Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis
Release Date: March 31, 2008
Platform: Playstation 2
When developers Gust decided to make another game in their line of alchemy
RPG series they got right to it. Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis plays just
like past games created by Gust. Combine different items, listen to anime like
dialogue, and colorful graphics, this is the typical formula we’ve seen time
Mana Khemia feels and plays just like all the other Atelier Iris titles we have
seen in the past few years. All of these games are almost identical in ways,
however Mana Khemia seems like it’s more for beginners. Challenge seekers should
look else where before picking this game up right away.
Vayne Aurelius suffers from amnesia, but he happens to be a novice alchemist. A
teacher at Al-Revis Academy discovers Vayne, along with his cat Sulpher and his
Mana. Vayne is enrolled in classes at the Academy shortly after his discovery so
he can control and enhance his powers.
The gameplay takes a few pages from Persona 3. You have the ability to attend
classes, which is a large part of the whole gaming experience. Going to class is
a huge part of the game and you will earn skills and quests this way.
During class you will earn grades. Just like school you can earn anything from
an A to an F. After classes are done you will earn credits, which lets you
enroll into much harder classes. Pretty much you better do good so you can earn
the most out of the game, trust me it does mater later down the road.
To go back on my “beginner” comment I made earlier, classes and different tasks
are too easy. Even if you try to fail you’ll most likely earn a passing grade,
maybe even the best one.
This is also the same thing for the battle system. Figure out a monsters
weakness and you win. Battles can either be completed in less than a minute or
it’ll take a decade. Boss battles can last longer than normal. Typical battles
though, well I wish they weren’t so easy. Mana Khemia should have been the first
game in the series that way people would have stayed around for the long run
(American’s love easy games).
Persona 3 had the time limit per day, as does Mana Khemia. Exploring certain
areas can become a problem when time is not on your side. Enemies can easily be
avoided, but doing this takes away a lot of the RPG elements from the game. On
the other hand you don’t seem to be penalized too much in this game, remember it
is hard to fail in this game.
There are different jobs you can pick up in this game too. Engaging in these
jobs early on would be a good idea. Mana Khemia has a lot to offer, exploring
all of this makes the game worth while.
Synthesizing is the main part of this game; hence the alchemists part in the
title. I can’t say they added a whole lot into this game; it’s really the same
thing from all of the past games. Combine certain items and there you have it.
Certain recipes can only be found by exploring the game so this helps with the
reply value a little.
Instead of leveling up your characters like normal RPGs you gain skills through
a book. The book keeps track of the items you’ve made too, which helps with this
process. It is a basic process and it’s easy to learn. I am not a huge fan of
RPGs that don’t let you level up, it sort of takes away from the whole genre.
Probably the best part of this game is both the voice acting and the battle
system (one aspect only). The whole corny Japanese/American dialogue is funny! I
am laughing so hard during the talking parts in the games; I have to collect my
thoughts at times just to pay attention.
The battle system part that I love so much is having the ability to switch your
characters out after an attack. This can’t be done all the time, but when it can
be done you can chain combos. By adding this into battles it makes the whole RPG
experience seem realistic.
If you are looking for a change in the RPG genre then this might be the perfect
game for you. I can’t say Gust has tried to hard to change their games too much,
but the formula is still welcomed. This game is worth checking out, just make
sure that you are aware of the games easy difficultly curve. Completing Mana
Khemia is easier than beating Super Mario Bros.
7 out of 10
Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Trailer