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User Info: Japhasca

1 month ago#21
Final Fantasy Legend, for being a Game Boy Game, I thought was very well done. The level of complexity, plot, and overall gameplay is light years above what was commonly released for the system, but it hasn't aged particularly well.

Secret of Mana holds a dear place in my heart, but it's got some real weird stuff going on. One thing that throws off new players is that, near the beginning of the game, you can just spam weak attacks, but after a certain point all attacks are useless unless you wait for the meter to hit 100%. That and that spells break immersion is kind of wonky.
There's a fun article here: http://www.flyingomelette.com/oddities/oddities25.html and The Cutting Room Floor has some good stuff too. There's another article I can't seem to find, but it did a great job of explaining and theorizing what happened to this game by the latter half and what was supposed to be included but wasn't.
Short of it is, this game was meant to be a CD-ROM game, but when that got scrapped, the rest of the game took a downgrade from what was intended to be included with the higher storage of a CD-ROM versus a cartridge. The world map got sloppier and less consistent and less detailed after the beginning areas, the power curve got jacked up, plot threads were left dangling or finished up in unsatsifying ways, areas got cut (two weapon orbs that should be obtainable through regular events aren't,) and overall outside of a couple of stellar areas, the latter half of the game is just not as enjoyable or as cohesive as earlier parts.
If the game seems to get wonkier the further you get, that's why. Still, I love it.

Here's where things really go off the rails in my opinion.

Legend of Mana was stiff and unenjoyable in combat; the fruit growth seemed tacked-on and overly complicated. I gave up pretty quickly.

The Sword of Mana remake of FFL for Game Boy Advance was an absolute mess. Monsters respawned in rooms very quickly, and only the last in a room ever dropped a treasure chest, and as each enemy had a multitude of drops, farming for quest or upgrade items became an absolute chore (in fact, by the time I had farmed enough to upgrade at several points, I'd overleveled to the point where the upgrade wasn't necessary.)
Rooms were small and did not have the sense of epic travel that Secret of Mana had with its large, detailed (usually) maps. Partner AI was so pathetic that the game didn't even try to path them to you after combat; they just zoomed through any object in the way.
The plant growth was more important, and again overly complicated. Time of day was not portrayed well enough to reach certain rooms when certain events took place (such as rare spawns) and since time moved by increments only when you crossed a map threshold, it became an irritating puzzle of finding a path through maps that would equal the exact number of increments needed to reach a specific location at a specific time. Keep in mind there was a weekly cycle as well as a day/night cycle.
I could go on, but overall, the game was a mess of tacked-on, unnecessary and poorly-implemented systems that really killed the franchise for me.

There was a PS2 game, I think, but I didn't bother.

When Mana Collection was available for Switch, I was super hyped; I'd heard for years that Tribes of Mana was the best game in the series and a lost classic for the Super Famicom.

Immediately I saw where all the terrible systems of Legend of Mana and Sword of Mana came from. The multiple menus were beyond god-awful; the rooms were small again, giving no sense of grandeur, as each functioned like being a single encounter in an RPG, with the all the issues of Sword of Mana. Environmental puzzles were basically non-existent, and dungeons were absurdly large and confusing with no treasure to speak of to make exploration at all worthwhile. The game gives lots of growth options, but is too short and too easy for most of it to be necessary.

Suffice to say, I think I am done with giving this series any other chances.
My biases:
Twice: Jihyo; Red Velvet: Wendy; Momoland: Ahin; Laboum: ZN; AOA: Seolhyun; Cherry Bullet: Yuju; Itzy: Chaeryoung; Cignature: Jeewon
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