×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

With ‘Trials of Mana,’ Square-Enix Finally Brings a Beloved JRPG Classic to Western Shores

Spend any time around a true scholar of Japanese games, and you’ll learn very quickly that there are a wealth of classic JRPGs that only made their way to other territories far after their original release date. But while the list runs from obscure curios like the loving parody “Moon: Remix RPG Adventure” to cult classics like “Mother 3,” the third Mana game remains perhaps the most notable example, as it never made the jump to the West even after “Secret of Mana” shifted millions of copies in the heyday of 16-bit games. Now, over twenty years later, Square-Enix has finally done the work to officially present this classic game in English for the very first time. And while some fans might view it as a case of too little, too late, others are likely to be very happy to finally play the game on their Nintendo Switch. For the former, however, the upcoming remake might change their tune.

Since this is Square-Enix we’re talking about, the actual execution here is far from straightforward. For those who want to experience the classic game in all its pixel-art glory, there’s the “Collection of Mana,” which brings all three of the original Mana games together in an easy-to-play package — albeit one that’s lacking many of the extra features we’ve come to expect from this sort of retro-collection. However, for those who want a more modern flavor, a team at the mega-publisher is developing a from-the-ground-up 3D remake of “Trials” that they are calling “the next game in the Mana series.” And while it wasn’t playable, a developer-driven demo made it come across as an exciting new take on the franchise that happens to share a structure and story that most of us have never had the privilege to play before now.

As with the original game, the refashioned “Trials of Mana” allows players to choose their protagonist and party from the very outset, with six different characters that each have their own beginnings that feed into an overarching story. (It might sound like a strange design choice, especially in such an old game, but hey, at least there’s some replay value, right?) The combat here seems like one of the main draws, as it’s totally overhauled from the real-time Zelda-inspired sword-swinging of the original game, towards a system that resembles the real-time party-switching of the recent “Ni no Kuni 2,” with your other party members controlled by AI. The new 3D environments have the pleasing color palette we’ve come to expect from Square-Enix games, and, all in all, it looks like a totally new game. While it’s tough to know if it’ll live up to the Mana legacy, I personally hope it leads to a bold new era for the franchise – one marked with new entries.

More Gaming

  • Argentina Film Lab

    Argentina to Build Country’s First Film Restoration Laboratory in Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuals (INCAA) and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires will partner to build Argentina’s first laboratory of film preservation. Minister of Culture Enrique Avogadro and INCAA president Ralph Haiek signed the agreement which will see Buenos Aires’ Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum in [...]

  • Hearthstone video game

    Blizzard Reinstates Hong Kong Gamer's Prize But Reaffirms Censure Of His Speech

    Major U.S. gaming firm Blizzard Entertainment has reduced its punishment for a professional gamer who shouted a slogan in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. But the company doubled down on its verdict about the inappropriateness of his conduct. In a Chinese language-only message on its official social media, Blizzard stated that it would “resolutely [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

  • Mixer Co-Founders Leave Microsoft's Twitch Competitor

    Microsoft’s Mixer Streaming Service Loses Its Two Co-Founders

    Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer has lots its two co-founders: Both Matt Salsamendi and James J. Boehm, who co-founded the startup that eventually became Mixer in 2011, have both left the company over the past 2 weeks. The departure comes just a few weeks after Mixer poached famed video game streamer Ninja from Amazon’s Twitch. Salsamendi [...]

  • Trump-Twitch-channel

    Donald Trump Is Now on Amazon's Twitch Streaming Service

    Donald Trump has joined Twitch, the game-focused live-streaming service, apparently in an effort to widen his unfiltered 2020 reelection messaging as the embattled U.S. president faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry. Trump’s first Twitch broadcast was from his campaign rally Thursday in Minneapolis, where among other targets he lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Somali [...]

  • Jest to Impress Cartoon Network Virtual

    New In-House VR Program Helps Cartoon Network Artists Add a Virtual Dimension

    Teams of animators and artists from across Cartoon Network’s numerous properties are getting the chance to expand into virtual reality storytelling via the company’s pilot program, Journeys VR. The work of the first three teams — including experiences based on action, nature and comedy — was unveiled to global audiences Oct. 1 on Steam and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content