FEGuy
Tom Johnson   Marquette, Michigan, United States
 
 
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Just another day in Goodsprings
2
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UPDATE October 7, 2023 - it has now been three months since release and it seems like NISA has no interest in fixing the numerous localization issues. - while, to their credit, PH3 has faithfully been issuing patches for minor engine issues, there's been no change to the game content beyond the early fix for the botched Link Attack tables, In addition to the issues mentioned in the original review, there're also multiple characters with broken or incorrectly triggered English voice lines, and by the finale one in every four text boxes has a typo of some sort, culminating in one of the final battles of the main story having just about every bit of text either mistranslated or improperly formatted. Unfortunately NISA appears to have moved on to bigger and better things, such as not being able to figure out how to make a season pass work for Disgaea 7. While the game is entirely playable, I'm not exaggerating in any way when I state that entire segments of the game were handled better by a fan translation that predates this official release by over a year.

(Original review below:)

Wait for a(nother) patch, and even then, proceed with caution.

PH3's excellent technical work (5+ hours at 1440p and ultra-ish settings on Arch Linux and more modest settings on the Steam Deck, no technical issues to speak of) is marred by NISA being NISA - link attacks are broken for most characters that weren't playable in Cold Steel III/IV, many arts/crafts/quartz/order descriptions are incorrect (and some S-crafts may not be doing the proper amount of damage, though I can't confirm that yet), and of course DLC that was bundled into the previous PC port is cut again to be sold separately. This game was clearly delayed to give the Zero and Azure localizations time to breathe, so it's disappointing to see that none of that extra time was spent on QA, when QA has always been NISA's most obvious weakness; the nickel-and-diming doesn't surprise me at all, considering how stingy NISA generally is.

(July 11 update: The 1.0.3 patch addresses the link attack issue, but all other table files remain untouched, so mistranslated descriptions and potentially broken crafts remain bugged.)

Bugs aside, it's also important to note what you're getting with Trails into Reverie - essentially, this game is the Trails in the Sky 3rd of the Crossbell and Cold Steel arcs, and you are going to be lost at times if you aren't fully familiar with their plots, even when the game attempts to clue you in. If you're a fan of giant playable casts and near-infinite grinding and dungeon crawling, and flashback episodes detailing what's happened since the last game ended, this game's got plenty. If you're looking for another tour of Erebonia, however, your options are much more limited, although this game does bring back areas that haven't been seen since the first Cold Steel games and much more of Crossbell than anything else in the 3D era. However, much of your time will be spent in a semi-randomly-generated dungeon, and you'll find that despite the combat being easier than ever to crack wide open, not all characters are treated equally, with many who haven't been major characters during the Cold Steel arcs being underwhelming to play and lacking in craft options. And while it's fun to see all these characters have a chance to interact, no matter how shallow those interactions seem, the main plot itself is something of a travesty, and there's a serious lack of real character development, outside of a few of the new/main cast members. It sets the stage somewhat for the upcoming Calvard arc, wraps up some loose threads and introduces some characters we'll see again in the future, but it sure would be great if we could pretend that most of everything else never happened.

All that said, the core gameplay loop is entertaining, there's plenty of content to unlock, and the combat and dungeon crawling are more fulfilling than they've been in a while. Despite some glaring flaws (how are we supposed to meme about 'barriers' if NISA decides to start translating it as other terms instead?) the localization is a much smoother, less stilted read than the older fan translation. I have a fondness for a lot of the soundtrack, too, despite the fanbase's apparent animosity towards one composer in particular.

Trails into Reverie isn't a bad game by most measures, but once you get past the fanservice elements, it's definitely the weakest game in the series as far as the narrative is concerned. The tweaks to combat, massive cast, and constrictive team setups during story chapters are going to be love-it-or-hate-it, I think. Regardless, this release is a bit of a mess at the moment, and I can't recommend it as long as core functions are broken.
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Comments
Andy Dec 9, 2012 @ 2:34pm 
Thanks for the gift :) I love Torchlight! XD
Saga Niren Nov 23, 2011 @ 5:04pm 
Thanks for the gift ;)
Eric Jan 20, 2011 @ 12:46pm 
BEN