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Mana Conquest: Gameplay > Story

  • sbester
  • 06/01/2010 05:54 AM
This review contains story spoilers, so be forewarned. While I am rather harsh on the game, and I was not able to finish it due to a game breaker, I realize that it is a game with potential. While I'm not in the habit of criticizing games in such a way, I wrote this review because I would love for this title to be revamped and improved upon, and I believe that my observations may be of some help if the author was to go back and touch up on some things.

Plot and Dialogue 1/5
This is the biggest downfall of the game. There are three gripes I had in playing this game in terms of the dialogue:

The first gripe is poor spelling and grammar. This game is quite old now, apparently, and I believe it is time the creator went back and fixed this up, as I’m sure their English skills have improved since then. This could have easily been avoided by hiring someone to do it at the time of release, but I understand completely the urge to handle everything on one’s own.

The second gripe has to do with the characters, as they just don’t seem to make any sense. Most of the time, Rolf says or does things that completely contradict rational thought, and we’re actually meant to take it seriously. At one point, Rolf actually tries to explain how he doesn’t care about his father’s death, because he never knew him very well, but he wants to follow in his footsteps and be exactly like him, nonetheless. At another point, as Rolf watches an enemy kill around 8 people in one hit (including his mother), he decides the best course of action would be to jump out of his hiding place and challenge his enemy with the words, “Hah!”. Many of the characters say some of the weirdest and insensitive things as well, like “It’s funny, I don’t know you all that well but I feel like I’m your only friend.” (This coming right after the town massacre).

The last gripe has to do with the pointless dialogue in the game. There is a lot of dialogue in general, and most of it was meaningless. Also, I noticed while searching through people’s homes in the first town, that about 85% or more of the books they owned had perverted titles. I know this was an attempt at humor, but it got old fast, and then predictable.

As for the story… I just didn’t buy it. The fact that Rolf was allowed to live for such an incredibly pointless end battle with Theo… I think that whole beginning scene needs some rearranging. Again, the dialogue is a major factor here, like when Melissa says “I was going to kill myself… but just seeing your face again has changed my mind”. I did laugh, but we are meant to take this seriously, are we not?

Graphics 3/10
I found these to be rather well done, and the major characters were highlighted with a distinct visual graphic style. Nothing seemed out of place in terms of character actions during the cutscenes, and everything meshes pretty well. The town maps needed a bit of work, however.

The battles were also pretty appealing to the eyes, which is rare with the regular rm2k battle system. The animations worked well, and at times it felt like it was really a side view system.

Sound 4.5/5
I enjoyed the music selection immensely, as it was very carefully placed. I read in the other review that it was an original soundtrack, which makes sense as I didn’t recognize any of the tunes. I respect this quite a bit, and think it’s great for any game! I knocked off half a point for the annoying voice laughing of Theo, though. It was way too much and I ended up muting the game for the rest of the scene.

Gameplay 2/5
Like the last reviewer, I got stuck during the quiz section. Your superior informs you that you need to get 80% of the questions right, (8 out of 10), but this is not so, as getting one question wrong meant game over for me. He said to me, “You’re doing well, keep it up”, then, “You can’t become one of us if you can’t even pass this quiz” (or something to that effect) and the game over screen washed over. I was also fairly certain I got the doctor’s name correct, isn’t it “Eddie”? Maybe that was a different character altogether, but I thought otherwise. Anyway, for those who found it hard to pay attention to the story, it really is a game breaking bug.

As for the rest, I enjoyed some of the minigames in the castle (unlike the other reviewer). They were pretty well executed, and not running into the game over screen helped a lot.

The forest battle wasn’t bad either. There’s a classic RPG feel here, and I find myself wishing I was able to move forward.

Overall 11/20
I believe this game could be saved by going back, fixing the bugs, and rewriting the dialogue. In fact, I beg you to! Aside from a poor story execution, there’s a decent game here. I can’t stress enough how effective rewriting this game could be. In the end I was disappointed because I realized the true potential of Mana Conquest, it has just not been reached as of yet. In its current form, I cannot recommend it to anyone. With a little revision, I definitely would.

Despite the 11/20, I did not feel right giving this game a score, seeing as though I did not finish it.


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You the practice of self-promotion
Sorry to say this, sbester, but your scores don't quite add up. Hint: the second number. Also, good idea of not giving it a rating under your gameplay circunstances.
woops, outta 5 lol

I gave it the extra .5 nudge as well, hoping no one would call me out on it :P
I appreciate the review, sbester.
I believe I will reinstall rm2k in the near future to address a couple of these issues, at the very least, the horrible quiz minigame. It seemed like a good way to get people to pay attention to the dialogue, back in the day, but in retrospect, even I would find it too annoying to continue playing if I didn't finish it in one or two tries.
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