Switching team mates on the fly, letting them combo with you, using your materials in battle, it's all really quite varied and just doesn't get old. Sounds I can take or leave. However, despise all this, despise the technical issues and the bad port. Then you have to go back to the Grow Book and active the recipe in the Grow Book. Your decisions with Vayne in your free periods will lead you to one of seven or so eventual endings. Not being a graphics aficionado, but still taking the low quality into consideration, I keep playing. It is literally like looking through blurry glasses.
It would have allowed the player to experiment and branch off in different directions and give the game far more replay value than it currently has. This psp version is basically a port of the ps2 game. The voice cast and overall plot would have been suited for the usual 26 episode romp rather than being bogged down by the synthesizing and load times. The only way to get your characters stats and health up is to synthesize new items and equipment. Control and Gameplay Rating: Above Average 5. Then you make the recipe.
Hopefully the next game in the series will keep this structure with an improved Grow Book. The battle system is also quite a lot of fun. He has since retired from writing, but clearly shows up now and again. Not being a graphics aficionado, but still taking the low quality into consideration, I keep playing. I feel like Mana Khemia and its fans deserve better than this. It seriously doesn't deserve to be panned like this, it's absolute insanity. Thanks to the slowdown, there are times when you are trying to avoid a monster when the game will stall for a few seconds.
It's a very time consuming action but the rewards are very satisfactory and it actually hooks you into trying gathering all the materials in order to get every single recipes, and unlike many other games the alchemy system here is simple but still deep and really well thought, making the game last a lot more by just making you try more recipes and more items. The only thing aesthetic wise it had going for it, was that it was voiced. Mana Khemia is certainly a pretty game, but it seems to have suffered from some compression issues in this port and the slowdown from loading the monsters on the battle map can severely affect your game. I start it up and I am amazed at how blurry and low-res everything is. I've always been a firm believer of try it yourself and don't let reviews influence you too much, but a very, very low rating will always make me second guess myself in a way. I had a lot of fun synthesizing different armor and weapons for the characters.
In order to even use the Brow Book, you first have to find a recipe. Maybe good if you can get over these points but definitely wasnt worth 10 dollars for me. Another aspect that really adds to the strategy of the game is that time advances while in the dungeon. You proceed through the game on a weekly basis. In conclusion, I'm just absolutely baffled, stunned and shocked that this got the rating it did.
The dialogue is somewhat amusing and the premise is kind of novel. I'll start saying that I posses both the psp and the ps2 version of this game, and while the ps2 version has some benefits, I will try to say one word in order to descrive the biggest difference between the 2 versions: performance. The mechanics are also really quite deep. The first two chapters of the game are pretty slow but thankfully things pick up. However, this is very all the similarities end.
The story is still rather disappoint, not because it's bad, but because it's not always explained and for a good chunk of the game the main story literally disappears from the game; however the substories are enjoying to follow because it's based on the school life which can be interesting and just simply fun to play. You have battles where you stand on one side, take a few steps, cast a spell or swing your weapon and then return to your base starting position and let the next character take their shot. And for last, and the biggest reason why it's still a good game to me, it's a very long game and gives you many satisfactions with the alchemy system. As much as I feel it is too slow and too linear, it really is a big change from the earlier Atelier titles and gives the franchise a fresh coat of paint. The later the hour, the more aggressive the enemy will be and the more damage they will do.
The graphics are fine, they're really quite charming. I also love that the in-school navigation boasts some adorable and comical animations while you are trying to decide where to go next. You have to go into Mana Khemia knowing that there in order to get to the good, you have to wade through a lot of slow bits. I can't believe how bad this port is. The dialogue is very well written and had me laughing out loud and let me tell you, not many games have ever done that before. It's a real shame, but it's one of those games that for technical issues it's not going to be good for everyone.