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Sat, June 2nd, 2007   #1
Dark Jaguar
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Default Dawn of Mana

I picked up this game recently. Just so you know, it is basically single player. There is a co-op mode of sorts but all it does is allow the second player to cast your spells and select your ammo for you.

However, whatever your opinion of Children of Mana (it's co-op mode actually existed, but for some reason they just can't seem to recapture Secret of Mana's awesome co-op mode, namely you can't SAVE YOUR GAME when that one is played in co-op, defeating the purpose), this game is great. It's basically Kingdom Hearts style gameplay with the Havoc physics system put into the game. It's not just a nice but meaningless addition though. You'll need to use this physics system to play the game. From knocking over a pillar to smash through the floor to stacking things, it's all standard fare there. What's unique is how well the physics are used in battle. For example, you can basically hit all sorts of things into enemies, and it's surprisingly easy to aim it all. Further, if you see some large round object, you can probably roll around on or in it while fighting, Jack Sparrow style. However, the funnest thing is using magic in conjunction with these physics. There is a slingshot you get and one of the ammo types is "magnet seed". Fire it at anything and it draws everything around it towards it. I fired one at an enemy, and all manner of rocks and broken pillars and other enemies, basically the entire room, got pulled right on top of the guy, killing it and a few other enemies. Only problem was now I had to make my way through the stack of garbage I just made by destroying it all. There's also a cyclone seed for sucking everything up into a tornado, and when it ends it all crashes back down. It's also used during boss battles to great effect, for example the giant crab that sounded like the Overmind (awaken my child and embrace the glory that is your birthright) got flipped on it's back more than a few times by my whirlwinds.

All in all, I'm having a great time playing through this game. As for tone, it's on the lighthearted side, in fact between this and Kingdom Hearts, KINGDOM HEARTS is the darker themed one! You'll figure that out when your adorable fairy friend decides to become sickeningly sweet in making VERY sure you remember it's name (it's Faye, Faye... Faaaaye!). In fact the only way to get rid of that bit of knowledge after that scene is to remove it with a bullet. Also I'm loving every minute of this.
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Sat, June 2nd, 2007   #2
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I've heard it's awful and bad because it completely ignores or ruins the Mana series legacy...
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Sun, June 3rd, 2007   #3
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Well I didn't read any of the reviews, but I'm having a great time.

Honestly I have no idea where it "fits" in the overall storyline, but to be honest I'm not even sure if there IS an overall storyline. After Legend of Mana it just seems like they reinvent the storyline in a new universe with every game. This one at least seems to reference Secret of Mana a little (the world shall be covered in greek death, er, Thanatos).
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Sun, June 3rd, 2007   #4
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Oh, it seems clear now this story is supposed to be the very first tale of Mana. Essentially the Mana Sword started out as a seed.
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Fri, June 8th, 2007   #5
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I just wanted to report I was wrong about Children of Mana. That game DOES let you save. I was mistaken based on a silly thing. You see I saw a message that mislead me to that conclusion. Not sure how, specifically when you go into multiplayer it says "The game can't be saved in co-op mode". Not sure why I concluded I coudn't save the game in co-op mode from that.

Anyway, as it turns out here's how it works. The host's save file is where the world's progress is loaded from. Everyone else just has their character shunted into that person's world. Then you adventure together as long as you wish. When you are done, the host kicks everyone back into their world and everyone can THEN save their game. The only storyline progress is in the host's world of course, since that's the one you were playing in, but everyone else can still save experience and items. Further, you can just have someone else be the host if you would rather be in their world.

In other words, what I thought was the worst possible way to handle saves is actually, upon retrospect, the BEST way they could have done it. So, I've been playing a lot of this game with my friends. The one thing I don't like is the whole stage by stage layout. I prefer the older Mana game style where it is all one big world you explore.
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Sat, June 9th, 2007   #6
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Just one thing, Children of Mana is the DS hack-and-slash game... (which is kind of mediocre. I can see why I was told 'don't bother buying it'... though I bought it anyway a few months back. Oh well, it's decent enough to play, even if it's awful compared to what the Mana games once were...)
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Thu, June 14th, 2007   #7
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http://ps2.gamespy.com/playstation-...t/795947p1.html

Reviews aren't any better than impressions.
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Thu, June 14th, 2007   #8
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What a weird review. I love the game myself. Besides that's just the opinion of one person. Why should that guy's opinon get more weight than, well, anyone's?
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Thu, June 14th, 2007   #9
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I heard some bad things about this game. Like you don't progress from world to world; you start over each time (in terms of stats and such).
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Thu, June 14th, 2007   #10
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It's true. Also, it's stage based instead of one big world you explore.

And yet, even considering these things (you do still keep the new abilities you get), for me it's been crazy fun. The physics system is really what does it for me. It's just fun to swirl up a whole room in a cyclone and watch enemies get smacked around by rocks and stuff caught up in it, or turn one enemy into a magnet and suck all the metal into the guy, which also happens to cause the floor to collapse under that enemy.
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Thu, June 14th, 2007   #11
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Sounds like the stuff I hated about Legend of Mana. The stage thing.
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Thu, June 14th, 2007   #12
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Legend of Mana was more of a big world you explore than Dawn of Mana. This really is just stage by stage gameplay.

That said, the levels are huge and you can explore them quite a bit.

So basically what I'm saying is that while I don't like the stage design they seem to be going with lately, and having to regather "stats" is a bit annoying (though really you don't even notice as the game goes on), the main gameplay is pretty fun.
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Fri, June 15th, 2007   #13
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That sounds pretty horrible.
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Fri, June 15th, 2007   #14
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Well okay then. At any rate I've been having a blast and I'm glad I stopped bothering to read reviews.
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Fri, June 15th, 2007   #15
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Well it's good that you like it.
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Fri, June 15th, 2007   #16
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I also liked Donkey Kong 64, so you know, I think I'm basically saying there's no accounting for taste and art is all in our heads.
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Fri, June 15th, 2007   #17
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sure
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Fri, June 15th, 2007   #18
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Well, if there was a demo, I'd say play it and find out for yourself, but since there's not, well, just do as you will. /avoiding getting into an argument mode
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Sun, June 17th, 2007   #19
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I was agreeing with you...
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Sun, June 17th, 2007   #20
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Okay okay! That's fine! Just don't argue with me, for the love of all that is holy don't argue with me! AAAHHH! *runs away*
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Sun, June 17th, 2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar
What a weird review. I love the game myself. Besides that's just the opinion of one person. Why should that guy's opinon get more weight than, well, anyone's?

Almost all the reviews are that bad, DJ...


Legend of Mana? Legend of Mana was great... quite different from the Mana games before it, but still good. Even Sword of Mana was competent, even if it was the worst game in the series up to that point. Children of Mana, though... I talked about that one a bit. Kind of boring. Not awful, but not that great either... but as for this one? I can't say because I haven't played it, but with impressions this uniformly bad (from most all the critics), it can't be good... not that I have a PS2 to play it on, of course.


How about the plot? It sounds extremely, extremely cliche from what I've heard... oh yes, and there's really no multiplayer? Can you even change characters or are you stuck as that one guy the whole time, making it the only game in the series other than the original FFA to not have multiple playable characters?
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Sun, June 17th, 2007   #22
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Well technically Secret of Mana didn't have character selection, it just had 3 characters you ALWAYS had in your party.

Anyway, play it like you would Kingdom Hearts, not a Mana game. It really is more like that than what you would expect in a Mana game. I'm really not sure what all the reviewers are upset about but I guess they wanted a different game and are compairing this to that other nonexistant game they wanted instead of judging it for what it actually is. Go in expecting something that's not really a normal Mana game and you should enjoy it.
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Sun, June 17th, 2007   #23
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Character selection or character switching, I meant -- that you can play as more than one character.
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