Final Fantasy Adventure : A Look at the First Title in The Mana Collection
Welcome to our Final Fantasy Adventure review. In our retro review, we discuss the game remade in the recently released Nintendo Switch title, The Mana Collection. A Game Boy Classic, the title originally debuted in Japan as “Seiken Densetsu,” or “Legend of the Sacred Sword.” This title would set the groundwork for Action/RPGs and eventually come out with a sequel on SNES — Secret of Mana.
In 28 years, Final Fantasy Adventure received two remakes. One, Sword of Mana, came out for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. This 16-bit remake completely changed the original character designs, but also used an art style similar to that of the PlayStation title “Legend of Mana.” The second remake, “Adventure of Mana,” featured 2.5D animation. 3D graphics, but overhead 2D gameplay. New artwork based the character designs on the official art of the original and the music was fully orchestrated. However, the title was only available on Vita and later smartphones.
Square-Enix opted to use the original title for The Mana Collection. With that said, we delve into how well Final Fantasy Adventure has aged in nearly three decades.
In Final Fantasy Adventure, you control a young warrior named Sumo. Fighting in gladiatorial battles in a castle, he fights every day at the behest of the Dark Lord. When his friend dies in combat, Sumo flees, only to be attacked by the Dark Lord. Left for dead at the bottom of a waterfall, he’s rescued and taken into a nearby village. His quest takes him to meet a legendary knight named Bogard. In the process, he meets a young girl named Fuji who also seeks him. As the two learn about the Mana Tree’s necessity in the world and the Dark Lord’s designs, Sumo and Fuji seek to stop his vile plans to rule the world.
For a 1991 JPRG, Final Fantasy Adventure’s storyline is surprisingly extensive. Taking cues from Final Fantasy II, it’s one of the first JRPGs to feature a fully-fledged story, complete with dialogue. Contemporary adventures in America included the original Final Fantasy, which had a base story with very little dialogue progressing the plot. Final Fantasy Adventure touches on themes of doubt, mourning death, and even sacrifice. It leaves the impression of a game ahead of its time.
As a 1991 Game Boy title, Final Fantasy Adventure features monochromatic visuals with chiptune music. You’ll find some surprisingly impressive boss sprites as well as several different types of overworld areas, including a desert and a snowfield. Animations predate the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, a top-down action/adventure title that would come out on Game Boy two years later. Fans of Link’s Awakening will feel right at home.
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Originally published at https://gaming4.cash on July 1, 2019.