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We want to bring back the glory

One of the most surprising announcements at E3 last week was Mana trials, a remake of an earlier entry to Square Enix's once popular series of action and role-playing games. It seems to be the first good mana game in a very long time. The developers say the hope is that it will lead to a resurgence of this long dormant series.

"The ultimate goal would be to recover that glory," mana The series producer, Masaru Oyamada, has entrusted me with an interview for E3, expressing himself through a translator. "With Mana trials we really challenged ourselves to provide mana in a new form, different from what she was. And so, after fans have read the story and played this game, we would like to hear their opinion on their expectations. mana upcoming games, and take this into consideration for the future. "

Mana trials, which will be released in early 2020, is a remake of the ancient Japanese-only system Seiken Densetsu 3. This game was launched in 1995 for Super Famicom, but never reached the West, despite the popularity of its predecessor, Secret of mana, a game appreciated for its offbeat humor and killer soundtrack. (Reports at the time suggested that the bugs were the main culprit.) A fan translation patch allowed savvy players to get their hands on Seiken Densetsu 3 in English via emulation, but it was not quite the reality.

In 2017, Oyamada and his team published a mana Switch collection in Japan, allowing Japanese players to get their hands on the first three games in the series: Seiken Densetsu 1 (published in the United States as Final Fantasy Adventure) Seiken Densetsu 2 (Secret of mana), and Seiken Densetsu 3. The question was, would non-Japanese players ever get Seiken Densetsu 3? Would Square be willing to invest in locating a Super Nintendo game in English 24 years after its release?

Then comes the ideal solution: Square could use this location for both the compilation and a remake designed to feel like a whole new game.

"We decided to make the new version of Mana trials First … we have received a lot of comments from outside Japan, who have stated that they would like this to happen in their regions as well, "said Oyamada. "So we decided to start working on Mana trials as a new title, as many of these players had never played before. Then we showed the remake to Western teams. They thought it was good, but they also hoped to get the original version. "

So, just after last week's Nintendo Direct release, Oyamada and his team launched with surprise an English version of Mana Collection and announced Mana trials The videos of the game seem excellent so far, both by what we saw in public that by what I saw behind the scenes of the stand E3 Square Enix. With a redesign of the fighting, a proper 3D camera and a beautiful aesthetic that looks less like Secret of mana but with polygons "and more" whoa that sounds like a whole new game, " Mana trials This looks promising.

This certainly seems to be an improvement over the disappointing last year. Secret of mana remake, which Oyamada has recognized some problems.

"We learned that fans had very high expectations and that they wanted titles from this series," Oyamada said. "So we really wanted to take those comments into account and apply them to make improvements in the development. Mana trials. "

For example, he said, they plan to add lip sync to the characters voice play, a troubling omission in Secret of mana. "This is a concrete example," he said. "As for the other elements, this time, the system is very different."

We have not seen a new appropriate game in this series since 2006 Dawn of ManaAfter that, the creator and director of the series, Koichi Ishii, left Square Enix for Nintendo. The decade has been tough for fans of rabits and magic trees, but for the first time in a very long time, the future of mana looks brilliant.

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