Square Enix has announced that its game Dawn of Mana for the PlayStation 2 is now available at North American retailers. First launching in 1993, the Mana franchise has enchanted players with its mix of myth, subtle touches, and game play; with Dawn of Mana, the game goes 3D, adds cinematic production values, and explores the origins of the legend behind the Mana Tree and Sword of Mana installments.
The world of Mana centers on the Great Tree on the island of Illusia; the Tree was the source of all life in the world, but over time it gradually turned to stone, and many believed it to be dead. The game centers on characters of a boy and a maiden as they participate in a story combining hope, despair, and the fates of both humans and spirits.
The Dawn of Mana game features new characters and settings, 3D game play, and “pick up and play” mechanics designed to appeal to both long-term fans and new players. The game features a new lighting system which bathes the world in a subtle warmth, and game play mechanics and physics mean there are often multiple ways to get through challenges: a frontal attack with a sword might work, but so might triggering an avalanche of boulders.
Dawn of Mana is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB and has a suggested price of $49.99. For a limited time, Amazon.com, Game Crazy, GameStop, and EB Games are offering a Breath of Mana music sampler CD for free with the game.
Square Enix also announced the next title in the Mana series, Heroes of Mana, will ship for the Nintendo DS on August 14, 2007.