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Square Enix announced that an official remake of Secret of Mana is underway, and the classic 1993 16-bit JRPG for the SNES is being remade for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and on Steam for PC. The game is scheduled to release in the early first quarter of 2018, and for the first time ever gamers can play it in full 3D.
The trailer gives gamers a quick look at the intro of the game, featuring a fully orchestrated rearrangement of Hiroki Kikuta's classic theme for the classic Japanese RPG. Kikuta really is one of the more underrated composers from the 16-bit era. Obviously, Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda have sort of become the iconic composers from that golden age of gaming, but Kikuta is right up there with them.
After getting a taste of a high-quality, orchestral arrangement of the theme song, and the iconic intro splash that was also the game's box art, about 30 seconds into the trailer we finally get a small glimpse of what the actual game looks like.
We see the main character, Randi, in full 3D with a complete set of HD textures and new-school lighting.
Aesthetically, the game is probably best compared to an HD version of Final Fantasy VII from the PSX, or Tales of Symphonia on the GameCube. The graphics are definitely sharp thanks to the full HD resolution, and the anisotropic filtering for the texture maps. When it comes to the shaders, things are kept pretty basic, with the game foregoing any dynamic character maps or real-time ambient occlusion or shadow mapping. This gives the game a very bright and high-saturated look, almost similar to the older Kingdom Hearts games.
The trailer gives a brief look at some of the environments and special effects, such as transparent water. We also get to hear Randi for the very first time since the start of the Secret of Mana franchise, speaking in English.
The trailer rounds out with the three main characters riding on the flying dragon before it fades out and reveals that the game will launch on February 15th, 2018 for PS4, PC and PS Vita.
The news went live originally over on the PlayStation Blog, where the project lead at Square Enix, Francis Santos, talked a little bit more about what gamers can expect from the overhauled remake, including both full English and Japanese voice-overs.
The team is keeping a lot of the core mechanics identical to the original 16-bit SNES version, just fitted for today's generation of gaming.
There are even some pre-order bonuses being made available, including a Moogle Suit from Square's other popular JRPG franchise, Final Fantasy, and a trio of tiger outfits for the characters as well. The best part about it all is that the three-player cooperative will still be intact when the game releases next year. However, there hasn't been any word yet on if the co-op will extend to online multiplayer as well.