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Desc:Appears to be missing from the 'Gaming in the Clinton Years' archive here. Fixed.
Category:Video Games, Classic TV Clips
Tags:autism, Squaresoft, Gaming in the Clinton Years, George Wood, secret of mana
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Comment count is 21
FABIO - 2014-12-30
George Wood isn't nearly as entertaining when he isn't giving his insane review opinion on a game.

Speaking of insane opinion, I was never crazy about this game. It was glitchy and the magic system was both grindy (go out in a field to cast and level the heal spell over and over) and boring (auto hit spells that reduced boss fights to just casting your strongest attack spell over and over, kind of defeating the whole point of the "action" in action rpg).

Gameplay wise, I thought Legend of Mana for Gameboy was a lot better.
Void 71 - 2014-12-30
I haven't played Secret of Mana since it was new, but I vaguely remember not liking it as much as Final Fantasy Adventure, which I absolutely loved. Maybe it was more linear, since that was the main reason I didn't like A Link to the Past as much as the original Zelda. Too many years have passed for me to remember very clearly and I don't like replaying old games because the magic was in playing them when they were new.

jreid - 2014-12-30
I can't ever discredit Secret of Mana. It captured my heart in a way no other game of that era could.

OTOH Secret of Evermore ripped it to shreds.

FABIO - 2014-12-30
Oh right, Final Fantasy Adventure on the original Gameboy, not Legend of Mana.

The new factor could have played the part. I played this after FF3 so it all seemed like a huge step down. But FFA preceded it and I had more fun with that so I don't know.

Scrimmjob - 2014-12-31
I remember reading somewhere that Wood wrote none of the reviews he gives. I honestly wonder if the guy ever played video games. I seem to remember being able to play secret of mana with 2 players, or am I thinking of a different game?

Quad9Damage - 2014-12-31
Secret of Mana was beautiful. I don't think I'd have the patience for a replay, though. There's just way too much grinding involved—characters, weapons, and magic—to hold this aging nerd's attention.

But throw on the Mana Beast or Mana Fortress themes and I'll hit repeat like I'm ten years old again.

infinite zest - 2014-12-31
That seemed to be fairly typical for video videogame reviews, especially in the days before LPs; you just need a nice radio voice and gameplay footage and someone else to be the critic, or since G4, a pretty face. I watched a lot of G4 in college, and it was pretty obvious that Olivia Munn didn't know what she was talking about when it came to games, which is fine (she's awesome on The Newsroom, easily my favorite character) but frankly I'd rather listen to this guy or see Olivia, scripted review or not, than listen to 99% of LPs.

Sanest Man Alive - 2015-01-03
The Mana games I played all had excellent music, but in hindsight, I dunno if I can say most of them were actually fun. Seiken Densetsu 3 felt grindy and removed a lot of the fun effects like turning enemies into snowmen, but fights were at least more challenging than "spam magic at boss until death" like in this game.

And Legend of Mana... good lord, what an aimless, gorgeous mess. I never finished it because it took me over ten hours to find something resembling a plot in that game, but in that time I learned to fart axes, befriended a harpy, and kept getting saddled with spitefully inscrutable crafting systems for magic, equipment, golems, etc. etc.

Kid Fenris - 2014-12-30
I'm with Jreid. Secret of Mana is flawed (you can really see how they trimmed it down from the scrapped Super NES CD version), but it had me right from that opening music.
Sanest Man Alive - 2015-01-03
The soundtrack is almost perfect. I say "almost" because any terribleness in the rest of the songs was sifted and condensed into the dwarf village theme. Fuck you, dwarf village.

Cube - 2014-12-31
If this game had to be made in order to make Chrono Trigger, it's all good.
infinite zest - 2014-12-31
If I recall, didn't he shit all over Crono Trigger though?

Quad9Damage - 2015-01-01
He loved Chrono Trigger, or at least the list of arbitrary things he noted outside the fair.

infinite zest - 2014-12-31
It's weird to hear him praise a game that was more complex than your usual "here's a quick way to beat it" games that he usually likes. I think it was Castlevania SotN, or some other highly-praised game with RPG elements, that he tore apart for the dumbest reasons.
Quad9Damage - 2014-12-31
Still fun to hear his autistic breakdown of every stupid detail, his mispronunciations, his strategies for beating a boss that can't actually kill you, him calling the sword 'Excalibur,' his puns, and of course, gold POINTS.

infinite zest - 2014-12-31
Yeah. I actually never played SoM but I think it had the same format as SotN. I don't think there was a way to die until the Reaper shows up, and the game begins. And that's about as far as he played in this one.

infinite zest - 2014-12-31
"I know I was banished from here and all but is it cool if I shop for some stuff and go into others' houses and crash for the night? That'd be like a total solid."

Gmork - 2014-12-31
Stars for how confused I am that you are mentioning symphony of the night at all in relation to this game.

Also you can totally die before the reaper, the reaper just takes all your stuff.

infinite zest - 2014-12-31
Just in the fact that they had "intros" with gameplay before the game really began as it was intended to be played. His review for SotN seems to be everything wrong after you lose your powers, and stops here where the game pretty much begins.

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-12-31
The best part of the game is when it's revealed that your mother is a giant tree.
boner - 2014-12-31
Five stars for reminding me of all this.
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