The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie Assessment

Ever needed to expertise the Marvel Cinematic Universe of RPGs? The Trails sequence is strictly that. Extra particularly, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is the Avengers: Endgame of RPGs. It’s the end result of three totally different subseries inside Trails and 20 years’ value of meticulous storytelling, simply totaling over 100 hours of gameplay time between its story, fight, and post-game actions. Regardless of a bloated forged of characters ensuing from combining the expansive Trails sequence, impeccable pacing makes each occasion and interplay manageable. With its politically partaking story and strategically enjoyable turn-based gameplay, it is the most effective RPGs of 2023.

Reverie is ready to pack a lot content material in as a result of its overarching story is cut up into three routes, every with a special primary character. By switching between views, it’s in a position to hold its varied plot twists and revelations recent, and I by no means felt like I used to be lingering on one specific route too lengthy earlier than I needed to make progress on one other.

Followers of the Trails sequence will undoubtedly acknowledge the primary protagonist, Rean Schwarzer. I’d gotten uninterested in taking part in as Rean as the principle character of the 4 video games within the Chilly Metal saga – particularly, the story round him involving some worldwide disaster in Chilly Metal IV was messy and convoluted. Nevertheless, Reverie redeems Rean by giving him a way more centered storyline for his route, and I used to be impressed at how cleverly it expanded on his arc from Chilly Metal IV.

The second protagonist, Lloyd Bannings, surprisingly has the weakest route of the three. I immensely loved the Crossbell ‌duology that he originated from; Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure inform the story of Lloyd and the Particular Assist Part combating for the town of Crossbell’s independence. Reverie retreads that very same story, making Lloyd’s route a bit boring in comparison with the opposite two. It’s additionally central to Reverie’s general story, which is just a little disappointing since I’ve seen all of it earlier than.

Reverie redeems Rean by giving him a way more centered storyline.

The third route follows a brand new character named C, and it’s simply one of the best Reverie has to supply. A lot of the mystique in C’s forged comes from all of their unknown backgrounds and wonderful chemistry: C, the one grownup within the group, wears a masks and a deep voice modulator – what’s his true id? Swin Abel and Nadia Rayne are each youngster assassins, however why have been they roped right into a harmful occupation at such a younger age? And whereas Swin and Nadia needed to develop up quick to be able to survive, their amnesiac companion Lapis has this harmless childlike curiosity in regards to the world. Their mixture of personalities is extremely entertaining, and interactions between them are at all times enjoyable to observe.

You possibly can change between the three primary characters at any time utilizing the cleverly named timeline system, Trails to Stroll, however there are specific factors in every that stay locked till you’ve made progress in one other route. For instance, in a single part, each Lloyd and C should work collectively to be able to make their approach via two totally different services as their respective locking mechanisms work in tandem. I actually loved the best way mechanics like this make the three tales really feel intertwined, but in addition permits house for his or her particular person tales to shine.

Reverie does have a difficulty with a massively bloated forged – there are over 50 playable characters.

Reverie does have a difficulty with a massively bloated forged – there are over 50 playable characters coming collectively from the entire earlier Trails video games, which is a variety of faces and names to recollect even if you happen to’ve performed each single one. Nevertheless, it manages to let every character get comparatively equal quantities of the limelight, and in doing so it permits folks to work together with one another the place they by no means might of their respective origin video games.

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For instance, watching Crossbell Police Division detective Alex Dudley and Rean’s classmate Machias Regnitz reward one another’s studious personalities is so satisfying. Even different characters who overhear their dialog word how they’re each so related. It’s moments like these the place I felt like Trails into Reverie was fanfiction executed proper.

Nevertheless, by its very nature it’s not an approachable recreation for newcomers. The story absolutely expects you to know who these characters are, and it wraps up all the arcs of the Crossbell duology and the Chilly Metal saga; if you happen to don’t know what these are you’ll be totally misplaced. Loads of characters from the Trails within the Sky trilogy make appearances as effectively. It’s a frightening job, but it surely’s extremely really useful to play the entire different video games earlier than Trails into Reverie. Having performed them, the overwhelming familiarity and nostalgia have been value it.

Having performed all of the Trials video games, the overwhelming familiarity and nostalgia have been value it.

Trails has probably the most meticulously designed battle methods in any RPG sequence – not like Remaining Fantasy, Trails has caught to its turn-based weapons right here – and Reverie isn’t any exception. You possibly can have as much as 4 totally different get together members on the sector at one time, however different characters in your lively get together will be switched in and may also present assist from the sidelines. There’s numerous nuance that goes into the totally different choices you could have throughout battle, from positioning your characters on the free roam-based battlefields to managing a turn-order timeline. You’ve a excessive diploma of freedom in how one can strategy and dictate the circulate of battles.

A very satisfying one is how you need to use sure assaults, referred to as Crafts, to not simply influence a personality’s placement on the move-order timeline but in addition expose them to bonus harm results. If an enemy’s timeline icon reveals a important hit impact, that’s a possibility to delay that enemy’s flip in order that the flip order adjustments to certainly one of your characters, thus guaranteeing a important hit. These incentives stored me engaged and centered all through all the marketing campaign’s value of battles, particularly on increased difficulties the place capitalizing on these openings is essential. One unsuitable transfer and the enemy might wipe out my get together, however overcoming a difficult boss felt rewarding.

As an entire, the Trails sequence emphasizes the theme of teamwork, and Reverie’s battle system has a number of different cool options to strengthen that. For example, enemies are weak to sure weapon sorts, and hitting them with the suitable weak point permits certainly one of your allies to do a follow-up help assault to earn Bravery Factors (BP).

With three BP stacked up, you’ll be able to launch a Rush twin assault with an ally, and 5 BP will be spent to launch a Burst assault the place all 4 get together members pile up on the enemies, much like Persona’s All-Out Assault mechanic. However that’s nothing in comparison with the newly launched United Entrance assaults, through which your complete get together, even those on the sideline, rushes in from off display to assault. I like this help system as a result of I felt the camaraderie via gameplay, not simply ‌within the cutscenes and story.

I felt the camaraderie via gameplay, not simply ‌within the cutscenes and story.

BP will also be spent on Orders, that are party-wide buffs that may flip the tide of battle. Is the boss charging up their final assault on the timeline? Three BP activate Lapis’ Order, Pallas Coppelion, which reduces incoming harm by 60% for the subsequent six turns. Nevertheless, we’re given good trigger to watch out about when to make use of these highly effective bonuses: Bosses may also launch their very own talents, referred to as Dis-Orders, which might have related results like lowering your get together’s harm output, canceling your present Order within the course of. Every time bosses pulled them out, I’d instantly have to regulate to a extra defensive playstyle to be able to hunker down and wait till the impact wore off. Dis-Orders are a good way to shift the momentum again towards the boss simply after I thought I held the higher hand, holding me on guard even when a struggle appeared prefer it was already over. It stored battles dynamic and thrilling, forcing me to suppose shortly on my ft.

Reverie additionally has a bunch of customization choices for how one can construct out your characters. Need to make Rean’s ninja murderer, Fie Claussell, an evasion tank so enemies miss their assaults on a regular basis? Simply slot her up with gems (referred to as Quartz) that enhance her evasion stat – and likewise her counterattack vary if you wish to give her a free assault on the enemy’s flip. There’s no function I couldn’t tailor particular characters towards, be it a healer or magic person. I might spend hours optimizing my Quartz setup for my get together – it’s that engrossing.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie Assessment

The options that Reverie’s battle system introduces could appear overwhelming at first, but it surely’s nothing {that a} Trails veteran can’t choose up shortly – and once more, if you happen to’re not a Trails veteran, you most likely shouldn’t be taking part in this till you’re.

In a recreation that’s so centered on its characters it’s essential that they appear convincing, and Reverie does its forged justice. Whereas they aren’t what I’d count on from a big-budget recreation like Remaining Fantasy XVI or Persona 5, they’re nonetheless an admirable enchancment over earlier Trails video games. Particularly, character fashions look much less stilted and don’t awkwardly transfer their limbs when strolling or waving their arms whereas speaking.

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Reverie’s soundtrack is superb, too. Rean, Lloyd, and C all have totally different battle themes and so they match appropriately and reinforce their respective characters. Rean’s electrical guitar-heavy theme displays the vitality that he embodies throughout battle, whereas Lloyd’s appears like an anthem, becoming for a nationalist hero like himself. C’s theme incorporates extra piano, giving it a extra swish feeling to match his calm demeanor.

Fixed Customization

Characters may also equip costumes that don’t have an effect on stats – it’s simply there if you wish to play dress-up with varied objects like hats and swimsuits. You possibly can earn a number of of these costume objects simply by taking part in via Reverie’s primary story or fulfilling aspect quests, however lots of them are earned via a randomized dungeon referred to as the Reverie Hall. Right here, all three protagonists and their events have been whisked away to a special dimension the place they’ll work together outdoors the principle story’s occasions. The catch is that they will not keep in mind what they have been doing proper earlier than arriving, and so they additionally gained’t keep in mind what transpired within the Reverie Hall once they exit. It’s a bizarre however very intelligent strategy to have all of the characters collect in a single place to work together with one another earlier than the finale when their paths in the end converge. Moreover, any character ranges gained contained in the Reverie Hall will switch again to their house dimensions.

Reverie Hall’s randomized nature is much like that of Persona 5’s Mementos: you’ll struggle via a number of flooring after which battle bosses on the mid and endpoints. There’s additionally a gatcha system, however don’t fear: there are not any microtransactions or real-world forex concerned in any respect. In truth, Trails into Reverie even advised me to reload a save simply in case I didn’t obtain what I needed! A few of these rewards embody additional characters who appeared in previous Trails video games however did not have a presence in the principle story. Whereas these characters can’t be used outdoors the Reverie Hall, they can be utilized as Tagalongs, which means which you can nonetheless activate their particular Orders and so they’ll additionally take part in United Fronts.

You’re solely required to progress via the primary two Stratums as a part of the principle story, however afterward, you’re free to place it off for so long as you need. The Reverie Hall is the one side of Trails into Reverie that feels a bit misplaced within the story, because the characters are puzzled by why such a spot even exists. Nevertheless, there’s loads of post-game content material that unlocks extra Stratums and divulges additional story context behind the Reverie Hall, in addition to a closing post-game boss and a further ending, and that was a implausible send-off for these mixed sequence and an exit ramp to inform new Trails tales sooner or later.

Digg deep!