Legend of Mana
Legend of Mana is back on modern consoles after more than 20 years, and it's still quite enjoyable despite some gameplay wrinkles.
Review in Italian | Read full review
A timeless classic marred by conflicting visual identities and a disjointed formula, Legend of Mana is an experimental PS1-era title that planted the seed for many of Square's greatest RPGs to come in future years.
On the surface, this game has all the ingredients to make a great RPG. The graphics are gorgeous, the soundtrack is infectious, the combat is approachable yet complex, and there’s a ton of replay value. Unfortunately, the disparate pieces don’t hang together quite right. Without a strong central narrative, you’re left bouncing around for the whole playthrough. And without a comprehensive walkthrough, you’ll be doing so for quite a long time. There’s a serious barrier to entry, but I still managed to enjoy myself in spite of all this. If you read all that and still want to dive in, then don’t hesitate to do so. Despite all the strange roadblocks, Legend of Mana has a lot to offer any action RPG fan with a little patience and perseverance.
Overall, the Legend of Mana Remaster is a strong return for the classic title. Even if some elements haven’t aged well, it still maintains its novelty all these years after its release. So long as you have the patience to look past said flaws – and a walkthrough handy for all the points where its design isn’t clear – you won’t be disappointed with this touched-up fantasy adventure.
Legend of Mana's Remastered is a golden opportunity to rediscover one of the lesser-known episodes of the historic Square-Enix series. Although certain playful and narrative elements show the signs of the time, there is no denying some intriguing ideas that have made it live up to the name it bears: the possibility of shaping the game map at will through the Artifacts and a far from linear adventure process leave the player the freedom to approach the game as he sees fit , discovering little by little the many stories, secrets and great battles that this fantastic world has to offer.
Review in Italian | Read full review
It's easy to see why this was such a polarizing title upon release. There's a lot to love here, but Legend of Mana can be tiring in how much it likes to play 'hard to get'. All the ingredients and individual pieces of a strong, impressively innovative RPG are present, but it feels like the developers simply tossed all these ideas in a bag and shook it vigorously, rather than taking the time to lay out all those ideas in a coherent and curated fashion. We'd give this one a recommendation, but only to fans of the genre, specifically those who prefer more experimental titles. If that doesn't describe you, there's still a good chance you'll find something to like about Legend of Mana, but just be aware it may be more of a mixed bag.
This HD Remaster of Legend of Mana is a strange experience, somewhere in-between : with beautiful and wide landscapes, and a brilliant musical score, the game also offers some old and sometime repulsive gameplay mechanics, especially for newcomers. Legend of Mana is still a good '90s game, but it clearly needed more reflexion to match today's standards.
Review in French | Read full review
This Legend of Mana remaster features beautiful visuals, amazing music from Yoko Shimomura, and a lot of quirky old-school weirdness. Mileage will vary with its over-designed mechanics, but the game is charming, unique in its storytelling, and offers some solid quality-of-life additions.
For the most part, the changes that the new HD remaster brings are welcome ones. Not only because these changes add and improve upon what makes Legend of Mana a good game, but because they also make the game accessible to both new and returning players. Not only that, the game also gives you the choice to play it however you'd like, be it the orthodox way using no autosaves, or by utilizing the new QoL changes. These changes are more important than any other combat system revamping, or inclusion of a new skill system because, at the end of the day, Legend of Mana's strength isn't in its combat or game systems. It's in the characters, the locations, and the stories that it's been telling, and will tell for years to come.
There is no question that players would welcome a gameplay experience more refined by better system upgrades to explore this wondrous world, but Legend of Mana remains enjoyable despite this. If you’re patient with the murky controls, can get lost in the mystifying crafting and pet-rearing systems, and embrace the enchanting world and cast, Legend of Mana will leave a lasting impression from a game that plays like little else.