Jeremy Parish has recently posted at article at GameSpite.net discussing SquareSoft’s Legend of Mana, originally released for the PlayStation in 2000. It’s quite an interesting look at a game that was somewhat off-putting to players at the time of its release, but Parish argues that it’s non-linear design would be far more accepted in today’s gaming climate. Of course, he mentions the involvement of Akitoshi Kawazu, a game creator that continues to intrigue him (and me), and relates it to Kawazu’s SaGa series:
None of this is at all like the previous Mana titles. The earlier games in the series became increasingly complex with each chapter, with Seiken Densetsu 3 offering a degree of narrative flexibility almost unthinkable in a 16-bit game, but they were nevertheless largely linear games, largely plot-driven, and largely built on the standard Square narrative structure — standard meaning, of course, “like their best-selling Final Fantasy games.” But if the first three Mana games were Zelda seen through the lens of Final Fantasy, Legend of Mana is Zelda as interpreted by SaGa.
This comparison certainly increases my curiosity about the game, although I’ve never had the means to play it, unfortunately. However, it is available on PSN now, so it has another chance to find an audience.
Check out the article here: Legend of Mana @ GameSpite.net
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