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Mana Khemia: Student Alliance

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GF Rating
6.7

202 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
6

Above Average

Load Times

posted by ShadowEdge (HAZARD, KY) Jun 8, 2009

Member since May 2007

5 out of 5 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I've played this game on the PS2 and liked it pretty good, I'd give it an 8 or 8.5, but the PSP version seems to have been beaten with an ugly stick.
The characters look great, close to the PS2 version but the backgrounds and foregrounds are horribly blurred and jagged.
I know the PSP isn't as powerful as the PS2, but there isn't much going on graphically, just mostly sprites and static images. I've played other similar games on the PSP that looked a lot better than this.
I can ignore the blurred graphics, I just thought I would point that out, but the biggest problem is loading, it takes soooo long to load some of the smallest, simplest things. Load times are about as slow, if not slower, than some of the first generation games released on the psp.
Great game beaten down to a mediocre game mostly because of the unforgiveable load times.
If it wasn't a part of the Atelier Iris series I would have given it a 3 or lower.

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

Unacceptable.

posted by Schpenke (THE COLONY, TX) Mar 16, 2009

Top Reviewer

Member since Nov 2005

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

This game might have been very enjoyable to play were it not for the horrendous load times. Normally I tend to disregard the occasional UMD access, even abnormal amounts, simply because I understand that a UMD system must access the UMD. It would be silly to expect otherwise.

This game is ridiculous in the amount of times it must stop and load data. Everything that you do in this game causes a UMD stutter. That is not an exaggeration. Everything short of walking across a room requires that the PSP read from the UMD, and even sometimes walking will cause the game to stutter as it tried to quickly read the UMD to refresh at the appropriate frame rate. There is no enjoying this game simply because of that.

If we don't take the constant UMD access in to account, probably my only gripe with the game is the constant and redundant dialog that serves absolutely no purpose but to provide banter. This is not solely exclusive to this game, though, and you could really say the same thing about every JRPG.

Avoid this game. Play the original. Play something else. Do ANYTHING but waste time playing this game... and when I say "playing this game" what I mean is "listening to the UMD drive spin". Ridiculous to think that the developers thought that anyone would find this acceptable.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

If you can find the original, opt for that.

posted by PandaSlayr (APPLE VALLEY, CA) Mar 17, 2009

Member since Oct 2008

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Having played through the PS2-release of Mana Khemia, I had expected great things from a portable version of the game. Sure, one should expect some stunting when porting to a smaller capacity media-format, but this is a tad ridiculous.

First of all, if you've any vision problems, you may want to avoid this release. It seems the developers thought simply jamming the graphics onto the PSP's screen would be a good fit. Some text is nigh-unreadable (the day-to-day screen for example) and it's sad they didn't even try to optimize it.

A second, glaring problem is that the load-times are horrendous. When you defeat a monster, the game will actually freeze for three to five seconds on the characters prior to their victory poses. This is in addition to a loading pause before every special attack. This might be kosher for a slow-pace strategy RPG or the like, but it's irritating for a speedy battle system like Mana Khemia's.

A third noticeable problem, is a visual lag on Vayne every time a new area is loaded. Oddly enough, this can be remedied by pressing square. Still, one shouldn't be expected to hit a button every time you want lag to be relieved. This is just lazy programming.

The third problem is merely preference, as there is no option for the Japanese voice track. This was supposedly because of space restrictions on the UMD. Battles are also noticeable quieter due to the lack of voices for normal attacks, though they're still in for special attacks but only if you do the install.

Overall, this is a poor port of a great game. A saving grace is the extra items available to you throughout the game, but even that can't save this lackluster port.

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