Sega Ages Fantasy Zone (Review) Nintendo Switch

Sega Ages Fantasy Zone (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

The Sega cute ‘em up that garnered a cult following in arcades back in 1986, is now available as a Sega Ages release for Nintendo Switch. As the first game in what would eventually become a series, Fantasy Zone follows a sentient spaceship known as Opa-Opa, as it fights to protect a group of odd-looking, other-worldly planets from an alien invasion.

Like other releases in the Sega Ages series, Fantasy Zone includes three game modes – Original Mode, UPA-UPA Mode and Time Attack Mode. Original Mode, as the name implies, is the original arcade game with a stage select feature. UPA-UPA Mode takes the amount of ‘gold’ earned from previous game sessions, and applies it towards in-game weapons that can be ‘freely’ switched between by pressing the L and R buttons. At the start of the game, the player can choose from one of four engines – Big Wings, Jet Engine, Turbo Engine and Rocket. Each engine is increasingly faster than the other, dramatically changing the pace of the game. Time Attack Mode is self-explanatory, and involves completing the game’s 8 levels with the best time possible.

Fantasy Zone’s gameplay isn’t for the feint of heart.  The number of on-screen enemies is staggering. When these enemies attack, the amount of bullets they fire usually clutter the playfield, making them difficult to avoid. It woudn’t be unfair to say, that this alone is enough to test the player’s hand-eye coordination and overall patience. 

In its stock form, Opa-Opa moves quite slow. In fact, it’s difficult to navigate around enemy fire in this state. This is why collecting the ‘gold’ coins that drop from enemies (after they have been destroyed) is important. This aforementioned currency can be spent at ‘Shops’, where the player can upgrade Opa-Opa’s fire power and overall speed. When these ‘upgrades’ are purchased, the game’s difficultly tends to be less daunting.


Graphically, Fantasy Zone is a good looking game with bright, colorful graphics. Moreover, the 2D sprites are now considered iconic due to their ‘cute’, and very original, designs. The same could also be said about the game’s levels, which vary greatly in their appearances.

With that said, Fantasy Zone is a worthy addition to the Sega Ages collection. It’s a fun, challenging game that looks, sounds, and plays great on the Nintendo Switch. Fans of cute ’em ups (and yes, even shmups) really can’t go wrong with this release; it’s a great way to experience one of the most iconic shooters in video game history.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
ESRB: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Price: $7.99

Sega Ages Official Website:

Review Score
Fantasy Zone is a good looking game with bright, colorful graphics.
A classic soundtrack invokes memories of nostalgia.
Fantasy Zone isn’t for the feint of heart.
Fantasy Zone is a worthy addition to the Sega Ages collection.
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