Fantasia review - Sega Megadrive
That mouse is back! Mickey Mouse, the geriatric Disney rodent returns to our Megadrives in a 16-bit translation of the classic Fantasia movie!
Some evil bleeder has gone and pinched the Master Sorcerer's music while his apprentice (aka Mickey Mouse) was asleep. Mickey's obviously a tad worried and faces the wrath of the Master Sorcerer if he doesn't retrieve the lost notes. So, using his special magical powers, Mickey whisks himself off into a dream where he does battle with the likes of possessed magic mushrooms, mobile broomsticks and evil toads intent on sealing the cheese nibbler's doom.
Mickey's task is to scour the levels, finding the missing musical notes and escaping before his energy level is worn down to nothing.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
To look at, Fantasia seems as good as Mickey Mouse, with excellent sprites and gorgeous backdrops. Indeed, after playing at the CES Show in Chicago, I thought it was a real winner. However, after finally getting the chance to ply it properly, I quickly discovered its beauty is only skin deep. The gameplay is badly flawed and there are several highly annoying features that make the action frustrating. For a start, the collision detection is very tight - Mickey loses energy eve when it looks like he's cleared a baddie! The magic controls are very sluggish - you press the fire button and there's a horrible pause before Mickey shoots… and if a baddie is close by or moving towards you fast, you can't avoid being hit. That might be frustrating, but worse still are the completely unavoidable and very sly hazards the programmers have put into the game. Platforms drop, baddies pop up out of nowhere or change direction without warning, things fly on-screen giving you no chance to avoid them… aaagh! I like a challenge, but when you're given absolutely no chance and are forced to memorize and anticipate hazards and traps before they happen, playing becomes a chore. The final straw is that the game is absolutely the same every time you play, with things appearing in the same place at the same time. It's all too linear, with no freedom of movement like the previous Mickey game, and the constant routine of doing exactly the same thing game after game doesn't take long to get tedious. It just doesn't have that great feeling of exploration, and certainly doesn't have the variety of the original game. If you're a Mickey Mouse fan and like the look of this, make sure you give the game a very thorough playtesting. It might look as good as the original, but most certainly doesn't play anything like it, and I think that many Mickey fans will be very, very disappointed. I know I am.
Well, I came, I saw and I left the MEAN MACHINES games room a gibbering wreck! Although this has excellent graphics, the gameplay is incredibly frustrating! I'm talking collision detection that's about as effective as a broken pencil, crippled controls with a sluggish response time and a grotesque lack of decent restart points! The gameplay is just so annoying, I recommend you keep all sharp or pain-inflicting items away from the Megadrive, because after a while you'll be very tempted to make use of them - on either yourself or the cartridge! I cannot stress how wound up Fantasia made me feel after an hour's play - surely games are supposed to relax, or perhaps even entertain? Just forget about Fantasia, for the sake of both your bank balance and your mental health.
Have your say about this review
Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 00:51 GMT
This was the first game to make me smash my joypad to bits
Richy Girth - 04 Dec 2008, 13:46 GMT
Despite loving Castle of Illusion, I rented this to make sure first as I was going through a skint period.
Thank the force that I did, 'cause this bored me so badly that I would have been forced to kill again, if a refund was refused.
Polished but dead. Like a dead, polished corpse in a slow but shiny car....that won't start in the morning.
Dan - 25 Feb 2009, 16:28 GMT
This was pure pap, my brain struggled to compute how Castle of Illusion could be so good, but this could be so shite. However, it was, oh how I loathed thee.
marky - 10 Dec 2012, 02:22 GMT
i must be the only person who loved this game great graphics and sound if i played it today it might not seem as good but there were very few megadrive games i didnt enjoy.