I am Setsuna lives in an interesting space between being a heavy nod to ‘Chrono Trigger’ and an attempt at an art-house take on an old-school JRPG. It’s trying to be stylish and original at the same time as reminding players how much they enjoy the old classics. Somewhere in the middle the game gets a little muddled and it doesn’t always reach the high-notes of either approach.
SquareEnix is fast approaching the point where they will have release more re-release retro content than new games this side of the millennium, but when a company has such a vast and genre-defining back catalog it’s hard to argue against seeing some of their titles getting a lavish remake. Adventures of Mana is in fact the second remake of the originally titled ‘Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden’ (also known as ‘Mystic Quest’ and ‘Final Fantasy Adventure’ outside Japan) after the less than successful ‘Sword of Mana’ version on the Game Boy Advance, and this version easily trumps it’s last-gen equivalent on all fronts by staying closer to the source material.
After languishing in development hell for what felt like an eternity and starting life as ‘Final Fantasy Versus XIII’, this title has gone through a lengthy period of work before finally being rebranded as a man-line instalment into RPG gaming’s most famous series. Continue reading →
Having already released a slew of third-party Social RPGs using their IP, ranging from the surprisingly good ‘Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X’ to the horrible cash grab that was ‘Final Fantasy: all the Bravest’, it would seem that Square Enix has finally struck on a formula that works. Despite mixed feelings on ‘Final Fantasy: Record Keepers’, it does raise the question of if the mobile market audience support so many games running simultaneously? Evidently Square thinks it can.
Kingdom Hearts is no stranger to the mobile scene, having had ‘Kingdom Hearts: Coded’ and ‘Kingdom Hearts: Mobile’ lay the groundwork for what does and doesn’t work on a touchscreen. Kingdom Hearts Unchained is the latest canonical entry into the ever-growing lore of the series that blends Disney and Square properties in a near-seamless manner.
For those of us from Europe this game will always be known confusingly as ‘Final Fantasy Mystic Quest’, and for others in America its ‘Final Fantasy Adventure’, however in truth this game is at its best using its Japanese title ‘Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden’ marking it as the first entry into the massively popular ‘Mana’ series.
Sequels to titles in the Final Fantasy main-line series used to be non-existent, so when a direct sequel to Final Fantasy X on the Playstation 2 was announced there was no small amount of interest from players at the time. I personally picked up ‘Unlimited Saga’ largely for the bonus disc with the ‘linking’ short animation they included with that game. To say that people were intrigued with what could happen AFTER the world had been saved was putting it mildly.