End of an Era

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is the epilogue of both the Crossbell and Erebonia arcs of the Trails series. It’s also the first in the series to get a release on PlayStation 5. Unlike Trails from Zero, Trails into Reverie follows graphical enhancements after Trails of Cold Steel 4 rather than the recent release of the remastered PSP game for western audiences. The game therefore takes on the format of update graphics and new gameplay mechanics meaning we will be seeing all characters with full 3D models and with the game having a cast of over 50 playable characters there is a lot to get through.

Trails into Reverie takes place some months after The Great Twilight, to avoid spoilers The Trails into Reverie does contain Plot Summaries from past games much like the games before them. If you are here wanting to delve into Trails into Reverie chances are you are already up to speed, if not then there is a plethora of previous games full of fantastic character driven story to get into.

Trails into Reverie takes you straight into action. Fans of the Crossbell arc will be pleased to see their favorites Lloyd, Juna, Elie, Tio and Randy opening up the game. The game has you starting off at a fairly high level which makes sense considering the characters you have been through with in the past games have grown and the level reflects this. The protagonists past and present from the Crossbell and Erebonia Arcs all return here and all of them are playable. With each of the main characters having their self contained story arcs known as the Crossroad System, the game offers three narrative arcs in which you can play, this may sound overwhelming especially as the Trails series is well known for having many cutscenes and at times feels padded with dialogue, honestly I can say that Trails into Reverie feels a lot more balanced when it comes to storytelling segments. That’s not to say the game does not have an absolute abundance of dialogue though, especially as the none-playable characters you will meet all have individual and strong personalities. This is nothing new in the Trails series at all, it just feels a lot more fuller especially with all the events which have happened during all arcs over the series.

Trails into Reverie sticks with its tried and tested turn-based gameplay which makes the game a staple favourite of many JRPG fans including myself, especially when many games are adopting new styles of gameplay. While Trails into Reverie has the same style of gameplay it does feel fresh especially as new mechanics have been added, both in and out of battle. While you do have the linked and all out attacks and powerful CP moves at your disposal. Trails into Reverie has a new United Front mechanic that allows you to do a team wide attack which has the full force of your reserve members behind you allowing you to do big damage or a powerful save healing your party in a sticky situation.

Battles are a simple affair for anyone familiar with the series but newcomers may and most likely will feel overwhelmed. At least Trails into Reverie will open up tutorials on just about every feature the game has to offer. These new features definitely make battles fresh even if some of the mechanics feel familiar, this is helped by smooth battle transitions, stunning details and faster gameplay, the game is also the best looking it has ever been. Alongside familiar battles features we have seen in the past games many others make a return in Trails into Reverie such as mini-games, cooking and the ability to change your characters outfits. There is plenty of character building to be had especially with such a huge cast of characters now and while that can feel overwhelming and rightly so (for most) I for one enjoy the aspect of it and never grow tired of it.

The True Reverie Corridor is a new feature which at this point really feels like a breath of fresh air in the series. While the series is known for following a story and is definitely not on the linear path when it comes to gameplay, the past games have never felt like they had a place where you could freely explore and grind with incentives for doing so. This is where the True Reverie Corridor comes in, you are able to freely explore a randomly generated dungeon in a realm which offers resources and the ability to upgrade certain abilities and systems within the game. Not only that you can unlock character related episodes, quartz and character costumes.

The music and sound is as phenomenal as it always has be, Nihon Falcom never compromise on music in this series, it is up there with some of the very best composers in Final Fantasy in my opinion. You know when a piece is from a Trails game because it leaves you feeling either invigorated, calm or a sense of pumped euphoria ready to take on whatever boss or crisis that is about to happen.

Overall Trails into Reverie feels like a perfect ending to the Ebonia and Crossbell arc, seeing all the characters come together and having three playable story sections feels like one final party with all the characters you have grown to love throughout the series. Its honestly hard not to recommend this game to anyone but if you haven’t play any of the Trails games up to this point, you would be doing yourself a massive disservice for not doing so. As tempting as it may be to delve into a shiny new game, jumping in at the end of such a fantastic story with so much world building and I’d highly recommend anyone to go back and play the games as they should before diving into Trails into Reverie.

A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by NIS America