Secret of Mana...I glanced at what system I was playing to make sure it was Super Nes, because itís just that intense. Very well designed, with lots of special effects too. Square always does graphics right! Regarding sound, a lot of games have a wide spectrum in the quality of songs and sounds. I think there could have been a little improvement here, but really everything fits good, even if some tunes can get a little annoying when you spend 2 hours or so in the garishly cheerful Dwarven Cave Town.
The gameplay is incredible. You can control up to 3 characters all at the same time!!! There's lots of intense action here folks, and it hardly ever gets old, because of the great battle action. Moving is very fast in this game, and all non-battle controls feel fine. The story and the world that Secret of Mana creates is probably the most engaging part of the game. Barely anything disappoints here. Quite original, and the unusual world is very appeasing to me somehow. Itís strange and charming a lot of the time, as you stroll past the furry Cat-merchantís house and field of pink and yellow flowers. I hate spoiled surprises, so I wonít give out hardly anything about the story. I will just say that some of the names and concepts they used seem to be a little reused, like calling the big bad force the ďEmpireĒ, but they are few in number.
How's the game overall? I donít often buy a game, take it home and instantly love it. This was an exception. At my local book/gamestore I picked this up for $12, hearing that it was good (however I had it confused with Secret of Evermore in my mind, which I hope to own someday.) Well after hearing the opening tune and reading the story, I was hooked. The game in short is original, thrilling to play, beautiful and ultimately a well-rounded good experience. I give this one a 9 out of 10.
- Written by Xtremedragoon -
While I can more or less share Xtremedragoon's sentiment, I can't add much to this. Not much can be said about the legendary Secret of Mana that hasn't been said already. You'll travel the world with three heroes, a boy, a girl and a sprite, who travel to stop what is known as "The Empire" from ruining the world and killing off the power that sustains the world, Mana. Along the way, you'll get loads of abilities and goodies that will aid you in your struggle, from magical beasts to kung-fu special moves. One of the most memorable aspects of this game is its intuitive (for the time) multi-player capabilities, which till this day seperates SoM from practically any other console Action RPG on the planet.
Anyway, I could always interject with how I agree or disagree with certain aspects of SoM, but instead, I'll talk about a couple of things that you may not have heard about the game. It's true that SoM is a graphical marvel utilizing superb colors, Mode 7 effects, and detailed characters and environments. It's also true that the game has a great soundtrack, but did you know this game was supposed to be MUCH more than what it was? SoM was originally being developed for the SNES/CD combo, which was canned due to conflicts between the various factions. As a result, the game had to be reduced to fit on the SNES' cart-based media. The game had a graphical downgrade and approximately 40% of the content was said to be sacrificed. Do you realize just how much 40% is? That is A LOT. It's amazing that Square decided to finish Secret of Mana the way it is at all, or put it on the SNES for that matter. While no one can validate the exact amount of removed content, it is agreed that it was a fair deal. This is perhaps part of the reason why certain aspects of SoM always seemed fuzzy to me...because so many things were removed and they probably had a hard time working around things and keeping the game coherent. Anyway, this is enough from me, and thanks for reading.
- Written by Vyse the determined -