Adventures of Mana review
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Adventures of Mana review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on February 9th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: IF IT AIN'T BROKE, REMAKE IT
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A fresh coat of paint and some playability tweaks breathe new life into this 25 year old Game Boy gem

Developer: SQUARE ENIX

Price: $13.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Adventures of Mana is a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure (orMystic Quest) for the Game Boy, sporting a complete audio and visual overhaul. While its core gameplay might not necessarily hold up to some players now, Adventures of Mana is the definitive version of this classic game.

Wait, so is it a Final Fantasy game?

At the time that Final Fantasy Adventure was originally released, the Final Fantasy brand was pretty popular in the west, so it seems that Square was eager to slap that brand on this game to appeal to an existing fan base, despite the game being much more action-oriented than typical Final Fantasy titles.

Playing Adventures of Mana is a lot more akin to playing a Zelda game or even Oceanhorn on iOS. You'll need to prepare yourself to run around, swing your weapon, and cast some spells in real-time from a top-down perspective.

So, the name's different. What else?

As a game that has only been available on Game Boy, Adventures of Mana has received a huge update in the audio / visual department. That has resulted in one of the best looking and sounding mobile games from Square Enix to date. On top of this, UI has been overhauled to make using maps, navigating through menus, and other tasks a breeze.

These tweaks, as well as some control updates (including great MFi controller support), make Adventures of Mana feel extremely well put together. Every little action in this game just feels and looks great.

Still an old game

The updates made to Adventures of Manaestablish a great first impression, but they don't change the fact that this game is still a remake of a game designed for a very old and limited mobile platform, the Game Boy.

As a result, it's not too hard to detect the aged systems underlying Adventures of Mana's flashy exterior. Things like only being able to map actions to two buttons, the poorly explained mechanics and systems, and the relative lack of guidance could be off-putting to those expecting an experience that matches the game's modernized look.

The bottom line

Despite its age, Adventures of Mana is a high-quality action-oriented rpg. It definitely isn't for everyone, but you can get a lot out of it, so long as you're on board with the idea of playing a 25 year old game that has had a significant facelift.

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