Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. 90
    Mana Khemia is an incredibly fun game with a fairly large scope, that takes a minimum of 40 hours to complete. And, with a simple New Game Plus feature, serious fans can get all of the character-specific endings without doing much work.
  2. It isn't particularly deep or thought-provoking, or noticeably challenging. It's just fun.
  3. Anyway, Mana Khemia has a solid story, hilarious character dialogue, and an engaging combat system, and it lets you make giant swords using only dirt, vegetables, woodchips, and household cleaning products.
  4. 80
    Mana Khemia offers plenty of humor, great looking 2D graphics, solid music, and a combat system that makes the turn-based approach a little more hands on.
  5. 80
    NIS America picked a nice, light RPG to bring out in Mana Khemia, and its localizations are steadily improving.
  6. AceGamez
    Its most distinguishing feature is the quality that permeates the experience; a light-hearted-but-engaging romp in a fantastical world of alchemy and demonic teddy bears, Mana Khemia is a testament to the flexibility of RPG design - and it's a lot of fun (except that damn theme song!)
  7. 75
    The deep alchemy system and unique grow book are worth the price of admission alone and the collector’s edition is chock full of fan-service.
  8. It seems old-fashioned at first, but Mana Khemia takes a surprisingly fresh look at old role-playing conventions.
  9. Play Magazine
    As much as I enjoyed most of what Mana Khemia had to offer, actively disliking three of the game's main characters(Vayne, Jess and Flay)made it easy to be apathetic every time a storyline cutscene kicked in. [Apr 2008, p.61]
  10. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Mana Khemia is hardly innovative, but if you're a fan of classic Japanese-style RPGs, you don't want to miss it. [May 2008, p.87]
  11. Game Informer
    Mana Khemia is different in name and structure, but it still hangs on tight to the process of item synthesis that drives "Atelier Iris", making it a spiritual sequel in most respects. [May 2008, p.94]
  12. games(TM)
    A rare game in which you really need to take an interest in all of its components in order to progress with any of them. [May 2009, p.119]
  13. The control is fine, the gameplay as a whole is fine, the characters and atmosphere are acceptable and even amusing, and Gust does hit the correct note when it comes to presentation. But the Academy aspect of the game drags big time, the voice acting and graphics are sub-par, and although the Alchemy is involving, the overall depth isn’t as intricate as you might believe.
  14. 65
    Because of the wide RPG library in PS2 and PSP, and especially on PS2 during its ten years of life, Mana Khemia can sneak modestly between hardcore Atelier Iris fans. There are not many surprises in this game, which is too conservative, but can offer some hours of fun.
  15. If you are a fan of past Gust RPGs like Atelier Iris and Ar tonelico, Mana Khemia may be something worth looking into. However, be forewarned that this game in no way features the same amount of freedom to roam and spend as much time as you please.
  16. This niche title does little to captivate its audience and its main gameplay mechanics will act as deterrents to the average gamer.
  17. Even if the storyline is somewhat intriguing and the battles (eventually) excite, sitting through one lengthy dialogue tree after the other while alchemists-in-training spout empty phrases about homework diminishes the experience.
  18. 57
    The lack of challenge across the board, from accomplishing class tasks to battle and even skill acquiring will disappoint most players. It's not a horrible title, but it definitely is weaker than the series it's trying to take over for.
  19. Been there, done that, and don’t want to do it again.
  20. 50
    The core gameplay is sound, so it's a shame that it's burdened by a derivative plot, generic characters, and archaic visuals (reminiscent of the 32-bit era in a bad way).

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2008
#9 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 29, 2011
    Mana Khemia is the absolute best JRPG on the PS2. The characters are inventive and original, the story is interesting, and at times a bit of aMana Khemia is the absolute best JRPG on the PS2. The characters are inventive and original, the story is interesting, and at times a bit of a mystery, and the leveling system is innovative. Simply put if you own a PS2 and enjoy JRPGs such as Final Fantasy, Tales of, and especially the Atelier series, you should own this game. The graphics aren't great, but if graphics are all you care about then JRPGs probably aren't your thing, the music is great, and memorable, plus with 8 different endings the replayability is sky high. Believe me when I say this game is must have for your PS2 collection, it's so great I personally had to buy 2 copies, one got scratched up so bad I couldn't play it because I played it so much. If you have managed to skip over this game, stop, and pick it up, the used price tag isn't bad nowadays, and if you already have it, you could always buy the PSP version on the PSN for 9.99, either way, it's a great deal for a fantastic game. Full Review »
  2. [anonymous]
    Apr 9, 2008
    Worth checking out, best PS2 RPG thus far this year... might be the last good game for this system.
  3. Mar 20, 2017
    Fantastic gameplay, core visuals and audio, every single element I could ever ask for in a JRPG. That said, it's more of a JRPG with threeFantastic gameplay, core visuals and audio, every single element I could ever ask for in a JRPG. That said, it's more of a JRPG with three capital J's and a couple exclamation marks. I've always been quick to judge or hate on almost all anime or Japanese-based media, (manga, drama, etc.) but I absolutely adored this game, and it's my favorite RPG on the PS2. Full Review »