Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

Time is merciless to many games, and what was played 20-25 years ago is very difficult to play today. This is due to the deliberately overestimated level of complexity, the lack of control points and other pleasant things. Fortunately, there is such a wonderful thing as a remake: it breathes new life into old games, makes them more beautiful and richer. Our today’s guest has just undergone such creative processing. Was it good for her?Secret of Mana game review

The plot of the game is not to say too original.

The sword in the stone

The plot of Secret of Mana is obscenely simple. The main character Randy finds a magic sword in the center of the lake and, in the best traditions of King Arthur, pulls it out of the stone. By this, without knowing it, he dooms his village to monster attacks. The locals, without thinking twice, expel the boy, but our hero is not very upset, because he is waiting for a moderately exciting fight against the whole evil empire. Randy will not be alone in fighting the dark forces: almost immediately the boy meets the impulsive Primm and the amnesiac Popoi. Fighting friends do not hesitate to use a variety of weapons and, unlike the protagonist, they know how to conjure.

As in any self-respecting action RPG, the battles here take place in real time. Enemies can be seen on the map, as in some The Legend of Zelda. The opponents here are as cute as a selection – round fluffy rabbits, snoring goblins that don’t even look like goblins, archer foxes. But don’t let the seeming harmlessness fool you! Enemies are painfully punished for mistakes, and you will definitely make them. And if not you, then the party members, led by artificial intelligence (this, however, can be avoided – you just need to hand over the controllers to your friends and play in co-op).

The combat system of Secret of Mana is based on attack and retreat: you lunge, and then wait until the attack bar is full to hit the enemy again with full force. If you hit when progress has not reached 100%, then either the blow will be very weak, or the hero will miss altogether. Since there is no parry in the game, and dodging is automated, all battles are reduced to maneuvering between opponents and striking at the right moments.

Secret of Mana game review

The arsenal of heroes is impressive – here you have swords, and spears, and whips with axes, even chakram, like Xena, is.

With magic, the situation is somewhat different – it does not have a limiter scale. When switching to girls, you have the opportunity to cast elemental spells. Primm specializes in support and healing, while Popoi specializes in offensive magic. Using this or that spell, the heroine cannot miss, and this is good, but not when working against you. If any “boss” starts to cast powerful magic, you, alas, will not have a chance to dodge it.

Knights of the Round Menu

The original Secret of Mana came out on the SNES back in 1993 and was pretty good for its time. The HD remake of the game retained all the charm of the original and added a number of important innovations to it. First of all, the change in graphics is striking – two-dimensional landscapes and sprite characters have been replaced by the three-dimensional expanse of the PS2 era. The game is made simply and tastefully (perhaps even too simple). It is very bright, saturated, but not very detailed. Also, the heroes of Secret of Mana now speak with real, human voices, and not speech bubbles. English dubbing is done to the conscience, but fans of the original can always switch to Japanese in the menu. Subtitles in Russian, unfortunately, are not provided.

We’ve also added an autosave feature and the ability to expand your inventory to accommodate more health-restoring items. Agree, four healing sweets for a group of three heroes is criminally few, but twelve is a completely different story.

The menu wheel remains unchanged – one of the main features of the original. It is from him that the change of equipment, the choice of weapons and magic, and the viewing of the statistics of the heroes take place. In addition, new items have been added to it – for example, a story log that will tell you where to go next if you suddenly listen to an important conversation.

Secret of Mana game review

I would like to scold the game for too flat heroes and the division of characters into good and bad. The authors of the remake did not rewrite the story, but included additional scenes in hotels in order to give the trinity liveliness.


Secret of Mana is the perfect remake, taking into account the features of the original and carefully transferring them to three-dimensional space. All innovations in it are logical and appropriate. However, some problems of the original Secret of Mana remained unresolved, and now, in 2018, they look like a belated hello from the 90s. Despite this, we hope that the modernization of the Japanese classics will not stop there, and in addition to the remake of Final Fantasy VII, we will have many more rethought JRPGs.

Pros: updated graphics and music; the ability to simplify the passage of autosave and an increased supply of items.

Cons: for all its 3D, the graphics of the game are very simple; the story itself is boring; the artificial intelligence is weak, and constant loading will plague even the most patient players.

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