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Jason Clement posted a article in Industry NewsIt's only February but this year is already off to a great start with game releases, and it's only going to get better this week as one of gaming's most classic RPGs gets a makeover -- Secret of Mana, that is. What is it? Originally releasing on Nintendo's SNES in 1993, Secret of Mana is the second entry in the Mana series (known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan), and the first to reach widespread acclaim. As an Action RPG, Secret of Mana was a sharp contrast to Square's more popular series, Final Fantasy. Instead of selecting and choosing your options in battle and then watching it play out, all of the action in Secret of Mana unfolded in real-time. Enemies bounced around the screen and lunged at your character while he (or she, depending on who your lead character was) brandished his sword to defend himself or dodge the attack. It was an approach not unlike the Legend of Zelda series, and one that was less common for its time. Why is it so beloved? It hits on almost everything any gamer wants out of a game. The visuals are bright, colorful, and appealing, and its sprite work and character design are among Square's most memorable from that time period. Its story -- about a boy who is unwittingly chosen to bear a legendary sword and then gets caught up in a war that decides the fate of the world -- has its share of great moments and twists and is generally evocative of the classic hero's journey. The streamlined battle system -- which made use of a circle of options that surrounded the character to select different options -- was fast-paced, fun, and intuitive. Last but not least, its soundtrack -- composed by Hiroki Kikuta -- is considered one of the best musical game scores to date. Also of note -- in the original SNES version, Secret of Mana was also one of the first big RPGs to let your friends play cooperatively with you. Traditionally, two players could control two of the game's characters as you played through the game, but if you had a special Multitap connected, up to three players could play together -- a revolutionary feat for an RPG at the time. What's new in this remake? Much like the recently released Shadow of the Colossus remake, Secret of Mana's visuals has been entirely redone, bringing the game into HD for the first time and using the same 3D engine that 2016's Adventures of Mana was built on. Also new to this version are added voice-overs, a newly arranged musical score, and upgraded gameplay improvements such as new Interlude Episodes that showcase new scenes between Randi and the various characters he encounters throughout the game. Where can I buy it, and what platforms is it coming out on? The game will be out digitally on PlayStation Network for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, as well as on Steam for PC users on February 15 for $39.99. However, if you want to buy a physical copy, boxed versions are being sold exclusively at Gamestop for all three platforms. Also, if you pre-order the game in either format (digitally or physically), you'll get access to special costumes for all three characters. Are you interested in buying the Secret of Mana remake?
Jason Clement posted a article in NintendoThe SNES classic Secret of Mana is one of the most beloved RPGs out there, and Square Enix just tugged at fans' heartstrings by making a surprise announcement that both its prequel and sequel would be joining the game in a collection that's due out for the Nintendo Switch later this year. Now here's the bad news: it's only for Japan. However, the fact that the collection is receiving a physical release is making some fans think that a Western release could be possible. One thing that could be standing in the way, though, is Secret of Mana's sequel -- the Japanese-only Seiken Densetsu 3 -- which would has never been localized for English territories (though unofficial translations have existed online for years). Seiken Densetsu 3 was notable for several innovations, such as being able to choose any 3 of 6 heroes at the start of the game, where their own story arcs would intersect with each others' and the overall plot throughout the course of the game. There were also three different final bosses and end dungeons to experience depending on who you chose as the primary hero. Secret of Mana's prequel was originally known in the US as Final Fantasy Adventure, and was also remade in 3D for Vita last year as Adventures of Mana. In any event, the Seiken Densetsu Collection will release in Japan on June 1 for 4,800 yen (which is roughly $43 USD). We'll have to wait and see if anything is in the works for English-speaking territories, but in the meantime you can watch the trailer below. Would you buy the Seiken Densetsu/Mana series collection if it came to the Americas and Europe?
Jonathan Higgins posted a article in SonyThe Game Boy library is infamous for housing several games that bear the Final Fantasy title despite not belonging in the canonical series of games. What a handful of you know as The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II, and Final Fantasy Legend III are actually the beginnings of the SaGa series. A few of you have probably played games like SaGa Frontier or Romancing SaGa—the â€œLegendâ€ games are much more related to those than any Final Fantasy game of that era. Interestingly enough, the Nintendo DS got remakes of & SaGa 3, both of which remain exclusive to Japan. The other misattributed Final Fantasy game on the Game Boy is Final Fantasy Adventure. I recall that game being much more popular in my youth because of its similarities to top-down Zelda games. As it turns out—Final Fantasy Adventure is actually the first Seiken Densetsu game...you know, the Mana series. So, for those of you keeping track: Final Fantasy Adventure is what canonically came before SNES classic Secret of Mana. The identity crisis would become a lot clearer in 2003 with the release of Sword of Mana, an enhanced remake of the game I“ve been describing. And so it goes. At TGS 2015, Square-Enix announced a(nother) remake of 1991“s Final Fantasy Adventure is headed to PlayStation Vita and mobile devices in Japan this winter. You can view the trailer below, which seems to ignore Sword of Mana entirely in favor of showcasing a graphical transition from the Game Boy to the three-dimensional modern era. If your first question after seeing this trailer is: Why are they remaking the first Seiken Densetsu again instead of giving Secret of Mana the same treatment?—remakes of other games in the series may not be out of the question. The success of this game may pave the way for more remakes, as well as an eventual Seiken Densetsu 5. A PlayStation 4 port is under consideration as well. I“m...a little conflicted, personally. While I hope the game gets localized, I“m feeling rather pessimistic about it due to the fate of the other Game Boy remakes Square-Enix have worked on never coming, and the fact that plenty of Mana games have stayed in Japan over the years. Rest assured, if we don“t hear localization news soon, I am familiar enough with both Final Fantasy Adventure and Sword of Mana to try my hand at importing the (second) remake this winter. Here“s the official website, if you“d like to learn more. Do we have any Seiken Densetsu die-hards among us? Has anyone played Final Fantasy Adventure or Sword of Mana? How do you feel about this newly announced remake? Be sure to let us know!