Like mana from above: Heroes of Mana

If you’re like me and you require more out of a game than “fps pew pew pew army mans frag tag blah blah blah”, then you’ll probably also looking forward to Heroes of Mana, the next in the line of Square-Enix’s epic but often under appreciated RPG series. It takes place in the Mana universe, set before Seiken Densetsu 3, also known as the ‘Mana game that slipped though the cracks’ as it never saw a U.S. release.

Coming to the Nintendo DS, this is the first in the series to go the strategy RPG route, using the stylus and touch screen to command units and select targets. It’s nice to see real-time strategy coming to the DS, as it seems like a perfect match for the console. Heroes of Mana also supports a Wi-Fi mode, so maybe we’ll get lucky and see a network battle feature.

A visit to the newly updated Japanese page for the series, titled The World of Mana, is highly recommended as the Web site itself is an incredibly beautiful work of art. Clicking on the Trailer link, you’ll find a newly uploaded Japanese commercial for the game, as the Japanese release comes March 8th. Taking the Heroes of Mana link brings you to the game’s section of the site, where you’ll find wallpapers and a couple of very nice screensavers for both Mac and PC.

Mana series, RPG, and strategy fans are all waiting on a U.S. release announcement because this time a fan translation will do nothing for a game requiring a stylus and touchscreen. Fans feel pretty good about this coming across the pond, but heep your fingers crossed anyway.

Dale North