Friday, April 24, 2020

Trials of Mana (Playstation 4, Switch, 2020)

THIS IS IT. Remake time. Loooong awaited, this one, and a notably higher-effort remake than the Secret of Mana remake. I'm running the PS4 version, but it's also on Nintendo Switch.




Gorgeous intro shots. I've also started Seiken Densetsu 3, so feel free to go back and compare a lot of the stuff from this remake to its original form.

The Mana Tree lurks. Let's start the game! Same deal as last time, going to look at the character intros first.

You get four difficulty levels in this version. Even Hard mode is easier than the original game...so none of these are particularly challenging. Beginner is essentially a walk-through.

First up, Duran. Sorta the default main character of the game...kinda? He's got an A in stamina, which means he's got a lot of HP and defense.

Your first battle is a practice fight, as before.

Duran is SASSY.

The battle system in this is completely overhauled from the original. You can move around and freely dodge enemy attacks, rather than having to face-tank hits.

Duran...is Dyluck. I mean it's the same character, more or less, in backstory. The only difference is that he doesn't have a Primm. Though I've heard that he and Angela were intended to get together in the story canon.

Duran's father was lost while fighting the infamous Dragon Lord. Yep, it's a very Dragon Quest story.

Duran's gorgeous mom, Simone. One thing this remake doesn't change at all is how damn depressing everyone's backstory is. Duran's parents are gone, and as far as the other characters go...they've all either lost their parents or have evil parents.

Duran finds the castle under siege by the minions of Crimson Wizard and his army of Sexy Vivis.

Gold Statues are still incredibly useful. And like every other female in this game, even the statues are hot.

It's pretty interesting to be able to look out from these familiar areas and see new vistas. Formerly you could only see this world from a top-down perspective. It's a lot like Final Fantasy VII Remake in that regard.

Crimson Wizard in high-def. He'll always be Poor Man's Dalton to me.

He easily dispatches Duran. The good news is, unlike Dyluck, he'll actually get up and be a part of the game going forward.

Cur? Good God! Don't say something you can't take back!

Practicing moving around and sword-swinging in a safe environment. You move a lot quicker in this than you did in the original, and being able to jump is another game-changer.

Here's the infamous scene where Duran gets his fortune told, then jumps on the counter and acts like an ass.

I haven't seen a character completely embarrass themselves from the get-go like this since the first episode of Star Trek Enterprise, where one of Captain Archer's first lines is him inexplicably telling the Vulcan lady to shut up or he'll slap her. Nobody says anything like that again for the entire show. The fuck?

The fortune teller is NOT impressed. With those eyebrows she can't see anything, and could have easily mistaken Duran for a loose chimpanzee until he started talking.

Duran only cares about one thing, and it's the Crimson Wizard. Much like Scott Steiner only cares about his freaks, and ::checks notes:: his peaks.

The Hero King looks like a fusion of that creepy Burger King mascot and those George Washington murder-robots from Bioshock Infinite.

I get directions from the only characters in the game who aren't sexy.

Windmills. Yeah, this is pretty great so far. Adding a third dimension to this world makes it a strange and awesome new place.

Our first battles are against rabites. It turns out that they're basically zero threat in a game where you can dodge-roll and do Dynasty Warriors combo attacks. It's like Dark Souls if you started at max-level and moved fast.

The menu screen is nice to look at, and WAY more user-friendly than the original. You can change equipment, hotkey items/spells for quick use, and most importantly... spend training points from level-ups. That's right, you now get to spend them whenever you want, rather than having to spend them at the time of level-up.

Even better, you can always spend them on what you want. No getting locked out of your primary stat. They've overhauled this system to make every stat useful for every character (for example, raising Angela's strength stat will increase her spell damage). Dexterity has been dropped completely, alas. That's the stat that either did nothing or very-negligibly increased accuracy, depending on who you ask. Regardless, spending points in the various stats gives you the benefits on the right. Every two points grants you a new benefit in that "tree". It's good to plan out what you want to get ahead of time.

Here's the equipment screen. On here, you can set passive abilities to the slots below the equipment slots. Passive abilities are gained on the stat screen and include things like Counter. Presumably each new class tier gives you two more passive ability slots to use.

Next is a gorgeous cave. Some people have blasted this game for having "PS2-era" graphics, but it isn't the case. Sure, they aren't hyper-advanced modern visuals. They're high-res enough, and the colors really pop. It looks modern enough to me. Either way they made a lot more effort with this than they did with the SoM remake, like I said.

After that quick dungeon, Duran sets sail.

From there, we go to the game's third-hottest female.

From there, we go to the guy she told you not to worry about.

From there, we go to HAWKEYE! He kills his foes with a deadly combination of knives and teeth.

He lives in the desert of Nevarl with the thief-army of Flamekhan. You know the drill. Flamekhan's going to turn evil, because breasts.

...the game says so. You thought I was just making that up.

Unf, Isabella. In any case, at least Hawkeye's parents aren't involved. He's the only character spared from parental issues.

Hawkeye's girlfriend is the impossibly-beautiful Jessica. This game is like a 10/10 GOTY for the waifu crowd. ...which is gonna include me in a minute if this keeps up.

Hawkeye knows something's up with that dastardly Isabella. Jessica isn't having it, because...

...Flamekhan is her dad. Well, someone had to have parent issues.

Hawkeye gives Jessica the what-for. This is a pretty good scene. They fight like a real couple, with both of them making their points (rather than one of them (the guy), being portrayed as a dunce). I'll take it.

Checking out the desert exterior of the town. This puts a COMPLETELY new spin on the town. Wow.

Neko's whiskers are standing on end because of Isabella. ...among other things, meow. No! Don't you fall under her spell too, Neko!

Jessica's friend yells at Hawkeye. Well, their relationship seems pretty doomed, since Hawkeye is about to be framed for murdering her brother. I hope he can rebound with Riesz or something.

Eagle, the brother, looks a lot younger than the hardened veteran he appeared to be in the original game.

Isabella, seen here taking time out from being a Twitch Thot, stages Eagle's murder at the hands of Hawkeye.

It looks like she's standing on his head here. In any case, she's got the same mind-control powers as Goremand/Thanatos.

Hawkeye is distinctive because he dual-wields knives, which makes for some impressive flurries of attacks. Hawkeye's primary stat is Luck, which is an interesting choice. It wasn't exactly the best stat in the original game.

Bil and Ben confront Hawkeye, who ends up in jail. These guys are, of course, the minions who trick Elliot into turning off the wind for them in the Riesz intro.

The stunningly-beautiful Hawkeye is ready for his latest flick, as he gets a conjugal visit from Jessica.

He can't tell her the truth about the murder, so that's it for them.

Neko breaks Hawkeye out of prison! He and Rocket Raccoon should go bowling.

Hawkeye asks Neko to take care of Jessica, and

I still think Neko is way too happy with this responsibility.

Fighting my way out of Nevarl with sweeping cuts.

This guy is a popular character, no doubt. My first Seiken Densetsu 3 playthrough years ago was as this guy. He strikes me as the closest thing this game has to Randi from SoM.

Hawkeye flees his homeland.

Even the ship is sexy in this version. This game is like a nonstop barrage of succulent, half-naked love-goddesses.

Well, onward to the next character. Maybe I'll get a break from all of the sex appeal.

...you gotta be kidding me.

2 comments:

  1. ohohoho this game looks fantastic

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  2. I see Duran is in "just bring it" mode.

    I'd say the Crimson Wizard is a lot more successful than Dalton... unless you consider Chrono Cross to be canon.

    What's with those boring knights getting the POV pretty lady treatment? Wait, I'm thinking of FF7r.

    Heck, just no longer having that super laggy menu from the original version is already a huge upgrade.

    I am super ready for this game.

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