Trials of Mana received an impressive new overview trailer this week. The complete remake of the third game in the Mana series hasn’t seen much hype so far. The Switch has been receiving a steady stream of solid titles – from indie gems and ageing ports, to new first and first party hits. Its a challenging environment for a new entry in a cult series. Not to mention there is that other full remake of a classic RPG coming out. Final Fantasy 7 Remake looks to be setting a new standard in remakes (but not titles), overshadowing Trials of Mana. This new trailer might go some way towards rectifying that.
The trailer adopts a straightforward approach, laying out the games features to show how complex it is. There’s the gist of the game’s plot. This is pretty classic JRPG stuff and unlikely to hook anyone not familiar with the genre. The changing story and picking a party of 3 characters (from 6) suggest you can help craft a narrative you can invest it. It also suggests some replayability. The graphics and combat system are where the trailer impresses. The ‘customizable’ combat system looks a great balance between full 3D action and classic RPG influences.
It also boasts a class system, which looks like it greatly changes the way characters look. More information on some of these systems is needed, naturally. With ‘over 300 abilities’ and stat customisation the game looks more complex than a glance at the combat suggests. There’s also a day and night cycle to keep things varied. The trailer’s ‘vast world’ with ‘diverse’ environments is nice to see, but what they’ve shown looks fairly standard for the genre.
What would be really nice to see from Trials of Mana is a reasonable length demo. Square Enix rolled out an 8 hour demo for Dragon Quest 11 that really engrossed me in the game. This feels another title that would really benefit from letting people try before they buy.
The Mana Series
Trials of Mana is the follow-up to Secret of Mana. Before the Collection of Mana it was unavailable (officially) in English. Later Mana games have seen a more favourable release, but they’ve never really occupied much space in the RPG market. The earliest entries in the series, on the GameBoy, were branded as Final Fantasy titles in the West. Secret of Mana was one of the few SNES JRPGs that got a UK release. It’s also acquired a cult status in its own right. Between its remake, release in the Collection of Mana and SNES mini, more people than ever have had the chance to play it.