I should preface this by saying I’m already a huge Legend of Heroes: Trails fan. It’s my favorite video game series, and Trails in the Sky FC and SC are my favorite video game ever. The rocky translation history that the series has had in the past is something I find deeply lamentable, and I’m only playing Trails to Azure in English now 12 years after it was first released in Japan. So, having been offered the opportunity to to a Trails into Reverie preview, the next game to be released in English, at PAX East 2023, I immediately said yes.
Right out of the gate, the graphics are awesome. Reverie embraces its roots as an anime-esque game and improves upon the graphic style already present in the Trails of Cold Steel series. While I love the sprites and the cute style of the Crossbell duology, which is the most recent entries released in English, jumping from Azure to Reverie is a massive difference. Just as colorful, if not more so, Reverie’s real beauty is in the details that the graphics are able to have when designed for a modern console.
The second thing that jumped out at me from the demo: It’s fully voiced in English! After being disappointed in the lack of any voice acting in Zero and Azure, it’s so amazing to hear Lloyd and company in cutscenes and dialogue and battle. The acting itself is good, and the VAs for Elie and Lloyd in particular perform really well.
Reverie’s demo was actually the start of the game, which throws you right back into the action following the Special Support Section. If you haven’t played the previous games in the series, you won’t have any idea what the hell is going on. While some people see that as a negative, part of why I love Trails as a whole is the tight interconnectivity. Think of something like Game of Thrones, where there’s a massive cast of characters to keep track of, and now take out the sex scenes and apply it to a JRPG and voila, you have Trails. Having an action-packed start to the game is a definite high note.
The combat of Reverie is almost exactly the same as it was in Trails of Cold Steel IV, which itself is the same core combat system the series has been using since Trails in the Sky, but with minor tweaks and additions with every subsequent game. That being said, while the core combat is a turn-based grid system and fairly easy to get the hang of, I wouldn’t want to jump into Reverie without previous experience in the series. Having eight previous games of adding to the combat system and fiddling around with it, the game throws a lot at you at the start if you’re not already used to it, like Arts, Crafts, and Links.
For fans of the Trails series, Trails into Reverie already looks like it’s shaping up to be another gem, concluding the last of the plot threads from the Crossbell duology and Cold Steel series. If you’re not a fan, it’s definitely not for you, as the game throws you into the middle of action and plot that has been culminating for nine previous entries, for both better and for worse.
However, for those who think Reverie looks interesting but are unfamiliar, we definitely recommend checking out the previous entries in the Legend of Heroes: Trails series, starting with Trails in the Sky. With a few more months until Reverie releases this summer, you might have time to squeeze them all in in time.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie was previewed on a build at PAX East 2023.