Square Enix’s 3D remake of magical RPG Secret of Mana is now available on Steam, but the reception has been less than ideal.
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This year marks 25 years since the original Secret of Mana, aka Seiken Densetsu 2, was released for the SNES. In celebration of the classic RPG’s anniversary, Square Enix developed a full 3D remake, including a modern overhaul of its graphics, soundtrack and controls.
However, the reception from critics and players alike has been mixed at best, with a Steam metascore of 68%. Frustrations typically arose from bugs, graphics and combat; the word which pops up again and again is “disappointed”.
The most upvoted negative review on Steam cited the game crashing, low difficulty, “Gamecube graphics” and poor AI as negative aspects of the remake. However, the user found “the game plays like the original and feels that way.”
That sentiment is echoed in many of the “recommended” reviews, with many players finding the remake a fitting tribute to the classic RPG and embracing the updated features.
“So far this is a faithful, excellent remake to a game I love from my younger years,” one Steam user wrote in their review. “The game feels very much like the original, but they seem to have altered the fight engine a little so that the weapons work in much more robust ways. The old charge attack system is there but because of the 3D environment it works a bit more fluidly.”
However, some disagree, finding the combat cumbersome and infuriating, while others were deterred by bugs which caused the game to crash.
“I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this disappointed by a remake,” Kotaku’s Jason Schreier wrote in his Secret of Mana review. He went on to call the remake’s rearranged music score, “dissonant melodies and irritating screeches.” Polygon’s Jeremy Parrish was similarly unimpressed, saying “Secret of Mana’s remake emphasizes the parts of the original that didn’t quite work while leeching all joy from the parts that did.”
Secret of Mana is now available on Steam for £39.99 (£29.99).