I wasn't much entranced by the actual gameplay of Legend of Mana
. It had the feel of a lengthy side-scrolling action type, much like Final Fight
or King of Dragons
, and the battles themselves would only rarely have any sort of difficulty to them. and I wasn't much impressed by the lack of depth in the plot
itself- granted, my own preferences lean towards massive, over-arching metaplot
s and intense character development
, but nonetheless...
However, Legend of Mana wasn't designed as a role-playing game in the image of Squaresoft
's more popular franchises
- the player has the ability to direct his attention to whatever pleases her at the moment, to pursue whichever story arcs
are more interesting. If two people have different games they're working from, the first player can load the second and journey together much like in Phantasy Star Online
or Diablo II
, allowing the second player to level while remaining at the same place in the story- this is in addition to any pets or secondary characters that the player totes around as extra firepower.
What really sells this game, in my opinion, is the quality of the graphics and the music. Hand-drawn two-dimensional sprites on a hand-drawn pseudo-3d background gives the game an almost etherial
visual quality. While FMVs are few and far between, the game doesn't need or want them. The music is extraordinarily adept at setting the appropriate mood- slow and reverant
, quick and snazzy
, paced and stubborn
, all of the flavors are excellently scored.
Legend of Mana is not a game for everyone, but those people that are suited to it will play it to death and beyond