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Fantasia (Genesis) artwork

Fantasia (Genesis) review


"I must confess that I listen almost exclusively to classical music. At work, I frequently infuriate my co-workers by turning off their intolerable rap music and switching to NPR. The thing with classical music is that it requires a great deal of concentration to get the most out of it. The pieces that I enjoy hearing the most are the ones that I have heard repeatedly, ones that I perhaps have some familiarity with the score itself, and ones that I'm able to pick up on the subtle nuances. "



I must confess that I listen almost exclusively to classical music. At work, I frequently infuriate my co-workers by turning off their intolerable rap music and switching to NPR. The thing with classical music is that it requires a great deal of concentration to get the most out of it. The pieces that I enjoy hearing the most are the ones that I have heard repeatedly, ones that I perhaps have some familiarity with the score itself, and ones that I'm able to pick up on the subtle nuances.

My personal favorite piece from the film would be the pairing of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain and Schubert's Ave Maria, or as Deems Taylor calls it, a juxtaposition of “the sacred and the profane.” The two pieces, despite being so different in style, go together so beautifully that only the most observant viewer would notice the transition. It creates a rather bizarre mixture of terror and comfort in the viewer that is perhaps appropriate to think about with Halloween just around the corner.

There have been a number of video games that have made music instrumental to their presentation – for example Mega Man, Rez, Mario Galaxy, Final Fantasy 6 – though I don't think any game has come close to the visual and aural orgasm that is Fantasia (the movie, not that shitty Genesis game). To be honest, I'm not sure what an interactive experience akin Fantasia would look like, but I would give anything for a game that could capture that inexplicable essence of music.

Fantasia connects music, something that is abstract and not easily understood, to concrete images, and for that I'm quite glad that a movie like it, and it's sequel Fantasia 2000, exists. It brings classical music to generations of children in a form that is accessible and simple to digest. In fact, Fantasia was the catalyst that spurred my life-long love of concertos and operas and what-have-yous, made me beg my mother for a viola, and coaxed me to watch the VHS so many times that the tape itself wore out and became non-functional. When I was a kid, I listened to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake every single night before going to bed. To this day, I still frequently stop what I'm doing, close my eyes, and listen to a piece while trying to form images in my mind. It's not just a great way to relax, it really helps one appreciate music.

If you're wondering how any of this is relevant to Fantasia on the Sega Genesis, let me ask you a better question: how is Fantasia on the Genesis relevant to anything?

Rating: 1/10

dagoss's avatar
Community review by dagoss (October 21, 2008)

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Felix_Arabia posted October 21, 2008:

Dagoss, I usually enjoy your writings, but this review lacks purpose -- you don't analyze the game you review! I played Fantasia just now to take some screenshots of it. And yes, the game is very bad. A nice little paragraph would be sufficient to explain the game's faults, namely that it has stiff control, poor hit detection, and Micky can only conjure a few offensive attacks before he's out of magical ammo. You should probably also state that this is a platformer. Otherwise, I'm not sure what this article's purpose is or why it needs to appear as a review.
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dagoss posted October 21, 2008:

I agree. I wanted to try a different angle, but perhaps I did not find the best one. I thought an irrelevant game should be treated irrelevantly, especially when it misses the point as badly as this one did. Live and learn.
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Masters posted October 24, 2008:

Hey dagoss, I like where you were going with this review, in terms of an unorthodox approach to an address a game that almost doesn't deserve to be addressed.

But let me tell you what I came away with, to give you an idea of the impact of your approach: I literally thought that Fantasia might be a game that just introduces kids to music, much like your experiences with the movie.

It actually didn't occur to me that it might be a platformer or a game at all, until I saw Felix's comments and checked the screenshots.

But I applaud your courage in trying something new.

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