Armagon Posted April 21, 2018 Share Posted April 21, 2018 (edited) Hi, it’s me Armagon and I finally played The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. I’ve heard many good things about this series (mainly that it’s good, I hadn’t really heard anything specific prior other than that they must be played in order) so I decided to check it out. This game not only served as my introduction into the series but also Falcom in general, as I’ve never played any of their games before and I must say, It’s good. I really liked the game so I’m here to share my thoughts, listing them in bullet points that i've broken up so it's easy to read. What I liked The characters. Characters are always more important than the story itself in my opinion and this game manages to avoid the problem that most JRPGs have, that is, you have characters that are relevant and characters that aren’t. Keep in mind that I’m specifically talking about party members (so obviously people like Mayor Klaus aren’t really gonna be relevant). Having party members come and go was a smart decision both gameplay-wise and story-wise. The story was also good. It’s not a super amazing story but I also know that this is just Part 1 of a much grander story. This isn’t an issue, but the story was somewhat predictable. While the events themselves weren’t predictable, every chapter aside from the prologue basically went like this: Estelle and Joshua go to a new region > They meet the party member(s) of that chapter > something big happens > the heroes save the day > Estelle and Joshua get a recommendation from the Guild > they go to a new region > repeat. Even the final chapter was mostly this, aside from the big plot twists revealed at it’s end. The reason I say this isn’t an issue is because I don’t really care that the story was somewhat predictable. The story was still good and that’s what matters. Chaos Brand is busted in this game and my favorite Art in the entire game. Who knew inflicting confusion would be so much fun? I basically cheesed the tournament in Grancel with this method because Chaos Brand works on literally everything except the final two fights in the game. Tita’s adorable Zane is best boy Kloe is best girl Shoutout to the fact that the name of the Goddess in Trails is literally just the Spanish word for “goodbye”. I mean, they added an extra “i” but I find it hilarious that it’s just the Spanish word for goodbye (Adios) and I’ve totally be pronouncing her name wrong, haven’t i? ·Music was pretty decent, especially the boss themes. And of the songs (the one that plays in the path that leads to the Royal Academy and also the one that plays in the path to the Royal Villa) reminded me a lot of the song that plays in Route 10 in Pokemon Black/White and that’s a good thing. Can I have a link to that please? The worldbuilding in this game is pretty good. I loved how after each chapter, you could buy a newspaper basically summarizing what had just happened, as well as details on the Hundred-Days War (which I kept misreading as the Hundred-Years War for the longest time). Speaking of the world, I love how….familiar it feels. Yeah, you’ve got magic and monsters and other fantasy stuff but other than that, it’s a pretty modern world. Just replace airplanes with airships. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite game world but it’s definitely up there. The combat is pretty good. It’s kinda like Fire Emblem but on a much smaller scale and it reminds me of another game I played with a similar with a similar combat system called Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven, a game that’s been on my backlog for a year because the Switch has taken over. The use of combining crystals in the Orbments to use Arts was pretty fun and it allows for variety in future playthroughs. I really appreciate that Falcom didn’t put random encounters in this game. They could’ve, but they didn’t. I don’t hate random encounters, I just prefer not having them. Getting those preemptive strikes is so good. The little bits of dialogue when you check a chest that’s already been opened. “You already took everything from the chest, what more do you want?” “Nothing but disappointment.” I love those. The final boss was a mecha. Can I expect more mechas in this series? I like mechas (the actual fight though…..well, I’ll get into that) That option where if you lose a fight, you can try it again and the enemies would be weaker each time. I had to swallow my pride and use it on some fights but hey, it works. What I didn’t like Everything’s too damn expensive in this game. It’s pretty hard investing in equipment for Estelle and Joshua (and not anyone else because investing in anyone else really isn’t worth it since they leave at the end of the chapter and when they come back, they're better equipped) because any money you earn from quests is spent so quickly just buying one or two pieces of gear, because the money you get from quests isn’t a lot. You don’t get any money from killing monsters. Instead, you get the crystals that you can use for you Orbments. Which is good on paper. In actuality, you can also trade those crystals for money but the game wants you to use them on your Orbments instead, since more Orb slots=more Arts and more EP to use. Until you’ve opened up all of the slots on your Orbments, there is no reason for you to ever trade in the crystals for money. I didn’t really have a whole lot of money until after I won the tournament. So there are two types of chests in this game: brown ones and colored ones (usually gold or blue). The colored ones have good stuff in them, usually powerful weapons or strong equipment. Here’s the catch: opening a colored chest initiates an optional boss battle (I can tell because of the music). You get whatever is inside afterward. I thought it was just something that occasionally happened but no, this was intentional. Every colored chest has a boss inside that you have to fight before getting the item inside. It reminded me of Xenogears where the random encounters were weird as fuck, as you’d could get them by opening chests. Except in Trails’ case, that’s intentional and it’s not random and it's actually a boss fight instead of a normal battle. All that did is make me not wanna open colored chests because I was just gonna be ambushed every time I did. I mentioned quests. The quests themselves are fine. I was actually reminded of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series (particularly Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky) with the way quests were handled. The problem is that if you as so much progress five minutes into the story, like half of the quests you’ve accepted (or haven’t) expire. The prologue gave me the impression that you’d have to do a certain amount of quests to progress the story (like in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon), since you had to do those three quests before chasing the Sky Bandits to get the crystal back. That’s not how it works at all though. It’s just for the prologue. I remember I accepted a quest in Rolent that involved searching for a cat. I thought I would save it for later and did a bit of the story stuff. Haha nope, when I tried doing the quest, I checked my notebook only to find that the quest had expired. I didn’t even progress the story that much. I pretty much gave up on quests upon reaching Ziess because even though I wanted to do them all, the fact that they expire so quickly means that doing them all would cause the story to progress at a snail’s pace. That in turn, had the effect of me getting even less money and possibly being underleveld? Whenever new characters would join, Estelle and Joshua would always be the lowest leveled of the group. So while the combat itself is fine, I didn’t really like the bonus system. There’d be times where I lost battles because the enemy got a free, guaranteed critical hit. I feel like Falcom wanted you to strategize with those bonuses but like, you can’t really do much about those bonus placements. The most you could do is delay the enemy’s attack with Joshua’s Flicker Craft or something with that effect (and that’s just a maybe) but other than that, what you see is what you get. It’s good when you get those bonuses but the bonus system added an element of randomness that I didn’t really like. This appears to be a staple of the series though so I’m just gonna have to deal with it. Also, escort missions sucked because sometimes the NPCs would use up bonuses that you could've used instead. Better than the enemy getting it at least. Another part of the combat that I didn’t like was the way S-Crafts were used. 100 CP to use an S-Craft, that’s straight-forward. It works. The part I didn’t like was that it drained your CP meter completely. Even if you had more than 100 CP when using an S-Craft, it still drains all of it. You could have 200 CP (the max) and use an S-Craft and it’d still go down to zero. And the only S-Craft that has an additional effect with 200 CP is Kloe’s. But like, I feel that if I was able to save up 200 CP, I should be rewarded by being able to use S-Crafts twice (because 200-100=100). The only reason I can think of why they did that is to balance S-Crafts but like, Chaos Brand is more broken than any S-Craft in the game and I don’t see any restrictions on that. This is more of an issue I have with the JRPG genre itself and it’s not exclusive to Trails in the Sky but there were no maps in dungeons (most of the time). Like, c’mon. I never got lost but I would love to know where I’m going. Not having maps in dungeons is one of my issues with the genre. Another general issue with the genre that Trails in the Sky just so happens to have is fallen allies not reviving after each battle. There were a few times in the beginning where I ran out of reviving balms, so I had to run out of the dungeon and go all the way back to an inn just to revive fallen party members. Having those restore stations helped but those things just don’t exist apparently. I was under the impression that they’d be in every dungeon but I was wrong. Camera angle is kinda bad actually. Mainly in cities where there’s a lot of big things. The camera angle just kinda blocks your view. While the music is good, the regular battle theme isn’t. It’s not bad, it’s just forgettable compared to the rest of the songs in the game. That King Penguin boss fight can go die in a massive fire. That thing was way too tanky. Even Zane, who was 10 levels higher than everyone else, struggled to take it down. · The final boss, specifically the second phase, was one of the worst final bosses I’ve ever fought. Tons of HP. Reinforcement spam. Sometimes, the final boss gets to act again after calling his buddies. Multiple times. Can cancel your Arts. Reinforcements can heal and place barriers on the final boss. Reinforcements blow up, hurting anyone (and by anyone, I mean specifically the player) nearby so you have to take them out from afar using Arts or Crafts (have fun using Arts when the final boss can just cancel them though). Massive AoE attacks that you can literally do nothing about because the final boss and his buddies are immune to every form of status effect, even simple things like lowering Strength. That Craft that Kloe and Schera have that can nullify Arts and Crafts? Yeah, that doesn’t work here. I know final bosses aren’t meant to be easy but this was just tedious. The only good part about the fight was that as you dealt damage, the final boss would lose ability to do things (like that damn Art canceler). So yeah, those were my thoughts. I really did enjoy the game and I’m gonna keep going. I just started Trails in the Sky Stardust Crusaders SC and once I’m done with that, provided SC doesn’t end on an immediate cliff-hanger like the first game did, I’ll dive into the Ys series before going back to finish Trails in the Sky 3. Gotta figure out what I’m gonna do with Cold Steel though cuz uh, I really hope my PC can run those games when I get to them (and yes I know I should technically do Crossbell before Cold Steel but only the first Crossbell game has a fan-translation, which isn’t even complete as far as I’m aware). Edited October 28, 2020 by Armagon Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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