Mana Khemia: Student Alliance PSP


Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 19
  2. Negative: 13 out of 19
Buy On
  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. 65
    Some RPG fans will fall in love with the story and characters, while others will curse the loading times and slowdown. It's a niche game, and it appeals to a niche audience.
  3. 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.
  4. The biggest trouble of all is that Khemia borrows too much from earlier Gust games.
  5. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    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]
  6. A poorly ported game that makes this a frustrating game to play rather than an enjoyable one like its PS2 original.

Awards & Rankings

#18 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2009
#11 Most Shared PSP Game of 2009
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Mar 16, 2012
    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
    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.

    Full Review »
  2. Jan 29, 2013
    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 sayI'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... Full Review »
  3. Nov 24, 2012
    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 wasI 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.
    Full Review »