Today we are going to look at a remake of a classic game called Secret of Mana. This game was an amazing masterpiece when I played it as a kid. I did enjoy the Medieval remake, thus I thought this game could be good as well, but boy was I wrong. In this review I am going to dissect the Secret of Mana remake and look at the positive and negative points of this remake!
What did I think before Secret of Mana Remake?
I have been waiting a long time for remakes and remasters of the Mana series, and this first game got a remake! Alas, technically is not the first Mana game, but it is known as Seiken Densetsu 2. The last game, called Dawn of Mana is a game which I never played due to living in the PAL region but one day I hope to play Seiken Densetsu 4. However, Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana is coming soon! I have also never played that game due to living in the PAL region. I am also unable to read Japanese! This brings me hope that one day, Dawn of Mana will come to the PAL region!
To gain more information, my wife and I visited the PlayStation page!
The Playstation page
We learned that they also implemented the co-op system in this remake, but the trailer and screenshots showed bad graphics, but we had hoped that it looked better in the game. My wife was mostly excited that it was a co-op game!
I rate Secret of Mana before playing with an 8.
We did have some bad vibes about the graphics, but we were excited nonetheless for this game!
The story starts with Randy sneaking out with two other boys. While walking over a log, Randy falls in the waterfall but survives. When walking back to the village, a voice beckons Randy to a sword. The sword of Mana. Although no one could draw this sword except for heroes, Randy manages to pull out the sword, this sets Randy on an epic quest to save the world from being depleted of Mana forever.
I rate the story of Secret of Mana with a 7.0
I like the story very much, but the lower rating is due to not enough character development. This can be explained due to the fact that 40% of the game was cut to fit onto the SNES after the deal with Sony did not go well. This remake would have been a great place to add that missing 40% and to give us the whole game!
Do not get me wrong, we loved playing this game, but the gameplay was horrible! The AI of the other party member did almost nothing at all, which means I was swapping back and forth to make sure that the other party member was doing something. We also lost the other party member regularly because she got stuck.
The combat plays in an action role-playing form, this was a masterpiece in the 1990s because those games did not exist yet. Imagine that, I grew up when there were basically no action RPG games! They made a huge problem though, in the SNES the archers could only attack four ways, this time they can also attack diagonally. Which means all of their attacks are most likely going to hit you.
The shops have a few improvements as you can now see if the equipment is better or not. As you kill enemies you gain level ups, there are multiple weapons that you can use, but most of the time you need to level up a new weapon instead of using a weapon that you like. You charge your weapon, but it takes a long time and getting hit means that you need to start over. Before attacking, you need to make sure that your stamina bar is at 100%. Failing to do so will mess up your attack.
The combat is horrible, you could call this game the miss simulator. Almost all of your attacks are going to miss, or they will deal zero damage for no reason. Your attacks will also go from dealing five damage to over 200 damage! You can also stun lock bosses, some of them easier than others. Another amazing stupid trick for co-op is to have one player mash the attack button! Regardless of your stamina, most of the attacks will miss, but the enemy will do a dodge animation. The other character can just load up each attack and finish of the monster while it is stuck in the dodge animation. This also works once certain bosses!
I rate the gameplay of Secret of Mana with a 3.0
things either got really messed up with this remake, or I have rose-colored glasses for the original. Which means that we are going to revisit the original game and see if I am going crazy or not!
Sound and Graphics
The graphics are horrible, the 3D models are low polygon and look as if they are mutilated! The Nintendo 64 graphics look a lot better! Not only that, when the people are talking, their mouths do not even move at all! The voice is coming out of their nose or ears! In this remake they added random talks when you sleep at the inn, but these were always from events long past, which made it quite annoying!
Whatever you do, do not listen to these soundtracks, as they are horrible. They sound like someone played an instrument that is broken! Luckily, you have the options to switch to the original soundtracks. I do not think our ears would have survived the journey otherwise! A good idea is to also mute the TV!
I rate the sound and graphics of Secret of Mana with a 1.0
The cannon animation is also missing, what a shame! The over world map gave me a headache when looking at it when flying on Flammie! The feeling to play the original to see if I am going insane is growing ever stronger!
What did I think after playing Secret of Mana
Even though this game was a horrible experience for us, it does not mean that we did not have fun. However, we had to quell the urge sometimes to just quit and start something else. We dedicated ourselves to finishing this game. We had seen trailers and videos of Trials of Mana otherwise known as Seiken Densetsu 3. The footage looked amazing and gave us hope that the next remaster would be great. It made us feel re-energized, and we started to face the final boss in Secret of Mana, which ended up to being a huge drag! We recorded the whole video of the final boss!
Not only did we have to put up with horrible gameplay and graphics, the translation was also horrible. Sentences were written wrong, some characters were referred to as they even though it was single person. And many other translation errors!
I rate Secret of Mana with a 2.0 after playing.
Everything is horrible in this remake, and it is a proper example of how to not make a remake of a game!
What are my personal thoughts about Secret of Mana
This game was horrible, but I have started to doubt myself. Was Secret of Mana this bad in the original, or was it close to perfect, like I imagine it was? There is only one way to find, we are planning on buying the collection of Mana and play the original Secret of Mana. It also contains the original Trials of Mana along with Seiken Densetsu 1 otherwise know as mystic quest in the Europe region.
My personal rating of Secret of Mana is a 4.0.
We did have fun when playing, but mostly because we were making fun of their mouths not moving or the weird typos.
Just play the original, enough said! At least until I have reviewed that game as well!
Let me know what you think of Secret of Mana in the comments!
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