Game Review: Secret of Mana
Secret of Mana is a fitting remake of the classic RPG game, complete with great voiceovers, polygonal characters and rejigged music
The original Secret of Mana game was a Super Nintendo classic with a brilliant 16bit soundtrack and an endearing story. The remake keeps the best parts of the game - updating the graphics and giving a modern twist to the soundtrack - and adds more to the story.
The story begins with you and two of your friends playing the fool in a forest surrounding your village. You fall into the waterfall and while trying to find your way out, discover the Sword of Mana embedded in a rock. Your character frees the sword and by doing so, allows monsters to invade the forest.
Once you reach the village, you are faced with a Mantis ant monster, which you promptly defeat, only to find out that the elders have banished you from the village. You go to the Water Palace to meet the sage, who tells you about what you have to do to repower the sword and you are then sent away on that quest. Along the way, you will build a team that you can micro manage and upgrade.
There are a few plot twists along the way, which while predictable are still entertaining. There is around 24 hours of total gameplay that should keep you occupied for a while. The developers have also paid special attention to the music of the game, adding synthesizer magic to the overall score. Of course, if you don’t like the new version, you can always go back to the old.
The game suffers from a few problems - the first has to do with your companions’ AI. If you don’t micromanage the team, they are sometimes pretty useless in times of crisis. While there is no easy fix for this, you can ask a few friends to grab another controller to join you in local multiplayer. With real humans in place, the game becomes a lot more manageable, especially when the monsters suddenly get all powerful.
The combat is straight forward, but as the difficulty increases, you may need to learn and practice your fighting skills. The Secret of Mana has always had a layer of cuteness. The environment is laden with colourful flowers and the greenery will suck you in with its warm fuzziness. The characters you meet along the way are interesting and again cute. There is no bad language, which means this game is ideal for kids and parents to play along.
If you are looking for a feel-good RPG game that’s kid friendly and has a non-complicated straight forward story, look no further than Secret of Mana. It flaws are easily ignored and the experience is worth the asking price.
Secret of Mana
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Price: Rs 1,499
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