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Retro Monday – Super Fantasy Zone

Super Fantasy Zone is the third game in the Fantasy Zone series and also the last. It was originally released for the Mega Drive in Japan in early 1992, it came out in the UK later that year and didn’t come to the US until it’s release on the Wii Virtual Console in 2008.

Super Fantasy Zone is a shoot ’em up, in which you fly left and right trying to destroy specific enemies that will then trigger a boss. There are other enemies that will try to take you out while you aim for the guardians that are the objective, so you need to be careful and watch for bullets and enemies encroaching on your position. It’s a pretty standard free-roaming shooter in the vein of games like Defender. While taking down the bad guys you’ll get coins, and with those coins you can buy items from the shop, some items, like the double rocket and big wings, will last until you die, in which case you’ll need to rebuy them, other items, like the wide shot, only last for a certain amount of time and then it runs out and your ships weapon reverts to its twin shot.

The gameplay itself, isn’t really remarkable in any way, as I said it’s pretty standard and somewhat tough, though with each game over and retry I would get slightly further each time, so the difficulty isn’t too harsh, and you can learn attack patterns and so forth. The visuals are its main draw however, they, unlike the majority of Shumps are brightly coloured and rather bold. They are the epitome of joy and still look great to this day. The music follows suit with it’s upbeat and fun loving chiptune soundtrack that also stands out as being joyous.

Overall I liked the game, I started off thinking it was not too great, but over the hour that I played it I grew more and more fond of it, the visuals and sound helped with that and the gameplay with just ordinary, was fun, and I think anyone who likes a shmups with thoroughly enjoy this for its various aspects.

Verdict: Recommended.