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Adventures of Mana available now, fans push for Vita release

by Ron Duwell | February 5, 2016February 5, 2016 9:30 am PDT

As a sort of a PSA for the JRPG crowd, Square Enix’s Adventures of Mana is available now on iOS and Android for $13.99. Square Enix has once again delivered a steep price to pay, but impressions around the net, even from long jaded Mana fans, have been solid enough to say it might be worth it. However, one lingering and universal opinion is holding this back from an outright recommendation.

Touch controls are not ideal to control the game with.

Fans want physical buttons, and they want them now. The touch screen controls adequately get the job done to an extent, but one too many missteps against the game’s tougher boss fights have left fans feeling like they are missing out on a full experience.

Making matters worse, a Vita version does exist in Japan among a good many other Vita games that Square Enix has not localized into English. Square Enix hasn’t published a single PS Vita game outside of Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster and the venerable Army Corps of Hell. What’s up, Square Enix? The Vita not big enough for you in the West or something?

Producer Masaru Oyamada also shared an open letter with fans.

Hello there everyone.

This is Masaru Oyamada, the producer of Adventures of Mana.

This game was originally released on the Nintendo Gameboy in 1991 as Final Fantasy Adventure, and went on to become the start of the Mana series.

As you can see by the fact it even had “Final Fantasy” in the title, many of the staff who worked on the project were deeply involved with the Final Fantasy series, such as Mr. Koichi Ishii, the father of Mana, as well as Mr. Yoshinori Kitase and Ms. Kazuko Shibuya.

In doing this new 3D remake, we made sure not to upset any of what made it great in the first place, while putting in things that were impossible to depict under the limitations of the original Game Boy hardware and making it more comfortable and intuitive to play, as befits a modern game. The sound side has been upgraded too, with the original composer, Mr. Kenji Ito, returning to add an updated and even more dramatic re-arrangement of the soundtrack.

I will be very happy to see Adventures of Mana, the starting point for the whole Mana series, being played again by the people who played and loved it when it first came out, as well as by new players who will get that same emotional experience that people did the first time round.

And don’t forget the secret phrase “knight for a day” when you set out on your adventure…

I’m falling into the “no Vita, no buy” category for this one. I try to avoid being so stubborn about platforms, but when touch controls clearly hold a game back from being the best it can be, what choice do I have? I don’t want to play a version of a game knowing that there is a better one out there that its publisher is sitting on. Shame, because Final Fantasy Adventure is one of my favorite games.

I won’t tell you not to, though. Adventures of Mana is available now for iOS and Android for $13.99. If you share my sentiments, be sure to let Square Enix know.

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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