I recently wrote an article about Zelda clones (and relatives) and stated that I intended to try some/most of them out when I had finished all the actual Zelda games. Well, I guess I couldn’t wait because I’ve actually tried three of them over the last couple of weeks. Here’s what I think.
Secret of Mana (Super NES)
I have beaten this game’s predecessor, Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy), which is basically a very high quality, dark Zelda clone with some RPG aspects. Secret of Mana really moves away from the Zelda stuff altogether and is much more of an action-RPG, rather than an action-adventure with RPG elements. The item acquisition, puzzles, and complex dungeons have really been downplayed in favor of what amounts to hack-and-slash action and grinding/leveling up. The visuals and music are great and sometimes the action is fun but overall it feels to me like a wash-rinse-repeat type deal. There are many boss fights, but most of them require very little strategy and can be beaten with powerful magic spells. According to a guide I looked up (so sue me!) I’m about half-way through the game but I’m not sure I want to finish at this point. Most people like this game, however, and it has an excellent average score among voters at GameFAQs.com so what do I know?
StarFox Adventures (GameCube)
I tried this game once before and didn’t like it. However, in the interest of my Zelda clone pursuits and its $5 used price tag, I decided to give it another shot. Goddammit, that’s another $5 down the drain. It’s very hard for me to put my finger on why I don’t like this game. I guess it’s the overall feel, or that everything seems overcomplicated right from the beginning, with endless speeches and tutorials. I just felt bored playing it and that’s pretty much what matters.
This game has even higher average scores than Secret of Mana but I might not be that into it. I’m not even sure why this game is so frequently compared to Zelda as it really seems to have more of its own feel than a comparison would suggest. One thing I really wasn’t expecting was the amount of talking. There are a lot of characters in the game and they talk non-stop. This is probably a terrible time for me to try playing this game as I’ve lately been getting really frustrated with non-action sequences in games.
There’s a good chance I won’t have the patience to finish any of the three games mentioned in this post. What does that say for the rest of the list?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?