SecretOfMana was made by Square in the early 90's for the SuperNintendo. An RPG of sorts, it had a lot of action elements in it as well. It also had, as far as I can tell, the best two-player RPG method ever used in a video game to date. Consisting of three characters, the hero, the girl, and the sprite, you end up going on a quest to save magic from the world. There are eight different elements: Fire, ice, earth, air, shadow, light, life, and death. Each of these gives the girl three healing spells and the sprite three attack spells. The hero doesn't get to use magic, but is much better at attack and defense. It had a fairly good system for keeping track of the characters you weren't currently controlling, since you could tell them to attack or defend or any mixture between the two.

Really a pretty good game. The only things that annoyed me was that the hit detection was occasionally a little off, and having to search for the weapon orbs. -- EvilSouthie

Excellent game, and quite unique as RPG's go. The plot is decent, though nothing amazing, since most of it is a series of "go to place X to fight menacing badguy Y and collect magic Z". However, on the occasions where the game takes the time to deal out some real plot it manages to produce some genuinely impressive moments, such as the revelation of the Mana Tree or the final fate of Dyluck. Character development follows likewise: most of the time they play the stock resolute RPG party, but they get their moments to let loose and show their personalities.

The graphics and sound are very cute and somewhat comical. I liked the various places that you visited and the distinct styles for each location. The music was a bit lacking in variety though, and some themes (*cough*Boss Music*cough*) got way overplayed and annoying.

Where the game really kicks ass is the gameplay. The combat system plays like an odd hybrid between Zelda and FinalFantasy, and somehow it works. The relative slow pace of combat allows you to really place your shots well and decide on how to use your various attack levels, weapons, spells, and characters to your best advantage. One of the issues I'm having with SeikenDensetsuThree right now is that it lacks this intricacy and moves things along so fast that you can't really do much besides continually attack (then again, I'm still in the early game, so maybe it changes later).--AlexBobbs

No, you don't. Most of SD3's "gameplay" consists of pounding the attack button, as far as I can tell. I believe I say more on SeikenDensetsuThree.--CurtisVinson

I haven't played all the way through... I kept getting the NPCs killed and it was a serious pain switching weapons around so that characters kept levelling up with different stuff. With two or three people it is certainly a lot of fun, and perhaps if I played far enough to get into the plot it would be fun single-player as well, but... -- AndrewSchoonmaker

SeikenDensetsuThree was much better, IMHO.


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Last edited May 5, 2003 16:59 (diff)