gamers (89%) found this review helpful
this game is a real time strategy game like command and conquer. In heroes of mana you can Command an army of heroes, creatures, and rabites. Heroes of Mana goes much farther than a traditional RTS with incredibly rich and detailed characters on the battlefied, each with histories and a relationship to the overall story of the Mana franchise that is deep and complex. In fact, there's a story recap feature to help you get to know everyone and their place in the story. In Heroes of Mana, you have a airship that has factories on board capable of producing structures and units. Also The different types of troops each has strengths and weaknesses versus other troop types and in particular terrains, so you must be very strategic on picking the the right one.
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
Pros: It's one of the rare RTS games on the DS, and the touchscreen could be well suited to RTS play, and ignoring everything else, using the touchscreen/stylus in an RTS is pretty fluid.
Cons (i.e. everything else):
Pathfinding is a major obstacle, there is no ability to just move units as opposed to attacking, so if enemies get in the way, your units attack them instead of continuing onwards to where they're really needed.
Heroes die easily and there are many hero units that cause the battle to fail if they die (plus one-shot npc heros to keep alive), and nearby units do not help their allies that are being attacked, so your critical heroes are easily picked off by random groups of enemy units passing by some part of the map that you're not paying attention to at the time. In the time that I played it (which wasn't to the end, by any means) I didn't come across any active abilities to use, only passive hero abilities, so gameplay in the battles consists only of directing units to move to a spot on the grid, and building structures inside your ship while your units are outside dying.
The storyline is full of cutscenes with messages that scroll slowly across the screen without any option to make the messages go faster, and the storyline isn't compelling enough for you to care what they're saying, so you just have to tap tap tap past the stuff.
I'm always searching for a worthwhile sequel to Secret of Mana, because I find that to be just about the most fun in an RPG that I've ever had, and Square/Squarenix continually manages to disappoint me with their sequels.
If you are a true Real time strategy fan, you may like this one. I liked how they used the Secret of mana world, such as the holy city of Wendel, Laurent, etc, things I recall seeing in the other Mana games. Just the game play didn't sit well with me. Not a true RTS fan here, I picked it up because I wanted to try it out.
The pathing for characters can be way to extreme, Had a few of my soldiers walk all the way around a rock instead of taking the short side. Plus if an enemy is engaged in battle a ways away, you send your troops there, by the time they arrive, the battles over, meaning.... they walk way to slow and the action is to fast.
The game had a few interesting takes on the building aspects of the game, your soldiers are creatures from all the mana games. Your gatherers are Rabbits, archers are chobin, soldiers are mushblooms. You collect 2 things, berries and rocks to build the various houses needed to summon your troops, and you build them inside your ship.