The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie Review (PS5) – Trails Into Reverie is the final chapter in the Crossbell/Erebonia tail that sees Rean and his friends team up with Lyoid and the SSS to take down the last opponent standing in the way of Crossbells independence and Erebonias peace.
What should have been a great sendoff to these memorable characters feels more like a cheap addition that feels like two different games with almost no substance.
The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie Review (PS5) – A Transitional Title That Leaves A Lot To Be Desired
Crossbell Just Can’t Catch A Break
I loved the Trails franchise, and Trails Into Reverie goes far and beyond what it needs to to provide an excellent sendoff to a story that has spanned nine titles. However, Trails Into Reverie provides a main story to explore and get through, seeing another foe rising in Crossbell to stop its independence from being realized.
Most of the story takes place in Crossbell and its surrounding environments, which is perfect for those just coming off Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure which saw first-time releases outside Japan within the last year. Seeing the city in full 3D is excellent; exploring these locations feels like doing it for the first time.
Though the game takes place primarily in Crossbell, you’ll still get to visit locations from the Trails Of Cold Steel series and team up with Rean and his friends as they try and understand the cause and reasoning behind this new foe.
The Illusion Of Choice
The story this time isn’t a linear one. You can select which story path you want to play through out of three main parties. Lyoid, Rean, and a brand new rebellion leader calling himself “C.” Though you can select which team you want to play through first, you still must go through each character.
Events between the three teams play out simultaneously, but you experience them from a different perspective. It’s an excellent idea but doesn’t give you any real freedom. Once you reach a certain point with one team, you must switch to a different team to see how things play out from their perspective. It’s an illusionary choice.
The main story isn’t the only part of the game you’ll have to play through, and it’s here that I feel Trails Into Reverie falters. The Reverie Garden is a unique area where the teams find themselves outside of space and time. This area is supposed to help them strengthen to take down the foe in Crossbell.
The Horrible Blueprint Of A Gotcha Game
Though the Garden ties into the story, it doesn’t feel like it. For starters, the party has no memory of what happens in the main story, which removes the story’s connection. The other major problem is the Reverie Garden is designed like a mobile game. The floors you explore are all randomly generated, adding replayability, but the level design is bland with a repetitive color pallet.
In the Reverie Garden, you’ll find foes that drop crystal Spires of varying colors. You can then use these orbs to unlock new characters and open up side stories of the main characters. Trails into Reverie features over fifty playable characters, but many of them won’t appear in the story, and can only be unlocked in the Garden.
Unlocking characters is the equivalent of opening characters in a mobile gotcha game. It’s random of who you acquire. Once you use a spire, a random character will join your party but only to use in the Garden. You can also unlock plenty of mini-games like bullet-hell shooters and a third-person shooter involving the game’s Soldot machines.
I found most of these mini-games to be rather dull, and the controls for some weren’t the best. One mini-game returns from the Trails of Zero and Azure games that play like a simplified version of Capcom’s Puzzle Fighter is the best of the bunch, and I spend most of my downtime playing through that.
Don’t Need To Fix What Isn’t Broken
Combat remains unchanged from Trails Of Cold Steel IV. The turn-based combat remains stellar, with plenty of strategies to employ against enemies. Learning their weakness and using them to your advantage plays a key role.
One addition to combat is “United Fronts,” another “All Out Attack” that utilizes the Assault Gauge. You get three options with United Front. You can spend a bar of the Assault Gauge to heal your entire team, add a massive defensive boost, or pull off a five-person attack on your opponents.
One thing that will bother players is that when you switch over from one team to another during the campaign, all the equipment, including the weapons and armor that were equipped on said characters, is automatically unequipped. So if you’re moving from Lyoid’s campaign to Rean’s, all of the equipment that Lyoid and his party had equipped will become free for other characters.
It’s a pain because it happens in the Reveire Garden, so when you have over fifty characters in your party, you’ll get dozens of pieces of equipment items in your inventory that are unequipped from the fifty characters in the game.
Visually Showing Its Age
Visuals and audio remain primarily unchanged. The graphics show their age, especially since Reverie was released three years ago on the PlayStation 4 in Japan. The audio this time around is worse. There aren’t any catching themes this time. I hoped some tunes from the last few games would return, especially the excellent combat music.
The worst offender is the voice acting. However, the voice work is excellent, with plenty of returning characters. The lack of voice acting hurts and how it’s utilized. Voice work feels like it’s randomized.
A conversation will start that’s all text, and five sentences in there will be a voiced line from a couple of characters and then go back to just text. It’s perplexing why this was done, and quite honestly gets frustrating.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie is the final entry in the long story that began with Trails in the Sky almost ten years ago. The main story tries its hardest to stay relevant but feels more like what you would expect from an anime movie in the middle of a Shonon anime. It feels like filler content.
The Reverie Garden feels like a test for a Trails mobile game utilizing all the traps a mobile gotcha game uses. It takes away from the main story and the identity of the excellent writing and storytelling I’ve experienced for almost ten years in this great franchise. Trails Into Reverie isn’t the great sendoff it should have been.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie releases on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on July 7th, 2003
Review code provided by publisher.