The remake trend is rescuing true jewels of Electronic Entertainment. When RPGs seemed like a genre from another time, Square Enix decides to adapt works as classic as his Final Fantasy VII or Seiken Densetsu. He did the same with Secret of Mana and after the launch of Collection of Mana on Nintendo Switch, they have dared with Trials of Mana, the best game in the series for many.
And it is a title that has the unmistakable stamp of the developers of Final Fantasy. With this remake of the original game they want to give a new life, deeper and more emotional, and dust off the sensations of those wonderful years. Trials of Mana will launch on April 24 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
We have played 3 hours of Trials of Mana, enough time to see the benefits of the game and how current they feel with a few touches. Of course, it is not a remake of the graphic quality of the next Final Fantasy VII, which, as we tell you in our impressions, is a visual wonder. But it does fit perfectly with what we understand by this term. Still, there are certain similarities in the controls, the freedom of the camera, or the way to alternate between characters. This new version of Trials of Mana also does a lot of it to update its gameplay without losing its essence.
An important plus in the narrative
From the start of the game, the player will have to make decisions that will influence the course of the game. The 6 characters of the classic are available to form a team of three. But the weight of the main story will be carried by the leader of the group. Each one has a different class (warrior, mage, grappler, cleric, thief, and horsewoman) and unique abilities as in its original version. None of that has changed at all. They are now more accessible in a dropdown with L1 / R1 when the TC bar is complete. But the biggest novelty in history is that flashbacks are playable, so they invite the player to delve deeper into each character’s past.
And not only that, but this possibility will make you understand the reaction of your heroes and their motivations. Put yourself in each other’s shoes the moment things happened and why their paths intersect. A delivery that will play with those temporary jumps to complete a narrative puzzle. It is one of the virtues of Trials of Mana that will now be even more enhanced. The same is true with replayability. Now more than ever it is interesting to see all the perspectives they offer us. A delight for fans of the saga. In the same way, the game rewards exploration, since in any corner you can find vessels, trunks or lucres, the currency of exchange.
From pixel art to 3D
We are no longer surprised to see that quality jump in remakes, which discard 16 bits in favor of highly detailed three-dimensional spaces. Details to get lost in each city, each inn, forests or caves. And that you will not get tired of seeing because all the scenarios of the classic game have been recreated with fidelity. Of course, now everything seems bigger and especially space takes on greater relevance in the fighting. There are no movement limitations (although there is a combat area) and even the characters have a mechanic to evade attacks and jump. This has completely changed the difficulty of the game which has a total of 4 modes from Beginner to Hard.
Logically, the combat is more agile, but at least in the early stages of the game, it has not been a major challenge. The system has been completely adapted and the unexpected attacks of the classic game can now be avoided without frights. Area attacks, for example, areas telegraphed as a poorly shot penalty. Which means that the more resources, the more facilities. And more does not always mean better. This does not mean that it is a worse game than the original, although it is clear that it has focused more on the emotional part: the stories, the characters or the design, among other things.
The menus are very straightforward for anyone unfamiliar with the equipment menu saga, an inventory of items, skills, and lots of character information. That part of customization now takes on greater importance for its 3D designs. Finally, we must highlight the soundtrack that accompanies us in the adventure, remastered from the original. Trials of Mana will arrive with voices in Japanese and English, with some timing problems, and texts in Spanish.
When history is what matters, the rest seems to be in the background. And that is what happens with Trials of Mana. It is so faithful to the classic, that there is no debate or controversy about its new combat system that for my taste gives many facilities in normal difficulty. It is a delivery that will deepen its characters, its motivations, and its narrative, and which also allows it to be seen from different perspectives. We liked playing the hero flashbacks as added content that gives more value to the game. What matters is that everything adds up to a nice visual section, although not superlative.
Sure it’s a modest remake, but very well done. That respects the essence of the game without wanting to make somersaults or go into gardens from which he does not know how to get out. It rewards exploration and uses it as a means of recreating itself in the new, much larger settings. And every element of the game makes it accessible to everyone. It abuses cinematics a bit when playing, but otherwise it promises to be an unforgettable journey to the original game. The same dreamy soundtrack completely remastered.