#Trails to Azure Assessment

Trails to Azure Assessment

Ring my (Cross)Bell

Final 12 months, NIS America made a Legend of Heroes fan out of me with the discharge of Trails from Zero, the primary a part of the Crossbell Arc of the better Trails storyline. I discovered it to be an enchanting RPG with an impressive narrative and gameplay construction that positioned the title as some type of “playable police procedural”. Whereas overly talkative (and a bit ugly on the PS4), Trails from Zero ended up as one among my favourite video games from final 12 months.

Chances are high I’ll be saying the identical factor about Trails to Azure once we lastly get by means of 2023.

Trails to Azure

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Nintendo Swap)
Developer: Falcom
Writer: NIS America
Launched: March 14, 2023
MSRP: $39.99 (Digital) / $49.99 (Bodily)

Returning to the city-state of Crossbell on this direct sequel to The Legend of Heroes: Trails from ZeroTrails to Azure continues with the exploits of Lloyd Bannings, Elie MacDowell, and the remainder of the Particular Assist Part (SSS) as they work in opposition to the percentages in a metropolis that’s brimming with corruption. For those who missed out on Trails from Zero, know that Azure typically expects gamers to return into it with first-hand information of the occasions of the earlier title. Whereas there’s a glossary that’ll provide the gist, to actually perceive what’s occurring right here, it is best to put aside 45 hours to play by means of the Zero earlier than giving this a go.

Trails to Azure begins only a month after the occasions of the earlier recreation, with the SSS trying to take care of the delicate peace the denizens of Crossbell are having fun with. Whereas corruption nonetheless looms giant within the authorities, you get the sense that it’s considerably extra manageable this time round. That’s, till the West Zumeria Commerce Convention abruptly modifications the course of this city-state’s future, and never essentially for the higher.

Because it was with Trails from Zero, the story of Azure will play out throughout a number of chapters that each one really feel like their very own little episodes, with tales and characters that tie into the better narrative. It’s simply as efficient right here, and fixing the small circumstances which can be assigned to the SSS every day solely strengthens the procedural really feel of this story construction in addition to the already sturdy world-building. I like RPGs which can be large, world-spanning adventures, however there’s something so refreshing about taking part in a recreation the place it’s all localized to 1 unbelievable location. Particularly when the story is this good.

Due to that, don’t be stunned in case you get a way of deja vu in Trails to Azure. You’ll be exploring lots of the identical areas and having way-too-long conversations with a lot of the identical individuals all through Crossbell. You’ll even be participating in fight just about precisely as you probably did earlier than, along with your group doing battle in a turn-based, grid-based format. Characters can assault with customary melee assaults, arts, crafts, and highly effective S-Craft and Combo Crafts that unlock as you progress by means of the sport. Crafts are dictated by the quartz you will have assigned to every character, and new this time round is a Grasp Quartz that may stage up along with your characters (albeit very slowly).

Additionally new is the Burst Guage, which fills up throughout sure battles and rewards your group with numerous buffs do you have to select to make use of it. Its availability is restricted to particular encounters and the ultimate chapter, however when it’s round, I might think about it to be a lifesaver. As a result of a few of these battles are fairly rattling tough if, like me, you develop absentminded in correctly equipping your group and upgrading your quartz. Trying again to the robust time I had with the previous couple of battles in Trails from Zero, I sort of want Burst may have been retroactively added to the SSS’s first outing in Crossbell.

Talking of the SSS, you’ll have entry to 6 social gathering members for almost all of your tour this time round. A brand new component in Azure are again assaults, which drive your rear-guard characters into battle if an enemy assaults you from behind. It’s a neat thought meant to maintain gamers on their toes, nevertheless it solely actually got here into play within the recreation’s closing chapter. For the remainder of my journey, I used to be simply capable of sneak up on foes on the sphere map, getting the benefit over them in battle. After all, you do have the choice to skip a lot of the map totally with the brand new orbal automobile that’ll whisk your group between areas, nevertheless it’s in all probability finest to move out on foot at the least as soon as for every path to open all of the chests which can be scattered throughout the land.

Past that, there actually isn’t a lot to say right here that I couldn’t have already mentioned about Trails from Zero. As a result of at its core, Trails to Azure is only a easy continuation of that wonderful RPG. And that’s all it must be. I do know many within the video games journalism sphere tout the significance of innovation and divergence in relation to sequels and franchises, however builders don’t at all times must attempt to reinvent the wheel with every recreation they launch. Typically, extra of the identical is strictly what is required. And The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is extra of the identical in the very best means.

Earlier than Trails from Zero, I didn’t know something concerning the Legend of Heroes sequence outdoors of the truth that individuals actually prefer to complain about how text-heavy its titles are. And whereas the Crossbell arc may definitely use an editor in my thoughts, I might be fooling myself if I didn’t admit that, when taken collectively as one full expertise, Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure are simply among the finest turn-based RPGs I’ve ever performed. Right here’s to hoping sometime I’ll have the ability to discover the time to see the remainder of what this sequence has to supply.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button