Review by Snoop54

"One of the greatest multiplayer action rpg's ever..."

Secret of Mana, also known as Seiken Densetsu 2, is a fantastic game. It has an intriguing storyline, an excellent battle system, remarkable for its times, great graphics and sound, made by SQUARE, what else do I need to say? Now, let’s go and explain each of these points.

The graphics are really good, not up to par with games such as FF3 (or 6, whatever), Chrono Trigger, but managed to do its job. There are lots of animations, monsters, spell effects, bosses, etc., so considering all that square has done an excellent job. The part when you can see the world, and fly over it is absolutely fantastic, using mode 7. This game came out quite early, around 1992-1993, if I’m not mistaken and for those times it was quite impressive. There’s quite a variety in towns, passing from Gnomish style, to the more rural castle type, or to the high-class aristocratic houses. The bosses just look better and better as the game progresses, especially the last bosses which I’m not going to reveal, since you have to play this game.

The music is excellent, well, what d’you expect from square? The music in the various events are perfect and match spectacularly with the tone of each scene, from happy, to sad, to angry and battle moods. The sound effects are delightful, the slime when he attacks sounds just like a slime would sound like if you imagined it, or when the spells are cast. This area of the game is quite undoubtly perfect.

The storyline was extraordinary, it was just so moving and interesting when you first played it. The more you play the more you get absorbed into it, and you can’t stop playing it. I think the storyline of this game is up there with FF, Chrono Trigger, and the likes (well, although FF has that dramatic touch to it). It’s the classic good against evil, but starts with a boy which one day pulls out a sword which would then lead to banishment from his own society and the start of the boy’s adventure.
The battle system is quite good, brilliant. This is probably the first game which support multiplayer rpg action frenzy. If you invite two friends over to your house, this game is just perfect, it is very fun, good use of weapons and as you progress you’ll be able to use spells. The weapon attack system is innovative, charging it up to fire and explode it then. Everything is quite balanced.

Longevity/Replay Value:
Maybe this is the lacking point of the game, since after you beat it, you’ve beaten it. There aren’t a lot of things to do once you finish the game, maybe level up, collect all the weapons, special armor, etc. You can play the game over and over with your friends (although you may get tired after beating it 2 or 3 times, like I did), but it’s outstanding while it lasts. It will definitely leave you impressed after playing it and be a rewarding experience.

Graphics – 9
Sound – 10
Gameplay – 10
Longevity – 9

This game is a must-have. If you haven’t bought one now, or never played this game, you are not a true RPG fan. This is one of the top (action) RPG’s of all time.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/26/02, Updated 05/26/02

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