At this point, I don’t think it needs to be said, but just in case here it is: I love JRPGs! JRPGs are easily my favorite type of games and I’ve spent a lot of time with them. All this being said, I was more than happy to check out The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is a game that was released for Windows about 10 years ago, but it didn’t get released stateside until 2011. This release was for the PSP, which put it right at the end of the console’s life before the PS Vita came along. Luckily, a new release of the game recently became available on Steam.
When The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky was first released on Steam, it had some issues. The biggest issue was an error that wouldn’t allow players to save setting changes. This made it so that players couldn’t change button mapping or resolution. This had me staying away from the game at first until a fix for the issue was discovered. It was actually really easy to do and solved all of the issues that were present.
Gameplay in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is a mix of strategy and turn-based RPGs. Players can move around the field freely and are taken to a separate screen for battles. The battles are fought in a turn based system that relies off of a character’s speed to determine when they can attack. Movement in battles is limited to a grid based on a character’s Move stat.
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There are a few extra features in battles that makes The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky stand out from other JRPGs. The first is S-Craft. S-Craft allows players to perform special moves on enemies. CP points used for these skills are collected by attacking and taking damage. Once a player reaches 100 CP, they can unleash a special attack. What really makes this stand out is that players can choose to activate S-Craft abilities whenever they want. This allows them to jump up in the turn order and potentially cut an enemy off from benefits offered in battle.
The next feature that makes The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky battles interesting are the added benefits. These benefits appear in the turn order and are given to whichever character takes their turn when the benefit is up. The benefits include critical attacks, extra damage, more money and other such things. These combined with S-Arts makes for an interesting system of when to use specials to get the best benefits in battle.
The story and world of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky are rich and full of detail. The game sets up players in a world that has lots of history to it. This includes wars, political conflicts and ancient technology. The ancient technology plays a large part in the game and is what has molded the world into what it is.
Players take up the roles of Estelle, Joshua and several other characters in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Estelle and Joshua are an adopted sister and brother out to find Estelle’s father after he goes missing while on a quest for the Bracers.
The Bracers in a guild in the world of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky that handles just about any job. Joshua and Estelle start off as Junior Bracers and use the search for Estelle’s father as a means to travel the world and move up in the guild. This has the two taking on several quest along the way.
The Bracers guild acts as a place for players to obtain quests in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Many of these quest involve slaying a troublesome monster, but there are others that add interesting side stories to the game. The side quests aren’t mandatory, but I found myself completing all of them that I could while playing the game. It never once became boring, which I attribute to insanely fun combat, and offers more to players interested in squeezing additional time out of the game.
The graphics in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky feature 2D sprites in a 3D world. The spites in the game have a fair amount of detail to them. Special attention is given to each characters’ special attacks and other combat elements. There’s also a lot of detail to be seen in the world, which keeps the environments fresh and interesting to look at.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky features some alright audio. The game has voice acting during battle and it’s well done. I only wish some additional voice acting could have been given to the rest of the game; even if it would’ve only been for really important moments. The music in the game is also good. However, I noticed that several songs in the game sounded almost exactly like songs I have heard in other Japanese games and media. It doesn’t mean that the songs were bad, but I can’t say they were all that original either.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. The game is $20 on Steam and it’s easily worth it with roughly 50 hours of entertaining gameplay. It’s also important to note that this is the first game in a trilogy that has been out in Japan for quite some time now. The second game has been announced for a United States release via Steam in either 2014 or 2015. Hopefully sales do well enough to warrant the trilogy’s full release in America.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky earns 4 GiN Gems out of 5!