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 The Final Word game review
(screen shot)

Secret of Mana -- Square

A young boy stumbles across a powerful sword in the woods and alters the fate of his entire realm. Up to three players can adventure simultaneously (with multi-tap) in this intense overhead role-playing game. The Secret of Mana is for play on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Another excellent Action/RPG game like Zelda. Squaresoft has created another masterpiece. The graphics were very well done and detailed. The music was excellent. The characters handled well. At times it got really tough trying to charge up your weapon. The game was very fun with three people using the multitap. The intriguing storyline keeps you playing the game for hours. Another excellent game by the people at Squaresoft.

Dr. Otto
Here's an RPG that surprised me. I normally am not a fan of the Zelda style RPG adventure but I enjoyed this immensely. Lots of graphic detail and one of the nicest musical scores on a cartridge made this a fun environment to explore. The innovative icon driven menu was a nice switch too. Still, the absence of CD-quality animated cinemas bring this down a notch (sorry gang--the best RPG's are still on CD) but for a cart it scores high marks. Role players will find it a much needed change from the usual RPG fare. I can see a sequel from here...

In the spirit of Zelda style RPGs, this cart makes takes this style to a new level. The graphics, sound and play control are a wonderful experience, though the crowning part of game play here is if you stick with two or more players throughout the entire game. Also, big points for non-linear play! Cool.

A long time Zelda fan, I couldn't help but love The Secret of Mana. I really enjoyed the story. The real sell for this title, however, was the optional multi-player mode. There are virtually no multi-player simultaneous RPG/action titles on the market, yet, ironically, traditional role-playing has always been a group activity. I would like to see more titles like this.

>>>>> 88.0/100 <<<<< ???? Dr.Otto R.I.P. Salamander
Graphics 4.5 4.5 4.5 3.5
Sound 5.0 4.5 4.5 4.5
Gameplay/Control 4.0 4.0 5.0 4.0
Longevity/Playability 5.0 4.0 4.5 4.5
Overall 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0
Total 23.0 21.5 23.0 20.5

Originally appeared Vol 2, Iss 5 (11-12/94)