Legend of Mana | Review, new remastered, “old” JRPG

Legend of Mana | Review, new remastered, “old” JRPG

Legend of Mana | Review

From 1999 to 2021, not only two abundant decades have passed, but there has also been an important change of century and millennium that has brought with it an incredible amount of changes, renovations and reinterpretations in the world of entertainment. And clearly, the videogame sector, which represents a significant slice of this market, could not get out unscathed. A demonstration of this phenomenon lies in the increasingly frequent recourse to the remastering of titles that risk ending up in oblivion, a nostalgia operation implemented primarily by Square Enix. If so far we have been able to (re) get our hands on titles such as SaGa Frontier Remastered, or witness the recovery of franchises that have remained quite on the sidelines, thanks to the release of the second chapter of Bravely Default, now another old glory appears in a remastered version. : let's talk about Legend of Mana, for the first time out in Europe, a classic RPG available from June 24 for PS4, Nintendo Switch and Steam. We have tested the version for the Sony home console, and we will tell you without revealing too many details what we have had the opportunity to try.

Legend of Mana, discovering a classic JRPG

A story perhaps not too well known to western players, the one that still sees Mana as the protagonist, as well as several other elements that have made the franchise of the Japanese software house. So let's briefly recap the plot underlying this video game: nine centuries ago, the Mana Tree was reduced to ashes. His power lived in the stones of Man, in the enchanted tools and in the artifacts. The sages fought each other to gain control of these last remnants of Mana, but then, after hundreds of years of warfare, as Mana's power began to wane, those who sought him became scarce and peace returned to the world. From that moment on, men were afraid to have even one feeling. Their hearts filled with empty emotions and they thought of nothing but conflict and perdition. But how can all this be remedied?

Remember me. You need me. I can give you everything. I am the love. Find me and walk beside me.

Let's start the adventure in Legend of Mana, where we just have to take on the role of the protagonist, selectable at the beginning between a male or female protagonist and whose name we can freely choose, and then embark on a journey in search of the mystical Mana tree. Starting our adventures with a completely empty map, we go to fill it by acquiring special artifacts during our journey, and placing them on this map to our liking in the assigned spaces. In this way, we bring cities and dungeons to life through a single Land Creation System. Once the artifacts have been positioned, which are transformed into real areas that can be visited, we can finally progress in history, always in different ways based on our choices; be careful, however, we should not expect a high range of options available. It is still the remastered version of a title that shows itself aged in several respects, including that of the breadth in the offer of the choices available, but we admit that the gaming experience was in any case pleasant and varied.

Legend of Mana_20210618111716 There are few tasks that we will have to perform: in fact, we will have to complete missions and defeat enemies and bosses as we progress through the game. In addition to visiting and exploring the various places that appear from time to time, after completing a mission. As anticipated, Legend of Mana features an Earth Creation System that allows players to model the structure of the world by generating non-linear regions and missions without following a traditional main storyline. This means that every single land can be freely positioned on the map and that we can explore the various dungeons at will, where we can test ourselves between fights ... or not. In fact, we can also decide to deactivate the Enemy Encounters option to allow us to explore the map more easily, and it is not the only facilitation.

Supportive UI and a well-kept artistic sector

During the our explorations, we have the opportunity to meet a varied cast of characters who will clash with fearsome monsters in real-time combat and will explore the vast world of Fa'Diel, all while living the timeless story of Legend of Mana. When we will have to embark on missions not only in the company of our protagonist, but also with a secondary character who can help us in achieving the goal, we can decide to ensure that the control of the second player is entrusted to the IU, without having to worry. to check them both. This is to ensure that we can enjoy a freer gaming experience and fight better during the clashes: players can in fact forge unique equipment and even modify existing ones. Likewise, once the instrument workshop has been established, it can be used to produce enchanted tools with power.

Speaking of weapons, the choice is quite wide, not only because we will be able to choose and equip our weapons from the beginning of the game and move on to those that best suit our style thanks to the purchases made in the many inns that we find on the road. It is also possible to collect other weapons during the game, both because the monsters themselves drop useful weapons, allowing us to acquire them without the need for crafting and tempering, and because by playing with some different weapons we can unlock other special techniques.

Everything goes smoothly then? Not really: if we have these possibilities of enhancement from the combat point of view, we cannot say the same about the movement of our protagonist, which is woody and difficult in some points, and which therefore turns out to be a notable flaw in moments of battle, where we need speed and fluidity. However, if, on the one hand, the technical response to our commands is not well calibrated, because it is too woody in battle and sometimes too responsive in moments of exploration, Legend of Mana gives us several artistic pearls of no small importance. The graphics have been beautifully remastered, offering us spaces that are small in size, but with a decidedly polished look, while the individual characters have remained in the original version in pixels, as a tribute to the original edition.

Legend of Mana_20210620020930 Non if this aspect was enough, we can also enjoy listening to a rearranged and supervised soundtrack by the legendary composer Yoko Shimomura. In fact, we are allowed to listen to the songs not only during the game, in the game, where we can really pay attention to how this aspect of the artistic sector has been really well cared for, but also in Music Mode, selectable from the menu, where we can enjoy the listening to the soundtrack by selecting the songs we want to hear. For a total of over twenty pieces, a truly remarkable quantity for the time.

Finally, let's look at the actual graphics, which are improved and updated thanks to high-resolution reproduction, including support for the 16: ratio. 9 updated, while staying true to the unique style and tone of the original game. Finally, there is also the Gallery Mode, a novelty in the game, which allows us to view illustrations and documents of the story in high resolution.

More details of the remastered version

To respect its remastered title, Legend of Mana also has some interesting and tasty new features and traits, starting with the "Ring-Ring Land" mini-game, thanks to which we can quickly increase the strength of our pets, traveling companions who will turn out a lot useful in the game, with various challenges in this mini-game never before released in the West. Legend of Mana's UI has been redesigned for the current generation of gaming platforms, including screen setting options, and the game now comes with a new quick save feature, whereby players can make quick saves wherever they are, by backing up their progress as they play, or by relying on the autosave feature.

Legend of Mana_20210621011513 Finally, while Legend of Mana's additional language support is available in eight languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Japanese, but not in Italian, we also have a second game mode available, if we find the game too easy, thanks to the difficulty "Hell or No Future “, But only available in a second playthrough, but only recommended in case of real courage and preparation. However, a welcome possibility, which makes the title in question a little longer-lived and replayable.

Powered by Blogger.