|Game Name||Mana Khemia: Student Alliance|
Mana Khemia: Student Alliance is a RPG video game published by NIS America released on March 10, 2009 for the PlayStation Portable.
Review by CheeseCake:
Mana Khemia: Student Alliance is the PSP port of the PS2 game, Mana Khemia, It was developed by Gust (The Atelier series devs) and published by NIS America.
The game introduces a lone boy named Vayne Aurelius and his cat Sulphur. He is invited to the alchemy school Al-Revis Academy due to his innate talent on the subject. Without spoiling too much, he gets forced into a workshop by a man named Flay Gunnar and spends his time in school with his friends in the workshop. Joining an alchemy workshop is mandatory for school credits.
The goal of the game is to take classes and obtain the required number of credits to finally move on to the main story. (It’s not as bad as you think. The classes actually teach you the alchemy/battle mechanics of the game at a fairly good pace. About 2-4 classes per week, which you can finish in an hour.)
You will literally spend more time gathering materials and crafting items than going through the main story though since you want nice equipment and items right?
It uses a turn based battle system where your turn is according to the order of the cards laid out at the top of the screen. The ones at the right go first while the ones to left move later.
There are no levels in this game. It uses a Skills/Stats system called the Grow Book where you use AP obtained from battle to gain stats and skills. To unlock more pages in the Grow Book. you must craft the silhouetted item adjacent to your current unveiled pages.
As you gain more allies, you can “switch out” your characters during battle to allow the people in the back row to recover mana and health.
If you want to suddenly change characters in the middle of an attack, you can do that and defend when you are attacked too as long as the cooldown has been lifted.
Crafting and alchemy is very easy. It’s more of a match the colors system if you want to raise/lower the quality for different Ether Effects on your items.
Gathering materials is also easy since the materials for each gathering spot is more or less the same and the spots reset everytime you go back to the Academy.
To make things even easier, there’s no time limit on gathering. Once you arrive at the end of the week, the main scenario starts so you have plenty of time to do all this stuff.
Not my gameplay video. This basically sums up the game: Crafting, Gathering, Exploring, and then finally doing the Main Scenario with upgraded equipment and skills/stats on the Grow Book.
There is a sequel called Mana Khemia 2: The Fall of Alchemy on PS2 and PSP. The PS2 version is localized while the PSP got a menu patch. Play the PS2 version definitely.
Mana Khemia: Student Alliance (USA) PSP ISO Download: