It’s been over a week since Echoes of Mana launched worldwide, and as you might expect, the Legend of Mana stan has been at the game. I did also try out the Japanese closed beta last year, so you can check out my impressions of it for additional context here.
In this respect, there has been no overt changes to how the game looks. HACCAN’s art, the slightly arranged music in stages from the featured game, voices for the Legend of Mana cast… I can now confirm the story is not fully voiced besides the voice clips from characters you can get on the homescreen. It’s unfortunate, but this is also not unusual for a mobile game, so that’s alright.
The gameplay loop hasn’t changed much either. Now that I do have the game in English, I can actually understand how the systems work.
Skills still use MP. Depending on the weapon type, they have different ranges / effects and “weight” when used. Axes, for example, can be “charged up” to fill your Special Technique bar. The ST then contributes to the “Mega Spirit Magic” in the top right, with the magic level relying on how upgraded / rarity of, the Memory Gem of the character who used the ST. There are no invincibility frames on skills, and they don’t appear to be available on ST use either as I’ve gotten interrupted mid-cast.
The Auto battle AI is still terrible, ignoring interactable items and does not use Mega Spirit Magic. Their dodges are pretty hit or miss. You can set their rough “behaviour” through the Strategy options on their character page, but I can’t say this is particularly great either. The two “stamina” bars have been kept, but they still consume stamina even if you fail a quest.
Individual equipment pieces have random starting stats, and at level thresholds, can gain random bonus stats and upgrade the randomly. Not great, when drops are honestly not that great. The jump in power requirement between stages, if you’re looking to Full Auto, is a bit much, more so when upgrading characters can be quite hard. While there is the “traditional” elemental chart, the weaknesses are applied only against the enemies.
Characters have an initial level cap, raised when you “unleash” them further (up to 6 times to provide passive bonuses for themselves / weapon type / support partner), and further when you raise their star level. When players are squirreled away in their own servers and no return of stamina on a failed quest, there’s a problem brewing if you’re relying on people to get co-op rooms for High Level quests. You can only get so far trying to rely on same-element boosts, which differ based on the rarity of the characters partnered together.
One of the High Level content is the Twillwool Tower which uses stamina so uh, I don’t really like that aspect. If you can raise your characters enough, there’s a 5-star you can redeem, which I doubt most of us will be able to reach yet without massive grinding.
Without making a whole separate section on it, the gacha has the reduced (?!) rates, but now has a spark system, letting you get the rate-up character in 200 pulls.
As a fan who’s here specifically for the Legend of Mana characters, it’s… fine, really. The amount of currency you can obtain is somewhat decent, the gameplay decently engaging but not auto friendly, the writing gets pretty amusing at times too.
It’s still early, so with a little more quality of life improvements, Echoes of Mana is one I can lightly recommend.