Visions of Mana feels like a throwback to the old RPG era

I'm filling in some gaps in my RPG history. I've been playing series like Final fantasy Since I was a kid, but there are countless other notable RPGs that I rarely touch upon, including Fantasy RPG Mana The chain that split Final Fantasy Adventure in 1991. The only part she played in the long-running series, actually Sons of Mana On the Nintendo DS, which I loved! However, I'm on a journey to correct my mistakes, so when I got the chance to see the first mainline Mana Since 2006 was at PAX East last week, I had to check it out for myself.

Mana visions Vintage feel

My immediate impression, and the one that has lasted the longest, is the quality of the short stories Mana visions, which looks beautiful, even in the work-in-progress state I saw it in. It has the quality of 3D animated films that some of its contemporaries often have Dragon Adventureit has been constantly reconsidered, and it lends Mana visions A magic absent from the bleak, hyper-realistic visuals of games like Final Fantasy XVI. It's quite angelic, perhaps verging on childlike, which I can see as a turnoff for some and a blessing for others who have been with the series their whole lives. Mana It is, after all, a series that has been around since 1991. To me, the art style was strange, although the structure I was playing seemed to fall apart a bit while trying to bring life and vitality to the world around us.

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Starting in the grassland known as the Fallow Steppe, I was introduced to the game's mechanics before diving into a more guided portion of the preview that culminated in a boss fight. And here I learned that, contrary to what I thought was true,… Mana Games are RPGs! Imagine my surprise when, instead of waiting for orders from me, I launched an attack and my comrades entered into an open brawl. I also adapted to this type of game Mana visions However, the cracks in its facade became more apparent. This doesn't mean that an action RPG has to be fast and flashy, but it should feel like it right In a way it is Visions' The strange mix of floaty action and weirdly heavy combat is undermining. However, the somewhat intense combat offers echoes of older games —Mana visions Vintage feel.

This old school feel is very evident in the language of Fallow Steppe which wasn't necessarily full of tasks to do or points of interest. I want to be drawn into these worlds rather than feel like dressing up, but I also realize that the other end of that is a game that's kind of like… Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, which is a title I love and has a ton of content. The Fallow Steppe felt dated, but I can't say for sure whether that's due to the emptiness of old school or the emptiness of more modern casual gameplay. However, it was fun to run around the Bicol steppe, a new mountain in it Mana visions Which the creators likened to a giant Yorkshire terrier which I would die for.

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Screenshot of Val from Visions of Mana crossing Mount Gala.

picture: Square Enix

Mana visions He has problems and promise

While I was able to wrap my head around it Mana visionsI didn't like the rhythm of the game, its combat at all. For example, dodging felt great and came in clutch while I was running (uninjured) towards the boss at the end of the demo. However, the addition of air attacks and movement feels like a bit of a confusion. In most other similar games, these are quick follow-up mechanics that demonstrate the player character's flexibility and abilities. Without a fully-fledged combo system (our preview only seemed to offer a light and heavy combo), and coupled with the buoyancy of the characters, it feels kind of…there.

This may have been the build I played (which led to more intense battles), but the combat in it Mana visions It never gelled in the way I needed it to in order to call it capable or coherent. The shift from the main party member to more rogue-adjacent characters seemed like a step in the right direction, but the slice of game we were given access to also wasn't a great showcase for how different characters play style. Typically, a meatier warrior might trade precision for strength and all-out attacks, but the other party members felt very similar to the main warrior, even when I was asked to go back during the demo, change classes and items, and play the final battle again. .

Elements, which are Mana The summoning equivalent of the series played a useful role in both combat and exploration and revealed to me some depth I had been looking for elsewhere. The wind element helped the party traverse a mountain-level chasm, and doubled as an auxiliary skill that could juggle enemies in the air. The moon element slowed down enemies, opening them up to attacks, which was incredibly useful as it allowed party members to unleash a finishing attack after dealing enough damage to fill its gauge. Although it was fairly simple to implement, I adore the sheer ability to make a number go up (or in this case, just all over the screen). It all came together wonderfully in the final battle when she faced off against a massive ant, which was an incredible display of technical power and artistry Mana visions– This is what actually led me to learn how to make everything work together. Compared to the boss fight, most of the fights in my preview were raw and straightforward.

Despite what seems like a huge list of reservations, I'm excited about it Mana visions. I think there's a depth that I wasn't able to quite tap into that became even more apparent in the final encounter with the boss. The game would also look dramatically better when polished and about to be released, but the version I was playing struggled to run as much as I did at times. However, there's a whimsical, fairytale-like charm to the character design and world on display that makes me want to fall in love with it. Visions. It certainly doesn't lack the emotions I was looking for in RPGs of my youth, but there are ways to go to prove that it's not too out of the way or too backwards.

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