Square Enix’s historical re-enactment (remaster) of their 1999 RPG Legend of Mana has been released. It was actually released last week, so though we’re a little bit late with letting you know, there are a lot of good vibes and happy thoughts out there for the Mana series. Besides, I told a friend it was out and he was surprised that he’d missed its release, and was delighted he could play it, so now I’m telling you.
Legend of Mana is a very strange beast. A fragmented story that the player pursues at their pleasure. It's really a vast collection of side quests. You’ll barely encounter anything resembling a main quest until you go out of your way to find it. The map is similarly fragmented, and you build your own world as you play. Each completed quest lets you place another area down onto the map wherever you choose, adding another story or stories to continue along. That map and the route you take through it are of your own making.
Square have applied a delicate touch in the remastering process. The sprites look and feel era-appropriate, but the backdrops have been redone and are dripping with detail. The hand-painted aesthetic makes each screen feel like an adventure game, not the background to a vast, 20 hour plus RPG. This wasn't a quick rescale to get the job done.
Excited? If so, it’s now up on Steam for £25. A bit of a hefty price tag if you ask me, but you do get a lot of game for the money.