Sword of Mana

Game Boy Advance
Sword of Mana Image
Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Summary: Fans of Secret of Mana have waited over ten years for a successor to Square's SNES role-playing game, and now it's here. Sword of Mana shares the art style and action-oriented gameplay of its predecessor, but boasts a huge game environment, a new gripping storyline, and a deep class andFans of Secret of Mana have waited over ten years for a successor to Square's SNES role-playing game, and now it's here. Sword of Mana shares the art style and action-oriented gameplay of its predecessor, but boasts a huge game environment, a new gripping storyline, and a deep class and upgrade system. You'll choose between playing a man or a female hero and slay enemies to upgrade your abilities. Sword of Mana blends its fast action and depth with classic RPG style and fun. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Nintendo Power
    98
    Stakes its claim as one of the best free-roaming action adventures of the year...Deep and compelling. It lives up to its legacy. [Jan 2004, p.157]
  2. Certainly one of the top RPGs on Game Boy Advance. It shines most in its subtleties, but unfortunately those are all too easy for many players to miss.
  3. 80
    One of the biggest drawbacks of Mana is the story. Any RPG—especially any RPG made in this day and age—had better have a great story if it’s going to keep your attention. But Mana’s tale is lacking conflict, its characters are dull, and its towns are full of…well, not all that much interesting.
  4. Play Magazine
    75
    The lack of multiplayer is especially rough since your AI partners have all the intelligence of your average oak tree. [Jan 2004, p.74]
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. games(TM)
    50
    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]

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Sep 15, 2019
    10
    The fact that critics think this game is inferior to the remake on Vita that tries barely anything new or interesting as a remake isThe fact that critics think this game is inferior to the remake on Vita that tries barely anything new or interesting as a remake is concerning. This game took a ton of liberties to make it more akin to the Mana series without changing too much of the plot, and they call said plot too basic? Even though it, again, is technically the same plot as the original aside from SOME changes? It's just surprising, as even the gameplay is pretty great.

    Instead of the meter rising or being required to max out, each attack builds up a meter, allowing you to do a sort of charge attack once the meter is full, and it allows you to choose when to do the charge attack, too, so you don't HAVE to use it right away. Not to mention, you can play as the heroine in this one, and it adds SO much to her character and helps us care more about her.

    Not to mention that Willy has a somewhat bigger role in this remake, outside of "generic death to fuel the hero's determination." Heck, the story shows some extra stuff in the beginning to have us know what Dark Lord did, giving us more reason to care about the hero's desire to beat him, aside from "Mana is in trouble." Like, seriously, who says it like that, and how is that enough of a motivational incentive?

    I repeat. The fact that critics think Adventure of Mana is the better remake(while it also has a lower Metacritic score than this one so how the fu-) is just concerning. Let's hope they'll rerelease this version someday, cause I doubt a 3rd remake will do it proper justice.
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  2. StevnH.
    Jul 28, 2004
    10
    It's perfect game, even though perhaps not flawless. It's definitely one of the best RPG games ever. Its graphics, sounds, musics, It's perfect game, even though perhaps not flawless. It's definitely one of the best RPG games ever. Its graphics, sounds, musics, everything is well made. Expand
  3. sAsHidelR.
    Sep 9, 2004
    10
    This game rocks!!!!
  4. GustavK.
    Nov 28, 2003
    9
    The game is NOT a follow-up of the ff-series. it (final fantasy adventure) was called seiken densetsu in japan wich roughly translates holyThe game is NOT a follow-up of the ff-series. it (final fantasy adventure) was called seiken densetsu in japan wich roughly translates holy sword legend (or something like that) legend of mana for SNES is seiken densetsu 2. squaresoft america probably just named it final fantasy adventure to get more people to buy it :P also the three other FF games for gameboy has nothing to do with final fantasy either. they are predesessors of the Saga (romancing/frontier) series. thus ends todays lesson. Expand
  5. Z.Z.Pop
    Dec 8, 2003
    9
    This game is awesome! The multi-player madness looks tight, but my brother hasn't bought the game yet so I haven't yet experienced This game is awesome! The multi-player madness looks tight, but my brother hasn't bought the game yet so I haven't yet experienced it, but I'm a nut for GBA multi-madness, so BUY THIS GAME!!! Expand
  6. C.K.
    Dec 2, 2003
    9
    Its the remake of the game boy game Seiken Densetsu... (Final Fantasy Adventure in the US)... it is the same basic story, just enhanced.
  7. 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. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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Awards & Rankings

52
20
#20 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
15
#15 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003