PAX West 2019: Experience New Adventures in the Trials of Mana Remake

Back in June, fans in the west got their first official introduction to Trials of Mana after 25 years of being exclusive to Japan. Now a remake of this fantastic title is coming next year for fans to try it in a brand new style. The original Trials of Mana acted as the third entry in the Mana series following the previous SNES entry Secret of Mana, with a bigger emphasis on story and more variety in combat. It was considered one of the best RPGs on the SNES, and despite its lack of release, still managed to find its way to interested fans who managed to play the Japanese original years earlier. With the remake well on its way, players anticipate just how different it will be after getting a taste of this RPG for the first time.

Trials of Mana is unique from its two predecessors by having multiple characters to choose from. Instead of having a set party, players can select 3 out of 6 characters at the beginning to play as. This isn’t just a cosmetic choice either, as each character has their own combat style and story to go along with them. While some major story elements will be the same, bosses and plot points will vary depending on the team at hand. This makes it a title that begs to be replayed time and time again to experience everyone’s own personal journey through the world. Although they won’t play huge roles, chosen characters may also find themselves running into the ones they didn’t choose and seeing them from a distance makes for a curious interest in their tale as it unfolds.

The original combat of Trials of Mana is from an overhead view traversing the world. It used real-time combat to fight enemies with regular and charged attacks. The remake takes this idea and makes it grander than ever before by recreating the world entirely in full 3D. Players now play from a third-person perspective as their choice of characters and can explore every nook and cranny of the areas. Even those familiar might find the areas confusing at first just because of how big they are, but it’s an expansive take on a wonderful world that makes it more fun than ever to explore. Characters can now jump to reach new heights where they might previously have to walk around or take a ladder, and the world really feels like it has grown in size.

Combat is similar in many ways but different enough to make an impact. Characters have light and heavy attacks, with energy filling up by defeating and attacking enemies to pull off special attacks. Attacks can also be charged to deal even more damage, and if a character is capable of magic they can pull up their spells menu to cast if they have the MP for it. The original Trials of Mana offered couch co-op, but the remake is focusing on a single player experience. As such, players are quickly able to switch between their playable characters at any time to change up combat. This is the best way to take down enemies as it allows players to find the right approach or magic they might need to win a fight unless they want to rely entire on the AI capabilities, but switching also makes for a fun way to mix up combat since every character is unique.

It’s amazing that after 25 years Trials of Mana has not only seen an official English release, but a remake following right behind it. There’s no better time to be a fan of the Mana series and it will be fantastic to see even more of the changes, enemies and boss fights that have changed in all sorts of ways the closer we get to release. This is a title that has long gone unnoticed due to its lack of release in the west, but players now have the best time available to give it a try and see the amazing world and characters it brings along with it. It isn’t too far away either as the remake of Trials of Mana will release on April 24 for Switch, PS4 and PC.