3D Fantasy Zone II W (Nintendo 3DS) Second Opinion Review

By Dustin Chadwell 02.08.2015

Review for 3D Fantasy Zone II W on Nintendo 3DS

For those that grew up in the 8-bit and 16-bit era, it wasn't unusual to see popular arcade titles ported to home console. Companies like Capcom and Konami would often bring over various beat 'em ups like Final Fight and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with varying degrees of quality. However, it was a bit unusual to see the opposite: a console game ported to the arcade. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa by SEGA was one such title, released originally on the SEGA Master System in 1987 and then brought over to arcades in 1988. Fantasy Zone II has also been released via Virtual Console on Wii, and through a collection on PS2. It's the PS2 version that has now been given the 3D remake treatment for Nintendo 3DS. After looking at the game last month, Cubed3 is back with a second opinion in this C3-2-1 review.

M2, the talented developers also responsible for the other retro-themed 3D Sega titles that have been released thus far, have had some previous experience with this particular entry. The version that appeared on the Sega Ages Vol. 33 Fantasy Zone Complete Collection for PS2 in 2008 was also developed by M2, using a classic System 16 arcade board. For anyone that follows retro remakes and ports, M2 is generally thought of as the best developer to tackle the process of emulating classic games. This port from the PS2 collection to the 3DS has been handled with the same talent and care that fans have come to expect from the developer, with a few additions tossed in.

3D Fantasy Zone II features two modes: story and endless. Story mode encompasses the entire Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa experience available on the platforms mentioned previously, whereas the endless mode, dubbed Link Loop Land, is completely new for this version. Both modes put players in control of Opa-Opa, the titular, diminutive spacecraft that is essentially the series mascot. The base mechanics require Opa-Opa to move right and left across a slowly scrolling screen, blasting away at waves of eclectic enemies. The end goal, as far as the story mode goes, is to eliminate a number of special foes in order to make a gigantic boss appear, culminating in the end of the stage.

Screenshot for 3D Fantasy Zone II W on Nintendo 3DS

Link Loop Land removes certain functions of the story mode, like the ability to upgrade Opa-Opa via shops, or the newly integrated warp feature, wherein Opa-Opa can switch between dark and light variations of a given stage. Instead Link Loop Land is focused on building up a multiplier through coins collected by defeating enemy waves and destroying the stationary enemies throughout the stage. Waves will become increasingly harder, and bosses will populate the stage at random. It's a challenging mode, but one that offers the best opportunity at earning money, which in turn becomes useful for Story Mode.

M2 has done a fantastic job of porting this experience over to the 3DS. The top screen makes excellent use of the widescreen, not cropping the game into its original aspect ratio, but instead naturally filling the screen with more real estate. With most developers that emulate retro titles, the thought of not presenting something in its original aspect ratio is akin to a mortal sin, but M2 has clearly put in work to prevent skewing or stretching the visuals here. In addition, the use of 3D looks remarkably sharp, with what appears to be three distinct planes of depth that really help the foreground elements stand out.

Screenshot for 3D Fantasy Zone II W on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

There's virtually no complaint to be leveled at 3D Fantasy Zone II, other than the score not being nearly as memorable as other 8 and 16-bit shooters of its era. This port by M2 shows a level of care rarely given to retro re-releases by other developers, and continues to prove why M2 sets the bar in regards to emulation quality on both home and portable consoles.

Also known as

3D Fantasy Zone II

Developer

M2

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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