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Joystiq presents

Metareview: Children of Mana

During the great catastrophe that occured in Illusia, many lost their life. The Mana Tree, a staple of the Mana series, has now become corrupt with its own power, causing countless monsters to roam the lands. Mana pillars have also erected across Illusia, tasking the player with raising the Sword of Mana and freeing the trapped Guardian Spirit within. This is the only way the Mana Tree and Illusia can return to peaceful state it enjoyed before the catastrophe.
  • IGN - 80%: "Hardcore gamers expecting to get a sequel to the popular Secret of Mana series from the days of the Super Nintendo are going to be let down purely based on the dungeon crawler design of the game. For fans of games like Blizzard's Diablo, or repeat gamers that enjoyed Sword of Mana despite its harsh criticism and apparent downsides, Children of Mana is a keeper. The action is solid, the amount of character customization is definitely robust, the amount of side quests and bonus missions to partake in will ensure players that the adventure isn't over too quickly, and the game is simply beautiful on an audio/visual level. As far as hack-n-slash RPGs go, Children of Mana is one of the best we've seen on a handheld, and for dungeon crawler addicts Square Enix has definitely hit the spot."
  • Gamepro - 80%: "Ultimately, Children of Mana is wonderfully rendered, but when compared to Secret of Mana's engaging narrative, Children of Mana's sparse and slow story falls short. The game is still fun, especially if you enjoy dungeon-crawling and strategically nuanced battles. Fans of the Mana series should check it out, but don't hold your expectations too high."
  • Games Radar - 60%: "It's a shame that combat in Children of Mana is so mindless. The ingredients are there to make this a really excellent action RPG. Unfortunately, it wasn't cooked for long enough and you're left with an action RPG with great RPG elements and trite action. There are lots of things this game does right, but ultimately it fails to live up to its potential."

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)


11-01-2006 @ 2:04PM

mike said...

thanks for this information


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11-01-2006 @ 2:08PM

DSgirl said...

Why is everyone so in love with secret of mana on the SNES? I'm playing it and it's not that great. And it certainly doesn't have an engaging narrative! What is Gamepro talking about? The storyline is practically nonexistant as is character development....
It's still a good game, but doesn't deserve some of the praise it gets... :P


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11-01-2006 @ 2:22PM

Wizarobe said...

I think the dungeon crawling version will probably be considered an improvement.

I agree w/ DSGirl. The story line from the SNES version was okay but not as captivating as the reviews claim. I probably enjoyed playing Diablo more anyway. If I want a story I'll read a book. Game play is number one w/ me.


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11-01-2006 @ 2:59PM

bluetrane said...

the story is overrated in secret of mana but the game is not. While secret of mana is practically as linear as children the presentation is done in such a way that it is not. Its more fun to explore a world rather then just go from point to point.

i think square enix is overated at this point basically re living past glories from mid to late 90;s.

I still pick up most of their games but they lack that je ne sais quois they used to have.

Here is hopeing the FFIII changes my perspective


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11-01-2006 @ 3:39PM

Gerwurztraminer said...

"Why is everyone so in love with secret of mana on the SNES?"

For me, it's the nostalgia. The first non-Mario/Sonic type game I ever played was Secret of Mana. Not a Zelda, and not a Final Fantasy, but SoM.

Plus, it was 3-player game and that alone was reason for me to be impressed. Good times. Crossing my fingers for an $8 virtual console purchase.


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11-01-2006 @ 7:35PM

mike said...

i think square enix is overated at this point basically re living past glories from mid to late 90;s.


no shit.. ff12 anyone?


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11-01-2006 @ 10:11PM

impact24 said...

Hi DSGirl,

At that time, SoM had one of the most lush graphics on the SNES. The world was a thrill to explore because of it's diversity, plus the music was very memorable. Finally, the gameplay was addicting as it resembled a fast-paced Zelda game complete with a plethora of spells (with great effects at that time!).

You are right, the story is not special at all. Still the world itself and the gameplay charmed many gamers. I also believe it's in one websites top 100 games of all time list (IGN?), though I can't recall which right now.

That said, this is the reason why a lot of fans of the original SoM (and the japan-only sequel, Seiken Densetsu 3) clamor for a US sequel just like it.


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11-02-2006 @ 5:11AM

Eyedunno said...

SOM didn't have that great of a story, but it still blows away this game, which has almost NO story.

SoM is easily my favorite adventure game of all time. Not so much because of the story, but because of the implementation. I loved the ring menu system and the way you level up magic and weapons. All of the games that followed it (including SD3) fell short, IMO. I had high hopes for this one, because it has a similar graphic style to SoM (but with slowdown :( ). Unfortunately, while the gem system is fairly fun and the ring menu system comes closer to SoM than any other game in the series (unless you count Secret of Evermore), the gameplay is pretty lousy in general, and it gets old quickly.


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