With most of the E3 2019 talk focused on Captain America, Cloud, Breath of the Wild 2 and Keanu Reeves, the new Collection of Mana slipped through the cracks to some degree. The Collection, which was released in Japan 2 years ago, includes the Japan-only Secret of Mana 3, while packaging together some of the most beloved vintage RPGs in to a single Nintendo Switch package. But that’s on top of a brand new remake coming from the series coming sometime next year. Head below for all the details.
Collection of Mana:
While Square’s previous Mana remake dropped the iconic pixel art from Secret of Mana, don’t worry, the new Collection of Mana is keeping it blocky. There have been some minor changes to some of the games by way of text formatting and menu boxes, but for the most part this is about as true to the originals as it’s likely going to get. The package includes the Game Boy title Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana which originally released on SNES in the US and the new Trials of Mana.
Just a quick explainer here, Final Fantasy Adventure, despite its name, is actually the first game in the Mana series from back when the devs were trying to tie it into the newly popular Final Fantasy series we know today. Secret of Mana, the second game in the series, will retain its original western name.
Collection of Mana + Seiken Densetsu 3:
Trials of Mana, on the other hand, is the new name for Secret of Mana 3, or Seiken Densetsu 3 as it is officially known in Japanese. Originally launching in 1995, Seiken Densetsu 3 has never officially been released in the west, even though it has garnered a strong cult following on this side of the pond via fan translations and emulators. The new Collection of Mana, which is out now for Nintendo Switch, marks the first time Seiken Densetsu 3 will officially set foot on American soil.
Trails of Mana:
Outside of the new Collection of Mana for Switch, Square Enix also announced a brand new remake for Trials of Mana. While its last attempt to refresh Secret of Mana didn’t go over well with fans, partially due to silly 3D art, Square doesn’t look like it’s going to make that mistake again. Providing Square doesn’t mess it all up, the new changes sound very positive. The visuals have been completely modernized, the camera is controllable, you can jump and the combat system is getting overhauled. It is basically a brand new game based on a classic JRPG, whether you like it or not. That might be a little worrisome to some, but Square literally just released the original version in the Collection of Mana for purists anyway. It is due out in early 2020 on Nintendo Switch.
Secret of Mana and the fan translation of Seiken Densetsu 3 have always been among my favorite vintage JRPGs. So this is good news all around as far as I’m concerned. While it would have been nice if Square Enix added some additional goodies to the Collection of Mana (manuals, new gameplay elements, a not sort of broken magic system, etc.), it is great to finally get one of the best stateside. I would have been a lot more worried about the Trials of Mana remake before Square showed off the Final Fantasy 7 redo for E3 2019. Let’s just hope the Mana 3 remake release isn’t going to be as confusing as FF7’s.
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