In multiplayer, these battles are even more frenetic, but the controls are so precise and the balance between blocking, direct and ranged attacks so clear that you always have a fighting chance. Item use and weapon selection are managed via those famed ring menus, and never hold up battle at all.
Monsters killed contribute to experience which levels up your character and gives you access to the more advanced equipment you find hidden around each level. It adds a sense of progression throughout the game, but does little to mask its inherent repetitiveness.
And, while it's unfair to criticize Children of Mana for not being a pure sequel to Secret of Mana, it will perhaps prove reasonable to criticize it for not finding enough variety in its pared-down, if beautifully tooled, dynamics.
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