Review by BlueInferno83
"Most Overrated Game EVER"
For years, all I have heard is how great Secret of Mana is. I hadn't had a chance to ever try it out, but I had been eager to. I finally found it and was more than ready to throw this bad boy on and start a new game. Well, this game has turned out to be the disappointment of the century. Not only is Secret of Mana not as great as I thought it would be, it wasn't great at all. This has to be one of the hardest to control, most frustrating games I have ever played. It definitely had me about to punch a hole in the wall. Now, before you hurl the flaming toliet paper into my window, hear me out. I will give logical reasons why I did not like this game.
Graphics(9/10): Okay, I will be fair, the graphics in this game were great. They were simply astonishing. The backdrops were so full of color and life. I swear that this game has beautiful, breath taking graphics. I could go on and on about the graphics, but I do not want to be a human sleeping pill. The graphics, as well as the sound (which I will discuss next), are wonderful. However, unless you are an art fanatic or music connoisseur, then I would say that these two areas could not save this game.
Sound(8/10): Again, great sound. Some of the music in this game was simply toe tapping and relaxing. I especially like the walkabout music and the music of the underground shrine. But I don't play games for their wonderful music. I play games for enjoyment, and unfortunately, the enjoyment factor was just not in this game. Let's move on. So far I've had good things to say, but that's about to change. So folks, cover your ears and your eyes, it's about to get ugly.
Gameplay(3/10): Absolutely dreadful system. It is nearly impossible to equip weapons on who you want to equip them. I tried to equip a sword on my main character, and it's like the game ignored me, and it equipped it on another person and equipped my main character with some kind of whip. I figured if I wanted to get spells for one person, I clicked on another person to get their spells. I don't see how I am supposed to play this game when it is nearly impossible to equip my characters with the right items. The magic system also sucks. The whole notion of charging up and leveling magic is absolutely terrible. They attempted to combine a 3 member party with an action RPG and came up way short.
Battle System(4/10): Again, terrible. Action RPGs need to stick to having single people instead of parties. I can definitely see what they were attempting to do, but they failed miserably. It gets very confusing having to switch characters in the blink of an eye in a real time battle. Good idea, but cannot be executed correctly.
Characters(6/10): Not too bad. The main character is kind of a dope, and the girl and the sprite annoyed the crap out of me. But I guess they were somewhat tolerable, considering that they didn't talk most of the time. There weren't any other real significant characters in the game, so I guess I can move on.
Story(3/10): Going to shrines and getting the powers of different elements seems to be the basis of this quest. The main character finds a sword, which for some random reason calls his name, and he unlocks a terrible curse. He must go on a quest, recharge his sword, and eliminate the evil. Sound familiar? It should, this same premise has been used time and time again, and it wasn't good any of those other times either. Secret of Mana is about as original as Michael Jackson's nose.
Difficulty(8/10): This is a hard game, but not for the reason why you would think. This game is hard because it is very difficult and frustrating to level and configure your party. The actual quest is very linear and does not require a great deal of critical thinking. The game is more ''frustrating'' than ''difficult''. I just don't have a ''frustration'' setting. If I did, this game would not be a 10...it would be an 11.
Fun(2/10): This game isn't fun in any sense of the word. I couldn't wait to beat it. In fact, I didn't beat it at all. I was so bored with the game that I decided to quit and never play again. The story bored me to tears, and playing this game seemed like more of a chore, like doing homework or the dishes, than a pleasure. Well, that's actually an insult to chores. I'd rather clean out the rain gutters than play this game a moment more.
Secret of Mana is mind numbingly long and painstakingly difficult to master. I spent lots of time trying to get a grasp of the game, but I figured out that the game itself is incapable of being learned because the basis of the controls are ridiculously and unnecessarily complex. I did not beat Secret of Mana. I could not stand to play it any longer, although I must say I did tough it out and drag myself more than halfway through the game.
I usually love to play the genre of games where you get to defeat enemies in real time. However, this game is much different from the rest. This game is complicated and sucks the fun and pleasure out of the supposed relaxation I am supposed to receive from playing. I know lots of people think this is one of the greatest games ever made. Well, that's fine. For that reason, I cannot tell anyone to play this game or not to play it. Most who play love it. However, for me, it just fell short in so many areas. If you would like, try it for yourself. Don't just take my word for it.
Feel free to email me with comments.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 03/08/04
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