Review by orestes1981

"I did something wrong in a past life, didn't I?"

"Mana n: 1. A supernatural force believed to dwell in a person or sacred object. 2. Power; authority. “

It seems that the views of the few are shaping the views of the many because they believe they have power or authority over the populace because the will of the Divine has given humanity such power. War, famine, death, recession, and depression. All of these are being inflicted onto the working class by the social elite.

Enough of Politics and George W. Bush, the point of this article is to share one's idea of a game brought to us by Square-Enix. I must apologize for the political overtones in the first part of this review. I just couldn't help it, or maybe I could. We will never know.

That is neither here nor there. I will share my experiences and ideas concerning a lovely game called Dawn of Mana brought to us by the lovely people that work for Square Enix. I have a deep seated fear that they don't really care about the fans of the Mana series.

Graphics

First off, I will state that the visuals are the best thing about this game. The models are large and colorful. It's nice to see that there is some variety when it comes to the enemy designs. At the very least, you are not looking at the same type of monster the whole game; however, there are some enemies that you tend to see more often than not.

One thing to note, besides that everything looks well in this World, is the camera angles can b absolutely atrocious. Why in God's name do we battle the camera more than the actual monsters in the game? They should call this Return of the Worst Camera ever. If I knew in advance that it would be this bad, I wouldn't have called in sick (**Cough**"I can't review this game because I'm just too sick. **Cough, Cough**). I can be overly harsh in some regards; however, it feels like they just found random homeless people to design the camera.

It's not as bad as I make it seem, but it's pretty horrible in the sense that the graphics tend to be so wonderful and you can't get a good baring on anything! It may be a notice that the developers may not have decided to put as much time as needed to release this game and make it truly memorable. On a side note, the graphics are simply breathtaking.

Gameplay

I want you to close your eyes and think of a game. You have a sword and are making enemies fall in waves. It's exhilarating to have such power. The fate of future hangs in the balance. You can let future become forever changed, or you can right the wrongs and set the world back to the journey towards normalcy. Unfortunately, I wasn't referring to this game. I was referring to a game that was released by Nintendo that had something to do with Zelda.

This game can best be described for this game would be a basic hack and slash with slight RPG elements (its more about the Action than anything else and the overall gameplay suffers because of this. The most concise way to describe the graphics is like the little surprise of getting your favorite CD back from your brother and finding it ruined the moment you wanted to listen to a specific tune.

Because of the slight semblance of RPG elements, your character starts at level one each chapter. You will collect different badges from the enemies you defeat and gain experience in the chapter. That goes towards to increasing your character's power; however, each chapter resets the character back to the lowest level.
Its futile to level up to level up you character and find out that it was all for naught. I was tempted to punch a wall because I was frustrated with the design choices in the game. It could have been worse (I could have been poisoned or infected with Ebola), and I find some comfort in the fact that it was still a somewhat bittersweet experience.

Sound

The music was very forgettable in my honest opinion. I honestly felt that it was your standard fantasy fair with VOs threw into the mix to make it feel more up to date. The voice work in general is average in execution. It's like watching some cheap anime. It's not horrible; however, it incredibly average in execution. I felt like playing the game in mute the majority of the time.

Lasting Appeal

There isn't much here that is going to offer much reward for those that continue to subject themselves to Square-Enix designed torture. I guess you can find some enjoyment from fling monsters around with your vine attachment. There isn't much the game offers besides that.

Fun Factor

Fun? People looking for an entertaining game should look elsewhere.

Overall

A very lackadaisical “RPG” designed by Square-Enix. It really seams that they don't have much faith in the Mana name. The Secret of Mana was one of the best Action RPGs on the SNES. They have yet to follow up that game with a rewarding sequel. For those awaiting a second coming of RPG-greatness, you should keep waiting and skip this rushed effort.




Graphics-7.0= The graphics are beautiful in their own right. I would compare it to Final Fantasy XII.

Gameplay-3.0= What is the point of leveling up your character? You start each chapter at level one.

Sound-4.0= The music is forgettable. The quality of the voice acting is similar to your average Saturday morning cartoon.

Lasting Appeal-4.0= I can skip this review...right???

Fun Factor-2.0= I have to start each Chapter at level one? Who designed this??

Overall-4.0


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/12/07

Game Release: Dawn of Mana (US, 05/24/07)


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