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Legend of Mana

Developer: Squaresoft | Publisher: Square EA
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 06/07/00 | Genre: Action/RPG

Over the summer, Square released three games to it eagerly awaiting public. Those games were Threads of Fate, Legend of Mana, and Chrono Cross. All of these games were original in their own rights, and they were something to tide the video gaming community until FFIX was released. These games were some of Squares greatest titles they have ever made.

Legend of Mana is the sequel to the Super NES game called Secret of Mana. SoM was the coolest and most original game to hit the SNES in a while. There have been 4 games in the Legends series and this is the fourth. The other two were not released in the US. Nevertheless,, we got LoM and that is good enough for me. Read on...

The land of Fa'Del you are an adventurer that has gone out to save the world. The story is the weirdest thing I have ever experienced in all of my days, mainly because there is no real story that is set in stone. If I had were to tell the entire story I would have to type 10 different things because the story breaks off so many times it starts to turn into the "Why am I doing this" syndrome and that is not cool. I would have rather had a steadfast story then a do-it-your-self story brand. That is boring. However, enough about the almost non-existent story and on to the stead fast game play.

The world of Fa'Del is very original, and like the story, there is nothing there! If this game weren't sitting here in front of me, I would have said that it wasn't there at all. Nonetheless, LoM is very fun. The main concept in LoM is the land-make system. You go into a dungeon, you get an artifact that you place on the main world, and it turns into a town or dungeon right before your eyes. This adds some spice into an already too easy game (I will elaborate more on that a little later on) and it is the source of the story.

The battle system is the over used Hack and Slash idea. You get into "almost" random encounters and you mash X to attack the enemy with a quick attack. In addition, you can form combos with a mash of the X button. There are also strong attacks that cannot be combined. The way you get to use magic is the most interesting part. You get special attacks when you equip a new weapon and when you get to a higher level. You can also use magic attacks if you equip instruments. The instruments each have their own elemental type and their own magic attacks. You can equip up to four special attacks or magic spells to the shoulder buttons to make fighting easier. The battle system is a tad too simplistic for me. There is no challenge in fighting and that turn away the players.

The world is very colorful to say the least. Some may say that the graphics are a step backwards, but to the rest of the normal critics out there, the graphics are splendid. No doubt they would have been better if they were 3d, but the 2d watercolor is exquisite and full of life. They remind me of the areas in SaGa Frontier on the PS. If I were to give the graphics an individual score I would give them an A+. Yes, they are that good. And if you don't believe me then look at the screens yourself!

Composition in LoM is great! The songs are some of the best on a console to date. Square did a heck of a job on this one! The sound washes over you in every area you trek into. The level music is some of the coolest. Now that I think about it the sound would get an A, not quite A+ material, but still a good showing!

If you are looking for an A+ or even an A game then don't get this game. Even with its great graphics and sound, LoM deserves the B+ it got because of its many problems. For one it is the easiest game I have ever played, and the story is almost non-existent. This game has great graphics and killer sound. All in all this game is fun, and if you are looking for a little variety then get this, you will get hours of enjoyment from this title!

By Adam Westenberger - 08/10/00
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Screenshots for Legend of Mana

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