Gentleman Octopus' sister NocturnalOwlie is in town, so we're dusting off the classic 3-player RPG-- Secret Of Mana! It's Square, it's a top-down action-RPG, and it's 1993-- what could go wrong?
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Secret of Mana, originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2 (聖剣伝説2, lit. "Legend of the Sacred Sword 2"), is a 1993 action role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the sequel to the 1991 game Seiken Densetsu, released in North America as Final Fantasy Adventure and in Europe as Mystic Quest, and it was the first Seiken Densetsu title to be marketed as part of the Mana series rather than the Final Fantasy series. Set in a high fantasy universe, the game follows three heroes as they attempt to prevent an empire from conquering the world with the power of an ancient flying fortress.
Rather than using a turn-based battle system like contemporaneous role-playing games, Secret of Mana features real-time battles. The game has a unique Ring Command menu system, which pauses the action and allows the player to make decisions in the middle of battle. An innovative cooperative multiplayer system allows a second or third player to drop in and out of the game at any time. Secret of Mana was directed and designed by Koichi Ishii, programmed primarily by Nasir Gebelli, and produced by veteran Square designer Hiromichi Tanaka.
The game received considerable acclaim for its brightly colored graphics, expansive plot, Ring Command menu system, and innovative real-time battle system. Critics also praised the soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta and the customizable artificial intelligence (AI) settings for computer-controlled allies. The original version was re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2008. The game was ported to mobile phones in Japan in 2009, and an enhanced port of the game was released for iOS in 2010 and Android in 2014.
Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine's reviewers heavily praised the graphics, music, and multiplayer gameplay, saying that it had "some of the best music I've ever heard from a cartridge". They hoped that other companies would take the game's lead in adding multiplayer modes to role-playing games. Diehard GameFan's review of the game named the multiplayer as the game's best component, with reviewer Kelly Rickards saying that while the graphics were nice, the multiplayer "made the game". GamePro's review praised the graphics, plot, "first-rate gameplay" and "positively massive" world "dwarfing even Zelda", while stating the gameplay and multiplayer were "rough around the edges", concluding it to be "one of the finest action/RPGs" on the SNES. Nintendo Power called it an "enthralling epic", praising the "wide variety of sites and terrain," music, "Beautiful graphics and great depth of play" but criticizing the "unnecessarily long" sword powering-up and "awkward" item selection method.
Wikipedia contributors. Secret of Mana. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. September 27, 2016, 09:47 UTC. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Secret_of_Mana&oldid=741411410.