Sword of Mana Game Boy Advance

Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Buy On
  1. 65
    If you were expecting Sword of Mana to be the classic RPG that "FF Adventure" was, though, you may want to lower your expectations slightly. If you don't, you may be surprised -- in both good and bad ways.
  2. AceGamez
    60
    The fact that there are two characters may warrant another play-through for some, but the lack of much difference between the two will probably not be worth it for most.
  3. Cheat Code Central
    70
    Makes a great entry-level gateway for the uninitiated while offering veterans a breath of fresh air from their stuffy, convoluted, multi-layered, overly complex next-gen games.
  4. 60
    Most of the problems seem like a series of bad choices, as if decisions were being made because they weren’t sure how to do it better.
  5. Edge Magazine
    60
    We were hoping for a passionate display of Square's rekindling love for the RPG craft. Instead, Sword of Mana hangs around its competitors in relative mediocrity instead of blazing the trail the SNES title did all those years ago. [Feb 2004, p.109]
  6. Running around thwacking enemies feels fun enough, but poor A.I. renders your other party member nearly useless - you'll often have to switch between them just to keep them from getting killed. [Feb 2004, p.128]
  7. 60
    Has fun, straightforward gameplay and a simple heart. There is a little more to it, like plenty of game-time extending side quests, but some of the extras just seem like coronary blockage.
  8. GameNow
    67
    Frustrating because of the repetitive, mapless dungeons, and stupid because of the lame story. [Jan 2003, p.46]
  9. Maybe it's the rather lacklustre music, the numerous side-quests that feel more bolted on than they should, or the forehead-slappingly stupid AI of the enemies and your companion, but the whole experience feels decidedly flat at times; not a good sign for a game that's supposed to absorb you into its world. [Jan 2004, p.117]
  10. There's a ton to do, and it lasts for a respectable number of hours.
  11. Follows every role-playing cliché and rule but does so with style. Sadly however the flaws within the game remain too obvious and Sword of Mana is merely a slightly above average game that deserves a slightly above average score.
  12. Once you begin playing, though, you realize that Sword of Mana's interface is among the most ill-advised in recent memory.
  13. 70
    It definitely just barely squeaks in there a little higher than the "above average" moniker, with a lot of little things that drag the experience.
  14. netjak
    62
    If you’re willing to take a bit of a downgrade in control and gamble with a bit of frustration in exchange for a terrifically paced story that unfolds in just the right way.
  15. This game looks good and will appeal to fans of the "Zelda" series, although it never touches the heights achieved by some of Link’s escapades.

Awards & Rankings

#19 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
#15 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Nov 22, 2013
    7
    It feels like a Legend of Zelda RPG; which is in no way a bad thing if a little clunkier when it comes to lining up attacks. It's simplicityIt feels like a Legend of Zelda RPG; which is in no way a bad thing if a little clunkier when it comes to lining up attacks. It's simplicity helps with it being a gba game when it comes to navigation and combat and the story reaches the levels of a final fantasy game. Full Review »
  2. Sami
    Aug 14, 2005
    3
    Sword of Mana is a far cry from Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana. First of all, for a portable game, Sword of Mana is the most Sword of Mana is a far cry from Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana. First of all, for a portable game, Sword of Mana is the most unportable game I've played. Save spots (yes, they actually _downgraded_ the save system) are nigh, and you might well be reading a very slowly drawn out plotscene for 15 minutes, then battle for half an hour before finding a save spot. In a portable game, this is simply ridiculous. In addition, the menu system is completely horrendous, with important choices hidden under a layer of menus, and several options which should be presented together strewn in completely different parts of the menu tree. Simply everything in the game is lacking, from characters to plot to music to control to the ridiculous weapon upgrade system. Do yourself a favor: instead of Sword of Mana, search the original Final Fantasy Adventure. The 10-year old classic is leaps and bounds ahead of its remake. Full Review »
  3. sAsHidelR.
    Sep 9, 2004
    10
    This game rocks!!!!