Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Retro gaming: Fantasy Zone

I've recently been playing one of my favorite mid-80's games, Fantasy Zone. I've got the Nintendo "compatible" version, and it had some of the best graphics and design of the time. Originally Fantasy Zone was a arcade game, and the bright, beautifully designed pastel graphics were gorgeous. The backgrounds especially look like they were designed much later than 1986 - many of them would not look out of place on some web pages.

The color palette used is almost exclusively pastel, except for some brighter foreground and far background colors. Its obvious the designers paid attention to the color wheel, and you never end up with some of the more awful color choices that were prevalent in other games of the period (Double Dragon, anyone? Its fun, but MAN is it ugly...) The designers used gradients effectively to delineate where background objects ended - again, this was very different for its time, as in most games background objects were outlined in black. Most of the shapes in the game were nicely curvy and organic as well, and fit well with a game titled "Fantasy Zone."

The enemies in this game are almost as adorable as the main character, the "OpaOpa". With big, bulgy, cuddly design, the only enemies that I can think of that look as good from the period are the ones from MegaMan 2 (3, etc).

The music is another area where this game rocks. The songs are catchy and fun, and really get stuck in your head. Actually, that's one of the serious dangers of playing this game.

The gameplay is pretty much like Defender, and is pretty tough, especially in the later levels. The reason to play this game, however, is because of the beautiful graphics and fun music. Even modern game designers could catch a few pointers here

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Of course this is a classic title in the video game cosmos.... someday you should try the TurboGrafx version. It will blow your face off.