Secret of Mana
A great early Action RPG
Jan 21, 2010
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Aside from the highly arbitrary statement of "This is my favorite SNES Action RPG," there a lot of good things about Secret of Mana. It's storyline is well-written, though the script is quite plain, since a lack of cartridge memory caused much of it to be stripped down in the English localization. The graphics are bright and colorful, and show what the SNES was capable of at the time. The music is nice and upbeat, but not too "out there" to the point where it takes away from the game's underlying dark atmosphere. The gameplay is fun and fast-paced, making level grinding actually enjoyable, for once, and the addition of multiplayer is even better!
While I truly love this game, there are a few problems that players make come across while playing it. First and foremost, the AI in this game is a bit primitive, and often causes the party members you aren't playing as to get themselves in fatal situations. Bugs are also plentiful, especially when it comes to sprite interactions and collision detection (that's the only term I can associate the phenomenon with). And finally, some players make not like the "Ring Menu" system in the game. Personally, I found this feature rather convenient, but many players who are used to a generic menu system find it a nuisance.
The Bottom Line
Secret of Mana is a great Action RPG, and should be played by anyone interested in RPGs from the 16-bit era. With nice aesthetic touches, a great plot, and multiplayer, it really offers a lot of fun for a 16 Megabit game. I highly recommend trying it out, and for those of you who never owned an SNES, I urge you to stop using emulators and buy this game on the Virtual Console.
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