Originally released for the Super Nintendo in 1995, Trials of Mana was the third game in the series, but it never made it out of Japan. Square-Enix did eventually localize the game a year before this, but they also completely remade the game in 3D which is what we have with this release here. You can pick this up on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
How to Download Trials of Mana
You can download the game or its free demo from Stram, Nintendo Store, or PlayStation Store. Click on the Download button to make your choice.
The Game Review
The first thing worth talking about with this remake is the presentation. Square-Enix made the brave decision to make the game in full 3D and it looks fantastic. This is a very bright and colorful game and it really does shine. You could make the argument that it is one of the best-looking games on the SNES and they managed to keep that high-quality with this remake.
These fantastic visuals do come at a cost for the Nintendo Switch version of the game. On the Switch, when things get a little hectic, or even in a cut scene. It is not uncommon for the frame rate to severely drop. It is not game-breaking or anything like that, but it is very noticeable in comparison to the PlayStation 4 and PC.
Like the visuals, the soundtrack of Trials of Mana has been given a nice upgrade. The thing with this is that the original already had great music, so Square-Enix has given you the ability to switch between the two. This is a really neat idea and I honestly could not pick between which version of the soundtrack that I like best.
Apart from the visuals and sound. Trials of Mana is a remake that sticks very, very close to what the original was all about. The change to 3D of course is huge, but the gameplay “styles” and especially the story are pretty much exactly the same. There is a larger over-arching story here, but there are also individual touches to it.
You see, you can select from one of six characters and then pick two to be your companions. What is neat is that each of the six characters has their own prologue and twist on how the story unfolds. This will lead to you wanting to play through the game more than once to get the complete picture.
Nothing new has been added as far as the story goes. So, if you played the 2019 SNES version that was translated to English, you already know how things are going to unfold here. The story is fun and all, but perhaps they could have been a bit braver and made some significant changes to it?
Gameplay has moved to 3D, but at its heart, this is the same action RPG it was back in 1995. The battles happen in real time, but they will pause when you are messing with your moves, items, and so on. I really enjoyed the battle system and the reason for this is the class system is so much fun. It does also help that your AI companions are smart and work to the strengths of their class.
There is what the game refers to as the class change system. This is fun as it lets you tinker with the characters to get them just the way you want. It allows you to get hands-on and make sure that your party has just what you need in order to progress and have fun doing so.
While it may not be as massive a remake as say, Final Fantasy VII. Square-Enix has done a great job in bringing Trials of Mana to the world of 3D gaming. It is a charming story with some very interesting characters. However, it was the action RPG style gameplay that kept me hooked and made me want to jump straight back on once I finished it the first time.
- The game looks fantastic
- I liked the new soundtrack
- Being able to tinker with your party’s classes was fun
- The battle system in the game is fast-paced
- Each character adds their own twist to the story
- The Nintendo Switch version can have frame rate issues
- No surprises at all with the story