This sort of nonsense will drive you to distraction before the end of the first chapter, and there's a nasty surprise waiting to add insult to that injury. The improved attack power, the hit point bar extensions, the elemental slingshot ammo? All stripped away, sending you and your spell-casting helper to square zero with each new chapter, effectively rubbing your face in the fact that all this rolling of rocks and bashing of enemies is an endlessly repeated and pointless grinding distraction from hoofing it to the next flashing yellow waypoint on the path to lame hit-the-weak-spot boss battles. Persisting in play earns you emblems that improve performance, but it's hard to imagine remaining interested long enough to earn 2 million lucre, or find more than 150 pet eggs for more desperately annoying combat in Battle Arena mode.
Nostalgic music and consistent art direction can't save a game from crippled controls, a mulish camera, and painfully tiresome reptition. Dawn of Mana is ultimately remarkable only for being such a bitter disappointment.