One of the biggest complaints aimed against Square Enix these days is how little it supports its older, lesser known franchises.
Secret of Mana, once a proud flagship title for the company, has been a hard act to follow up on. The series’ future took a turn for the worse when Square Enix launched a revival campaign called World of Mana, and every game caught in its wake stunk of rotten sushi and effectively killed any further chance of it seeing the light of day. The shining beacon of hope that is pointing towards a quality release can be found in the track’s composer, Yoko Shimomura. A new Mana game would look quite nice next to Bravely Default and Dragon Quest VII on my Nintendo 3DS menu screen, wouldn’t it?
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.
The menus take some getting used to after the simplicity of The game's predecessor, but very cool.
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As part of their anniversary celebrations for the Mana series, Square Enix planned to bring the original composers back to pen an arranged album each.
For better or worse, the synth upgrade on Secret of Mana Genesis is quite modest — most are similar to those Kikuta used on Alphabet Planet and are on par with the average DS game. Nevertheless, the upgrades are rarely enough to impress listeners and some are even detrimental to the originals. This album goes some way to revealing "What would Secret of Mana sound like if it were made today?".
Whatever way one looks at it, Secret of Mana Genesis -Seiken Densetsu 2 Arrange Album- is half-baked. The label of a Square Enix Christmas compilation seems to suggest so, holding songs from a game using the series’ Japanese title, Seiken Densetsu Future Project.


Poor receptions of revivals could be the main culprit in these decisions, and nowhere does that stand clearer than in the Mana series.
A few sequels such as Secret of Mana 2, never released outside of Japan, and Legend of Mana had some neat ideas and were fun games in their own right, but the universal praise of the SNES classic still hasn’t been matched.
Interviews with series creator Kouichi Ishii also don’t show much enthusiasm on his part. Hopefully the unannounced game might be something better like an original Nintendo 3DS adventure.
She has been behind many wonderful game scores and ranks fairly high on the all time great lists with titles like Street Fighter II, Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, Kingdom Hearts, and the Mario and Luigi games to her name. Hiroki Kikuta's Secret of Mana Genesis -Seiken Densetsu 2 Arrange Album- featured a reinterpretation of Secret of Mana's music. While Secret of Mana Genesis -Seiken Densetsu 2 Arrange Album- does reflect the origins of Hiroki Kikuta's score, it is anything but an arranged album.
While the samples in the original "A Curious Tale" were low-quality, they were arranged and mixed perfectly to capture a carefree vibe in the game.
To satisfy the large fanbase out there, Square Enix could have requested a fully-fledged arranged album along the lines of Kenji Ito's Re:Birth. Listeners shouldn't expect to hear rich orchestrations of "Fears of the Heavens", rock band renditions of "Danger", or, in fact, any major compositional deviations from the SNES score at all. For example, the rich, nuanced string and piano samples of "Fear of the Heavens" bring out the spirituality of the game's title theme and inspire one to reminisce about the start of the adventure.
Kikuta only resynthed 16 of the 43 tracks from the game's score, selecting those tracks that are most symbolic and well-known from the game.
Alternatively, they could have asked for a resynthing of the complete Secret of Mana score. Ana a?ai?e?iaee ia o?aee Secret of Mana naaeae yiiiao Oe?iee Eeeooa (ii ?a a 1993 aiao ienae iocueo aey ea?u).


Some have described it as a major disappointment, others a nostalgic novelty, though most are in agreement that the definitive Secret of Mana musical experience lies in other album releases. Instead, the album recites a selection of Kikuta's original music files from Secret of Mana note-for-note with new samples. Listeners can find out this for themselves by reading the Japanese fine print on the album's official website, though many are likely to be misled by the album cover.
The choral samples also add a more personal perspective to hidden gem "Still of the Night". The change will be sufficiently minor that many won't be bothered by it, but it's enough to make it flawed compared to the original. Get the still-available Seiken Densetsu 2 Original Sound Version, Secret of Mana +, and Symphonic Fantasies for the definitive experience of the classic's music.
It's easy to imagine these tracks working beautifully on a portable remake of the game — they're conceived with inspired composition, enhanced with superior samples.
The heavy-handed approaches extend to "Danger", "Flight into the Unknown", and "Prophecy", all very different tracks on the original that have much in common here: excessive amplification, little dynamic variety, still-dated samples, and muddy mixing. It doesn't help that the track times on this 57 minute album are inconsistent — some tracks such as "Steel and Snare" and "The Second Truth From the Left" repeating for four to five minutes ad nauseum, others such as "Together Always" and "The Little Sprite" cutting off much sooner or not being present at all.
Secret of Mana's score could have benefited from a complete expanded, resynthed interpretation across two discs. Iiaue CD aee??aao 16 eiiiiceoee, eioi?ua, noay ii nyiieai, cao?ao aanuia aeecei e i?eaeiaeo.Aeuaii iiyaeony 8-ai aaaonoa 2012.



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