- Secret of Mana (SNES/PS4)
Secret of Mana is a fantastic example of the apex of 16 bit glory. It features some of the best scores on the SNES by composer Hiroki Kikuta, who also worked on Koudelka and the other Mana series games. The art style still stands out to this day, and when compared to the rest of the SNES library, it’s a splendid blend of bright colors and impeccable level design. This game was multiplayer, which was new grounds for the JRPG genre. It featured up to three players on the Super Nintendo as long as you had a multi-tap. The three characters set out on their journey in order to stop an evil Empire from conquering the world with the aid of an ancient floating fortress. A simple premise when compared to the titles such as Phantasy Star IV and Final Fantasy VI, but Secret of Mana excels in its gameplay. Instead of turn-based combat, it uses real time actions predicated on the power bar. It’s fast paced and considering the landscape of the genre, was a breath of fresh air. Secret of Mana is a classic. You need it in your life. I’d say if you can, play it on SNES as the 16 bit aesthetic has much more charm and the music isn’t needlessly rearranged. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the PS4 version. I enjoy the graphical overhaul, and the gameplay for the most part is relatively untouched. It’s just that growing up with the original, I can’t cast aside my nostalgic love for the Super Nintendo Secret of Mana. Now give North America that Seiken Densetsu collection please and thank you!
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