Dawn of Mana PlayStation 2


Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 27
  2. Negative: 9 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Play Magazine
    Generally speaking, if you like exploration, platforming, physics-based action and a good puzzle, this is as fresh an action-adventure as you're going to find, and the character designs are nothing short of perfection. [June 2007, p.79]
  2. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Looks gorgeous, but the obsessive focus on combat can be as irritating as it is exciting. [Aug 2007, p.76]
  3. It may not be the follow-up that fans of the Mana franchise have been hoping for, but cool visuals and an interesting story elevate it above the level of an everyday mindless button-masher. [May 2007, p.87]
  4. 70
    This all goes to show that eye candy and excellent music mean nothing if everything else is weak.
  5. Dawn of Mana has several things going for it that are good - a solid story, a quick and easy to learn melee attack system, graphics that please the senses, a score to please the soul, and voice acting that doesn't cause you ears to bleed - quite a few in the grand scheme of things.
  6. Dawn of Mana isn't a complete failure as a game, it's just not what most people were hoping for from a proper 3D update. The concepts here were novel, but the execution of the main game still leaves something to be desired.
  7. Dawn of Mana tries to bring something fresh and interesting but fails to recapture the magic of the classic that lit up our old Super NES consoles.
  8. PSM Magazine
    Picture a surfer being tossed into a vicious undertow--that uncontrollable motion is how fighting through Dawn of Mana feels. [June 2007, p.82]
  9. 65
    Unfortunately, with shoddy character development, some weak combat and story mechanics and gameplay issues, this adventure is a passable successor in name only. It's fun in spots, but not nearly as engaging as the original title.
  10. 60
    Dawn of Mana looks the part, but fails in most other aspects. If you're hankering for some role-playing on your aging PlayStation 2, pick up "Odin Sphere" -- which released the same day. It's even more beautiful, captures the essence of old-school, and you'll be having too much fun to feel the need to convince yourself that you're having fun.
  11. With inexcusable control and targeting issues there is no reason to subject yourself to this game.
  12. Best in small doses, Dawn of Mana continues the downward trend in what really should be a flagship series after the strong start it received back in the SNES era.
  13. Dawn of Mana is an interesting action role-playing game that suffers from the same problems that Square Enix's Brave Fencer Musashi for the PS2 had - an unruly camera that is counter-productive to what the player is trying to accomplish.
  14. Like Ocean’s Thirteen, there are a lot of amazing individual elements in Dawn of Mana that are worth the price of admission. But they just don’t come together to make a cohesive whole.
  15. Sorry old school Mana fans, this is nothing like that gem back on the SNES. This is a pure action game with a gooey artificial RPG coating. The controls are horrible, the level design is seriously lacking, bosses can be frustratingly difficult, and not even the story will keep you playing. [JPN Import]
  16. 55
    Hardcore franchise fans will no doubt want to play it because the story line does fill in some interesting gaps in the Mana universe's history, but this one's a rental at best. [June 2007, p.85]
  17. Dawn of Mana is a tale full of marvelous art and storytelling that captures the look and essence of the older Mana games, but beneath the veneer is a different beast that has excised most of the gameplay elements that make the old games so memorable.
  18. Infuriating controls and frustrating platforming sections are among Dawn of Mana's many shortcomings.
  19. Plunder-by-panic and slippery experience points are intriguing, but these innovations fall flat without solid, bug-free foundations to support them.
  20. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    By axing most of the series' normal role-playing elements, the developers have effectively devolved Dawn of Mana into a linear adventure-platformer. [June 2007, p.90]
  21. 45
    For nearly 14 years, fans in North America have been waiting for a true follow-up to Secret of Mana. After playing through Dawn of Mana, I can safely say this: It appears that wait will be, quite appropriately, never-ending.
  22. Nothing in the game works right, the physics are embarrassing, the gameplay is repetitive and boring, and the only bright spot is the cut scenes, which are simply nice window dressing for a shockingly boring plot.
  23. On top of losing everything at the beginning of a chapter, the music in most places of the game sounds like really bad shopping music.
  24. Hardcore Gamer
    Dawn of Mana is a hodgepodge of ideas that range from nonsensical to decent, all smooshed together in a failure of a game. [June 2007, p.54]
  25. 40
    The game is tolerable if you're really into its style, which is decidedly Japanese (both the art direction and the gameplay). If you are new to the Mana series, this is probably a bad introduction.
  26. Dawn of Mana is an extremely beautiful game that is irreparably broken both functionally and conceptually. It may look like a dream, but it’s a nightmare to play.
  27. Nostalgic music and consistent art direction can't save a game from crippled controls, a mulish camera, and painfully tiresome reptition. Dawn of Mana is ultimately remarkable only for being such a bitter disappointment.

Awards & Rankings

#60 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#7 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 2 out of 3
  1. Feb 20, 2011
    The problems with this game are the terrible controls, and the awful camera, the graphics are ok, the sound effects are ok, but the voiceThe problems with this game are the terrible controls, and the awful camera, the graphics are ok, the sound effects are ok, but the voice acting is terrible, and the story is crappy, and to top it all off it has a flawed leveling up system which can make this a pain, this is one I would recommend avoiding. Full Review »
  2. NicholasF
    May 30, 2009
    Stay Away! Worse game in the series, bar none! This is not a Mana game despite them numbering it so in Japan.
  3. JamesT.
    Sep 14, 2008
    Severely underrated and needlessly bashed by incomprehensive reviewers and infuriated series fans alike, Dawn of Mana is one of those games Severely underrated and needlessly bashed by incomprehensive reviewers and infuriated series fans alike, Dawn of Mana is one of those games you have to invest all your love on to be able to crack the "bad reviews" armos and see it for what it actually is: a good platform game. Full Review »