a game I will continue to dig out at least once a year to complete for the rest of my life.
In conclusion Fantasy Zone is a fantastic game, if you haven't played it you need to, and if you have played it you need to play it again! The game for me represents the pinnacle of SMS side scrolling shooters, and I personally rate this even higher than the likes of the all mighty R-type. Don't delay, track down a copy today!!! Dean Hanus is now leaving the Fantasy Zone (but Iíll be back).
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