The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie Review

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie 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. 

Note: This review may contain spoilers but the biggest ones are being kept under wrap as they are worth experiencing without prior knowledge. 

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie is like coming home. This is a title, that for better or worse, is for the longtime fans of the series as it jumps right back into the swing of things with both the Special Support Section and Thor's Military Class VII(s). For new players, while there are some notes and nods to past events, I could only recommend starting WAY back with Trails in the Sky First and Second Chapters* as those cast members will also play an important role in the events to come. 

Trails Into Reverie is almost like a Trails “After” Azure meets Trails of Cold Steel V as it’s a direct sequel to both of these adventures. With the war and ensuing Great Twilight having come to an end in Erebonia (Cold Steel) and the Azure Tree and Crossbell being liberated (Zero / Azure), you would think that these heroes would finally earn a well deserved break. Unfortunately for our very large returning cast, the series is called The Legend of Heroes for a reason!

Before getting started with Trails Into Reverie, players should make sure of a few things. The first is that you should ensure that you have your clear data for Trails From Zero and Trails to Azure, as you get rewards for both, and a combined reward for both together. The second is that you should ensure that you also have your clear data from Trails of Cold Steel III and IV as it’s the same thing. The tricky part here is that the clear data from Trails of Cold Steel IV is only available after unlocking the true ending which is also the path that Trails Into Reverie follows. So without it? You could be confused and also miss out on a few extra bonuses.

Unlike the last few entries of Cold Steel which in particular found a way to mesh main and side quests together in the form of field trips or operations, Trails Into Reverie wasn’t afraid to move away from the well established format. Instead, Reverie moves back towards the more streamlined JRPG approach but holds its own twist and turns that if I said anything specific would spoil a fair amount so I’ll keep those as light as possible. 

Starting up with Crossbell’s Special Support Section’s liberation of Crossbell itself, the opening act was a thrill ride to get back into the swing of things. This prologue helps to expand upon Trails of Cold Steel IV’s ending dialog of Crossbell and actually allows players to experience it. From there though, Reverie allows you to either continue on the adventure with Lloyd as Crossbell prepares to finally sign its independence, or, switch over to Rean who’s still instructing the new Thors Military Academy’s Branch Campus Class VII. This switch? Can be done at any time which I really enjoyed. Adding to this you can also switch to a third point of view as the mysterious “C” returns to the spotlight once that's available.

These three points of view mesh rather well together and a lot of it lies with how the switch between can be done. Being able to switch between at any time and not worry about losing any progress was fantastic. What was also a great touch is that each independent story can only move so far before events lock themselves and you need to switch over as a built-in spoiler prevention. Sometimes these blocks could be because of specific dialog which would blow your mind as the whys and the hows. Other times these blocks are actually gameplay related as one group needs to do something for the other in order for them to move forward as all roads lead to Crossbell. 

In terms of gameplay, not too much has changed since the most recent Trails of Cold Steel IV. While most of us would have recently played the older Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure that we recently and amazingly localized, Reverie takes all the new and shiny and adds in a few more interesting mechanics. Arts and Crafts are both back and to up the ante a bit, everyone’s favorite ARCUS (All-Round Communication and Unison System) units are back with some neat little upgrades with a new higher level of Quartz slots allowing for even more powerful magical abilities in combat and stat boosts. 

Alongside the more powerful magical abilities, the combat tactics have also gotten an upgrade. While BP (Brave Points) are still being used for Rush attacks (2 people), Burst Attacks (4 people) and orders (individual range of 1BP to 5BP), there are now Unity abilities that can be used which consume your AP points. AP was previously used to get a better head start on the enemy with three whole turns. On top of that, now AP can also be used to get everyone including the combatants in reserve in on the action. Attack, Arts or Healing, each of these powerful moves can easily change the direction of battle and the only catch is to both AP, and more than four party members available in battle.

This new feature alongside all of the pre-existing ones are all going to be extremely important to use to their utmost as without them? Well let’s just say that there is no hand holding and with levels already starting over 100? You’re going to need to be mean especially in boss fights. If you can “cheese” an enemy? Do it. Otherwise there are cases that no amount of grinding will save you even if Reverie provides you with the ultimate grinding ground.

Unlike the other titles in the series, the meshing of each group's paths has one other feature that has been added and it’s the Reverie Corridors. These corridors can just about be accessed at any point in time unless you’re given a head’s up. Otherwise, to level up your characters either buy or upgrade their gear. As each group finds their way over, your inventories will mesh, meaning that ANY character can have access to ANY equipment or Quartz that is on hand. This alone made certain parts much easier, but at the same time, because this is there, there are some pretty nasty boss fights in the wings.

Clocking in around 40~45 hours all depending on how much time you spent in the Corridors alongside the main story, there are probably countless other hours to be spent in there. If we are talking about pure screen time, Lloyd, Rean and “C” have the most as they are the three main protagonists. Other members of the Special Support Section, Class VII new and old, members of the Bracer’s Guild, the Church and even Oroboros will show up, but it’s these three that steal the limelight. While this alone would have been ok because the story has epic pacing and others do get some good screen time in, the Corridors have a few other special treats for players.

Aside from having floors that resemble the old school house in the original Trails of Cold Steel, the Reverie Corridor also has a “gatcha” system. This system rewards you for the amount of time you spend going through its dungeons and resetting them to do it all over again. The rewards span from new characters outside of the main three protagonists parties, new equipment, a return of Pom Pom (Doctor Mario, Yoshi Cookie, basically Tetris Versus), a return of Magical Girl Alisa as a SHUMP (Shoot ‘Em Up / Bullethell) AND Daydreams.

Unlike the other titles in the series, the meshing of each group's paths has one. Daydreams are basically side content that explore the various characters of The Legend of Heroes series. At first I thought that these were directly related to the characters present for the latest adventure, directly or indirectly. As they continued to unlock it was nice to see characters not present here, but that played a major role in prior events. The best part of these Daydreams is that they could give Konami’s Metal Gear Solid IV a run for its money in terms of time not playing and instead enjoying cutscenes with a bucket of popcorn! When you experience these Daydreams however? That’s up to you. I saved mine for post game breaks from grinding experience to defeat the FINAL boss.

If I had two issues, one would be in the voicing over. The voice overs themselves are amazing. Both the returning English cast and the newly cast which were previously Japanese only. Where my issues lay is that a few lines could be voiced over and then suddenly it switches into text only, to eventually finish with one more voiced over line. I have no issues with a mix of these elements but the mix would be better split between cutscenes and not all in the same one. The other is the gameplay speed. It felt great until you speed it up and once slowed down it feels so slow. I wish that a balance could be found and then simply let us speed up how fast combat flows. Otherwise in the grand scheme of things these are not big issues.

I really enjoyed The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie. It was really well paced. I enjoyed the mix of characters from across the various titles that we’ve had the chance to explore and I’m really looking forward to the newest entries in the series that treads ground that we as players haven’t seen yet over in Calvard. 

Score: 8.5 / 10

* Note: I really need to play Trails in the Sky the Third which moves away from Estelle and Joshua.



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