Rent Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis for PS2
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Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis

Not Rentable
GF Rating
7.6

528 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
9

Excellent

Consistency

posted by BranFlakes (PITTSBURGH, PA) Jun 21, 2008

Member since Feb 2006

8 out of 8 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Just like its predecessors, great game. There is a certain trade off for most games released by NIS America though; the trade is cutting edge graphics for robust, diverse, absolutely great gameplay and features. Disgaea would be a great example, but I digress.

In Mana Khemia, the school based time system can take some getting used to but it's not too tough. Other games such as Persona3 have explored that timing system and it hasn't been a detriment to the game.

Also, the synthesize-to-power-up leveling system is an adjustment, but it also focuses the game on what it's supposed to be about: alchemy and synthesizing. Even in the previous games, the only true bonus behind synthesizing items was to make a good weapon or an item with good properties you could synthesize into a good weapon. In Mana Khemia, your characters become innately more powerful and you can still do the specialized weapon synthesis to your liking to make them more powerful.

Well, enough ranting... if you're a die-hard RPG fan, get it; if you're not die-hard, you may be a bit disappointed (I'm assuming).

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Extremely creative game that's poorly executed

posted by thinkbomb (KAYSVILLE, UT) Jan 10, 2009

Member since Mar 2007

4 out of 4 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Yup, just what the title says. This game has some of the best characters, plot, and combat systems I've seen as of late in JRPGs ... but the whole thing very poorly executed. HOWEVER, if you're willing to look past the flaws it still manages to be enjoyable.

Story: Good things first, the story rocks. It's somewhat comparable to the first Harry Potter book in that it mostly concentrates on the daily life of a student in an alchemist school. And the plot takes full advantage of this to create a narrative that feels significantly different than the usual pompous self-grandiose feel of most Squeenix games (and much more charming might I add). Plus the characters feel more natural and are far more interesting than any JRPG characters (outside of the humor-slanted ones). Really, I played this one as long as I did solely because of the story. It's that good. (plus Atlus provided a better than average voice actors, Japanese track's still better, but it's tolerable).

Graphics: Most of the graphics look really bad ... like "a skilled team could easily run everything except the higher resolution portraits on a PS1" type of bad.

Music: ... it feels like mediocre anime soundtracks ... tolerable for the genre, but personally I found it annoying more often than catchy.

Battle System: the system itself has some nice organization and all the attacks move along really fast, so the pacing's great. UNFORTUNATELY the camera zooms in on every single attack, so it's disorienting and irritating to watch. It would have been far better to keep the camera in the static position and save zooming in for rare occasions (i.e. once-twice per battle).

But yeah, if you're a die-hard fan of JRPGs who's forgiving of faults, do pick this up. There's a lot of great fun to be had.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Old theme, new system

posted by dasilodavi (WATERTOWN, MA) Mar 5, 2009

Member since Jan 2006

3 out of 3 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

If you like JRPGs you're gonna love this one. Fourth in the Atelier Iris series, the game focuses on a group of students studying alchemy, the crafting of stuff into other stuff. You've got the quiet hero, the perky girl sidekicks, the warrior, the rival, and a number of recognizable themes.

The system at a glance: the game revolves around your alchemical studies. You find components and recipes, and you make your items and gear out of them. You learn, you create, you advance. You don't gain levels. Instead, you synthesize items that go on your character's growth chart. You then fill in those spots with points you get from fighting (the closest thing to EXP the game has). You always have a ton of it. This usually results in a burst of ability each chapter, when new recipes and key components become available, and you rapidly fill in what needs filling.

The theme is great; little vignettes are spread out in the game and help give the characters, well, character. You can also choose to play side events that flesh out their stories.

SPOILER ALERT: This game has 8 endings, one for each character. The side stories determine what ending you get.

The graphics are atrocious. There are no FMV cut-scenes aside from the opening, and the sprites are featureless clumps of pixels.

The music is good, and the voice-overs can be in either Japanese or English.

The stories are cute, and the game plays like a romp through high-school, only you're learning how to fight and blow stuff up. I rarely finish games, but I couldn't wait to finish this one just to see how it ended.

I highly recommend this game. If you're the compulsive collector in games, even better! Tons of items, events, and endings to discover will keep you occupied for a long while.

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