A legend reborn

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless trails is not a new game or IP by any means. This was a Japanese only release on PSP. More than a decade later the game sees a release outside of Japan and on modern consoles with updated graphics. Having had the opportunity to try the game at a hands on event before it’s release was very exciting and I could not wait to get stuck into the full game.

Anyone familiar with the Ys series will fall right into the familiarity that The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails provides. In it’s purest form it’s a Legend of Heroes game merged with Ys like gameplay. The story follows Nayuta and his long term friend Cygna who are both eager adventurers who explore the secrets surrounding their world they live in. While Nayuta is a Scholar and takes interest in scoping out the world Cygna is more of a fighter. However before long a large mysterious object crashes down on the Isle forcing Nayuta to become a fighter and before long he becomes well established in in handling a sword.

The narrative of The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails is a strong one and there is some quirky well thought dialogue in the beginning moments of the game, this however doesn’t last forever and sometimes it can feel a little flat but for how short the game is it is forgivable given how much much fun the game is.

The game itself takes place in Nayuta’s hometown on a small isle with villagers who also inhabit it. Whilst on the isle you can do various activities like side quests and purchasing upgrades, you can even get a doghouse for a stray dog that seems to wander the beach and becomes a friend to Nayuta. On a side note some of the side quests were really interesting, one of the first ones you do will take you on the smallest treasure hunt around the town, it doesn’t sound like much but it makes you need to think with the clues you are given. Once you do get into the thrill of battle soon after some brief exploration in the beginning, you will get to explore stages where you can navigate maze-like paths as well as solving puzzles which can make other objects appear or move allowing you to move forward, being agile as you are you will be required to make jumps to reach new places. You will also need to fight your way through mobs while navigating and avoid traps as there are many such as pitfalls, and each and every enemy has their own attacks and ways of reacting. The combat is a blend of simple hack and slash, dodging and using abilities to take down your foes, this mixes in with the exploration elements and adds for a very exciting gameplay loop. Stages are divided into sections which slowly teach you to be aware of your surroundings, it’s a great way to learn as just hacking away meaningless and taking too many leaps of faith will mean you will end up in trouble especially if you use the in game speed boost. Yes, the game does feature a speed boost, a feature added to all of the most recent Legend of Heroes games and considering the length of those games it is a welcome addition, I do find that the speed boost is almost pointless just because more often than not you will end up getting hit or falling from an edge. It’s better just to use on the more lengthy cutscenes if anything.

When navigating the world you can see what bonuses a stage offers and by completing objectives within a stage you can unlock stamps which allows you to unlock new abilities, an example would be to complete the stage within a time limit. Whilst selecting stages from a map screen makes the game feel less grand, the stages make up for it and it definitely is a fun game and at most times can be challenging if unprepared. Collecting money and items is key to upgrading items as you can trade items into the museum on the island, this itself is a very fulfilling element the game brings as you slowly see what you have collected and see it build up in the museum. As you clear stages and kill enemies you will gain EXP which is key to levelling up and while you can repeat stages over and over it isn’t the quickest way of doing so on it’s own, that is where cooking comes in. Collecting ingredients allows you to make meals, eating these will give you EXP and a health boost and the better meals will give a greater chunk of EXP, the ingredients do not take too long to grind either making them ideal if you want to gain some levels in preparation for a boss fight. The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails has a very good system that allows you to play at your own pace with short burst stages and allowing you to easily grind for those trickier sections. While it doesn’t bring a lot new to the table, It definitely has enough different systems in place to keep the game fun throughout

The bosses are definitely the most fun part of the game, here is where you will need to learn their movements and which attacks can hurt them from a distance, you can’t always just attack though, the bosses are scripted so that your parkour and movement skills are up to scratch. If you are under leveled and not prepared for them they make up for an interesting and fun time.

Graphically Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails looks good, can you tell it is a remake of a PSP game? Yes you can, but the graphics, backgrounds and characters are well enhanced enough to look fantastic on current gen consoles. I have no complaints with the music as much as I try to find fault with anything Nihon Falcom produces, I fail every time.

A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by NIS America