When we are led to test the remaster of a masterpiece that rocked our adolescence, the main danger is to be polluted by this nostalgia that would make us miss a certain number redhibitory defects; and the first of the list is obviously the graphic aspect of Secret of Mana. We want to believe that the budget granted by Square Enix was not unlimited – especially since the house has other more important priorities at the moment – but in this case, it would have been smarter to postpone the site to more later, or simply to keep the 2D of 1993. There, we find ourselves with a realization disfigured by an abominable 3D, the whole sprinkled with colors which eat the retina like acid. If the magic of the intro still operates, we are not far from fainting when we attend the famous scene where Randi puts his hand on the sacred sword near the waterfall. Not only are the textures and the chara-design pitiful, but the facial expressions remain frozen. Even for that, Square Enix was unable to release a ticket. Lamentable. With such a level of mediocrity, Secret of Mana has no right to boast with its 60fps, 4K being also an anecdotal argument. In short, could the developers have done worse? Maybe not so dirty, but we find that the re-orchestrated music is not as intoxicating as that which we knew when we were younger, although this is the area in which Square Enix has less wallowing.
There, we find ourselves with a realization disfigured by an abominable 3D, all sprinkled with colors that eat the retina like acid.
We just spit without shame on the choice of 3D, but as surprising as it may seem, there is however a positive point in all this. Indeed, after comparing with the Secret of Mana included in the Super NES Mini (practical), we realized that we could only hit in four directions (up, down, left, right). In this remastered version, taking diagonals into account makes it possible to hit opponents in any position, which offers new angles of attack that are quite valuable in tense moments. Unfortunately, this improvement is only short-lived, because in terms of ergonomics, nothing has been done to facilitate navigation in the various menus. We must therefore always wrestle with these multiple wheels which, if they are painless at the start, end up killing the rhythm over the changes of weapon and spell. It's still amazing that in 2018, no one on the team thought it was essential to remove these pesky repeated validations, the characteristics of enemies / bosses constantly changing. No doubt in a flash of genius, however, the developers have implemented two shortcuts that are supposed to make life more beautiful, but which are only limited to R1 and L1. Yes friends, there are so many keys on the DualShock 4 that they preferred to do without them. Hat.
On mobiles, we remember that despite a lack of clarity, it was possible to guess the inventory of each other. Here, it's a total mess: when you want to switch from one character to another, no icon is displayed highlighted to avoid tangling the brushes. More than once we were convinced that we had switched to Popoï when, ultimately, we were still on Primm. Even if it means importing all the faults pointed out 25 years ago, Square Enix is once again imposing this musty pathfinding that could ruin a game. Clearly, there is no need to strive to show the way to our partners since they will always end up getting stuck in winding corridors, or in a clearing where the grass has not been mowed. Suddenly, the best solution is to rush to "recover" his acolytes in the next area, crossing your fingers so that there is not too much damage; otherwise, you will have to consume a cup, the price of which can be high if you are dealing with a merchant who is too greedy. It's true that we are strict with the game, but despite all the flaws it may have, we sign right away to close it for the umpteenth time, even with its broken face. Our enthusiasm is probably biased because we know the true face of Secret of Mana, both solo and with others. Moreover, it will be necessary to be satisfied with the multi local, Masaru Oyama (the producer of the game) having absolutely wanted to remain faithful to the original work. Playing with friends is an effective way to erase the wanderings of the AI, knowing that the level of difficulty is lower than on SNES. Of course, you have to take the time to level the weapons and the magic, but the task is less daunting than before.