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Children of Mana (Nintendo DS)

Guide price: £8

Last updated on 25th Mar 2009

Tags: nintendo

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Children of Mana (Nintendo DS)

The Mana series has had an odd history, its most famous incarnation in the West being the classic SNES role-player Secret of Mana. Considered to be the next best thing to The Legend Zelda at the time, in the intervening years Square Enix has completely failed to build on that acclaim. Unlike Secret of Mana this is a dungeon crawler. As such it’s similar to the recent Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, in that it has virtually no plot or puzzles – after picking one of four character types it’s your fate to endlessly trawl through a series of randomised dungeons.

Rogue-like games (named after the ancient ‘80s PC game from which all similar titles are derived) likes this do have their fans, particularly in Japan, and if you’re one of them then this is literal mana from heaven.

Combat is initially interesting, with four different types of weapons each with secondary functions such as the flail that doubles as a grappling hook. True to the genre’s roots though actual fighting just comes down to mashing the same button over and over again. The only other complication is a magical familiar which will attack enemies on its own and which gives you access to a few simple spells.

What cannot be criticised about the game is its 2D graphics, which are easily some of the best seen on the DS. The huge bosses in particular look great and the game features cameos from series regulars such as Flammie and the Rabite enemies. Another boon is a multiplayer mode for up to four people to play co-operatively or competitively. Even so, unless you’re already a rogue-like fan, you may find the gorgeous graphics just don’t justify the repetitive action.


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A Review and overview of the features of the Nintendo DS game Children of Mana

User comments


25th March 2009 @ 11:00

The worst RPG I have ever played in my opinion

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Children of Mana (Nintendo DS)
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