Seiken Densetsu 3, where do I start with you. You hold a special place in many peoples’ hearts for being one of the best JRPGs of all time. I had the opportunity to play the original when the Collection of Mana released on Nintendo Switch and today, on March 18th, Square Enix released the Trials of Mana demo for the remake launching on PlayStation 4, Steam and Nintendo Switch April 24th, 2020.
The demo opens up with players being greeted by the title screen and immediately jumping into the companion selection screen, where you can make a party of three from the six playable characters; Duran, Angela, Kevin, Charlotte, Hawkeye, and Riesz. Keep in mind that each character has their own stats, so making a balanced team is key.
Once you have your party set, you proceed into the demo. Immediately you’re welcomed by the changes of the remake. For starters, the graphics are completely redone and wait for it, there is voice acting! You start with having to steal a treasure from a local town person who is known for being quite the hoarder of money that he’s made by swindling the local town folk. As he’s sleeping away talking about how all of the money is his, you make your way to the treasure chest and steal his fortunes. Only to have him wake up from his slumber begging you not to take his money.
Once you steal his money, you make a break for the city gates with your loot as you’re greeted to a short cutscene explaining about the Navalan thieves. After all of this proceeds, you’re plopped into the mission where you can finally save your game which does carry over to the retail release of the game. One of the nice touches here is that they kept the original sound effects in the menus from the original release of the game way back in 1995.
On to the battle system, the battle system is a real-time battle system where you can freely move your character while you attack. Where the original release was real-time as well, the remake seems to give you much more freedom with being able to move as it’s fully rendered in a 3D space. This is something that I greatly appreciate. The original battle system was great, but this re-working of the battle system just feels so much more seamless and much, much more fast-paced. Battles do not have a transition prior to them, and you are immediately placed in battle with an indicator which states “Begin Battle!”
The demo wraps up with you fighting the “Fullmetal Hugger” which is a giant crab-like enemy who has quite the amount of HP for only being a Level 7 enemy. It’s not a difficult fight by any means, but really give you the feeling for the depth of combat that is possible in the remake. After defeating the Fullmetal Hugger, you’re greeted by Lumina who thanks you for releasing them from the beast you just have slain granting you the powers of Light Elemental Magic. Shortly after, you get knocked off the cliff in the cave by Beast Ludgar with Faerie asking what to do.
All in all, the Trials of Mana demo is a really good indicator as to what the remainder of the game will play like and with a story as good as Seiken Densetsu 3, who wouldn’t want to experience the rest of the game when it releases on April 24th? I think the remake is going to be a really solid title, even if the English voice acting leaves a little bit to be mentioned. Hopefully, the retail release of the game will allow players to have English text with Japanese voices. Aside from that little qualm, I don’t have anything to bicker about or nitpick with the remake of Trials of Mana and look forward to its upcoming release!