Review by Lord Magus2002
"An old but awesome Rpg"
Despite the name of the game, this is not part of the Final Fantasy series. It's actually the first game on the Seiken Densetsu series (Or Secret of Mana). It's a very fun RPG that has similar gameplay to the NES Zelda games. It may be old, but has it's share of surprises and memorable scene (As well as awesome gameplay)
The story revolves around an evil empire called Glaive, and the Dark Lord, who seeks the power of the Mana Tree to rule the world. You are Sumo, a gladiator kind of warrior that has to fight everyday just for the entertainment of the Lord. The adventure begins when you make your escape from the empire and overhear some of the Dark Lord's plans, along with his minion Julius. The Dark Lord notices you, and you get thrown into a waterfall. But the game really begins to get interesting when you meet Fuji, mysterious girl who you find in the forest, and you must help...The game is overall very sad, and has some very well thought plot twists that keep you hooked until the very end.
I guess the graphics were good for the time, but it's just classic white and black Game Boy graphics. It has some nice touches though, the bosses are pretty well done, as well as the weapons, which actually have their own form, unlike many old turn-based games, where the weapons were always the same. The enemies are pretty much the same from the other Secret of Mana games, so you can see how they looked like back in the first episode :)
The gameplay is great. Like the first Zelda game, you go around fighting monsters and beating dungeons, only that in this game, you also gain levels. As you kill more and more enemies, you gain experience, and levels, when this happens you gotta choose what type of status you will boost up: Power, will, stamina or wisdom. A nice add was the ''Will bar'', which when full, you can use the full power of your weapon. You only control Sumo, but certain characters join you, and they support you by doing their own skills and some even help you battle monsters (You do this by ''asking''). One of these characters is actually a Chocobo, so the game does have something of FF. Being a Game Boy game, the controls are pretty easy. A to attack and choose something on the menu, B to use your equipped items or spells, START to open the menu, the pad to move, and to talk to people you simply go up and walk into them. The dungeons may get a little repetitive, but some have challenging puzzles, and confusing areas. Overall awesome and very fun gameplay.
The game has very fitting tunes for the scenes, towns and such. The sound effects are ok, but they get quite repetitive. Nothing special.
Fun factor/challenge (9/10):
The game is lots of fun if you like adventure/rpg's, but it ain't very hard. Some of the puzzles, dungeons and bosses were a bit frustrating and challenging but overall it has medium difficulty. Still, you'll have tons of fun with it.
Replay value (7/10):
Well, i like to replay this game every once in a while but there's really nothing new to do, just beat it all over again.
This game was a nice experience, and definitely one of the best Game Boy games i've played. It may be rare to find now a days, but if you happen to see it anywhere, and you have a Game Boy, get it! You surely won't be disappointed if you want to see how the SoM series started, or just want a new and fun adventure/rpg game to play.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/23/04
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