Readers know I’d been reporting on an ongoing saga of Mana trademarks by Square Enix, which finally culminated in the Collection of Mana announcement at E3 2019. I’m ecstatic that Seiken Densetsu 3 is finally, officially available in English as Trials of Mana, and I’ve preordered a physical copy of the game. However, it was a massive curve ball when Square Enix also unveiled a Trials of Mana remake, which is looking prettier than the Secret of Mana remake ever did. But with good news comes bad news: Trials of Mana remake has no multiplayer cooperative option.
This comes from a fact sheet provided by Game Informer:
Unlike the SNES original, there is no co-op in this version. The developers say they want to focus on the single player part of the game, so you won’t be going through this one with your friends.
But… but guys, the game already supports three party members! It wouldn’t even require much additional game balancing to add multiplayer support. It seems to me that the only added challenge for the programmers would be to develop a camera that could support three characters at once. And based off my vague recollections of the fan translation from many years ago, the story was never a strong suit of SD3 in the first place, so how much emphasis does the single player part really need?
I’m just really confused and disappointed by this news. But there are silver linings. Chiefly, Collection of Mana can already give you a multiplayer fix with Secret or Trials of Mana right now. Plus, aside from this big oversight, the remake seems to be shaping up nicely. The game is beautiful on Unreal Engine 4, character AI is reportedly improved, and the story is being expanded. And according to GI, the producers even desire to remake the rest of the Mana series, like Legend of Mana from PlayStation 1.
Let us know what you make of this strange decision. Then check out this much happier story about how Square Enix wants to offer up its whole game library digitally!