First Impression: Trials of Mana (Demo)

Initial release date: September 30, 1995
Composer: Hiroki Kikuta
Series: Mana
Developer: Square
Genre: Action role-playing game
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Super Nintendo Entertainment System

When the world was shrouded in darkness, the goddess of mana Drew forth the sword of mana to smite the eight benevodons, monsters of destruction. She sealed the horrors inside the eight mana stones, bringing the realm back from the brink.

-Intro to Trails of Mana

The remake of the sequel to Secret of Mana has finally released, and I immediately got my hands on the demo to give it a try. I am a big Mana fan, and I’ve played this game, Trials of Mana, as it’s Japanese version Seiken Densetsu 3. After the bad reviews, I read about the remake of the first game, I had high hopes for this one!

I was impressed with the graphics from the intro. The original music from Secret of Mana is played which was a nice nostalgic touch. You choose three of six characters, and each one has their own story that plays out throughout the game. So you would have to play the game a few times to see all the side-stories, though the main plot is the same.

The first character you choose is the first story you see, and as you progress you meet the other two characters and they join your team. You are tasked with finding the Mana Stones, which contain great power needed to awaken the Goddess of Mana. The Mana Tree is losing energy, and they need this goddess to rejuvenate the tree before certain monsters are released on the world.

The gameplay is fun, as you are allowed to avoid enemies or approach them and start a battle. You fight real-time, not turn-based (just like all Mana games) and the computer controls your other two characters. It’s easy to switch between them and practice their moves, use items, skills, dodge attacks or use combos.

Music in the Mana series has always been exceptional, and this game does not disappoint. I liked listening to some tracks just for my own enjoyment in the background. The game has voice-overs in English, and a lot of dialogue is voiced. Though, some of the main characters I did not like how they sounded. I think it can be switched to Japanese but I did not try it out.

It was nice to play such a long demo, around 3-4 hours. The demo ends after you battle the first boss, and the story is left at a literal cliff hanger. Overall, my experience with the game left me wanting more and I find myself purchasing it sooner than later.

Did you like Trails of Mana, or it wasn’t for you? Have you played other Mana games, and what was your opinion of them? Let us know in the comments! God bless.

You can play the demo on PS4 or Switch. If interested, you can purchase the full game below.


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When not conquering digital worlds in video games, he can be found reading, watching anime, listening to music writing, and just enjoying life as a geek in the city.

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