on 8 January 2010
Ok first off, despite the cover, and being a Mana game, this is a Real Time Stratergy game, NOT an Rpg or Action rpg.
It does NOT play like any other Mana game, being it Secret of Mana,Sword of Mana, Children of Mana or anything else.
The story takes place int he Mana universe and has some nods to the snes Mana games, but is otherwise unconnected.
The story is intresting at first, but soon becomes very cliche.
The characthers are mostly and unintresting, and don't really devlop as the game goes on.
The ai of this game is frequently maligned. True it doesn't have much innotive, and won't do much if yu don't order it. However its very obediant and will respond quickly to commands, although sometimes the pathfinding is eh. But the ai is no worse, and in fact, considerbly better than Revenant Wings or Mech Platoon. If you command it properly, it will never screw you over, though its hard to fight on multiple fronts with it. On a single front it will obey you commands with lighting speed, and you will feel like a real general.
I do not understand why it recieve so much criticsm, where as the ai in the much loved Mehc Platoon or Revanent Wings will do stupid stuff and constantly ignore your orders.
The system is simple, yet effective and allows for surprisng depth. Their are only 2 resources on each map, one to build buildings with, and one to create units. Their are 4 units types, with each one being strong to one and weak to one. These units are quite varied and different from each other and you will have to adjust your stratergy while in battle.
Each of your characthers has 3 slots to equip items with various effects, boosting hp, protecting from status effects, making self strong and weak to types, etc. You will need to plan ina dvance and change as the missons require it.
Each unit has an effect they have when not on the field, and one for when they are on the field. Anyone who only picks characther for strength without using their effects is a fool who has probably not proceeded past the first half of the game.
The missions are varied, some require you to rush, some require you to build slwoly, some require you to play defesnvely, some have boss characthers, possible multiple boss characters, etc. You will be constantly thinking and adapting your stratergy. The diffaculty curve of this game is slow and gradual, easing you in before throwing its hardest punchs, but genereally not gettng so frustrating you'll pull your hair out.
The campaign is about 20-30 hours long. Their is a hard campaign, and its actually done very well. Their is a multiplayer, although ti requires a friend, and also a bunch of side missions.
Overall, this is a great portable rts, at a riducously cheap proce. I highly recomend it, if you can 1) Deal with the ai (which is better than the other portable rts games) 2) Are prepared to stratergise and adapt (don't expect to grind your way to victory like in Revanent wings or to be able to get through the game with pure brute force) 3) Accept this is an RTS game and not an action game