Excerpt: Dawn of Mana is a game with a unique hook. By introducing semi-lifelike physics into a fantasy environment, it allows players to manipulate parts of the landscape, using everything from crates and barrels to boulders and, in some areas, even the walls themselves as weapons. The vine rope on the right arm of Keldy, the game's hero, can be used to latch onto and swing around objects, which can then be flung at enemies to create openings in their defenses through panic and...
Excerpt: One of my bigger gaming peeves is when great franchises go bad. Another is when good gameplay ideas are crippled by poorly implemented mechanics. Dawn of Mana , Square Enix's latest entry in the Mana series, manages to hit on both of these, crippling what should otherwise be a fun experience. At the very least, Dawn of Mana is a pretty game. As with other games in the series, everything is very colorful while managing to keep from crossing too far into "cute" territory.
Excerpt: I don’t know what went wrong with Dawn of Mana. Its worlds are bright fairylands; its characters are pretty without looking sickly cute. The gameplay itself is an interesting twist on Devil May Cry -style combo-racking, with few lulls in the action and lots of property to destroy. Unfortunately, a lousy camera and odd difficulty levels make the game much more frustrating than it should be.
Excerpt: Dictionary.com defines “Dawn” as “the beginning or rise of anything; advent.” This makes sense in the context that Dawn of Mana ‘s story takes place before that of any other Mana games. However, those of us familiar with the series know that the game really began, and was defined by, the SNES game Secret of Mana . In this context, a better fitting title would have been “Tedious Experience That Bears Little Resemblance Whatsoever to Mana.
Excerpt: Here we have another game that wants to be like Final Fantasy and live on seemingly forever. But Dawn of Mana has got a long way to go considering Final Fantasy just started over again on the PSP. Plus, the Mana series is no Final Fantasy. Those of you a little long in the tooth probably remember a delightful game called Secret of Mana for the Super Nintendo.
Excerpt: The reign of the Seiken Densetsu (Mana) series ended after Seiken Densetsu 3 around the end of SNES' lifespan. Seiken Densetsu 3 never made it to US shores and still remains a cult classic to this day. Many spin-off titles such as Legend of Mana and Children of Mana emerged with their own gameplay quirks. The results on all of them were mixed and my interest in the series steadily withered.