|Reference added: 319|
"Katsuyuki Kanetaka designed both Fantavision and Flipnic."
I think this game was a PS2 launch title, and obviously intended as something of a graphic showcase for the new hardware. In this role it succeeds with flying colors--and not just flying, but jetting, blasting, shooting, erupting, exploding. It's like someone jammed a kaleidescope in your eye and shoved you into the middle of that Parade of Lights thing at Disneyland.
Any game underneath the color? Well, a little. You point at fireworks as they fly up into the air, trying to chain-connect at least three of a like color. You can bridge to another color with certain "wild" fireworks, thereby extending the chain. Pressing another button detonates your chained fireworks in a pretty explosion, often giving you a bonus (score, health) for catching certain valuable fireworks or managing a particularly long chain. It's a game of patience, really, because you get high scores with long chains, and if you want a long chain you'll have to wait for more fireworks to launch, but there's constantly a threat that your currently-chained fireworks will fizzle out and be lost (dropping your health meter).
And that's pretty much it. A good game to get for $10, maybe, if you're in kind of a trippy color trance mood. It isn't very difficult on normal difficulty, you can get quite far just by mashing the button and twirling the stick, essentially, and then you get to watch the pretty lights and listen to the pretty music. The presentation, for what it's worth, is top-notch, with a distinct retro-50's aloha style, including lots of mellow digitized voiceovers and video layering effects.
But that's all there is really. Two-player doesn't do much for anyone, as the two sides don't have all that much to do with each other and the border between them just contracts and expands randomly, trying to simulate gameplay I suppose. Get this cheap, and if you like the style, hunt down Flipnic (entry 319), designer Katsuyuki Kanetaka's next game, which didn't have to bear the burden of being a tech demo.