Echoes of Mana is another fantastic game by Square Enix. It is the latest game of Square Enix’s Mana series. The game was announced during the 30th-anniversary stream which was on June 27th, 2021. Just like the past titles, the game has elements from the past titles but has quite a few new additions. Koichi Ishii’s desire to make a fictional world of his made this series come so far. Today we will be talking about this new title, with detailed pros and cons. Here in this article, we will review Echoes of Mana and share our first impressions of the game.
Experience the magical lands as a Swordsman along with Hawkeye
Starting off with the Echoes of Mana review, once players are done with selecting their preferred region and language, they can get to character customization. Currently, the game offers the option of choosing between a male and a female character, and the options available look quite good. After that, players can pick a name for their character although the limit is just 9 letters and can be changed later.
The game offers its own save file system. It’s cool because you don’t have to use the Google Play Games service to save progress. The save file system, it makes players easy to continue playing from where they have left easily. The save file protection system works on password-based security. This password setup can be done on the title screen. This system is advantageous since it’s possible to import the saved files on any device.
With that the initial setups are complete, now it’s time to head into the game and explore the world. The game will make a follow-up through the storyline of becoming a Mana Swordsman and starts with a character named Hawkeye being thrown into jail wrongly and then, you enter the game, blasting Hawkeye out of the cell. After that the movement and combat tutorial starts, which is quite a long ordeal that leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Immerse in the new story featuring characters from the original Mana series
With two fights done during the tutorial period, the game will show a part of the story. The story is amusing, easy to understand, and engaging enough to push players to play through. It is divided into chapters and sections. The basic plot is about how Echoes are memories and the tree bears mana as a fruit.
During the gameplay, the player will meet with new players with new enemies to engage you. The story dialogues are also good to follow since they get interesting and sometimes humorous. The game belongs to the action RPG genre and there are different types of attacks and gauge readings to be taken care of during a fight to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Watch out for the health bar during fights. It’s important to retain it. The battle UI is also simplistic and adequate. It really brings the controls to you at ease and there are options to select other members to accompany you during the fights before starting one. The fights can be a little hard but they’re not frustratingly tough.
The game offers co-op based gameplay where you can team up with your friends
There are multiple game modes including Co-Op which is a little rough at the current stage but still technically works. The game has a room-based multiplayer system. But joining the room felt like a bit of a hassle and the loading time felt quite long. Chances are that the game could crash or you could get kicked off the matchmaking.
One thing good about the multiplayer system is, that playing with other players with coordination takes the experience to a next level. The AI-oriented enemies are not that much hard to beat and could use some fixing. If you want to though, you can go solo. One other issue is the stamina system, which is also not the best if you want to do a long and continuous grind but refilling the energy points doesn’t take too long. Square Enix could do better to help with the stamina system and the auto-repeat system of the different levels.
The gear equipment is definitely a point worth mentioning here. With many options to upgrade your characters, different statistics, and power-ups to maintain, pairing a suitable weapon is also a must. The combat feels mid-paced. Players won’t feel like they are flying through it, but also won’t feel dull. But the repetition of the same levels can be a little boring.
Decent graphics comes with clean audio that goes with the theme
Now we will talk about graphics and audio. The audio is quite good and it really fits with the theme of the game. It’s really pleasurable to listen to and varies from scene to scene. Aside from the game theme, the audio feels nice to listen to. The graphics are also decent. In a low spec device, the game might stutter in a few scenes. But overall, it will run properly.
The character development was also made with great effort. When characters are zoomed in, the details are noticeable. The facial expressions are also on the mark. The scene graphics are not highly detailed, but not too bad. The combination of both makes the game more exciting. But mostly, you have to focus on enemies and plan what your next move will be. Unfortunately, there is no audio for a few characters in the game and at times the character’s lip movement isn’t synced up with the audio.
No ads, but IAPs are a usual part of the parcel for every gacha game
Now let’s talk about the privacy aspect of the game. As we know, almost all apps aggressively track users, even when not in use. And speaking of Echos of Mana, the game mildly attempts to track users when they are out of the game. 8 attempts in 1 hour. At present, this level of tracking is normal, in comparison to other apps which have higher tracking records.
Privacy-wise, it has done well. There are no ads in the game that will show up during gameplay and in terms of the IAPs, which the game does have, players don’t really have to spend but like all gacha driven titles, paying for in-game resources with real money does help with the progression. Now the IAPs can be quite costly though.
Overall from our review perspective, Echoes of Mana sounds really interesting and exciting and it is quite a decent title. The developers did put a lot of effort into the game and it’s paying off. But after brief gameplay, It felt like there could be more improvements to make the game better. There were issues with the AI, the game lagged and loading took a while, the game crashed a fair bit and there were a few other issues here and there, including the problem where the actual game files are stored in the cache.
For a fan of the Mana series, it’s a title worth a try. Anyone who is new to the name Square Enix, they have many more popular titles under their belt with Mana being one of them. It won’t be bad to check the developers by trying this game. You might end up liking the game despite all its flaws. It’s not as good as some of the other titles in the series but it’s a decent game overall.
What are your opinions on the Echoes of Mana game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments below!