Ubisoft Heroes Of Mana
- Touch screen is ideal for quickly selecting units, character designs are interesting.
- The DS screen is way too small for RTS, the maps sit on uninspiring black backgrounds that give the game an unfinished feel.
Diehard Mana fans will lap this up and ask for a second bowl regardless. Everyone else should expect a slightly bad aftertaste.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Here's one we weren't expecting: an RTS RPG for the DS set in the universe of the Mana series. But that's exactly what Heroes of Mana is. The story follows a new character named Roget and a rapidly ballooning band of rebels as they battle against the encroaching Peddan army. With so many characters it's difficult to become attached to many of them, and the overall story doesn't grip players in the same way Secret of Mana has before, though it makes a valiant effort.
Knowing Is Half the Battle
The title places an emphasis on RTS action that follows the typical 'Gather, Summon, Fight' progression that most every other RTS game relies on. Although, the inclusion of Leader units that can equip armor and cast magic does make for some variation, the game is still trapped in genre conventions. Thankfully, the implementation of the DS controls is good, although the end results are a little mixed. The touch-screen makes it easy to tap and lasso specific units, allowing you to quickly and efficiently send your troops off to do your bidding. The game's biggest Achilles Heel, however, is the size of the DS screens: micromanaging dozens of units across a sprawling battlefield isn't easy when you can only see a three-inch sized portion of it at any given time. This problem is almost rectified by the DS' dual-screen use, as the battlefield is displayed on the bottom with a map on the top. You can flip the map down to the touch-screen area and tap anywhere on the screen to see the action in that section but you have to then flop the battlefield back down onto the touch screen to manipulate your units again, which definitely wears thin after a while.
Overall, Heroes of Mana is a nice enough diversion, but it's hard to see what Square Enix was trying to do with this title. RPG fans will obviously disdain it for its RTS skewed focus while RTS fans will turn their noses up at the lack of strategy necessary and idiotic unit AI. And both parties will be turned off by the limitations of the DS' screen size. It's a hard title to recommend to anyone but the most ardent Mana 'verse fanatic.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Film Victoria backs women in gaming with new fellowships
- Nintendo kicks off 2016 with new Zelda release and new 3DS
- Expensive gaming desktops and laptops thrive in slumping PC market
- The PS4 is the fastest selling console in Sony’s history
- Assassin's Creed Syndicate PC review impressions: This gorgeous, mostly smooth game is no Unity
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCCisco Program Manager - Data Centre/Security ImplementationNSW
- FTNetwork Systems LeadVIC
- CCTechnical Business Analyst (Telecommunications) / Melb CBDVIC
- CCSolution Design EngineerACT
- CCPega BPM Developer / Configurer - 12 months contractACT
- FTSenior Project AnalystVIC
- FTServer EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Linux Sys AdminNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - CanberraNSW
- CCInfrastructure ConsultantNSW
- FTInsight / Customer / modelling - Analyst (Data Scientist)NSW
- CCImplementation AnalystNSW
- FTJunior Developer | C#, MVC & SQL | Class FinanceNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCAngularJS DeveloperNSW
- FTFunctional Business Analyst - Commodities and FX DomainNSW
- FT.NET Tech LeadVIC
- CCSystem TesterQLD
- FTNetwork Engineer | NV2 clearance | Defence projects | Immediate interviewACT
- CCSharePoint Web DeveloperACT
- CCJava Developer - IOSNSW
- CCSAP Primavera Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCSAP Business Intelligence SpecialistQLD
- FTManual Software TesterNSW