Review by Asakane_Kotoro
"Is that a mouse following me in this bland but still fun adventure of a game?"
This is another game that I grew up on, alongside The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy 2 & 3, and The 7th Saga. And like all the games I've just listed, this has its own charms, but with those charms are some fatal flaws.
Secret of Mana, also called Seiken Densetsu, is an rpg about a three youths on a quest to find and restore the powers of the legendary Mana Tree.The story starts with a young hero on a treasure hunt with two mean boys he calls "friends" when he becomes separated from them, he finds the legendary Mana Sword and unleashes all the evil that it was sealed. He then returns to his village only to be banished by the very person that had raised him. The young hero soon finds himself going on an adventure to find the truth of his past and to save the Sacred Mana Tree. Joining him is a young headstrong Noble Girl searching for her missing boyfriend, Dyluck, and a young Sprite with amnesia raised by dwarves.
The story itself is good, but as you play through the game and read the dialogue, you'll probably notice that the text in the game sounds a little bland and not very good. Which is why I give it a 6/10. Now the reason for the whole blandness of the dialogue is because when Seiken Densetsu was brought over to America, a lot of the dialogue and story were cut out so that Square could fit the entire game onto the SNES cartridge, which didn't have much of a memory.
The personalities of the characters are a bit bland too because of the stuff removed from the original version. The boy seems like a big push over (he doesn't even defend himself when the villagers of Potos turn against him), the girl comes off as a spoiled brat, and the Sprite (which looks like a girl-mouse to me) is very annoying with his bad manners. I'm sure if this game was Rated for Adults, the Mouse, er Sprite, would be cussing left and right. But despite that, the characters' backstories aren't a total loss. I mean the boy is an orphan whose parents died when he was brought to Potoso Village, the Girl is desperately searching for her boyfriend, Dyluck, and she is on very bad terms with her father because of that, and the Sprite lost his/her memories during a flood that took him from his home in a forest, and brought him to the Dwarves' home in Gaia's Naval. So, the score for this would be 7/10.
Next is the graphics. While they aren't the best, they aren't the worst. The graphics are average and really detailed. You can tell what everything is. So, 9/10.
The battle system is also done in real time and can be a big pain. In order to actually get the characters do what you want, you have to constantly switch between them to input the right commands. It's easier if you were playing it multiplayers because then you and a friend can control the final character together to make battling easier. Each character gets their own set of spells from the eight mana spirits, except for the boy. The girl has all healing and defensive spells while the Sprite has all attack and offensive spells. The best you can hope for the boy is if you cast an elemental attribute on his weapon. You can also switch between different weapons too, but no two characters can use the same weapon. As the characters level up, so does the weapons and magic they use. But there is only one fatal flaw with the battle system: the charging power. In order to initiate powerful attacks you have to sit there and hold down the B button to charge your weapon before you finally have enough power to unleash a powerful attack. Waiting for your weapon to charge leaves you vulnerable to attacks by the enemies. And because of that, the battle and level system gets an 8/10.
The Music is often changes depending on the area and situation you're in, but it gets annoying having to hear the same music over and over again, especially when it comes to the boss battles. 7/10
The replay value isn't that great. I mean you can play through the game again if you want to try finding all the mana orbs and leveling up the weapons and characters to their maximum levels. But other than that, what's the use? 5/10.
All in all, this entire game gets a 7/10. I would highly reccomend this game if you actually like spending time leveling up your spells and stuff.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/30/10
Game Release: Secret of Mana (US, 10/31/93)
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