Ever wanted to experience an RPG from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The Kiseki series does just that. More specifically, The Legend of Heroes: Path to Phantasm is the RPG Avengers: Endgame. It’s the culmination of his three different subseries within Trails and his 20 years of in-depth storytelling, totaling over 100 hours of gameplay time through story, combat, and post-game activities. . The sprawling Trails series combined results in a bloated cast of characters, yet perfectly paced to keep every event and interaction manageable. With a politically engaging storyline and strategically fun turn-based gameplay, he’s one of the best RPGs of 2023.
Reverie is able to pack in so much content because its overall story is divided into three routes, each with a different main character. Switching perspectives allowed me to keep the various plot twists and revelations fresh, and I never felt like I was stuck on one route too long before moving on to another.
Fans of the Kiseki series will undoubtedly recognize the first protagonist, Rean Schwarzer. I was bored playing as Rean as the main character in his four games of the Cold Steel saga. In particular, the story surrounding Rean’s involvement in the global catastrophe in Cold Steel IV was messed up and complicated. However, Reverie is redeeming Rean by offering a more focused story in Rean’s route, and I’m impressed with how deftly he expanded on his arc from Cold Steel IV.
The second protagonist, Lloyd Bannings, surprisingly has the weakest route of the three. I very much enjoyed the dualism of Crossbell from which he originated. “Zero Kara no Kiseki” and “Soukyuu no Kiseki” tell the story of Lloyd and the Special Support Division as they fight for Crossbell City’s independence. Reverie tells the same story all over again, making Lloyd’s route a bit boring compared to his other two. It’s also central to the story of the entire Reverie, which is a bit disappointing since we’d seen it all before.
The third route follows a new character named C, which is arguably the best Reverie has to offer. Much of the mystique of C’s cast comes from their unknown backgrounds and surprising chemistry. He is the only adult in the group, C, who wears a mask and a bass modulator. What are his identities? Both Swinn Abel and Nadia Rain are child assassins, but why were they forced into dangerous professions at such young ages? Although he had to grow up fast to survive, his amnesiac companion, Lapis, has an innocent childlike curiosity about the world. The combination of their personalities is incredibly funny and the interactions between them are always fun to watch.
Cleverly named Trails to Walk, the timeline system lets you switch between the three main characters at any time, but each route has a specific point that remains locked until another route is taken. I have. For example, one section requires both Lloyd and C to work together to get through two different facilities, as their respective locking mechanisms work in tandem. He loved how this mechanic not only made the three stories feel intertwined, but also gave them space to shine.
The problem with Reverie is that it has a significantly bloated cast. From every Trails game to date, he’s assembled over 50 playable characters of his, and even if you’ve played every game, there are plenty of faces and names to remember. However, each character manages to get a relatively even amount of limelight, allowing people to interact in ways they never could in their respective original games.
For example, it’s very satisfying to see Detective Alex Dudley of the Crossbell Police Department and Rean’s classmate Machias Regnitz praise each other for their hard-working personalities. Other characters who listened to their conversation also noticed how similar they were. It’s moments like this that make me feel that “Trails of Dreams” is properly made as a fan fiction.
However, due to its nature, it is not a friendly game for beginners. This story fully expects readers to know who these characters are, and wraps up the entire Crossbell dilogy and Cold Steel his saga. If you don’t know what they are, you’ll be completely lost. Many characters from the Sora no Kiseki trilogy will also appear. It’s a lot of work, but I highly recommend playing all the other games before playing Trails into Reverie. When I actually played it, the overwhelming familiarity and nostalgia was worth it.
Trails features one of the most well-designed combat systems in any RPG series. Unlike Final Fantasy, Trails sticks to turn-based guns. Reverie is no exception. Up to four different parties can have his members on the field at once, but other characters in the active party can also be switched to provide support from the sidelines. From placing characters on a free-roam-based battlefield to managing turn-order timelines, the various options in combat are extremely nuanced. You have a lot of freedom in how you approach and decide the flow of battle.
Particularly satisfying is the way certain attacks, called crafting, can be used to not only influence a character’s placement on the movement order timeline, but also expose them to bonus damage effects. If an enemy’s timeline icon shows a Critical Hit effect, it’s an opportunity to delay that enemy’s turn, change the turn order to one of the characters, and guarantee a Critical Hit. These incentives have helped me stay focused throughout the campaign’s combat, especially in higher difficulty where exploiting the gap is key. If you make a mistake, the enemy may wipe out the party, but I found it rewarding to overcome the difficult boss.
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Overall, the Trails series emphasizes the theme of teamwork, and Reverie’s combat system has several other great features that enhance it. For example, enemies are vulnerable to certain weapon types, and hitting an enemy with the right weakness allows one of his allies to make a follow-up auxiliary attack to gain Bravery Points (BP).
Once you have 3 stacks of BP, you can launch a Rush Double attack with an ally. Also, by spending 5 BP, all 4 of his party members can launch burst attacks that stack on enemies, similar to Persona’s all-out attack mechanic. But it is nothing compared to the newly introduced united front offensive. In this attack, the entire party rushes into the attack from off-screen, including those on the sidelines. I love this assist system. I felt a sense of camaraderie not only through the cutscenes and story, but also through the gameplay.
BP can also be spent on Orders, party-wide buffs that can turn the tide of battle. Is the boss charging his ultimate attack on the timeline?3 BP activates Lapis’ Order, Pallas his Coppelion, taking 60% less damage than him for the next 6 turns . However, you should be careful when using these powerful bonuses. Bosses can also activate a unique ability called Disorder. This can have similar effects, such as reducing the party’s damage output or canceling the current order. process. Every time the boss pulled them up, I had to immediately adjust to a more defensive playstyle, crouch and wait for the effect to wear off. Disorder is a great way to return momentum to a boss when you think you have the upper hand, allowing you to stay vigilant even when it seems the fight is already over. It made combat dynamic and exciting, and forced me to think quickly.
Reverie also has many customization options for how you build your character. Do you want Rean’s ninja assassin Fie Clausel to be an evasive tank where her enemies can always miss attacks?Simply slot her gem (called quartz) into her to increase her evasive stats To do. It also improves her counterattack range if you want to give her a free attack on her enemy’s turn. Whether healer or magic-user, there is no role that cannot be fitted to a particular character. You could spend hours optimizing her Quartz setup for the party. It’s so addicting.
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The features Reverie’s combat system introduces may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s not something any Trails veteran will quickly learn. no If you’re a trail veteran, you probably shouldn’t be playing this until then.
In a character-focused game, it’s important that the characters look compelling, and Revery does its cast justice. These aren’t what you’d expect from a big-budget game like Final Fantasy XVI or Persona 5, but they’re still a nice improvement over previous Trails games. In particular, character models don’t look stiff and don’t jerky with their limbs when walking or waving their arms during a conversation.
Reverie’s soundtrack is also great. Rean, Lloyd, and C each have different combat themes to properly fit and enhance their respective characters. Rean’s electric guitar-heavy theme reflects the energy he embodies in combat, while Lloyd’s theme sounds like an anthem, fitting for a nationalist hero like him. C’s theme is more piano-heavy, with a more graceful feel to match his serene vibe.
Characters can also equip costumes that do not affect their stats. It can only be used if you want to dress up and play with various items such as hats and swimwear. Some of these costumes and his items can be obtained simply by playing Reverie’s main story or completing her side quests, but many of them can be obtained through randomized dungeons called Reverie Corridors. increase. Here, the three main characters and their entire party are transported to another dimension where they can interact outside of the events of the main story. The problem is that they don’t remember what they were doing just before they arrived, nor do they remember what happened when they left the Hall of Dreams. It’s a weird but very clever way to have all the characters congregate in her one place and interact with each other before the finale where their paths finally converge. Additionally, character levels earned within the Hall of Dreams will be transferred to the Home Dimension.
Reverie Corridor’s randomized disposition is similar to Mementos’ disposition in Persona 5. Fight through several floors, then bosses at midpoints and ends. There is also a gacha system, but don’t worry. No microtransactions or real-world currencies are involved. In fact, Trails into Reverie even told you to reload your save in case you didn’t get what you wanted. Among these rewards are additional characters that appeared in past Kiseki games but didn’t exist in the main story. These characters cannot be used outside of the Hall of Dreams, but can be used as tagalongs. This means that you can activate specific Orders and join the United Front as well.
You only need to progress through the first two tiers as part of the main story, but after that you can defer for as long as you like. The Hall of Dreams is the only aspect of Path to Dreams that feels a little out of place in the story, and the characters are puzzled as to why such a place exists. However, there is a lot of post-game content that unlocks more layers and reveals additional story background behind the Dream Corridor, as well as a final post-game boss and additional endings, and this It was a great send-off for these combined series and additional endings. An exit ramp to tell new trail stories for the future.