Adventures Of Mana


Faithful to a fault

Some classic games remain just as enjoyable today as they were decades ago. But time, being the cruel micăng thẳng that it is, does not allow everything lớn age quite so gracefully. As the years march on, some old favorites no longer look as sharp as they once had. Trends change. Beauty fades. What was innovative at one time now feels antiquated. And so, creators are impelled by nostalgic fans to lớn revisit & breathe new life into their senescent materialwith modern-day technology & fresh ideas.

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But the process of revitalizing timeworn titles is no simple task. Making these games more palatable for contemporary audiences is a balancing act — one that invites a series of critical decisions about what lớn leave sầu well enough alone, where lớn take liberties, & how far exactly khổng lồ push that envelope.

Unfortunately, withAdventures of Mana, Square Enix was either too timid or conservative sầu khổng lồ bring its 25-year-old role-playing game inkhổng lồ the 21st century. This new version of Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden, the first entry in what would eventually become known here in the West as the Mana series, feels more like a superficial renovation than a transformative remake. It’s but a face-lift, something that does little lớn revitalize a relic from a bygone age in a world that has gradually kept turning without it.


Adventures of Mana (Android, iOS, PlayStation Vita )Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixReleased: February 4, năm nhâm thìn (mobile – WW / Vita – Japan) June 28, năm 2016 (Vita – WW)MSRP: $13.99 US /£11.49 / €13.99 /$đôi mươi.95 AU /$22.45 NZ

In essence, Adventures of Mana remains unchanged from the 1991 Game Boy title you might know as Final Fantasy Adventure, perhaps, or Mystic Quest. Sure, it now has splashy three-dimensional visuals in place of the vintage greyscale pixel art. The original composer, Kenji Ito lớn, has also rearranged the old chiptune soundtraông chồng, creating a fuller, modernized auditory experience, while leaving the old tunes still accessible in an options menu. But for the aesthetic alterations & a few nods lớn modern convenience around the periphery, it’s a reproduction of Seiken Densetsu, for better or worse, warts & all.

Unlike Sword of Mana, an earlier adaptationfor trò chơi Boy Advance, Adventures of Manadoes not exp& upon the narrative sầu or add any dramatic new gameplay elements. It’s the same sparse tale of young nhân vật on a quest to rescue a damsel và, ultimately, save sầu the world from the big bad. There are some twists and turns along the way, but at its core, this is a prototypical JRPG story you’ve sầu probably seen many times before. If one of those times was, say, with the original game, Adventures of Mana should feel incredibly familiar, as the experience has been faithfully recreated to lớn a tee.

For the uninitiated, while Adventures of Mana has some connections to lớn the Final Fantasy universe, the gameplay has far more in comtháng with old-schoolThe Legover of Zelda games than it does Square’s turn-based RPGs. Viewed from an isometric perspective, the title employs action-oriented combat with simplistic puzzle-solving elements where players will utilize their weapons khổng lồ remove sầu or traverse obstacles, such as chopping down trees with an axe pháo or spanning gaps with a hookshot “chain flail.”


Adventures of Mana doesn’t bởi anything particularly well or in compelling fashion. It’s a serviceable retro-style action RPG that I enjoyed at times và barely tolerated at others. Unfortunately, I vì chưng not possess a great khuyến mãi of nostalgia for the original game, and without rose-tinted memories, or much in the way of innovative upgrades, Adventures of Mana can feel incredibly backwards anddecrepit.

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I understvà why Square Enix would want to lớn make a subtly improved version of a classic game on its 25th anniversary, an authentic update that doesn’t get too far away from what longtime fans might have enjoyed và still fondly remember about the original all those years ago. But there were seemingly hundreds of little moments throughout Adventures of Mana‘s duration that made me wonder if a little modernization here and there would have made much of a difference khổng lồ patient, forgivingveterans, while being far more inviting to lớn those who no longer wish to lớn put up with archaic design choices.

One memorable, recurring example of this is how items can impede progression. Early on, I reCall needing a key khổng lồ move sầu ahead with my journey, và I wasn’t quite sure where lớn find one at the time. I hadn’t acquired one lớn that point, & so I searched high and low. I traveled everywhere in the world available lớn me and didn’t come across one, until one eventually dropped from the corpse of a Boss I had just killed. I was astonished. I had been killing enemies just like that one for the better part of an hour, and some subroutine running in the background had apparently been rolling dice & coming up snake eyes the whole time. I didn’t need to find a hidden chest or talk to lớn a specific person, I was at the game’s mercy. I just needed lớn wait for it lớn decide it wanted me to lớn finally progress.


A similar occurrence happened shortly thereafter, when I found myself trapped in a dungeon and in need of a mattoông xã to lớn press forward. Unfortunately, I had just used my last, leaving me in the unfortunate position of being forced to lớn walk back & forth between a few areas slaying enemies in hopes of getting the sản phẩm drop I needed so desperately. This went on so long I reckon I might have sầu been able khổng lồ restart the game with a new save sầu file & get baông chồng lớn that point in a similar amount of time.

These are extreme examples, ones that quickly changed the way I approached the game, but there are plenty of other less significant but more frequent bothers, lượt thích the hapless AI (both friendly & foe), which seems more representative of a drunken, disoriented person reaching out for a light switch in a pitch black room than it does any sort of halfway competent combatant.

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None of these faults make Adventures of Mana a particularly bad game. It’s just a primitive action RPG that, in many ways, seems outmoded in this day và age. While it may hold some appeal for nostalgic Game Boy fans, I wish Square Enix had gone khổng lồ the trouble of remaking the game in a less perfunctory way. As it stands, this one’s difficult to recommkết thúc to all but the most ardent RPG enthusiasts.