One of the best titles on the Playstation, if you know what is going on.
Cons: Too non-linear, gamers are often confused in the early stages of the game (easily leading to the demise of the game)...
Legend of Mana, the fourth in the series, is one of those unpolished gems, hidden among the greats like Final Fantasy and Suikoden etc. What may seem to be a boring and non-cohesive gameplay can actually beat the likes of Final Fantasy and other RPG juggernauts, that is if, you can endure the early stages to actually understand what was going on.
The graphics of the game is drawn beautifully. Simple yet profound drawings bring the player into a lush and colorful 2D environment. Even without the use of extensive 3D special effects, Legend of Mana effectively delivers breathtaking visuals whether be it in a middle of a fight of just simply wandering around the brilliantly rendered towns. A distinct art style is found in the oddly shaped houses and characters, which adds several points to it's graphics aspect.
The soundtrack of the game is brilliant. Often you will find yourself enjoying to the tranquil and peaceful themes of the various towns in the game. Battle soundtrack itself has an upbeat tempo, which suits the battle system perfectly. Boss battles often has heavy guitar riffs, which distinguishes itself from normal battles, bringing the fight to another whole new level.
The gameplay itself is both the pro and con of the game. In the early stages of the game, the player is thrown in a world without a proper tutorial or a backstory, often confusing the players as to what to do next. In many cases, the game simply gets dropped after a few hours of aimless wandering. The early missions don't appeal much as well. It is not until the middle part then the game starts to reveal it's true potential. Missions and stories kick-off simultaneously and suddenly the game has full of things to do. Optional quests like customisation of weapons, golem building, pet raising and tending to your orchid alone adds 10-30 hours of gaming to it, seriously.
The story aspect of the game don't really start to reveal itself until the latter part of the game. Without spoiling it, the story was truly an experience, although not as extensive compared to the like of Final Fantasy series. Even after completion of the game, there is a New Game+, which allows you to play through the game with harder difficulty with your weapons and items from the previous game. Along with the colossal amount of sidequests, the replayability of the game is almost never-ending.
To sum it all up, Legend of Mana could be the best out of the series, but only if the player can manage to get pass the initial stages.