- Platform: Game Boy Advance
- PEGI Rating: Ages 3 and Over
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Sword of Mana
- Adventure game with a strong RPG flavour
- Play as either hero or heroine, each with unique strengths and weaknesses
- Ring Command system gives easy access to the game menus
- Master a variety of weapons
- For 1 player
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Sword of Mana is Square Enix's second title for the GBA and, like Final Fantasy Tactics before it, it's a remake of one of their earlier classics. The original version, on the old black and white Game Boy, was sold as The Final Fantasy Adventure in the West--although it was actually the first game in the Japanese Seiken Densetsu series (which also includes the highly regarded Secret of Mana) and is nothing to do with the Final Fantasy franchise at all. In fact the game plays a lot more like The Legend of Zelda, because there's no turn-based combat--just real-time action.
With such an illustrious pedigree you'd expect a lot from Sword of Mana and at first you won't be disappointed: the graphics are gorgeous and the sword- and magic-based combat is immediately engaging. However it soon becomes clear that the game lacks the variety of Zelda and instead replaces it with Square Enix's usual finicky role-playing elements. More problematic is the complete stupidity of the various computer-controlled characters that are supposed to help you out throughout the game, but instead just get in your way. Neither element is enough to ruin the game, which is still a superior action RPG--but they do make it fall a little short of the portable classic it could've been. --David Jenkins
Sword of Mana, the prequel to the Mana series, tells the story of the source of all life, the power that flows from the goddess Mana and bears her name. Long ago, in a time of darkness, a mighty empire tapped its energy to dominate the world. In an effort to stop the use of such power for evil purposes, a woman from the Mana tribe transformed herself into the Mana Tree, locking the power away from anyone who would try to abuse it. The hero, the young leader of the Duchy of Grantz, has been raised and trained as a gladiator in the slave pits of Grants. The heroine in this story is a young woman from the Mana tribe who possesses deep ties to the goddess Mana. As the Shadow Knight is persecuting the Mana tribe, the heroine embarks on a journey to protect it. When the hero and heroine meet, the wheels of fate are again set into motion.
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Top Customer Reviews
This game combines the graphical quality, the easy to use menu system and magic from SoM, with the memorable, wonderful music and story of Mystic Quest.
In fact it appears to simply BE Mystic Quest (Final Fantasy Adventure), remade using Secret of Mana's gameplay style.
It's not as deep as SoM, and lacks the replayability of it (I forget how many time I've played Secret of Mana over and over again) but if you were a fan of Mystic Quest on the GameBoy, give it a try. Although you'd already know most of the story and plotline!
Having the choice of 2 characters is good, seeing where their roles cross - but every time you want to start playing from the begining again, you have to sit through a tediously long (8 minutes) of introduction before you can kill your first Rabite!
So immense joy years later when the SNES Zelda and the superb Minish Cap are present in handheld form on the GBA. What better to complement it than Sword of Mana? Well for one, perhaps porting the SNES Secret of Mana across instead of this effort.
The main problem with Sword of Mana is sadly the gameplay mechanic. Secret of Mana had a decent three party character system, a nice magic system, a great gameplay structure. Sword of Mana seems to completely lack these. No real control over your computer controlled 2nd player and their development, the magic system is really a bit poor compared to the nicely meaty spells of Secret, and the story doesn't really compel you to get to the next stage to see what happens.
A major disappointment for me in the end, especially after waiting so long for it to finally surface. Trust me I really tried to like this (being a bit of a Square fan).
On the plus sides you've got nice graphics and decent music. Perhaps someone else will be able to get into this and wring some joy from the game where I couldn't. For me, well, the game has already gone from the collection, into some other budding gamers hands. I'm waiting on the Final Fantasy Dawn Of Souls collection and am more than happy getting through the challenges of the Minish Cap instead.
It started well, good graphics and initially the combat was engrossing, however the story was confusing and characters not properly introduced, a trend that develops over the course of the game and in fact gets worse as the some of the actions that the people you meet in your quest are stretched beyond credibility- enemies giving you story-advancing items for no reason at all after you have slaughtered their loved ones, the protagonist repeatedly saying he doesn't want to fight but then going ahead anyway. The dialogue is frequently grimace-inducing.
Other problems are: your ally NPC's AI is unbelievabley bad, they are valueless in the quest, usually they will die quickly and you won't bother to resurrect them, the boss battles are terrible- either way too short and easy or they take literally an hour to complete as you chip 1HP by HP away whilst avoiding basic attack patterns that if you fail to avoid a few times in a row (you shouldn't, but over such a long period of time you may lose concentration) then you will instantly die.
The graphics are quite good, there are a few nice images e.g.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This game is excellent. if you enjoyed secret of mana then you will love this. there are two characters so once you completed it with one you could start with the other my only... Read morePublished on 16 Mar. 2004 by S. miah
Sword of Mana is based on Mystic Quest which was released on the Gameboy back in 92 or 93. It was the first RPG I'd ever played; so I have a bit of an extra "thang" for this game. Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2004 by M. Leighton