||Secret of Mana - Review
Secret of Mana
By: Greg Campbell
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
Let me get this out right now: Secret of Mana is one of the coolest, most
underrated games of all time. It's a shame that it never caught on with the
US market, but I still have my copy, and that's all that matters.
Secret of Mana is an action-RPG, so you should expect fast paced battles.
SoM doesn't disappoint. You and your 2 allies engage monsters in real time
battles. There are 8 different weapons that can be collected over the course
of the game, and they can be strengthened using orbs won from bosses or
found in treasure chests. The controls are tight and responsive, and you can
even play this game with up to 2 friends, one of the best aspects of the
game. Magic is also a major point and can make or break the critical
battles, which brings me to the next topic...
|Odd place to leave a sword.
...the Interface. Menus are handled in a way different from other RPGs, in
that the menu options are handled in Rings. Tap a button, and a ring of
icons surround you. There are different rings for different things, such as
items, magic, etc. You can also access the other character's menus, too.
When an action is selected, say, a Candy, the action will continue on as the
Candy takes it's effect on the target. Plenty of options are available, like
having COM-controlled allies target a specific enemy, or set their fighting
techniques, or altering the text window, it's all here! The only thing
missing is something telling you what you are supposed to do, because if you
start playing, forget about it, and pick it up, you will have NO idea what
you should be doing! So beware.
The music in SoM is simply beautiful, and does a lot to enhance the story.
Some tracks made me want to cry! The sound effects are decent, but there is
an annoying problem with them. Sometimes, when a sound plays, it interferes
with the music, and it can be a little distracting for a while. However,
this is but a minor flaw.
|When Hidden Ninjas Attack 3
When you start up the game, you are introduced to a typical "boy must save
the world" scenario, however the plot develops interesting twists along the
way. The battle system more than makes up for a dry beginning.
Even so, the story is very emotionally charged, and the character's roles in
the fantastic events are great. Some scenes seem to try to reach out and
screw around with your feelings, a rare occurrence for games of the time.
The translation efforts by Nintendo never were the greatest, but their
script rewriting for the US hit a new low. While grammer errors are
relatively few in number, the characters have a hard time registering
emotionally. That's not only the fault of the strange,
formal-English-meets-gangsta-rap dialogue, but Nintendo seemed as if it were
trying to "censor" sensitive issues. "It looks like it's parents were
beat..." what the heck is that?
|There's just nothing clever you can say about this screenshot
SoM does have good long-term appeal, as the battle system and multiplayer
options make this a great game to play with friends...but they may be over
for a while!
The graphics in SoM are bright and colorful, and the characters are
expertly drawn and animated. The spell effects aren't incredibly awesome,
but they're fast. The bosses are really cool(The Vampire's design is
awesome!) and the bigger bosses fully utilize the SNES's Mode 7 abilities.
You shouldn't have too much trouble with SoM, save the bosses, and as long
as you have a full inventory of items and upgrade your equipment as often as
you can, you should easily get through the game in less than 30 hours.
This game is a real treat for RPG fans, but like I said before, the game
didn't do all that well, so if you can find it, be prepared to pay a pretty
penny for it. But let me assure you; it's worth it!