The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - PS4 Review

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure by developer Nihon Falcom and publisher NIS America Inc.Sony PlayStation 5 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is the direct sequel to Trails From Zero that we happily received last year. Continuing on the story of Lloyd, Elli, Randy and Tio, players who have played through Trails of Cold Steel will finally find out just what happened in Crossbell while the Civil War was raging in Erebonia.

There are a few things to be happy about here. The first, is that we, waves globally, are finally getting to see the entire events that transpired in Crossbell. The second, is that these events give more background into various cast members to Trails of Cold Steel III and IV, but also to the upcoming localization of Trails Into Reverie that sees everything up to this point in the timeline converge. Sky, Zero / Azure, Steel. Finally? It's damned good and solidly gives us a new 40-50 hour experience in a city and its outskirts that we've already spent 40-50 hours exploring.

Sequels oftentimes find themselves in a tough spot. How do you stay faithful to the entry before it while still keeping things feeling new and interesting? This can be doubled down when it's another entry into a long running series. Falcom thankfully has that down pretty well especially considering how many entries this series has before even considering the Ys Series.

So starting up three months after the events of Trails From Zero, Trails to Azure returns us to the point of view of "a day in the life of" the Special Support Section of the Crossbell Police Department. The start of every day sees the issuing of a series of tasks in an order of importance and of time to complete. Do you have to do all the tasks? No. Some of these could be ignored completely if you're trying to rush through, but that would be a disservice to yourself, and to the design and localization teams. Queue montage!


It’s been years, and I still can’t figure it out… what is ‘Zure,’ and why do the trails lead to it?

What is the difference between an RPG protagonist and a rare metal collector? One treasures your steel, and the other steals your treasure.

My name is Inigo Chestoya. You opened my father. Prepare to die.

Talking treasure chests? Oh, Lloyd… You’re so tired, you’re speaking nonsense. Here: let’s get you some shuteye. Just step inside and close the lid…

Congratulations on beating Chst IX: Monstrum Knox. <- Hilarious in its own right as Ys IX: Monstrum Nox came out in 2019 while this was originally released in 2011.

Dunno much about the orbal net, but cloud storage sounds like heresy. Chestkind should not infringe upon the domain of Chestios, She Who Stores Above…

Take me down to the Crossbell City where the Plemora is blue and the girls are pretty, oh, won’t you please take me home?

To sum it up, I’d say she’s… a bat out of Gehenna? <- Yay Meatloaf Bat out of Hell reference

Messages of thanks

Thank you to the Geofront for giving me the chance to help release the definitive version of the Crossbell arc in English. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. -- ‘AG’

Though it had its ups and downs, I’m grateful for the opportunity working on these two games gave me. -- ‘AZ’

This series set my path in life with its incredible focus on attention to detail. I was led to finding a community--a group of friends and passionate fans. Together, we made two wonders we can be eternally proud of. -- ‘NB’

Back to the review

Back to the reason that we are all here though, that's one of the major draws to this series. The level of depth that goes into any aspect of the story. Main events or simply side content, each of these are well crafted and worth going out of your way to explore. Not all of these events will be added to your journal once you check in at the start of the day. Some of these require exploring the town and speaking to residents to see if there's anything that could be helped with.

The visual style and gameplay are nearly identical to Trails From Zero with only a few small tweaks such as the inclusion of Burst Mode for battle. Burst Mode allows all four party members to act instantly, removes any cast time, recovers all ailments and can interrupt both enemies arts and crafts. This can't be used all the time but more within climactic story events. So, unlike most things that you may be saving up for on a rainy day? This should be used whenever possible. Plus you get a 20% attack power boost and your Craft Points regenerate automatically.

Getting around another feature that a lot of sequels have issues with, new Enigma units for Orbal Arts are assigned at the very start which easily explains why you have to restart your quartz collection from scratch in order to cast arts. Your Crafts at least are still intact and will continue to improve, but when it comes to the spells to cast? It may take a while before they are back in your hands for some serious damage.

In terms of more accessibility in getting around, you are only forced to "walk" for the first small portion of the game. This is highlighted by one of your characters saying they are neither designed or dressed for it. Sorry Wazy! You should have worn better boots if you're going to keep up with the rest of the veteran Special Support Section and military personnel. From there though, you are given a car which makes taking public transit a thing of the past unless you've parked down the highway while chasing after dangerous monsters. If you did? You can tell your car to go home and you can pick it up there. Yay!

All of this comes together so well that it's shocking that this was all originally only available in the palm of your hands with a PlayStation Portable like Trails in the Sky before it. More impressively, is how this 9/10 adventure, will definitely be playing again, managed to steal some magic away from two other titles.

Having come out long before Trails of Cold Steel III and IV as well as Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, I feel like their magic was lessened a bit by Trails to Azure. Trails to Azure, probably should have been split between two titles itself. The first two thirds probably brought me up to some 35 hours and I’m certain I missed a bunch of things. The last act though, was a 15 hour thrill ride that did away with the day in the life of and instead went for a “this just got real” Crossbell world tour adventure. You had strict goals and it channeled the linear JRPG route but in such a great way that it was so hard to put down.

The reason I feel like it lessened the magic of the other two is in the “how” it had done it. In the later Trails of Cold Steel entries, you essentially end up within the same format of gameplay and it felt so fresh compared to the “a day in the life of” as the Thor’s Military Academy Class VII are learning a different route which is half Bracer, half Military. They have that flexibility and so, they generally have the same gameplay flow. So when you get to the linear, well written parts, they feel new and fresh. Seeing that it had already been done, well I felt like that magic disappeared but made my appreciation that much more for this title that was done on a previous set of hardware that you wouldn’t even think could handle that load.

As for Ys VII: Lacrimosa of Dana, I felt like there were some design choices in some of the late game dungeons that looked so cool in there, but diving into them here? It too had already been done, making me once again appreciate this all the more because of how long ago it was originally released. This could obviously also be just an over romanization of how freaking good Trails to Azure is as both a sequel and a finale to its story arc. That and that it’s been a very long time since I’ve played Trails in the Sky Chapters 1 and 2, that I need to replay those and then Chapter 3 to brush up on Estelle and Joshua’s adventures.

That said though, seeing that these all came before made Trails to Azure all the more impressive. Not only that, but the localization team did such a fantastic job. There is A LOT of dialog in this game, voiced over in Japanese or simply plain text. In either case, it’s on the screen, it had to be translated, and they obviously took some liberties such as the joke about Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. They had fun with it and it only increased how much fun it was to go through.

So overall, The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is a great conclusion to the Crossbell Arc. While only two titles, both of these are action packed, contain some twists that I didn’t exactly see coming and were really hard to put down as hours could go by and only feel like minutes. Thank you Falcom and NISA for bringing these two games over as well as the continued work on the series!

Score: 9 / 10


Post a Comment

Random posts

Our Streamers

Susan "Jagtress" N.

S.M. Carrière

Louis aka Esefine



JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada

JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada
Light, Medium and Dark Roast Coffee available.

Blog Archive