Just beat it after casually playing it for a few months. It has nice atmosphere but something about the hit detection and waiting for that 'right' moment to attack was off-putting even until the very last attack on the mana beast. (also what a lame end boss fight, no minions, no alternate forms, just charge your sword, wait, attack - repeat)
Overall I enjoyed it but it's certainly got some flaws. Thoughts?
>waiting for that 'right' moment to attack was off-putting
I've heard this from a few people now. It's strange to me because the way you charge up powerful attacks and wait for just the right opening is one of the things that I think makes the combat in SoM so much more fun than a lot of other action RPGs.
To each their own I guess and the fact that they dropped the system is a pretty good sign I'm in the minority, but it's one of the reasons Secret is my favorite game in the whole series.
The Mana series is pretty much that, great atmosphere, great music and sounds but a lackluster if not a bit fucked up combat system.
You might want to try Seiken Densetu 3 or Legend of Mana. They're both decent games with amazing graphics and decent replay value, Legend has really a lot of things to do and is surprisingly non linear.
I think Legend is the only one with truly bad combat. It was so strange to have it shift from being able to face in all directions to being limited to just facing left and right when battle started.
That combined with the forging and honing system which was really cool, but easily makes you way too powerful for anything the game throws at you. I remember killing the end boss, in Nightmare Mode with two hits of a flail that wasn't even fully upgraded.
Despite that it's great in almost every other way and is still a very worth while game to play. For your first time though I highly recommend not reading any guides and just go in blind for the best first experience. There's more to do in subsequent playthroughs, so then you can use guides to get at everything if you want.
Git gud how? What does that have to do with anything? There's no amount of "gitting gud" that will make the combat more interesting.
Being stuck facing just left and right doesn't make it harder, it just makes it more restrictive and less fun. If anything it's one of the things that lead to it being easy since you don't really have to worry about attacks coming from all directions. Enemies too tend to line up on either side so you just turn back and forth and swat them till they're all dead. It's not unplayably awful or anything, but it's definitely the worst designed aspect of the game.
Sure it would have been cool for more in depth fighting with enemies that you attack to the north and south, but the game is just so all around good that I never gave a shit.
It's so damn beautiful and has such good side elements that it is a near perfect game for me.
The one complaint I have is I would have preferred either more characters to choose from to play as when you start, or customization.
I don't really enjoy playing as frilly grills.
That's fair. I loved so much of the game, but the whole time that was always a weird sticking point for me. With almost everything else about it being so amazing, the combat always kind of stuck out like a sore thumb as the one thing holding it back.
That and the difficulty. I suspect it's a glitch that none of the bosses scale with the higher difficulties, but it was pretty disappointing to have that super complex and interesting forging system for making amazing weapons and then have barely anything to really use them on. It's a bit of the SotN problem.
I too enjoy playing as girls and would have liked more creation options, but meh!
Some of the flaws can be explained by how the game was originally meant to be a SnesCD game. Many sprites are missing, story elements have been removed. A lot of stuff generally got cut out. The fact that the game is still very good despite being butchered is testament to its quality.