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14th July
written by Splash

Title: Trials of Mana
Platform: PC/Switch
Genre: Action RPG
Language: Japanese/English
Company: Square Enix
Summary: I played the original SNES games for Mana dozens of times each and loved every moment. Secret of Mana remake was only so-so impressive, but this one did a much better job overall, despite not having couch coop anymore.
Characters: I had small hopes that they’d add more characterization into the playables. The most I got, which is still a huge step up from Secret of Mana remake, was emotion from the voice acting and whatnot. I used to be pretty neutral about Hawkeye, but remake made me like him much more. Ono Yuuki ^q^ EguTaku’s Duran was okay, but a little too gruff for my personal liking.
Sound: The new recordings for the soundtrack stick MUCH more closer to the original than Secret of Mana remake did… almost to the point where oftentimes there is almost no difference. Some tracks have some considerable improvement at least. I still find the original SNES soundtrack just as pleasant to listen to. A bit different from my situation with Secret of Mana remake soundtrack where there are originals that I DEFINITELY prefer over the remake. For Trials of Mana, I could imagine myself settling for either one and being just as content. On that note, I DO kind of wish Hiroki Kikuta would’ve been a little more experimental with Trials of Mana remake like he was for the other game, but I can also understand why he didn’t.
Gameplay: The entirety of the gameplay mechanics have been changed up, unlike Secret of Mana remake! I’m glad that at it’s core it still feels like a great beat-em-up action RPG. Overall, the improvements are very welcome, although at the cost of not having couch coop anymore… I feel like if they had more time and budget, they still could’ve easily implemented the couch coop, but they couldn’t because of such restrictions… they had to settle with this format. At least they did an overall good job with implementing this format.

Best part overall? Being able to fight Black Rabite on ALL routes, unlimited. I do suppose it’s a little sad that they essentially made it a lot easier to beat though. In fact, the entirety of the game is a LOT easier, even on Hard difficulty… because of how generous the new system is. I’m fine with it overall though, as there are ways to nerf yourself if you really wanted to nuzlocke it that way, but then it just becomes being like the old version of the game with its flaws and all out in the open.
Replay Value:
Overall: 8. I’ll give it a solid good score for improving many aspects of the game and being
a full remake for sure. I REALLY want to give it a full 10 because I have such Secret of Mana series bias and the music and memories I have with this game are leagues beyond most other RPGs… but when I think overall about it as a standalone game, compared to others on my repertoire, I have to tone it down a notch.
Also, I have to tone it down another notch for the removed couch coop. I understand that the change in the battle system made it like this, but I also disagree with the trend to remove couch coop from games in general (Tales also suffers this now…)
They added one sidequest post-game and I wish they could’ve done a LITTLE more, but having an extra dungeon and boss is pretty much what I expected. I still want MORE!

By the way, if you have the means, PC saves work on the Switch and vise versa. Quite interesting.

Official Site


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