Review by shiningstone

"An interesting RPG with a twist"

Children of Mana...a game which takes place in a land where peace ran supreme...for a time. It was released for the Nintendo DS on November first, 2006. The story of this game is rather interesting in its own right, as well as the style of gameplay. Evil forces are mustering to take over the blessed Mana Tree and use its power against the people of its village. When beginning a new story, you have the choice of choosing four different characters, all with different advantages and disadvantages in battle. Some are magic wielders, some are better at physical attacking. Let's dive in and see what's so interesting about this game, shall we?

Gameplay 7-
Like many other RPGs, this game revolves around gaining stats. Now in this game, when you level up, you don't get immediate stats; you must equip weapons, armor and other items to increase your stats. This might seem pointless, but the weapons, armor, etc. have been matched with the level in which they would best be used. So basically, say you're level 5. There's a weapon to increase your attack, but you can't use that weapon until level 7. So you must gain two levels before being able to increase your attack. It's that simple. Unlike many RPG games, this one isn't turn-based, so you have free control while fighting. There are also special gems that can be used to help increase your stats and power you up. These gems aren't difficult to find, and they can be combined to help improve more than one stat at a time. It's pretty neat.

Sound 7-
Nice and possibly catchy music, especially when it comes to fighting. Sword fighting, spell casting and others have a balanced feel to them, but that's about it. Not much else to say about it. Except that it's better than nothing.

Control 6-
The controls can get annoying at times, but eventually can be perfected. Such as while on the battlefield, there's an item that can be used to heal yourself, a candy. It can be assigned to the Y button, while a weapon can be assigned to the X button, and another to the A button. While in the heat of a big fight, you might accidently forget the setup and press Y when you expect an attack to come out, but instead you might be at full health and end up healing yourself, wasting the candies you might need for later. Pitiful when it happens to you...

Replay Value 5-
The replay value isn't that good, but the story mode is extended, lasting considerably longer than some other RPGs.

Story 8-
You begin the game in your village, living life as is, with no complaints. Until a friend of yours is about to go to the Mana Tree, the symbol of peace and happiness of the village (and world, for that matter). The Mana Tree is attacked by evil forces and it falls upon your shoulders to jump in and save your friend and the rest of the world from this impending terror.

Buy or Rent?
I'd say to buy this game. It can be annoying at times with the controls and such, but don't let this fool you. It's a great game, one worth playing. I recommend to buy this game so you can enjoy everything this game has to offer.

While there are many RPGs out there, this is another one of those 'near-must haves'. I recommend picking it up, and playing through it. It's a fun game that can at least help pass the time, if nothing else.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/09/07

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