Should You Play Secret of Mana's Remake or the SNES Original?

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD | The latest episode of our RPG podcast goes in-depth on Kingdom Come: Deliverance and the Secret of Mana Remake.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

Should you play the Secret of Mana Remake or stick with the 16-bit original? It's actually a valid question now that you can easily access it on the SNES Classic! Nadia and I address those questions and more as we explore the recently released remake on the newest episode of Axe of the Blood God [download link here].

But that's not all! I've also been playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and I have a number of thoughts on its approach to RPG realism and medieval history. Plus, the Cosmic Star Heroine Report is back, and Nadia and I talk about how our parties have come together, the wildly varying settings we've been exploring, and what we want out of our random encounters.

Where to find us (Subscribe, rate, and review!)

Show Description

Nadia returns from her adventures in Japan to discuss why the Secret of Mana remake doesn't hold up to the original [15:00]. Meanwhile, Kat is playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance [27:00], and she has thoughts on both its attempts to be ultra-realistic and its approach to medieval history: Plus: The Cosmic Star Heroine Report returns! [44:34].

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 12

  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #1 Monkey-Tamer 30 days ago
    I wish the new version had a classic mode for those that prefer the old sprites. It's not like it would take up a lot of space.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for odaiba-memorial #2 odaiba-memorial 29 days ago
    @Monkey-Tamer Honestly, this should be an option in most, if not all, remakes. The NiGHTS remake did it, and I loved that.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for riderkicker #3 riderkicker 29 days ago
    Considering I spent a chunk of money on getting the SNES Classic, I might as well play the original version.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for riderkicker #4 riderkicker 29 days ago
    @odaiba-memorial Could involve problems with Nintendo.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for OuiMaisNon #5 OuiMaisNon 29 days ago
    I just want to say that I love the podcast dropping on Mondays. It's a great way to start the week! I hope you guys consider keeping this timeslot :)
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for davedalrymple11 #6 davedalrymple11 29 days ago
    The first time I stepped into the woods outside the Witch's castle in the remake, I was absolutely slaughtered by those Chobin Hoods. They are nasty.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for DrinkingWithSkeleton #7 DrinkingWithSkeleton 29 days ago
    You should play Legend of Mana instead.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for mattcom26 #8 mattcom26 28 days ago
    Deleted 4 weeks ago by mattcom26
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SkywardShadow #9 SkywardShadow 28 days ago
    I just got caught up on my backlog of podcasts, and I really enjoyed hearing the FFIX report, and now the Cosmic Star Heroine report. I bought CSH on release, but my expectations were too high; I was expecting the next Suikoden II. Kat's criticisms really nail my own feelings on the game, though I'm revisiting it with you guys, and I'm enjoying it more now that I'm able to appreciate it for what it is.

    Kat, over the last months you've mentioned how much you enjoy creating and tweaking parties of characters. I wonder if you'd enjoy Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, as I feel that's a core component of the game. It's a Matsuno game to boot!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #10 Gamer-Law 28 days ago
    You know that you are in for a great episode of the podcast when@kat.bailey begins a discussion of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

    In all seriousness, enjoyed the discussion on the the highs and lows of the Secret of Mana remake. If I recall correctly, Nadia was among the first to express reservations about the remake when it was announced. I find myself somewhat surprised that she warmed to it as much as she has.

    Personally, I fall pretty firmly into the Jeremy Parish camp on this remake. It may have been well-intended, but it falls far short of what it could (and should!) have been. Repeated in game crashes, sub-par voice acting, issues with the AI that become especially pronounced in combat—all of these lead me to the same conclusion that Kat arrived the original on the SNES classic.

    Thanks again for the CSH report! I still consider it to be one of the most underrated and overlooked games of 2017. It has flaws, but it invoked many wonderful Phantasy Star memories for me.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for funktron #11 funktron 27 days ago
    Hello! I'm going off memories from listening to the podcast a few days ago, so apologies if I have anything wrong, but I found the conversation ya'll had about RPG battle systems really interesting. Here are some jumbled thoughts on the matter.

    I'm not as far into Cosmic Star Heroine as you all, but I did the battle system so far. I appreciate how different the abilities of each character are and the complicated ways multiple characters can interact. Its system emphasizes each battle, which (plus side!) makes them more interesting, but also (down side!) makes them longer and removes the lizard-brain pleasure of just hitting attack and slaughtering everything. Another minus you seem to have hit is that once you find a strategy that works everywhere, repeating it mindlessly isn't that fun.

    Chrono Trigger, on the other hand, has a more traditional model where your characters get progressively worn down between battles, and managing your MP and resources adds to the tension. As I think Nadia pointed out, you have ultra powerful moves you can pull out for bosses, and the regular battles are interesting enough to be fun without being individually challenging (unlike CSH). I think the lack of random battles let the developers pace things perfectly.

    Another good battle system is Paper Mario's. The special timing to make strong attacks and blocks keeps each battle engaging, and choosing accessories makes for interesting tradeoffs.

    Anyhoo. Good episode. :)
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for moochan #12 moochan 26 days ago
    Dragon Quest seem to have the perfect way of doing common enemies. Great enemy design (seriously Akira Toriyama might be the best monster designer who ever live), good level balance with not too long battles, a nice magic system that leads to using it more often but don't really need to, AI which has some degree of control (and turn off) so you can just sit back and grind easily if you want or if you just want to experience the story. I really can't think of a series that has such a great understanding of basic common enemy battles like Dragon Quest. Even taking from Earthbound/Chrono Trigger with now having wondering enemies instead of random encounters.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for danowar #13 danowar 20 days ago
    Please do not stop prefixing the podcast articles with the name of the show. I'm using an RSS reader and won't find episodes anymore.
    Sign in to Reply