Trillion: God of Destruction weaves a tale of a ruler plagued with doubt, dealing with his insecurities while attempting to put on a brave face. The insurmountable task of defeating an entity known as the God of Destruction lay before him. The beast is known as Trillion due to the fact it has that much HP and that many ways of eviscerating its enemies. The Underworld is in grave danger of being destroyed, and it is time for the Great Overlord Zeabolos to saddle up and ride.
That showdown sounds appropriate at the end of a lengthy adventure doesn't it? The sort that has been built towards over the length of at least twenty to thirty hours minimum? Trillion: God of Destruction skips the drum-roll and heads straight into Final Boss territory from the start. The bad news is that Zeabolos, ruler of the Underworld and its legions, gets chewed up and spit out by the so-called "God of Destruction." Good thing a skulking demon known as Faust is around to scoop up the Great One's essence and pour it back into a stitched together corpse.
This battle to save the Underworld isn't one to take lightly, and it will require every bit of strength imaginable. Good thing there's seven equally adorable moe girls (known as Overlords) to serve as stand-ins for Zeabolos. Seven of them? You guessed it. The Seven Deadly Sins. All he needs to do is lend some of his remaining power, encapsulated within a ring crafted by Faust, to one of the girls. The chosen one will train their hardest, honing their skills and building their strength while Trillion slumbers. The God of Destruction gets sleepy between horrible cataclysmic attacks and needs a nap. Just go with it.
Those days spent earning affection, getting stronger, upgrading weaponry and the like all lead to another confrontation with Trillion. Zeabolos' death was just a setback! Right? Down one of the newly trained Overlords goes like a sack of potatoes. This isn't just some normal Final Boss standoff. Sacrifices must be made for the greater good of demonkind after all. Her loss is not in vain, though, as her death can help the next Overlord up to bat with carried over XP and a chosen final effect. These range from a large high-damage attack, sealing a body part, acting as a ward for the next lady on the field of battle, and more.
The name of the game is simple. Rise and grind, cupcake.
Trillion: God of Destruction, from Compile Heart and published by Idea Factory, is an experiment of sorts. Drop the beginning and middle, skip to the end, yet keep the grind. This is a game of navigating lots of menus, grinding stats up as high as possible and sending affable anime girls off to certain death. It does so with a surprisingly deft hand at character building despite being nothing but anime tropes. The Neptunia series, for example, feels like mostly fan-service for the sake of it whereas Trillion manages to develop bonds between these soon-to-be deceased demon ladies and their keeper, Zeabolos. Each is somewhat unique in their characterization and the interaction events/mid-story sequences that occur do a fair amount of building towards creating a bond between player and character. Losing one of those girls does not feel good at all. It might be for the greater good of downing Trillion but damn if it doesn't sting all the same. It's one of the more compelling narrative experiences delivered by the company in a long line of middling games in that regard.
The road to Trillion's destruction lay within the heart of numerous menus, stat grinding, weapon upgrades, giving gifts, and routine trips into roguelike dungeons. Get ready to raise some demons because the crux of this game comes down to training, increasing key stats, and prioritizing those gains. Oh! Don't forget to raise each Overlord's affection as well. That is crucial. Those Affection points act as the third bar of resource that is expended before either HP or MP ever get spent. Cycles of seven days are available to train with and, depending on the last battle with Trillion, the number of cycles can be quite forgiving or quite short. Either way, players are forced to min-max as best as possible to gain as much ground in the coming battle.
The idea that death is a certainty means that retreating when possible to fight another day is key. That means more time to train and get good. More time to talk with the Overlord and regain affection points lost (as those points vanish between battles if an Overlord survives via retreat or defeats one Trillion's multiple forms) and more upgrades to buy. This will scratch the itch of those who not only dig games like Tokimeki Memorial or any other number of dating/princess management sims but also who want a bit of tactical RPG in the mix. It is decidedly light on those elements, but dealing with Trillion and its summons one tile at a time (enemies move/act when you do in roguelike fashion) still offers much-needed respite from substantial mounds of text to read and menu movement.
When outside of the multiple menus of Trillion: Lord of Destruction, players will be caught within the familiar grid of roguelike dungeons. One of the available avenues for training up a potential badass Overlord is via the Valley of Swords, which will cost players five training medals to enter. Those medals are acquired for successful training vignettes (each of them caters to a particular stat such as Charm, Attack, Intellect, etc.). The Valley of Swords, with a set number of turns with one spent per tile of movement, offers players a way to grab some gold, items, weapon seals, and gain some experience along the way.
These brief excursions into the Valley of Swords are a necessary yet less-than-inspired way of boosting an Overlord's stats. The dungeons are brief, rarely offer much in the way of challenge and really serve as a distraction from the heart of the game: managing Overlords and training them via menus. The layout is, at least, procedurally generated whereas the fights against Trillion are in what amounts to a long hallway. Fights with the accursed beast come down to dodging attacks, getting in close to hit as many parts as possible and wailing away. All of his attacks are telegraphed with tiles changing color to indicate the next attack or deployment of minions. Trillion has multiple forms and dealing with them doesn't change greatly as the player advances. It speaks to the greater problem with the meat and potatoes of combat in this game. There just isn't a ton there and fans of a deeper tactical experience or even the roguelike hardcores might want to look elsewhere for their fix.
One of Trillion: God of Destruction's biggest problems comes from how it controls outside of traversing menus and dealing with dialog boxes. The square-by-square movement feels awkward, requiring moving the camera around to enable diagonal movement. It feels clunky, to be honest, and in combat sequences that amount to little more than watching for attack grids to avoid and trying to get in close for the kill that's a bit of a bummer. It isn't enough to derail the experience but its worth nothing.
Thankfully the overall presentation is quite good with 2D art being the focus of the team at Compile Heart. Each of the girls looks not only compelling but features expressive animation and great voice work to boot. There is an English dub available with the game's localized release, which was a pleasant surprise, to say the least. The music might be where the game shines most, though, as each orchestral track really sets the mood. Much of it shares its DNA with one of the best tactical RPG series ever, Disgaea, as numerous former Nippon Ichi folks who worked on the flagship series put their hands on Trillion: God of Destruction. The lack of budget really shows up once combat begins, though. The polygonal models for enemies can be a bit muddy at times and the overall textures on the game are a bit lackluster. The hardware of the Vita plays a role in that but, ultimately, when compared to the higher quality art within story sequences and dialog it is hard not to notice the drop in quality.
The premise of the game and the build towards the penultimate battle are quite satisfying despite the light roguelike components that aren't necessarily as polished or smooth as one might like. Combat can become all about maximizing a small number of stats over all overs and a small pool of abilities over all others to most efficiently deal with the God of Destruction. It is definitely not one that will work for all and it certainly has a niche audience already with it only being available on the PS Vita. Incremental stat gains and small victories aren't going to be everyone's bag but if they are? If the grind is what you seek and you want to actually care why along the way? Trillion: God of Destruction is a worth your time.
Trillion: God of Destruction was reviewed on PS Vita and PlayStation TV with a code provided by the publisher.
Trillion: God of Destruction manages to overcome a trope-laden story and deliver realized characters that you'll ultimately send to their demise. The journey is the emphasis, though, as grinding is key. Small victories on the road to the end are what this game is all about. The combat is lackluster but the overall package will still appeal to fans of the genre with its better than average story.