On Aug. 3, 1993, one of my favorite games of all time hit store shelves across Japan. The game in question, of course, was Seiken Densetsu 2 (aka Secret of Mana).
Those of you who weren't glued to an SNES growing up may not know much about this awesome 16-bit title, so here's my horribly brief description of it: take three parts Final Fantasy (music, graphics, general RPG aspects), two parts The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (real-time battles, top-down perspective) and another two parts "WTF in a good way" (the ability to play as three characters at once, plus the game's "Ring Command" menu system) and you have a loose approximation of the gem that was and is Secret of Mana.
I put many an hour into this expansive adventure as a teen--after spending nearly as much time drooling over early screenshots of it (back when it was still known as Final Fantasy Adventure 2 in the west) in DieHard GameFan, Electronic Gaming Monthly and other gaming rags of that era.
Sadly--and oddly, given what I just said--I haven't gone back to it for some time. Maybe I should consider doing just that after my Animal Crossing: New Leaf obsession fades a bit?
Do any of you have fond memories of this colorfully charming (as well as challenging) title? If so, I'd love to hear about them in the comments section below.