Collection of Mana Crossover in Last Cloudia X

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manaman
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Collection of Mana Crossover in Last Cloudia X

Post by manaman » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:58 am

Heyo, have you been enjoying Last Cloudia X, the mobile game that everyone should download? What? You never heard of it? Well, me neither until last night. Yes, that is when I was checking YouTube for my latest serving of inspired content and was met with an ad that instantly captured my attention. It had Randi from Secret of Mana pictured in modern artistic rendition next to a pixelated sprite not ripped from any of the existing games I knew about.

At first, I was convinced this was nothing more than a copyright infringing mobile title seeking to garner success on the back of a known intellectual property. Then I saw a strange thing. A copyright mark on the bottom that clearly included Square-Enix and gave notice that they held the exclusive rights to the Collection of Mana.

I proceeded to watch the video ad in its entirety, suddenly feeling myself giddy with anticipation. Was this really an officially sanctioned crossover including my favorite characters, the boy, girl and sprite, from Secret of Mana? Indeed it was! This came out of left field for me but, late as it was, I downloaded Last Cloudia X, soaked in the Secret of Mana title crawl music that played as I opened the app and proceeded to grind through the tutorial until I could reach the part of the game that included Collection of Mana content.

Initial thoughts on the game, it feels a lot like a cross between Fire Emblem Heroes (for art style) and Dragalia Lost (for gameplay). These are very good things indeed. However, it comes at the cost of being compared to those titles and as such comes across feeling just slightly less polished. Still quite good, but slightly less polished. I cannot put my finger on it. Maybe the art just does not pop as much, especially the dimly colored anime-inspired characters that pop up during dialogue. That said, the well-rendered CGI cutscenes and fancy spiraling swirl splash upon entering a battle (à la Children of Mana or Final Fantasy 7) makes the game feel like a Square-Enix original and high quality. I am also pleasantly surprised that there are not ads everywhere or suggestions to gain more stamina by watching a jarringly low quality new app to download.

That said, the next thing I did was proceed to a gacha element that seemed a little complicated to understand. Maybe it was me being so tired as it was so late, but there were no less than four different summon showcases, called "gachas," that included Collection of Mana characters and "arks." Arks appear to be something like level packs but I have not gotten far enough in the game to really explain this feature. One gacha appeared to be entered with special event tickets of which I had three from the get-go. Burning through those, I proceeded to the other options. One appeared to be arks only, not including characters, so I skipped that one for the time being. The others seemed to be your standard gacha summons but was confusing as, when I tried it, I got a message how I could not enter at the moment. The other seemed to be your standard gacha summons. It was not very clear until later that while both used the same in-game currency (some sort of blue gem or crystal that feels pretty commonplace in games such as this), one gacha required that the gems you use actually cost you real-world money. After using some of my gems haphazardly on the gacha that allowed me to, and only receiving a Trials of Mana themed ark, I decided to drop some hard-earned money in the hopes of a good Collection of Mana pull. I dropped the cost of a movie down for the love of my favorite game but that yielded nothing Mana related.

I put the game away and will attempt again during the next eight days this event is running. However, at this point in time, I do feel that this would be a game I would not return to were it not for the Collection of Mana event. That said, I would not call it bad by any means. The art style is clever and well-handled if not a little lackluster in sections (which can sometimes be said of Fire Emblem Heroes, too). The combat is fairly fun with a one-handed action approach that is just short of Dragalia Lost in feeling like you have full control. It is played on a horizontal plane with up and down movement handled much like Children of Mana or traditional side-scrolling beat-'em-ups. There even is a series of special attacks that charge up, giving you the feel of Secret of Mana's recharge timer.

Overall, it is not an offensive game but if it were not for the hope of revisiting some of my favorite characters and themes in a new context, I would recommend Nintendo's own ventures instead. Of course, for some, the art direction and story of this game may be more compelling and it certainly shows promise. For fans of the Collection of Mana, I would recommend you give this one a go. However, I would not advise you to spend your money unless you are hooked from the get go and plan to stay with the game. Maybe I saved you a few bucks.

And now I have something to tide me over in the world of Mana as we wait in anticipation for Trials of Mana, scheduled for release later this month.

-- artofmana

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manaman
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Re: Collection of Mana Crossover in Last Cloudia X

Post by manaman » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:51 am

Well! I thought you may be interested in seeing some screenshots, so I grabbed them. Also, I posted my above review on my blog for ease of posting those photos. You can find it at: http://artofmana.weebly.com/blogofmana/ ... -cloudia-x

What do you all think? Something you're gonna try? Is this skip-worthy to you? Do you think I'm a fool for spending money? Ha ha!

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