I do believe that my feelings on Secret of Mana are a matter of public record, so I will simply step aside and let Tomm do the talkin’ for me. I would, however, like to add that the box art continues to be one of the most beautiful images ever created for a video game.
19 thoughts on “GSJ10: Time flows like a river”
It’s annoying how Squaresoft backtracked from a lot of their gameplay innovations for the sake of graphics. Seiken 3 lost SoM’s third player and it frequently froze the action to make the spell and weapon effects prettier. Final Fantasy 7 ran vastly slower than FF6, had one less party member and retained all of the abstractions like battle scene transitions, turn based battles with good and bad guys lined up politely in rows, and text windows in place of voice acting. None of Squaresoft’s 3D games until Final Fantasy XII completely lived up to the imagination and physical coherence of SoM.
Secret of Mana had a lot of slowdown and flicker, but I can’t recall any other SNES game with such a variety of characters and actions onscreen at once. Multiple characters could cast different spells at the same time, for gosh sakes! Was there really a way for Nasir to fix SoM’s bugs without turning it into a dumb blonde like Seiken 3?
I should add that since Squaresoft got SoM working as well as it did on the SNES, it was completely within their abilities to port FF12 to the Game Boy Advance. They would’ve had to remove the voice acting and scale down the quality and style of the graphics to SoM’s level, but everything else about the game could’ve stayed almost completely intact.
I really wish game companies would realize box art doesn’t sell games any more than album covers sell albums.
No, what you need to sell games is to title your game similarly to a more popular/successful game to trick ignorant non-gamers into buying the wrong one.
Hey, this isn’t the Secret of Evemore update.
Nor the Final Fantasy Adventure update.
Or the Duke Nukem Forever update.
To this day I am pissed off by the Nintendo Power addition to that art. “It’s not fantasy enough, let’s add a hastily drawn dragon!” I would have that carefully framed now if not for their “improvement”.
Hey that issue is neat. They illustrated all the weapons and armor and items and stuff. Don’t be mad at a dragon.
A friend of mine long ago said he’d have liked the picture even better without the kids and birds in it.
If this art amazes you, you might be interested to know it is just a ripoff of Eyvind Earle with some manga characters superimposed over it.
I can see *vague* similarities between Eyvind Earle and Hiroo Isono, but they’re both beautiful artists in their own right. Did you have a particular piece in mind?
Also, this is maybe the most beautiful piece of music ever written for a videogame, despite the game itself (which is relevant to this topic!) having like, no appeal whatsoever to me:
Future game designers, take note. Real artists are neat! And also probably more expensive to hire, I guess.
Yeah, I feel like Earle’s style is pretty radically different, far more stylized and art deco than this. I guess I can see some similarities in the detailing, but the feeling I get from this piece is something that none of Earle’s work that I’m familiar with evokes.
Should be noted – it speaks to the power of the music that when I look at each screenshot, its appropriate theme pops immediately into my mind.
Tomm, I’m going to have to agree with your friend, this is the “best game ever.”
Yep, I feel like the only game covers that surpass it are Dune II: Battle for Arakis and course Ico.
I hope you’re talking about the U.S. cover. The Japanese cover is all like pretentious and stuff. The U.S. cover? So good!
Giorgio de Chirico? How do you even pronounce that??
More like Hipster de Hipstero, am I right!?
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