A true Proust's Cookie of videogames, Secret of Mana is an absolute must-play of the iOS game library. Why ? Because everything that made it legendary in 1994 has been honored, and even improved in this version. Sure, the multiplayer was dropped, and the touch screen controls may bother some, but when you get beyond that, it's a wonder. Its pleasures are rooted in nostalgia, but this Action-RPG is at least as emblematic as a good Zelda.
Secret of Mana is an RPG originally for the SNES and NES. The tale tells of Randy, and his friends Popoi and Primm. The three characters fight to restore the mana from each of the temples scattered throughout the world back to the mana sword to face the antagonist, Thanatos and his minions, who seek to revive the mana fortress and take over the world.
This is an old school roleplaying game, with a superb presentation. Sadly, the controls are not as good we would have wished, and it lacks multiplayer capabilities. Despite these flaws, it is one of the best roleplaying games in the App Store.
Undoubtedly one of the finest games ever created. It certainly is for me, topping both Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy III (VI). What really sets the game apart is its fantastic combat system, engaging story and overall original feel. But, the thing that ensnared me and made this game anchor itself was the music.
It's phenomenal. It's at times incredibly beautiful, technical (my god, it's tech prog!), mystical and downright beautiful. A good game is great, but I believe what really makes a game reach the highest echelons of the genre is music. Smell is well known to have the greatest effect on memory and nostalgia, but second to that must be the ears and music.
If nothing else, go listen to the soundtrack.
If you enjoy both Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and Final Fantasy III, then you'll find this game is a breath of fresh air. I initially got this game back in the 90's shortly after it was released. To criticize modern game design, it was a time when it payed off to focus on things such as one-player gameplay longevity, story, and general gamelay (e.g., challenge and replay value). It was also one of those games that is equally enjoyable with three people as it is with one.
Overall, the game is extremely well balanced and controls responsive. The ring menus are well laid out and easy to comprehend. The challenge to reward aspect of is perhaps its strongest point, which is fantastic as it removes that "pointless and tedious" aspect of gameplay that makes me want to punt babies.
This is one of Squaresoft's most underrated titles that the company ever pushed out, though likely that was due to Final Fantasy III being released shortly after. If you've never played it, it'll be well worth your time. Excellent for the casual gamer and more engaging enough for the RPG fan.
While others might be afraid to speak in fear that SE might stop porting these games, I have to say that this game should never be made for the IOS, this is a game that needs real controls to play and while some might think it improves on the SNES, the touch screen makes bigger problems, this is truly a game that deserved to be remade on the 3DS, please keep in mind this is only my opinion, and please check out the game to decide for yourself, for now I'm going to stick to my SNES and play the real SOM.
SummaryCoinciding with the release of Secret of Mana, its original soundtrack, Secret of Mana Original Soundtrack, is now 25% off until January 5, 2011!
*The soundtrack can be purchased at iTunes Store.
Initially released in Japan in 1993, Secret of Mana took the world by storm with its innovative real-time battle system and gorgeously rendere...