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Fantasia: What Did Critics Say Back in 1991?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 18, 2014   |   Episode 70 (Show Archive)  


Fantasia (Sega Genesis)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Now that we've seen the best of Mickey Mouse on the Sega Genesis, it's time to see the worst. Forget Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion, because this time around Mickey Mouse gains magic powers in an adaptation of one of Disney's greatest animated films. Was this another winner for Sega, or have critics finally had enough of Mickey on the Genesis? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly Mean Machines and other classic magazines for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

[ Company: Sega | Console: Genesis ]

GAMEPRO (August 1991)
4 out of 5

"No, you're not imagining things. The animated Disney movie classic, Fantasia, is making its way to the Genesis. Fantasia, the movie, captivated movie goers everywhere with its spectacular animation. Now Fantasia, the video game, is ready to do the same to video games. Yup, it looks great, it sounds great, and it plays great. It is great! Fantasia is a dream come true." -Andromeda

MEAN MACHINES (The Essential Sega Guide)
61% out of 100%

"The gameplay is badly flawed and there are several highly annoying features. For a start, the collision detection is very tight -- Mickey loses energy even 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. Lovely graphics let down by totally dreadful playability. Even the biggest Mario fans will be disappointed." -Jaz

6 out of 10

"Fantasia does boast some of the best graphics and animation in a video game, but the game play of this cart is too clunky and unpredictable to be much fun. The theme is pretty one-dimensional too, so don't get into this game expecting a lot of depth. Nice for the younger set." -Steve

53% out of 100%

"The second Mickey Mouse game to hit the Megadrive is, like its Castle of Illusion forerunner, awash with beautiful, cartoon-quality graphics which fully capture the spirit of the Fantasia feature-length cartoon. If there's any justice in the world, whoever did the play-testing for Fantasia ought to be standing in the dole queue at least, or standing in front of a firing squad at best. The game promised so much and delivered so little." -Paul Rand

MEGA PLAY (July 1991)
5 out of 10

"The graphics and animation are the only thing that save Fantasia from the fiery depths of a 4. Player control is substandard and the music needs more variety." -Mike

5 out of 10

"The graphics are great but the game play is nothing like Castle of Illusion. The music is OK, I like the classical tunes. The animation is very spectacular, but the game play leaves so much to be desired. Too straightforward and tends to get repetitive easily." -Martin

MEGA PLAY (July 1991)
4 out of 10

"The best thing about this game are the fantastic graphics and animations. The worst thing about this game is the poor game play. Sorry, pretty graphics doesn't make a good game." -Bart

49% out of 100%

"This sequel to Mickey Mouse was keenly anticipated, but turned out to be a massive disappointment. The graphics are excellent, but sadly naff sound and poorly designed, bland and frustrating gameplay result in a game that has very little appeal -- even to the biggest Mickey fans."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 53% - Just in case you thought critics liked every Mickey Mouse game on the Sega Genesis, there's Fantasia. Despite being based on a beloved Disney classic and sporting some of the best visuals found in 1991, Fantasia proved to be a major disappointment. Both Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion captivated critics with a 91% average, but Fantasia squeaked out with a measly 53%.

Nearly every critic complained about the same thing -- Fantasia's awful play control. "The worst thing about this game is the poor game play," notes Mega Play." "The game play of this cart is too clunky and unpredictable to be much fun," says Electronic Gaming Monthly. Mean Machines went a step further, saying that "the magic controls are very sluggish - you press the fire button and there's a horrible pause before Mickey shoots."

Oddly enough, GamePro didn't seem too concerned with the gameplay. Even though every other magazine complained about the play mechanics, Andromeda at GamePro seemed happy with them. "It looks great, it sounds great, and it plays great. It is great! Fantasia is a dream come true." Makes me wonder what game he was playing.

ON MONDAY'S EPISODE: Now that's we've seen the very best and worst from Mickey Mouse, it's time to spend a day with the Battletoads. Although similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Battletoads were just different enough to keep developer Rare out of court. Did critics fall in love with this 2D brawler, or was that impossible driving stage more than they could handle? Find out what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other classic magazines thought of Battletoads on Monday's episode of Review Crew. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!




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