The Secret of Mana remake in development at Square Enix is reigniting the nostalgia in many SNES-era gamers. And one of the most exciting aspects of Secret of Mana is its take on cooperative multiplayer, an extremely rare feature in SNES JRPGs. With a modern rework in development, the question on many fans’ minds is whether or not Square Enix will introduce online multiplayer?
While Secret of Mana is being remade for modern platforms, completely reworking the game’s visuals, Square Enix has decided to maintain the core gameplay experience of the original JRPG. That includes only offering offline couch co-op, allowing for three different players to play.
“You have three players sitting next to each other on the couch with three controllers – all playing at the same time. I think a lot of the enjoyment that people have in their memories of the original game relies on that playstyle. We felt it was best to have that recreated in the same way.
Oyamada’s claim seems contradictory, in that adding online play wouldn’t prevent those nostalgic for couch co-op from playing locally at all. The decision not to include online play only denies players unable to partake in couch co-op from enjoying the game’s multiplayer. Perhaps Square Enix didn’t allocate a large enough budget to the project to justify adding online multiplayer, but considering the game’s other changes that might not be the case either.
While online play won’t be included in the Secret of Mana rework, other large and likely expensive changes are coming to the game. Not only are the visuals being reworked, including cutscenes, but Square Enix is adding voice work throughout. As Oyamada explains, the decision to add voices was an easy one:
“When I saw [those], it actually felt very natural. It didn’t feel out of place at all, so when it came to doing the remake of the game, I thought we should go with voices from the start.”
The decision to add voice work but not co-op is sure to raise some eyebrows among those looking forward to the remake. Players can turn off voices if they want a more authentic experience, Oyamada admits, but co-op fans won’t get to make the same choice if they want to go online
For the most part, Secret of Mana will otherwise remain as identical to the original as can be managed. Character, enemy, map, and combat design should all be as remembered. Cutscenes and dialogue may be different, as the new visual level of the game and added voice work calls for more intricate character interactions. Other changes, or at least that Square Enix has revealed so far, include controller configurations and menu editing. Whether Secret of Mana delivers on its promise of authenticity, despite the changes, remains for Square Enix to show.
Secret of Mana releases on February 15, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Vita.
Source: Game Informer