Review by Spektre
"An engaging adventure with great graphics."
Secret of Mana is one of my all-time favorite games for the SNES. (Unfortunatley, I also own Secret of Evermore, the biggest ripoff of a game ever). It's original, it's intriguing, and it has the most weird looking moogles in a Square Soft game! Scores . . .
GRAPHICS: In 1993, this game had some of the best graphics on a console game. THe Final Fantasies eventually surpassed SoM, but even today the graphics are great. (Just a note- why in some reviews is "graphics" spelled "grafics"? Oh, well...) The grass blows in the wind, the characters move smoothly across the screen, the trees have so much detail... and, oh, yes, the moogles in this game look like koalas with wings! They still say "Kupo!", but they're just so... funky! In the ring menus, it is fairly easy to see what an icon means. The magic spells are also very bright and cool. One word: Delightful. (10/10)
GAMEPLAY: This game has such originality, its like it's not from Square. The ring menus are very nice, though at first they may seem a bit awkward. And, since this RPG does not use menu-based battles, it's great that you can move around and avoid an enemy. The weapon meter also puts more challenge into the game. So, when you swing at an enemy, a lttle percentage meter starts at zero and goes to 100, one hundred being your strongest swing. You can also charge up your weapons, forge weapons, cannon travel service (I love it), ride a dragon, and use some great spells. BTW, the spells are gained over time as you find the elementals that hold their powers. (10/10)
PLAY CONTROL: This can be awkward at first, too. You use basically the same control configuration as FF3, but you can customize your settings. Dashing is a big part of the game, but it sorta stinks that you can't turn while running. Also, you gotta be quick and familiar with the menus during the boss battles and whip out a spell or twenty. When you're hit kinda hard, you stumble back and lay there for a minute. The spear weapons are awkward and clumsy. YOu just gotta be quick in this game or you'll never make it past the Water Palace (2nd place in the game). (7/10)
SOUND: The music matches the mood so greatly. The town music is bright and cheerful, while the boss music moves and is totally appropriate. The ruins music is very freaky, like a haunted carousel (sp?). And Dark Lich's boss music... WOW! The sound effects are standard slashes and explosions. They aren't very notable, but still match what's going on in the game. (10/10)
REPLAY VALUE: (8/10) You won't find everything on the first time through, but, then again, there wouldn't be much else to find.
RENT OR BUY? You gotta buy this game. Renting it for a night won't get you anywhere in the game. I'm pretty sure there'll be bargain bin copies of this game somewhere, or just go to EBWorld.com or Funcoland.com and buy it. I'm sure its not much. To sum everything up: YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!
OVERALL RATING: 9/10 (not an average)
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/16/01
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