The migratory phenomenon of great Japanese role models who arrive in the West for the first time continues with The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azurework that we have never seen officially outside the Japanese country.
Last year we were lucky enough to receive Trails from Zero, one of the most acclaimed installments by fans of The Legend of Heroes saga. Falcom’s great work, which never left Japan, came with a version for Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC (and verified for Steam Deck).
12 years had passed, but The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and its English translation gained the support of many lovers of the JRPG and of this saga, which has had a notable impact outside of Japan with the Cold Steel arc.
The Legend of Heroes Trails to Azure – trailer de la historia (Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC)
However, the icing on the cake was still missing, the rag that would finish polishing this late return. Ao no KisekiThe Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure, also had to sign up for this meeting of old schoolmates.
The direct sequel to Trails from Zero Coming Now to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC Too 12 years after its release on PSP. We have already been able to play Trails to Azure and here we want to tell you everything about this very special return.
These are the points that we are going to deal with in this análisis de The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure para Nintendo Switch, PS4 y PC:
Story and narrative of The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure
The plot of Trails to Azure starts some months after the events seen in Trails from Zeroso it is already very clear that to fully enjoy this game it is almost essential to have completed the previous installment of the saga.
In fact, the game allows us incorporate our game in Zero so that the level achieved, our combos and other titles are not lost. Additionally, some dialogue and characters will now react in slightly different ways based on our past actions.
The continuation puts us back in the shoes of Lloyd Bannings and his colleagues from the investigation and aid unit Special Support Section. The time of peace is short-lived in the city-state of Crossbell and soon the great city will be caught in a conflict of great proportions.
While some of the themes seen in Trails from Zero are reprized, this sequel considerably expands the dimensions of its story to conclude in style a narrative arc full of ambition. We do not want to spoil anything, because it is a trip that is worth living.
The world building is brilliant in many ways and the development of characters and their interactions are on the same level of success as in its predecessor. Besides, Trails to Azure takes the liberty of polishing relationships that had limp and improving the pace of the plot.
It also presents new and charismatic additions to the group, which continues to remain very cohesive (one of its strengths) without losing the connections between all its members despite growing in size.
The dialogues are very well written and we already warned you that you are going to have to read a lot in Trails to Azure (something that can be a problem if you do not speak too much English). The translation of the game only reaches us in this language, something that can be inconvenient for many players.
If you manage to save this stumbling block, Trails to Azure will amaze you as far as narrative is concerned and it is that their successes manage to hide some of the most established JRPG clichés of that time that on other occasions could be a nuisance.
It is true that perhaps the easy preaching is resorted to and that a few characters are tied to Lloyd’s development and are not completely independent, but everything remains in the background as soon as you continue advancing chapters.
Trails to Azure gameplay and gameplay
And if in narrative terms, Trails to Azure is a total continuation, in playable matter things do not change much. The gameplay seen in Trails from Zero is replicated on a 1:1 scale in this sequel, except for a few additions that don’t feel bad at all to the classic formula it upholds.
We meet again before a RPG with full-fledged turn-based combat. However, the scenarios are laid out on a grid that, despite not making it a tactical game, adds a welcome layer of extra depth.
Each character has their basic attacks, their Arts (spells), Crafts (skills that cause area damage), S-Craft attacks that add more power and adverse elements to enemies and some additions from this sequel as Master Quartz y Burst Gauge.
The latter is something that can completely change the course of confrontations, a devastating ability that allows us to have unlimited resources for a… limited time. However, it takes time to activate, which makes it more anecdotal than we would have liked.
Virtually everything you saw in Trails from Zero is in this installment. What’s the score? Well, we have a slightly more polished combat system which, despite feeling somewhat outdated due to the passing of the years, manages to be very stimulating, deep and fun, as well as colorful.
But fighting with our swords and riddling ourselves is not the only thing we are going to do here. Exploration is once again another of the great pillars on which this role-playing experience rests and we make it clear: Trails to Azure is more of the same… and we love it!
The settings of the sequel are practically identical and the city of Crossbell repositions itself as the main location, despite the fact that some extra places are added. Therefore, perhaps this highlights one of the great benefits of this game…
We mean that despite the fact that this feeling of familiarity in everything we see is there, it is not uphill for us, nor is it repeated. Of course, since we mentioned the repetition, the errand side missions continue without being anything special and some become more than tedious.
Although, now we have a car for our quick trips and despite the fact that it is a novelty that is nothing special, it continues to add and not subtract. As do the minigames, especially one in the purest Puyo Puyo Tetris style.
Finally, the ENIGMA system, the one that established the abilities of our characters through connections between precious stones, gems and different nodes, has been revised with the aforementioned Master Quartz, a special quartz that allows leveling up and statistics of each of the characters while giving you additional benefits.
Trails to Azure changes, improvements and adjustments
It’s time to wonder what has changed in Trails to Azure more than a decade after its release original on the PSP handheld. Well, the truth is that little. We are not facing a remaster, much less talking about a remake.
This means that in the graphic section, the game is far from being updated. Despite the chibi aesthetics of the characters, their beautiful illustrations and a great use of colors and well-recreated settings; the game looks somewhat dated, not surprisingly.
A better resolution on Nintendo Switch helps Azure maintain the brightness of yesteryear, despite the fact that its textures and animations are far from cutting-edge. Here Falcom has not come up with an HD2D or similar style to polish the game.
Yes indeed, In terms of improvements in the user experience, we must highlight the Quick Modeaccessed with ZL (same as in Trails from Zero) and the Conversation Collection (ZR button).
The first of the additions is more than necessary. This will allow us to enjoy greater speed in and out of combat and makes the confrontations much more bearable, since the slow pace of the game is what ages the worst today.
Is Trails to Azure difficult?
The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure has four difficulty modes being Nightmare (Nightmare) the most demanding and complex when starting a game. The game offers different ways to approach your proposal.
If you are already seasoned in the saga, we recommend that you start with the hard modesince it may take time for the game on Normal difficulty to present a more stimulating challenge, but if you haven’t been in this saga for many hours either, the default difficulty will work for you without problems.
You should know that Trails to Azure has moments where we will have to plan our resources, characters, and actions very well in combat. Some matchups test the player in clever ways and certain final bosses are really tough.
How many hours does Trails to Azure last?
This is a manual JRPG, so you can expect a few hours of content. How many? Well, as in any game, the style of each player will determine the duration, but The main story should take around 45-60 hours to complete.
To that figure you have to add as many hours to overcome additional challenges, side missions and other optional challenges, something that can extend the duration to 70-80 hours. Y if you want to complete it 100%, the life of Trails to Azure skyrockets to hundreds of hours of play.
Price and platforms available
The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure will be available starting on March 14, 2023 on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC (Steam and Epic Games Store). In the absence of defined prices for some versions, the Switch edition has a price of 39.99 euros.
The game also has a Deluxe Edition for €49.95 and another Limited Editionboth in physical format that include various extras such as a mini art book, a metal box or the soundtrack of the game with 10 of its most important songs.
An irresistible sequel if you played Trails from Zero
The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure once again demonstrates (this time in English) that it is a excellent closure to the Crossbell plot started with Zero and that it is well worth a chance if you have never been able to experience the honeys of these JRPGs.
Of course, the 12 years that have passed are noticeable, but its lovely vintage scent makes Falcom and Geofront forgive the fact that some extra graphical tweaks could have been made to make this title more in tune with modern times. And the translation, of course.
Regardless of this, Trails to Azure is a game that conquers on its own without the need for extra aesthetic operations. Its magnificent story, world, and characters convince if you book, and its combat still feels much better than expected. The road continues!
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