It’s the big countdown! Just as you pull out your advent calendars to count down the 24 days to Christmas, so too are we going to count down in our own way, by highlighting 24 games that you could play this month to get into the spirit of the season.
Christmas means different things to different people, but we see it as a time to get together with family and friends, relax after a long year’s hard work (and, given this is 2020, it was an especially hard year), enjoy good food and good company. It’s a good time to knock off that epic RPG you’ve had sitting in the backlog, or crack open the beers (or eggnog) and get stuck into the local multiplayer battles.
Each day we’ll highlight one game that you could have a great time playing over the Christmas season. It’s not a countdown, nor is it a “best of” list. It’s not highlighting new games, nor old. It’s just 24 games, one per day, that we love the idea of breaking into over the season. Have a great and happy season, everyone!
Game #7: Trials of Mana
As silly as it sounds, the mere existence of Trials of Mana is an early Christmas gift in my eyes. For over two decades, the sequel to the Super Nintendo’s beloved Secret of Mana lingered at home in Japan. Alongside fellow JRPGs like Mother 3, it built up a cult status as a neglected sequel and one of the best import games around. It was genuinely jaw-dropping when Square Enix finally localised the game and released it in a budget-priced physical collection last year. I don’t think anyone was expecting a full-fledged 3D remake to be announced alongside it, though.
If you’re in the mood for a JRPG with all the extra time Christmas affords, you’ll be pleased to know Trials of Mana is a fantastic remake worth picking up. Yes, even if you’ve never touched a Mana game. It respects the source material but doesn’t shy from drastically modernising the visuals and gameplay in meaningful ways. If nothing else, let its global release be a joyous tale of patience and perseverance.
– Clark A.