Secret of Mana 2018 is a 3D remake of the original Secret of Mana which came out back in 1993 on the SNES. Many called the game a classic, but I personally did not think so highly of the game original game, and this remake makes my thoughts even worse. Square Enix did an abysmal job with this remake, and it was clear not enough effort was put into remaking this old SNES game. In this review I will be talking about Secret of Mana and discussing the good things and the mostly bad things about this remake.
First, let’s talk about the presentation. Secret of Mana is an ugly game. A very ugly one. I’m sorry, but I had to get it out of my system. The art style, the environment, the character models are all abysmal. If this game was a mobile game then sure, this could be excused as the visuals will be in line with other mobile games but for a console game, these visuals are very disappointing. Square Enix did not try when it came to the presentation, and it’s a shame because the original Secret of Mana had such a fantastic art style and was beautifully presented. Instead of the upgrade in visuals we actually got a huge downgrade.
It becomes a massive eyesore during cutscenes. The characters don’t even move their mouths when they are talking, the animations are brutal and the voice acting is atrocious. As a package Secret of Mana is by far one of the most unattractive games on the PS4 to date.
A ruined soundtrack
The Secret of Mana remake has two different sets of tracks. It has a remixed soundtrack for this remake the beautiful original soundtrack.
If you do pick up Secret of Mana, then I wholeheartedly recommend you play the game with the original soundtrack since it is superior to the newly remixed soundtrack in my opinion.
Since this is a review of a remake, I think it will be fair to judge this game based on its remixed soundtrack.
The one thing I can say is Square Enix messed up with the soundtrack in this game. I was looking forward to the new music this game was going to have, and I was confident Square Enix and the composers would recreate the old tracks successfully. Instead, they ruined almost all of the records and made them inferior to the original. Oddly enough the soundtrack in this game made me appreciate the original soundtrack for what it was.
As boring as ever
The gameplay in this remake is highly mediocre and terribly dull and boring. This isn’t the remakes fault. The original 1993 game had mediocre gameplay too. Secret of Mana was never a great game gameplay wise in my opinion. The gameplay really shows its age in this remake. Battling against enemies can be very awkward. The combat system is quite clunky and not in a good way. The game mostly suffers from repetition. The combat system lacks depth, and it just isn’t exciting.
A Complete Disappointment
The plot in Secret of Mana isn’t strong. The beginning is incredibly rushed, and it just doesn’t really make any sense. At the start you find a rare sword and monsters start to attack, you then go back to the village, and everyone hates you, you are then banished from the village. The opening definitely isn’t good, but the story does get a bit better as you continue to play the game.
Overall this was a disappointing remake. I know Secret of Mana isn’t a big game but a lot more effort should have been put into this remake.