Metascore
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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 37 Ratings

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  • Summary: Now you can enjoy the best RPG about an amnesiatic boy attending an alchemy academy in an isolated part of the world anywhere you please.Take Mana Khemia wherever you go, and battle alongside your friends with the all-new Multiplayer mode. And with the revolutionary Jump Start function, loading times are a breeze. [NIS America] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 19
  2. Negative: 13 out of 19
  1. Its story is light-hearted and enjoyable; its music and setting feel spot-on; and the in-depth alchemy system is perfect for those who love to tinker around in their workshops. Still, it's a love of labor as much as it's a labor of love, and it's hard to feel like a lot more time was needed to fully optimize it for the PSP.
  2. Because of the wide RPG library in PS2 and PSP, and sspecially in PS2 during his 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.
  3. Which is too bad, because beneath the sluggishness, Mana Khemia: Student Alliance offers an absorbing school experience with quirky characters and a fun story. [June 2009, p.83]
  4. If we listen Mana Khemia, we associate the title with success and quality. However, the disappointment with Students Alliance takes priority over the rest of the saga. A wrong approach and a bad treatment of the history are the basis of this game.
  5. It's a shame, because there's likely something deep within that's worth paying attention to, but it is surrounded so completely by problems that it simply cannot be worth the effort.
  6. The original game was mediocre to begin with, and the PSP version only serves to degrade what was already a less-than-enrapturing gameplay experience in a nearly direct port that suffers from a myriad of technical issues. Avoid.
  7. It is unfortunate that Mana Khemia: Student Alliance is such a technical mess because it might have offered some fun for those looking for a crafting-focused PSP game.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Nov 24, 2012
    10
    I bought this game on an impulse on PSN, not checking any reviews. I've been a rather casual JRPG fan for most of my life, and I was absolutely shocked to my core when I saw the ratings for this game on Metacritic. I've always been a firm believer of try it yourself and don't let reviews influence you too much, but a very, very low rating will always make me second guess myself in a way. I'm glad I never checked for reviews because this RPG right here, is by FAR one of the best I've played in years (If I don't count Xenoblade). The dialogue is very well written and had me laughing out loud and let me tell you, not many games have ever done that before. I found it very fun that a mechanic like alchemy had such a vital role in the game, other JRPGs have had similar things, but they never really garnered my interest due to them just not having much importance at all in those games. It's fun discovering new recipes, collecting materials and checking every nook and cranny of the environment for treasures and whatnot. The battle system is also quite a lot of fun. Every character in your team is absolutely unique and has a wide variety of skills. The mechanics are also really quite deep. Switching team mates on the fly, letting them combo with you, using your materials in battle, it's all really quite varied and just doesn't get old. Sure, like many RPG's there can be a bit of a grind at times if you want to unlock all the skills etc, but it never really got tedious for me and I am bored quite easily. I've also seen that people had gripes with the loading, it may be because I got it from PSN and downloaded it to my memory stick, but outside some small loading screens, it's really a non issue. The graphics are fine, they're really quite charming. It's not a super high budget game obviously, so don't expect lavish animations and HD sprite work, it can be a bit blurry, but it didn't bother me for even a second. In conclusion, I'm just absolutely baffled, stunned and shocked that this got the rating it did. It seriously doesn't deserve to be panned like this, it's absolute insanity. I could understand an 8 maybe even 75 if there's enough JRPG haters posting their scores, but not this. It's completely mental.

    I implore you, if you have a fondness for these sorts of RPG's, please give it a try. For 10 bucks this is an absolute steal on PSN and it really deserves it. I guarantee you, you will not regret it.
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  2. BrunoFernandez
    May 22, 2009
    10
    In my opinion, this is one of the most enjoyable RPG game I ever have played, I don´t understand the critics... If you like Manga and RPG this game is the perfect combination of them. First play it, give it an opportunity and I assure you that you won´t be dissapointed. Expand
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    9
    It's true that they could have spent a little more time porting this one over, especially since Mana Khemia is the single best JRPG on the PS2. The PSP port is really more for those who have played Mana Khemia on the PS2, and wish to take it with them. ON that note, get the download version from the PSN store, the loading screens are extremely minor, and there isn't any noticeable loading during dialog, an issue the UMD version has. Other than that the only real complaint about it is the lack of voice over during battles, a rather minor complaint due to the sheer size of the game. (eight endings, new features exclusive to the PSP, and the amazing game with you any time anywhere) Fact is if you liked the PS2 version and have 9.99 to spend on the PSN, this is a must. Expand
  4. Oct 6, 2013
    8
    Lots of things to do and side quests. I had a lot of fun synthesizing different armor and weapons for the characters. the characters are very zany and all have different side plots which are revealed depending on who you pick to work with during free time. You have classes that you are required to take every semester...and if you do not make the grade units per semester) you have to do detention instead of free time Reminds me of High School in the 70s)
    The video is ps2 era stuff...don't expect it to knock your socks off...but its not bad either.
    Sounds I can take or leave....some of the Japanese music does not sound good to my American English ears which is odd, because after 25 years in a Japanese American household, I have gotten use to it,, at least you would think so although I do not bother trying to speak it because my wife laughs at me Kids do well though)
    I love JRPGs so keep 'em coming!
    Expand
  5. Jan 29, 2013
    6
    I'll start saying that I posses both the psp and the ps2 version of this game, and while the ps2 version has some benefits, I will try to say one word in order to descrive the biggest difference between the 2 versions: performance. This psp version is basically a port of the ps2 game...and I'm really sad to say that it was done very badly and really needed some more time or effort to make it work. While we can improve a little the speed with the jump start feature, the game is still extremely slow and, unfortunely, buggy as well too and I had to turn off the console once or twice because I was being stuck. However, despise all this, despise the technical issues and the bad port...I honestly enjoyed it a lot. The graphics aren't great but it's still good for a psp and it's made with a pretty decent, although still mediocre, 3d enviroment. The story is still rather disappoint, not because it's bad, but because it's not always explained and for a good chunk of the game the main story literally disappears from the game; however the substories are enjoying to follow because it's based on the school life which can be interesting and just simply fun to play. Probably fans of anime will enjoy it even more, since it looked like an anime at times. Also, the game has multiple endings too and while it's very easy to attain the endings (you can simply save before one point and then finish the game all the times you need), it's still a plus. The combat it's a good turn based system with a lot of tweaks and ideas taken from other Gust games but changed or perfected for this game (if I'm not wrong, it takes heavily from Atelier Iris 3 system). But it suffers heavily from the port issues because it takes time to load up a single fight (with the jump start, the next fights load faster, but still not acceptable), and the speed is rather butchered in here and it seems to play on a slow motion (while on the ps2, it's much smoother). And for last, and the biggest reason why it's still a good game to me, it's a very long game and gives you many satisfactions with the alchemy system...since it's also your level up system! Infact, in this game you gain skills by creating items, which it gets registered in the alchemy book, which it gets "unlocked" by using APs (again, if I'm not wrong, it's taken from Atelier Iris 3, except it's amplified here). It's a very time consuming action but the rewards are very satisfactory and it actually hooks you into trying gathering all the materials in order to get every single recipes, and unlike many other games the alchemy system here is simple but still deep and really well thought, making the game last a lot more by just making you try more recipes and more items. Mana Khemia, in other words, it's a very good rpg, just a really bad port to the psp, and if you can (and I want to underline the word "CAN") pass over the porting issues, then this game will be a good addition, or else just avoid it. It's a real shame, but it's one of those games that for technical issues it's not going to be good for everyone... Expand
  6. Dec 8, 2013
    1
    Frighteningly bad. It is literally like looking through blurry glasses. The dialogue like the one reviewer said was really childish to the point of cringing. The only thing aesthetic wise it had going for it, was that it was voiced. Maybe good if you can get over these points but definitely wasnt worth 10 dollars for me. Expand
  7. Mar 16, 2012
    1
    Save your money.

    I can't believe how bad this port is. I wanted to check out a Gust RPG and it was a relatively low price on the PSN
    marketplace. I start it up and I am amazed at how blurry and low-res everything is. Not being a graphics aficionado, but still taking the low quality into consideration, I keep playing. The dialogue is somewhat amusing and the premise is kind of novel. The sound glitches every now and then. The loading screens are low res character art with "Now loading..." slapped onto it. This wouldn't have passed muster 10 years ago, let alone in 2009. Everything about this just screams "LAZY PORT!!!" As if no one on the development team cared enough about the original to bring it over to the PSP. I'm wondering why it was even done. I'm going to try the PS2 version soon. I feel like Mana Khemia and its fans deserve better than this. This is unbelievably bad. Do not buy this.

    1/10.
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See all 8 User Reviews