Review by Psycho Penguin

"Completerd Review to one of SquareSofts most popular games ever"

Secret of Mana is a wildly successful game from SquareSoft. And after seeing it and playing it, it isn't hard to see why. Featuring real-time adventure elements, like the Zelda series, this game was the sequel to Final Fantasy Adventure, and is the second game in the Seiken Denestu series. Everyone I know loves this game, and I love it too, despite a few problems I encountered. This is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo. *NOTE: this is the completed version of the secret of mana review

The graphics in Secret of Mana are colorful and great. Some of the best graphics I have seen for a game released in the time period that Secret of Mana was produced. Featuring vividly detailed backgrounds, awesome character designs, amazingly detailed bosses, and great introduction screens at the beginning of the game. My only complaint is that sometimes the graphics are TOO colorful.

The control in Secret of Mana is excellent overall. You can jump at any time, fire weapons, and can bring up a ring type menu. I love the control in this game, but i don't like the fact that you have to wait several seconds for your weapon meter to recharge. Other than this flaw, the control in the game is great.

The gameplay in Secret of Mana is classic Zelda all the way, with a few new elements mixed in. The first major change is a weapon meter (later seen in Secret of Evermore). The weapon meter is an indication of how hard you will hit the enemy. The longer you wait (meter fills up to 100%), you will hit the enemy harder and you will have a better chance of hitting the enemy critically. The weapon meter is a great addition, but sometimes it gets very annoying when fighting bosses. Instead of hacking up on a boss, you have to wait several seconds for the weapon meter to recharge, while avoiding the attacks. It gets very frustarting after a while.Also, the game gets quite confusing and challenging after a while. The storyline twists at the worst possible moments, leaving you to wonder what the heck just happened, and also leaving you in the middle of nowhere with no clue on what to do next. On a poisitive note, you do build levels in the game. After a certain amount of experience is gained, you gain a level. You can also gain weapon levels. Finally, Secret of Mana is multiplayer. Yes, there is a mulitplayer RPG out there!!! You and two friends can each work together on a quest, each one of you controlling a character. Very cool, and helpful. The game is also much easier when you do cooperative gameplay. Secret of Mana has very interesting gameplay.

Secret of Mana is one of SquareSoft's most popular, and for the most part best, games out there. A sequel is finally going to be released in the United States. While the sequel (Legend of Mana) looks much better and looks to beat SoM in every way possible, Secret of Mana is still a classic and very fun (and hard to get!!) RPG. The only reason I don't give the fun factor in the game a 10 is because sometimes the game gets very frustarting and challenging. There are also several flaws in the game, including that stupid weapon meter. However, this shouldn't distarct yourself from the wonderful gaming experience whatsoever.

This is a very interesting subject. This game is classic and hard to find, a deadly combination that causes most games to be way overpriced. Secret of Mana can usually be bought in the 35-55 dollar price range. This may be too expensive for some gamers, but if you're a fan of RPG/Adventure Games, you can hardly find any games better than this. My advice for those who are leery of the hefty price tag (i don't blame ya) is to rent the game out first, then decide whether it is worth the investment.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/16/01

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