https://rpgfanatics.com Review for Legend of Mana (1999) for the PS1 by Square. Do you think you can get the Mana Sword?
How I review games:
Unlike many game reviewers I try to review a game from the perspective of who I believe the target audience of the game is supposed to be.
If I personally don't belong to the target audience for the game I'm reviewing, I try to consider if the intended target audience would enjoy the game or not.
Legend of Mana, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana (聖剣伝説 LEGEND OF MANA?, lit. "Holy Sword Legend: Legend of Mana"), is the fourth game in the Mana series. The game was released for the PlayStation in Japan on July 15, 1999 and in North America on June 7, 2000, with a delayed release in Canada.
While incorporating action role-playing elements from the three games which preceded it, Legend of Mana has its own distinct style of gameplay. Most notably, it gives the player the ability to shape the game's world of Fa'Diel according to his or her desires, a system which was incorporated through the use of "artifacts," which are gained as the player progresses through the game. The player uses the artifacts to create different towns, dungeons, etc., called "Lands", to venture to and explore. This creates a non-linear gameplay, since the game is driven by a series of what would be considered side-quests in other games. Legend of Mana features three different plots which can occur simultaneously, and which do not necessarily need to be completed for the player to finish the game.
Legend of Mana was a financial success in Japan & North America. While the game garnered considerable praise for its graphics and presentation, many critics disliked the game's unclear main storyline.
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Legend of Mana is set in the fictional world of Fa'Diel. The Mana Tree, the giver of mana and life for the world, burned down nine centuries prior to the events of the game. A war erupted between faeries, human, and others seeking the scarce power of mana that was left. When the war concluded, the drained Mana Tree slept and the many lands of the world were stored in ancient artifacts. A hero, controlled by the player, is self-charged with restoring the world, and its mana, to its former self. The Lands of Fa'Diel are populated with a large number of different creatures, including humans, faeries, demons, the jewel-hearted Jumi race, plant-like Sproutlings and Flowerlings, miner bears called Dudbears, and shadowy beings of the Underworld known as Shadoles. Fa'Diel is also the home of a host of anthropomorphic animals and objects, as well as monsters from other Mana titles such as Rabites, Chobin Hoods, and Goblins. The player controls the protagonist of the game, who is either a male or female silent protagonist. The character is unnamed and no information is given about their past; their history and personality is meant to be determined by the player
Legend of Mana was directed by Mana series creator Koichi Ishii. It was produced by Akitoshi Kawazu, the director and producer of many games in Square's SaGa series. The game's character designs and illustrations were done by Shinichi Kameoka, who would later design characters for his company Brownie Brown, including the next game in the Mana series, Sword of Mana. Legend of Mana was made 2D, despite the PlayStation's 3D-focus, as the console could not handle the full 3D world Ishii envisioned where one could interact with natural shaped objects.
Legend of Mana was first announced by Square in March 1999 just before its debut at the Tokyo Game Show. The game was released in Japan with considerable hype, packaged with demos of Square's future releases Vagrant Story, Chrono Cross, Front Mission 3, and Threads of Fate.