Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Super Fantasy Zone without the ‘Super’, that’s an apt description of this release. The ‘cutesy shoot-’em-up’ so warmly received by Ade on the Mega Drive (Issue Four), fails to impress on the small screen.
Along with the ‘Super’, the pretty backdrops, toe-tapping tunes and almost everything that made its big brother a success have gone.
Following Opa-Opa’s dramatic defeat of the evil Menonians in the year 6216, the inhabitants of the Fantasy Zone thought they could live their lives in peace and harmony (they should be so lucky!).
A mere 128 years later, the Zone’s under threat once more. Rumours of impending doom are spread and the legendary hero Opa-Opa is missing! Strange things are afoot and it’s up to Opa-Opa Jr to save the good guys from those nasty Menonians — AGAIN!
To complete this heroic act, he hops in his odd spacecraft to destroy, nay, eradicate all enemies from seven areas of the zone .
The first stage is set in woodland and Jr attempts to destroy the threatening force of quarterpounders, which each spew out a coin when ousted. Collect these and use ‘em to buy items in the floating shop. Improved propulsion is recommended, as are lore and aft shot, even at this opening stage.
Later levels see conflict over a variety of landscapes and against standard end-of-level creatures.
Initially the ship’s hard to control; slow, sluggish and tends to slide during rapid direction changes. There’s some rather dodgy collision detection, too.
The baddies are a bit on the drab side. Their method of attack soon becomes predictable and they’re easy to avoid. I soon found myself ignoring most of them in order to find and destroy the larger enemies.
Play becomes a chore and later levels have no surprises. Hardly worth the effort! The cuteness of It all soon wears thin, exposing a bland, staid shoot-’em-up.
Thankfully, Fantasy Zone’s not as easy as most GG games, but like Gary and Warren, I found the whole caboodle a little irritating. There’s too much going on for the small screen to cope with. The scrolling’s so slow it’s possible to bump into a baddy who hasn’t even appeared onscreen! It’s a colourful little jaunt; the Parts Select screen looks great and animation is far from mediocre. I hate to be clichéd, but as the saying goes, ‘only for ardent fans of the genre’!
A colourful shoot-‘em-up lacking variety
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