Sword of Mana (U)(Mode7) ROM
Nintendo Gameboy Advance / GBA ROMsGenre: Role-PlayingAction-Adventure
Rating: ESRB: E, PEGI: 7+
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Game Description & Reviews:
Sword of Mana (New Testament Holy Sword Legend) is an enhanced remake of the original Game Boy game Seiken Densetsu, which was released as Final Fantasy Adventure in North America and Mystic Quest in Europe. This remake was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003.
At the beginning of the game, the player is able to choose to play as the male lead or as the female lead, both of whom are named by the player. They each have a different quest, but their plots remain similar. Notably, the remake adapted many elements from the original game, which had their origin in Final Fantasy, and favored elements traditional to Mana games (for example, the chocobo was replaced by cannon travel). One notable exception to this are moogles, which do appear in the game. Sword of Mana was made to resemble the graphical style of Seiken Densetsu 3, but the artwork rather resembles that of Legend of Mana.
The ring system from Secret of Mana is featured once again, allowing players to choose various options on the field screen. The day-and-night system introduced in Seiken Densetsu 3 also makes a return. Much like Legend of Mana, players can forge weapons, plant produce in an orchard, and read recorded events in the game's "Hot House" feature.
Sword of Mana uses a real-time combat system somewhat similar to that of The Legend of Zelda. There are different times of day in which only certain monsters appear. Several weapons, such as swords, axes, spears, etc., are acquired throughout the game. Each weapon has an attack trait of either jabbing, bashing, or slashing. These attack traits help to determine damage done to enemies throughout the game. In addition to this, a deathblow gauge is included which, when full, allows a more powerful strike than normal attacks. A magical attack system is included as well, with elements such as light, fire, earth, etc., each affecting enemies in different ways. The form each spell takes and the area it can hit varies depending on what weapon the player has equipped; for instance, the sword produces a spike directly in front of the character, and the bow produces an arc like that of an arrow.
Both characters get a variety of sidekicks who accompany them throughout the game. These characters may be used by the player in battle or allowed to run through somewhat-configurable artificial intelligence. These sidekicks are key characters of the story and often contribute significantly to character development.
Since this is the first time we're graced with the original Seiken Densetsu (the game Secret of Mana was the sequel to), this is an awfully nostalgic title. Fans of the original Secret of Mana will be overjoyed when they give this a go. The combat interface could've been smoothed out a bit more, but it's nothing all that difficult to adapt to. The decent story helps push the game along, but be prepared for more than a little plodding and occasional cliche dungeon puzzles. Meant more for those die-hard fans of the Mana series, but can be enjoyed by just about anyone with an eye for RPGs.
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