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Legend of Mana
"Squaresoft, once again has shown it's mastery of Rpg's, and it's flair for keeping the genre alive with new ideas."
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Developer  SquareSoft Game Type  Strategy
Distributor  Square EA Preview Date  Jun 00
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Setting the Scene:
      The world of Fa'Diel all started with the Mana Goddess. A great Mana tree was brought to light in the world, and through it all plant life was imbued with the magical powers of 'Mana'.

Both faeries and humans that exist in the world of Fa'Diel, although they don't much care for each other. The plant life also lends a hand in keeping Fa'Diel a magical and mystical place. Through the plants, the 'Mana' of the world is released into the atmosphere to keep magic alive and well.

If all of this sounds a little strange, then don't worry... it is supposed to. You see, like all good mysteries you will only truly understand what is going on near the end of your quest. Little by little you are fed more information until all of a sudden it all starts to make sense.

We will try not to spoil the game by revealing too much of the plot in our review.

Type of Game (Genre):
      LoM is a traditional Role Playing Adventure Game (RPG) that uses real time combat rather than turn-based.

Sound and Vision:
      The music and graphics in LoM are one of its strongest attributes. Starting the game is a real treat. The opening movie sequence is a feast for your eyes and ears. You are treated to music that has a classical flair, along with a slide show of types that gives you a peek into the magical world of Fa'Diel, to whet your appetite for the journey ahead.

The world map is done in beautifully colored 3D, while the characters are done in 2D sprites. The character detail is very good though, and doesn't detract from the beauty of the game. Entering locations on the world map will lead to one of three types of areas. The first area you could end up in is a town. When you enter a town, your character is placed on a flat town map, with dots on it. Stepping into one of the dots will cause you to enter that particular part of the town. Once inside an area of town the scenery, along with the music, changes. Now, you are treated to wonderfully detailed backgrounds. Although most in the scenery is static and non interactive, the hand drawn, and extremely colorful detail is very appealing. The music that accompanies the towns, dungeons and maps are all top notch and lively. Definitely a strong point of this game.

The second type of area you could enter from the world map are dungeons. I use dungeons loosely here, because actually many places where the monsters reside are in lush forests or sandy beaches. The variance of locals are many, along with the individuality of them. These areas are 3D in appearance, however you and your party (when you have one), move along set pathways. You do however have range of movement. This range of movement is necessary because of the real time, hack and slash battles. These locations are among the prettiest.

The third type of area is your home. Your home is more than just a house; it's the center of your universe. All your knowledge and skills come back to here, but more on that later. This area is also done in a 3D setting, with you and your party in 2D sprite mode, left to traverse the pathways around your home area.

As I said before, the sound is just as beautiful as the graphics. With every location you enter, you are treated to a fitting musical score. Even when encountering enemy bosses, the music is an inspiration to kick some booty. The sound is also done in surround sound mode, so if you have a set up to handle it, your ears will be twice as happy.

Through sound and graphics, this game has a very "Faerie Tale" type feel to it. This gives a refreshing feel to this action rpg.
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