<>Secret of Mana<>
Secret of Mana is just one of those classic RPGs that breaks the mold on the genre with the introduction of fresh and new ideas. You begin as a young boy from a small village named Potos, and as you are having some mischievous fun with your friends one day, you end up falling from a ledge. You are able to find an efficient path back to your village, however you discover that it is blocked by tall grass. Nearby, you discover a seemingly useless sword that you decide would be sufficient enough to cut through the grass so that you can return to town. Little does the boy know that claiming the sword has triggered a series of events that would change his life; and alter the fate of the entire planet forever.
One of the first RPGs ever to feature real-time combat, Secret of Mana has paved the way for countless other RPGs of its genre. The overall functionality of the game works great, and you are able to choose from a variety of magics and weapons to suit your playing style. You are also accompanied by two other characters in which you can customise their combat stances, but it is also possible to have a friend play along with you. This was another major breakthrough in the genre, as there had never been any notable RPGs for a console that were anything other than single player at the time. The storyline is fairly generic, and although there are a few surprises, it mostly sticks to a linear and predictable plot. Regardless of the storyline, the game offers a decent amount of personalization and delivers challenging tactic situations that require quick reflexes. Although the gameplay style fails to achieve its full potential, the open-ended playability is enough to keep you grinding until the end.
The only word I can use to describe the controls is 'forced'. Despite the intuitive battle system, it is easy to lose footing during combat by getting in the way of obstacles and other characters. In order to switch between weapons and magic types, you have to maneuver through a series of menu wheels for all three characters individually. Even though you can control the combat style of your party members, the artificial intelligence seems off balance, and they can often pose more of a hindrance than support. Switching between menus while trying to fight a battle in real-time can get frustrating very quickly, with the added frustration of trying to keep up with your party members while you are at it. The frame rate lag from excessive animation during large battles is no consolation to the issue, and without progressive grinding the enemies can easily come to overpower your entire party as you advance. If you do plan on playing the game all the way through, I suggest you prepare to invest a lot of time and patience.
The graphics appeal to the same classic style one would expect from an SNES game, but the artwork tends to be more colorful and vibrant than what one may be used to with this genre. The slight anime-style sprites and settings really seem to compliment the overall theme of the game quite well, and are an important addition to the gameplay experience. My only issue with the graphics is that they are sometimes recycled throughout the adventure, and the resolution quality is poor in certain areas. Still, they were well implemented considering the generation in which the game was created.
The music scores are well composed, and in most instances suit the theme of the game well. The sound effects are in sync with player action, and provide a pleasant addition to battle and menu navigation. However, as you continue farming experience in the same areas for extended amounts of time, the music becomes repetitive. Regardless, it is still appealing to listen to and proves to be somewhat memorable.
Overall Score: 7/10
In conclusion, Secret of Mana is a fun and addictive Action/RPG worth playing for those familiar with its genre. It can take some getting used to, and the dialogue can be bland, but the experience is still worthwhile. If you are able to play this game with a friend, it can be confusing at first, but I find that the sense of teamwork and companionship exceeds the effort. Although this particular game in the series is mediocre in comparison to its successors, it is still noteworthy. I would recommend Secret of Mana to anyone interested in playing a decent hack-and-slash adventure in their spare time.
Graphics 7 Sound 7 Addictive 8 Depth 8 Story 8 Difficulty 6
Secret of Mana Box Description: There is one force in the universe that keeps good and evil in perfect balance. It is called the tree of Mana. But a magic sword has tricked a young warrior into upsetting the balance, spreading evil throughout the land. Thus the warrior must undertake a dangerous journey to find the seeds of the Mana tree which has been hidden for centuries. Only then can perfect harmony be restored. In this incredible adventure, things are not as they seem. It's a world turned upside down that you must help the warrior make right. And the only way to succeed is to solve the Secret of Mana.
Secret of Mana Description: Once upon a time, the power of Mana was used by all people and helped their civilization grow. But as evil forces took control of Mana Fortress, there was no way out but a war which destroyed the Mana-based civilization but eventually brought peace to people. The events of the past became but legends to the new generation of humans. But history repeats itself... One day, a young village boy finds a rusty sword stuck at the bottom of a river. He doesn't know this sword is the famous Mana sword, the one that won so many battles before. By drawing the sword out of the river bottom, the boy unwillingly summons hordes of monsters, and is expelled from his village. A mysterious knight Jema is the only man who helps him and gives him instructions for the future. First, he must repair the sword, and then, with its help, take control of Mana seeds which can be found in eight great castles."Secret of Mana" is an action RPG, featuring real-time hack-and-slash type of a combat. Like in Quest for Glory games, you have a stamina gauge. The more stamina you have, the more powerful your strike is. You upgrade your weapons and abilities and meet many different types of monsters, while roaming around the country and performing your quests.
Loose Value: (beta)
Complete Value: (beta)
New Value: (beta)