The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Initial Thoughts

Trails in the Sky TitleHey, folks! I’ve been a little inactive lately due to not having an internet connection, but I’m back! While I haven’t had a chance to completely play through something to give you all a good review, I’m going to take a break from busy life and take a quick look at a game that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. With that out of the way, have some mandatory exposition.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is a trilogy of role-playing games that are collectively considered to be one game, the sixth in the Legend of Heroes series. Currently, only the first chapter is available in English markets, though it has been announced that the second chapter will see an English release on PSP and Windows, through various digital distribution platforms.

Now, let me preface the meat of this preview of sorts by saying that I am playing the PC version of Trails in the Sky, which will be relevant in the coming paragraphs. What I’ve played so far hasn’t been a disappointing experience, though I’d admit that I have been yearning for a good, solid JRPG for a while now, so I might be a bit biased when it comes to that.

TrailsITSScreenshot 2014-08-17 15.28.36
See how the round barrel and basket have sharp corners and edges? Even the lamppost looks very LQ

After a little bit of research, I have found that Trails in the Sky was originally released on Windows platforms in Japan in 2004, before later being ported to the PSP in 2006. I find this rather strange, at feels almost the exact opposite. I’m playing with max settings at a resolution of 1360×768 (my PC is hooked up to a TV), and the textures look…strange. It looks and feels like a portable game that has been simply upscaled to a higher resolution, with the models and textures remaining low quality. I’ll try to demonstrate what I mean with a screenshot.  The whole game looks like this, and it just gives the impression of a game that was never intended to be on PC, it’s like I’m playing a PSP game on an emulator or something. (The Wikipedia page for this game says that localization was a huge effort – apparently it was so colossal, they couldn’t spend any time actually attempting to make this HD, rather than just port a 10 year old game… but perhaps I am spoiled by technology)

Moving beyond that, though, those looking for a very traditional JRPG will very likely not be disappointed by this game.  In the early stages of my playthrough, my biggest complaint would be the battle system. I don’t have a problem with the Tactics-like battles, they just feel a little slow. Taking a turn feels a little longer than it should, especially considering that the battle maps are not that big at all. It could definitely be much worse though.

My first impression of the music is positive too, no complaints with what I’ve heard so far, though it’s hard to really talk about this as I’ve not heard much of what this game has to offer.

All in all, this port isn’t bad, though I can say with confidence that $20 USD is a bit much to pay for it. I’ll be playing through this game over the coming weeks, and I’ll post a full review then. Until next time, catch you later!

 

Do you have this game? Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

 

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