Some time ago I was browsing through my Steam library looking for something different to play and I saw this game that I bought during a Steam sale (well, like every other game really): The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky. I couldn’t play it when it originally came out on PC, and I had not played the PSP remake, so I decided it was time to try a new jRPG franchise.
The game is not as long as other jRPGs, I have completed it in around 45 hours. It took me another 10-15 hours to get all the Steam achievements. There is not much hidden content (no real hidden bosses or huge sidequests or anything of the like) so once you complete the main storyline, you just have some cleanup to do to complete it 100%.
Don’t let this put you off though: those 45 hours are worth it. This is not the best jRPG that I have ever played, but it’s one that I am glad I have played and completed. The battle system is an interesting hybrid: it’s purely turn-based (the style I love the most) but it also allows you to move your characters on a grid (Disgaea style), which works reasonably well, although I haven’t really used this feature that much, normally you can simply attack and let your characters move by themselves. It adds an interesting new dimension to battles, but again, most of the time it’s not something you absolutely must use in order to win the battle.
Graphically, this game is beautiful. The colors are bright and the characters are so fluffy it makes you feel like a 10-year-old. The characters are well designed and well developed, each with a specific fighting style and personality, in the best jRPG tradition.
But the best thing about this game is the story. No, the combat system is not the best one ever made, and the game doesn’t offer lots of challenges but the story will keep you hooked. The game is famous for the long dialogues, and yes, I can confirm you will have to do quite a bit of reading, but everything will lead up to a finale that will keep you longing for episode two. I don’t want to spolier anything, but I can tell you that I absolutely cannot wait for the second chapter to be released (which is supposed to happen some time this summer, according to rumors online). When asked in an interview about the status of Second Chapter, XSEED replied the following:
We know you’ve been waiting for SC. Boy, do we know! And in hindsight, we wish we could’ve scheduled its localization a lot better, because at this point we want it out the door just as much as you (ha ha). I’m currently working together with Trails in the Sky FC & SC editor Jessica Chavez to clean things up and make sure it’s as polished as can be within our crazily hectic schedule. In fact, we’re working 100% in tandem with some of the series’ biggest fans to ensure that every fact is checked and every piece of foreshadowing is correctly shadowed, and just in general taking every step we can to ensure even our biggest critics are pleased with the final product. So far, I could not be happier with the feedback we’ve received.
I recommend you read the whole interview, which also includes news about other episodes of the series.
Unfortunately, there are not many jRPGs on the PC, although things have started changing in the last few years. This is one of those games that you should consider purchasing to support the developers to make sure more games like this find their way to the PC. Save your money, don’t buy another FPS (there are way too many of those on Steam already) and use that money to buy this. If everyone did this, Steam would become a better place 😉