Published on June 11th, 2020 | by Boouya
Trials of Mana Switch Review
Summary: Trials of Mana or Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan was a 1995 Action RPG from Squaresoft. Unlike the previous two titles in the series, those being Final Fantasy Adventure for Gameboy and Secret of Mana for Super Nintendo. Trials of Mana was not released in the West. Trials of Mana for the Nintendo Switch not only gave us an official translation but also a remake in 3D. Can this game live upto the hype that has surrounded this game for 25 years or will it fall flat?
Trials of Mana or Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan was a 1995 Action RPG from Squaresoft. Unlike the previous two titles in the series, those being Final Fantasy Adventure for Gameboy and Secret of Mana for Super Nintendo. Trials of Mana was not released in the West.
Trials of Mana for the Nintendo Switch not only gave us an official translation but also a remake in 3D. Can this game live upto the hype that has surrounded this game for 25 years or will it fall flat?
Trials of Mana revolves around 6 main characters and 3 main story plots, for my play through I picked Hawkeye and as such I will discuss his story line **Spoilers** Hawkeye is a bandit for the desert fortress of Nerval. Lord Flamekhan, ruler of Nerval proclaims it to be a separate kingdom. Hawkeye, believing this to be unjust, confronts Lord Flamekhan only to find out he is being controlled by the witch Isabella. Eagle son of Flamekhan and friend to Hawkeye is then murdered by the Witch who uses her powers to frame Hawkeye. Hawkeye manages to escape his adventure for redemption beginning at the point.
Along the way he is joined by Reisz, a Laurent Captain of the Amazon Army who is also on the run and on a mission to find her brother who has been captured. Can they save the Mana Tree or will the land be plunged into darkness?
Overall the Trials of Mana storyline does quite well in achieving an overarching plot that keeps the player engaged; it is only in my opinion near the end of the game that the story gets lost in trying to tie off loose ends.
Combat just like in Secret of Mana is about timing hits and working out enemy weaknesses, you can switch between any of your 3 characters which can really help keeping an injured ally alive. This also allows the player a level of strategic decision making when faced with the many boss battles of the game. One note that should be made for the 3-D remake is the camera, It has been said on other reviews and I share the same opinion but the decision to not have the camera automatically follow you around does make combat hard to manage especially in the more hectic moments.
As your player gains levels you are able to unlock skills and battle abilities that either sway to the Light side or the Dark side. This can be changed at Level 18 and 38. More so you can mix and match your character to suit your particular playstyle. *Note* options you make will affect story moments. With this in mind it leads to one of the best features of Trials of Mana replay ability. With numerous characters and side quests to discover and an end game (which won’t be spoiled here) Trials of Mana has plenty to keep you coming back for more.
Likewise the music in Trials of Mana is fantastic and the ability to switch between the remade orchestral style and the original 16 bit midi versions at any point in a real standout feature. I found myself many times switching between the two to hear the contrast and I have to say the 16-bit soundtrack is still my favorite to listen to.
Overall Trials of Mana 3-D Remake is essentially that a remake, for fans of Secret of Mana I would suggest playing the original version of Trials of Mana which can be found in the Collection of Mana for Nintendo Switch. For anyone who has not played a Mana game before then you really can not go wrong with this version, Square Enix have really done a good job at breathing new life into a 25 year old game whilst keeping to its roots as a 16 bit Classic.