Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero Review

Introduction

Trails from Zero is a turn-based JRPG and is part of the larger Trails series created by Nihon Falcom. Originally Japan exclusive, it saw a release in 2010 on PSP. Fans did translation emulations for it, and it didn’t see an official Western release until September 2022.

Review

Lloyd Banning is finally returning to Crossbell City after being gone for 3 long years. But now he’s grown, he’s got his detective schooling done, and he’s ready to join the police force. Except he doesn’t join the normal police force, instead he joins the newly created Special Support Section that is meant to help build the trust back from the citizens of Crossbell by helping them out in crazy situations. Kind of like the Bracer Guild. Except what crazy things will he end up getting himself into?

I was super excited to get into this game, considering I heard it runs parallel to Cold Steel 1, and I thought of all the intense things that happened to Crossbell during the events of that game. But instead I guess the game takes place before the events of that story and this makes the story very, very slow, which seems to be a staple with the Trails games when it comes to the first game in a new arc. The biggest point in the story for the longest time is dealing with two feuding street gangs, before it becomes dealing with two bigger criminal organizations. There are some big twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat but those were so few and far between.

The game does a good job at finishing up a story for some characters from the Sky trilogy, and when it starts bringing everything together at the end, it is absolutely phenomenal and intense and left me wanting more, but getting to this point had me falling asleep a lot. The writing really gets you attached to the characters, even all the side ones. Whether it’s through well kept secrets or finally learning something about them. But unfortunately if you haven’t played the Sky trilogy, you will be lost here a bit. Not to say you won’t enjoy it, but I wouldn’t recommend starting here. But if you love world building, this game has a whole lot of it!

The gameplay is just like the rest of the series so far, but closely resembles the Sky trilogy for many mechanics. Especially when it comes to the quartz system. In battle, the game is turn based, as it’s always been. Nothing has changed here from any other entry. You get to choose between a normal attack, or magic arts to deal damage to enemies, and get to move your characters around the grid system if you so choose too. I did this a few times only to get set up for special attacks, that build up as you take damage or deal damage.

The one new thing that this entry adds to the battle system is the ability to do combo attacks with your special moves. When each character builds up a certain amount of points, you can use both of them to do a super attack, but of course this pushes both of them down further in the turn order. It made sense, but it also made it a touch harder to coordinate when the best time was to use these.

I’m glad that the quartz system is the way it was in the sky trilogy, as it was awesome there. You get sepith from enemies, which are pieces of quartz, then you can create full quartz to fit into specific slots in your character’s magic machine known as an ENIGMA. As opposed to Cold Steel, where you have to choose to have either buffs, or magic, here you get to just put anything in, get the buff’s, and when you have a certain amount of element power, you unlock the next magic skill in the element. I’d honestly prefer it this way at the end of the day. It helps me customize my builds without limiting myself in other ways.

For people who love exploring the world, there are a ton of side quests to take part in as well. When you complete this, your detective rank goes up. This eventually gives you gear, whether it’s accessories or quartz, and they’re all usually rare and really helpful. Plus it always helps flesh out the world and learn about more characters, and the struggles the main characters might have gone through because of it. Some are also worth a good giggle. Unless of course it’s just a standard “go kill that monster” quest. Those serve no purpose, and usually have you exploring locations for the fifth time, which just gets boring.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Wraps Up Storylines
  • Best Quartz System

Cons:

  • Slow Story
  • Doesn’t Connect To the Overarching Story Until the End
  • Not A Good Starting Point

Summary

I had a hard time with this entry. I went nowhere most of the time, it felt like, and it doesn’t do anything for the big Trails story until the end. I didn’t enjoy that you have to visit every area again and again and again, whether it’s for story or quests, but at least the battle system made up for it. I hope the sequel does a better job at keeping me hooked with its pacing, but with the track record of Trails games, I know it will. Be prepared if you play this!

If you enjoyed this review, why not check out some more we have?
You can also join us in our Discord, Follow us on Twitter & Subscribe to us on YouTube

Game & Developer Information

Developer/Publisher Website: Nihon Falcom
Developer/Publisher Socials: Twitter

The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero – Launch Trailer | PS4 Games

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: