Sega isn’t slowing down in bringing their classic titles to modern day players on Nintendo Switch via their Sega Ages lineup. Developer M2 has been behind all of these given their excellent track record in the quality of their emulation. Sega Ages Shinobi and Sega Ages Fantasy Zone are the latest classic titles to join the lineup. You can read our review of Shinobi here but this one is all about whether Fantasy Zone is worth adding to your Switch library.
If you aren’t familiar with Fantasy Zone it was a shoot’em up that released back in 1985 originally. It was the game that pretty much invented the cute ’em up genre where you have a main character and enemies that are all cute. Other games like this include Twin Bee and Gunbird. In the game you play as a ship called Opa-Opa and have to defeat enemies and collect coins to save the world. There are some new features here to make the game a bit easier but you’re still likely to find this game quite challenging.
There isn’t a lot to say about the gameplay of Fantasy Zone as you simply fly through the levels and shoot the enemies and enemy bases along the way while trying to stay alive yourself. Your starting weapons include a rapid fire gun and bombs you can drop. At times you face off against large bosses that will give you quite the challenge. Coins collected along the way can be used to buy power ups for your ship such as more powerful attacks and faster movement speed. The game has a total of eight levels to play through and it doesn’t take that long to finish it but some extras in this version help give the game some longevity. The visuals in Fantasy Zone still look good today on the Nintendo Switch thanks to how colorful they are. The music is also enjoyable to listen to with a cheery, upbeat sound to it.
This Sega Ages version of the game adds quite a few new features to the game. There is a level select feature now letting you jump into any stage you feel like. A brand new Upa-Upa mode has you playing as Opa-Opa’s brother and lets you swap between the different power ups using the shoulder buttons. Time attack mode gives you unlimited lives and 20 minutes to see how fast you can make it through the game and to try to put up a good score on the online leaderboards. There are different difficulty settings now and you can choose how many lives you start the game with. Of course you also have all the various screen filters and screen size options to mess with. Finally, you can switch between playing the American or Japanese version of the game as you wish. Overall, all of the new features are welcome additions and help to keep you playing this game longer. They are always nice extras to get in these affordable ports.
Sega Ages Fantasy Zone is yet another great port from developer M2. The game has a wealth of new features that should help anyone who struggled to make it through the game in the past. It still looks great and since all of the Sega Ages titles are priced at just $7.99 it’s hard to not recommend giving it a shot if you enjoy shoot’em ups.
*Sega Ages Fantasy Zone is available now on Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by Sega for this review.