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Children of Mana


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Mana Developer Revealed

The makers of Shining Soul and Resident Evil get drafted for Square Enix's Latest.

by Anoop Gantayat

October 24, 2005 - A surprise revelation in the latest issue of Nintendo Dream. The magazine has a lengthy look at Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana for the DS. In the feature, series producer Kouichi Ishii reveals that this first entry in Square Enix's World of Mana project is being developed by an outside developer, Next Entertainment.

We won't blame you if you don't recognizing the development studio. It's actually the new name for the studio once known as Nextech. Nextech has been around since the days of the Genesis, when it was known for its work on Ranger-X and the 16-bit system's adaptation of Virtua Fighter 2. On the Saturn, the company developed games like Gran Chaser and ported Resident Evil to the system. It went on to bigger things following that, serving as the developer of Resident Evil: Code Veronica for the Dreamcast. Most recently, the company's website lists work on Shining Soul for Game Boy Advance, Shin Megami Tensei 9 for Xbox and Time Crisis 3 for the arcades.

As Ishii explains, the use of an external developer is part of the plan for the World of Mana project. While it's possible for a single development group to work on the same series constantly, he believes that by having many different teams work on Mana games, gamers will get a chance to experience the series in many different ways. Next Entertainment apparently worked hard to get the gig, doing extensive research into the series before filing a report to Ishii that even managed to surprise him with some of the details.

We'll be able to see the fruits of Next Entertainment's labor soon. Children of Mana is set for Japanese release this Winter.

I've always liked the mana games, Secret of Mana was the first one I played around a mates and despite the newer games fading off I'm still excited about this, between this and Dragonquest I'm not sure which I feel comes closer to FF's crown.

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