Mimana: Iyar Chronicle
Mimana Iyar Chronicle - Playable
Mimana Iyar Chronicle is a decent game, but contains numerous flaws that may push many players away to find greener pastures. Many of the issues are tied with the narrative and combat system, but a few other issues plague other aspects of the game as well. On the bright side the game is rather colorful, offers a slight dating sim element, offers quality voice work, a few decent soundtracks, and humor that works rather well for a game inspired by harem anime.
The biggest problem with the narrative is that the main antagonist never explains his reasoning for doing what he is doing outside of being evil. The narrative also suffers a bit in that the main antagonist also mentions that he could kill Crais and make it even easier to achieve his end goals, but chooses not to do so for some unexplained reason. A good story needs a villain with a clear purpose in my mind and more depth then simply being evil in this day and age. I also felt that certain characters were forced into the game rather poorly like Tinon.
The game also suffers a bit from a lack of explanation for other plot points as well. The game hints at a lot of plot related stuff, but never expands on it. It's obvious from the ending that these questions are being pushed into a sequel title that may never happen.
On the other hand the narrative also employs dialogue that feels like actual humans speaking to each other at times and feels like it has well paced sense of humor if you are into harem anime. I'll also admit to like most of the main cast even if they were a bit cliche, but felt that there personalities were well represented and maintained throughout the game.
Gameplay wise this game utilizes a combat system similar to the older Tales of games, but lacks some of the refinements to the system that appear in games like Tales of Legendia. These noticeable weaknesses include a rather lackluster AI for both enemies and allies alike, a lack of ability to play as other characters in your party, and a highly limited amount of special attacks. The game also suffers from the fact that magic is largely useless since it takes too long to cast and enemies will largely move out of the way of spells well in advance making casting spells a waste of time and valuable MP. The game also suffers from a lack of an in-game map system. This is especially annoying because most of the dungeons are maze like in design and will require you to memorize paths or create a map with pencil and paper.
Graphically the game is rather colorful and employs a design engine similar to games on the PS1 and low-budget games on the PS2 like Shining Tears. On the other hand the game seems to have a lack of enemy variety with many enemies just being palette swapped from previous monsters. The biggest offenders for this tend to be the chickens, sheep, and geometric slime monsters that seem to pop-up in a lot of places.
The game offers a few decent soundtracks and rather good voice acting for the main cast at least. The voice actors for the secondary characters is rather weak to say the least. Though, the biggest problem with the sound is the lack of music in most of the dungeons. The only dungeon to receive any music is the last one and it is so low key that you may not even notice it.
While the game does offer a few bonuses if you play the game again after you beat it, the game lacks any real replay value in my opinion. The advantages you get to start with in the New Game+ feature are rather lack luster like the removal of the level 50 cap, increased item storage, and allows you to keep certain ultimate magestones, but it resets your levels all the way back to one and forces you to level grind all over again. I also admit that while replaying the game allows you to unlock more artwork in the album on the title screen the art work itself just isn't worth accessing since you'll need to spend around 15 - 20 hours on each game to unlock all of the art and will need to play and beat the game around six times to unlock all of it.
Lasting Appeal: 3
Hack n' Slash combat with long loads
I like the style of the game where it's not a true hack and slash in that you are either moving or in combat, but the combat screen loads are too long and the combat tends to be repetitve and boring. The story is nothing special (although I am about 1/3 of the way through) and this game is not as good as a Star Ocean game or the awesomeness of Final Fantasy Crisis Core which has the same type of mechanics (see recomendation).
This game has absolutely no life to it! I bought it for Christmas due to the huge lack of PSP games. I looked at the cover and read the back and figured "oh hey it looks like its got some good points with a Tales Of battle system." So i bought it and when i played it i was furious. There is ABSOLUTELY no story depth to it. I was confused as can be about it right till the beginning. They leave you with unanswered questions and what is answered is rediculously predictable. Next is the characters. Its the main character who is rude as can be with a bunch of girls, all of which can't fight to save their lives. You easily get killed in your first dungeon, which are all really easy to get lost in. The worst part of the dungeons is there is no background music for them and its just a little eery. Its says its got 20+ hours of game play but this is a total lie. I beat it in 13 hours and still understand NOTHING. It would make a great anime but as a videogame it sucks. I recomend anything BUT this game. AND WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T BUY THE 35$ VERSION~ It has the sound track that really isn't anygood!
Can you handle it?
This game overall grade I would give a 7/10<br>The storyline is decent and the character's personality & voice acting isnt bad either. The real thing that bugs me is how the map is usually filled with riddles and confusion. If you plan to get the game either get the guide if there is one or go online frequently to help you through it, I would reccommend it unless your the person who love this type of confusing stuff. You can also customize your character with armor, stone and accessories but the weapon cannot be changed. The graphics isnt great but if you love rpg games you might get passed it. Im in about over 14hrs of gameplay somewhat near the end, but after all this playing Im starting to give up on even trying to motivate myself to finish it. The random encounters are annoying as heck the more it occurs the more pain in the bunny it becomes, even running doesnt stop the irritation. You get an item or a character skill that increased 50% of enemy encounter, but that's just to make you think it helps, it really doesnt at all, it doesnt even last over 1 minute imo. If your a hardcore rpg fan, try it out at your own risk, but if your the occasional rpger avoid this game.
It got better
Hey umbreon again with an updated reveiw. I've managed to start playing mimana again and I gotta say It's gotten better that it was at first. I can finally see some kind of storyline starting to appear and I'm still trying to figure out who a couple people are so it's starting to feel more like the RPG's I'm used to. The dungeons have also become more of a challange By getting bigger and far more maze-like so people who arent very good with memorization might need to draw themselves maps (I know I've been tempted to a couple of times). Im still mad about the lack of music, the and the graphics but once you get into the game you learn to get used to it. Also as a heads up for all you fellow anime lovers out there Mimana's got a couple of anime scemes that are pretty good
As I said in my last review, I'd try and check back after putting at least 14 hours in the game. I'm now at 18 hours, and I still haven't solved the game. I have finally had all 5 girls join my party, though, and the characters continue to develop. That is honestly the best part of the game, as I really enjoy all their interactions and the chances you get to speak with them, pick one of them for a special gift, etc. Now that I've put more time in the game, I wanted to add something to my previous review. There is one more thing about it that I definitely do not like: there is no map feature, and some of the places you have to explore in this game are repetitive mazes. The Forest of Doubt and the Elves areas are very frustrating, and I almost got out a pencil and paper to map them a few times. But, if you're REALLY patient, have a good memory, and are willing to backtrack a lot, you can get through the areas eventually. Honestly, this sort of thing would normally cause me to put the game down and stop playing, but the character interaction and story are definitely worth going forward. The fact that there are so many battles every 15 seconds or so did prevent me from figuring out the areas quicker, but I still enjoy the battles, even 18 hours into the game. I am a little disappointed that they don't last longer and require more strategic use of items and abilities, but there have been some battles that did. The boss battles always do, but I just wish some of the normal battles were that involved--maybe I've over-leveled my characters from all the wandering around I've done? Anyway, I'm still enjoying the game, and the voice-acting is first-rate. My only regret is that I saw it appear on the PSN store today for $* less than retail, and kind of wish I'd waited to buy it online. I imagine the load times for the battles (which average about 10 seconds) would be faster with the digital version. I've raised my rating for sound one point because the voice acting is so well-done. I've also raised character customization because there are more options as you level up--more stuff to buy and things to wear that change stats. I also raised length because at 18 hours, I'm still not done and I think there's a lot more to go from the implications of the story. I was tempted to raise Challenge to a 9 because of the crazy labyrinthine areas, but the battles just need to be tougher to warrant a higher overall rating for Challenge in this game. I still give this game an 8 overall and not a 10 because of the arduous maps, not enough challenge in most of the battles, and a need for more customization options that seem to directly affect gameplay.
It's more about characterization than gameplay
Mimana Iyar Chronicle should be played by gamers who enjoy characterization rather than gameplay. The gameplay is plain and repetitive to the point that it's relatively easy to get by. The dungeons are bland and some are extremely difficult to exit unless you literally map out your surrounding. So what's so great about Mimana? It's all about the characters. Thanks to the great localization from Aksys Games, the dialogues are very witty and funny. Backed great VAs, playing this game felt more like watching an anime. Plus, you can choose which girl in your party that you want to hang out most with and in doing so, will net you their ending. This means more replay value. So go ahead and give the game a try because you will not be disappointed by the character personalities and their great voices.
I normally don't like ratting on games but this is definetly worth an exception! I havent played for the game for more than probably 3 hours in the week Ive had it (also geting Dot.hack//infection didnt help this BTW that is a WAY better game you should try) Ive gotten the first stone and thats pretty much it.Theres pretty much no story just that some girl hired you to be her bodygaurd so she can travel the land and look for 7 Gems for whatever reason. I liked how it had alot of voicing in it and the character desings are pretty good to but it seems they focused so much on those to things that they let the story and graphics slip extremely.The graphics are (at best) DS level, there is no music at all in the dungeons so they pretty much ripped you off with the CD (which when I checked didnt even have a name or any track names or artists!)the battles are either a couple seconds long or about 3 minutes if youre at a boss thats considerably stronger.then only thing I really liked about the battles was that they felt very much like a tales game and you can also influence how your party members fight by going to (I think,cant rember cause I havent even touched my psp in a week) the options screen on the start menu and selcting somthing on that screen then you can chose how much each AI priortises fighting magic and healing. So put simply don't get this game unless you got some cash burning your hole in your pocket and your gamestop doest have any Dot.hack games for sale.
Worse Than Most
The game could be beaten at a very low level with a very low play time. Out of the six total characters that you could use in the game, one was only available for a small segment of it. Most areas didn't have music, and battles were extremely fast and easy. The game is not worth the money it costs, and the soundtrack and the style are the only good things about it. Due to the lack of variety in the story, it isn't worth replaying, unless you wanted to see every bonus scene with the characters. But doing that would require several more hours of doing the repetitive battles over and over again. Unless you spend countless hours leveling yourself to the max ( Which really isn't required. ), then you will finish with less than 20 hours of game play. Unless you spend hours wandering through the relatively simple dungeons, you won't need more than a day to finish this. Every battle ( including the final boss ) required you to just press the X button. ( You didn't have to use any of the skills you learned. They weren't very useful, and most of the ones you learned were usable by other characters in your party with higher intelligence. ) If you still want to play it, I recommend finding a place to rent it from, or borrowing it from somebody else. Or go and find the used copy that I recently sold.
Above Average JRPG
I've really been enjoying playing this game. First off, I wanted to address what the first reviewer mentioned: he claimed the game only took him 14 hours to solve. While I've only logged 11.5 hours so far, only one other character has joined my party so far (making it 3 total), and I know there are 2 others that have yet to join. The story is intriguing so far, as it has not been revealed why Sophie needs to gather the 7 gems. I am especially impressed with the voice-acting and dialogue between characters. There was a lot of time spent developing the character's personalities, and there have been a number of times I've laughed out loud at their antics. The gameplay is standard RPG (walk along and bump into invisible encounters) but the battle system itself is quite different and enjoyable. The load times for each encounter are about 10 seconds, and this is so far the only aspect of the game I don't like, but honestly, I quickly forget because the battles are fun and challenging. One interesting aspect of the game is that you can't change your weapon (each character uses their own specific weapon) but you can change the modification for it between battles with the different elemental stones you find (different levels of Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Light, and Dark.) Enemies in each dungeon tend to be themed somewhat, so if you figure out what element is best against them, you'll do more damage. As you level up, you gain new spells, which involve things like protection healing, mana-stealing sword slashes, mana regen, sleep, fireballs, etc. Another element of strategy is how you program the AI of others in your party. You can also pull up a menu any time during battle and instruct them to cast certain spells. There is even a tricky critical hit system for the main hero you play as, which requires very precise timing of the sword slashes. Character customization is a little weaker than some RPG's--you don't get to adjust stats upon leveling (that happens automatically) and your appearance never changes, regardless of what clothing you equip. But, you can equip different armor and items. The items are where more of the customization lies: when traveling in the mountains, you'll want a particular block seal equipped that wards against petrification magic. In other areas, you'll want a magic seal. I swapped these out frequently. Plus, there are many items you can use in battle, like healing herbs, one-time elemental weapons, various tonics, etc. I still have a lot of areas left to explore, so I find it hard to believe that this game is only 14 hours as the first reviewer claims. I may re-post once I solve it to mention how long it took me. Oh, and one other option I like: during your stay at the Inn, at night you can choose to visit with one of the girls and get to know her better. I'm curious to see how this will play out. It's a fun game, and the hero is probably the best written hero in a JRPG I've seen in a long time. He has a hilarious attitude, and there's a history he doesn't seem willing to reveal entirely--something that has apparently made him rather bitter and self-serving in life. These are interesting characters, so if character development and interaction is something you think is important in a JRPG, and if a fun, Final-Fight type live-action brawl for battles sounds exciting, pick this game up!