What you need to know
- Square-Enix's classic "Mana" franchise hasn't had a new mainline entry in over 15 years.
- That ends in 2024, with Visions of Mana kickstarting the franchise for a new age.
- Encouragingly, Visions of Mana will also launch day one on Xbox as well as PlayStation and PC, marking improved relations between Microsoft and Square Enix.
After fifteen years, Square Enix is finally building a new mainline entry in its famous Mana franchise. The series has spawned an array of spin offs incorporating various genres over the years, but remains an action RPG at its absolute core. Named Seiken Densetsu in Japan, the Mana series spun off from Final Fantasy in the early 90s, and has appeared on various platforms, from the OG Game Boy to the iPhone. Visions of Mana is described as a "mainline" entry in the franchise, and looks truly stunning, judging by the below trailer.
"I am delighted to finally be able to reveal Visions of Mana, the first mainline instalment to Mana series in over fifteen years. The development team have been working hard to ensure that Visions of Mana remains faithful to the series that players know and love while also offering fans and newcomers a fresh new experience with an all-new story, characters, and gameplay mechanics," said Masaru Oyamada. The Mana Series' lead Producer continued, "We cannot wait to share more details about the game with you soon."
Judging from the trailer, Visions of Mana will continue the series' tradition for vibrant, colorful art with a hand-painted style, complete with action RPG combat. Square Enix describes the game as "heart warming," and there's certainly a sense of that from the above trailer.
For Xbox fans, Visions of Mana represents something of a turning point for the brand. Notoriously, Square Enix has been skipping the Xbox platform for its games in recent years. Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Final Fantasy 16 both skipped Xbox, as well as the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Over the summer, Xbox head Phil Spencer appeared on stage at the Final Fantasy Fan Festival to announce that Final Fantasy 14 will finally hit Xbox, and Square Enix confirmed its intent to bring more games to the Xbox platform. Visions of Mana could represent the beginning of that improved relationship, beyond Final Fantasy 14.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!