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The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie Review – A Worthy Farewell to Crossbell and Erebonia

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie represents the finale of the Crossbell/Erebonia saga. This ultimate chapter in the Crossbell trilogy was first released in 2020, but it took nearly three years to make its official localization debut. With its three separate story arcs — Lloyd, Rean, and a novel rebellion leader dubbed “C” — Trails Into Reverie is remarkably ambitious, yet its complex narrative remains refreshingly easy to follow.

For those who haven’t experienced the first two games in the Crossbell saga, the storyline may initially seem overwhelming. To fully appreciate this new installment, I strongly recommend playing the first two games, as they set the stage for this narrative. The game features Rean and his comrades joining forces with Lloyd and the Special Support Section (SSS) to face the final foe obstructing Crossbell’s autonomy and Erebonia’s tranquility. A brief recap of the story from the first two games is included, but it’s insufficient for completely bypassing the prior installments. If you’re unfamiliar with the Cold Steel Saga, you may find yourself somewhat disoriented, given this game incorporates characters and story components from that saga too.

Trails Into Reverie is the definitive climax of both the Cold Steel and Crossbell sagas, weaving an epic tale across multiple narrative pathways and an extensive cast of characters. This feels akin to the ultimate crossover game, especially for those who’ve journeyed through all preceding The Legend of Heroes games. Despite the seemingly intimidating commitment, I encourage immersing yourself in these games, particularly if you’re a JRPG enthusiast. Rean Schwarzer, a beloved character from Cold Steel, returns to lead one of the story paths. The game unfolds in the same setting as the Cold Steel series, with the Erebonian Empire playing a central role — an exciting prospect for fans of revisiting favorite locales. The storyline picks up from the Great Twilight, a significant event concluding Cold Steel.

In terms of gameplay, the combat system mirrors that of Trails of Cold Steel, but with refinements enhancing the overall experience. One notable addition is United Fronts. Working in tandem with the Assault Gauge, this feature enables players to expend a bar to execute offensive or defensive maneuvers, including team healing or a five-person enemy onslaught. With multiple story pathways and characters to explore, the gameplay remains engaging and diverse, continually presenting fresh elements. The substantial cast of playable characters guarantees ample replay value.

While larger-budget games may be veering away from traditional turn-based combat, I admire how niche JRPGs have not only endured but also evolved to add more strategic depth. Trails Into Reverie highlights the necessity of identifying enemy vulnerabilities and exploiting them effectively. It demands a tactical approach, far removed from simple attack rushes. The True Reverie Corridor, one of the game’s extra-dimensional dungeons, allows players to utilize Reverie points and augment other attributes. Mini-games are also available here, further enhancing replay value.

Dedicated players seeking more insight into events unfolding from Trails of Cold Steel IV to Trails Into Reverie can delve into the purchasable Memories in the True Reverie Corridor. These provide added context and serve as a rewarding bonus. The dungeon also features randomized floors brimming with enemies and collectibles, significantly augmenting the game’s value.

As a long-time fan of The Legend of Heroes series, I was impressed by the performance of Trails Into Reverie on PC, particularly on SteamDeck. Running at native resolution without significant issues and maintaining a frame rate of 60 FPS — with rare drops during cutscenes — the performance felt solid. Despite these occasional frame drops, they weren’t particularly noticeable due to the game’s turn-based nature. Enhanced load times further contribute to an optimal gaming experience.

To sum it up, long-standing fans who have journeyed from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will find this latest chapter delivers the satisfying culmination they’ve awaited. The intricate combat system demands strategic planning, and the extensive roster of characters ensures gameplay remains varied and engaging. With numerous story paths and additional side content like mini-games and dungeons, there’s a rich potential for replay, making it a worthy investment for any JRPG fan.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie Game Information

  • Price: $59.99
  • Publisher: Nihon Falcom
  • Developer: NIS America
  • Platform: PC (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher
Score
8

Summary

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie delivers an impressive finale to the Crossbell/Erebonia saga, offering a sophisticated narrative skillfully spread across three distinct story arcs and an ample cast. Its refined combat system, coupled with a wealth of replayable content, makes it an essential pick for JRPG enthusiasts, despite needing context from preceding installments for the full experience.

Total Rating

8.0
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Ali Haider

Ali Haider loves to dabble in multimedia projects. He has a passion for editing and managing YouTube videos and loves writing in his spare time.

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