Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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The Legend of Heroes Thread - Trails in the Sky SC and Trails of Cold Steel Released

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Crooked Bee, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    So I've been playing Trails in the Sky on and off lately (all hail PPSSPP). I'm currently in the final chapter about to enter the Arena competition together with Zane and Olivier.

    Overall, I'm liking this game a lot. It has this down-to-earth feeling where you just move from one region to the next doing the quests that your guild (in whose employ you are as junior members) has available. I'm loving all the side quests and hidden quests, too. The only thing that brings it down for me is low difficulty and linear chapter progression.

    Anyway, here are my (hastily put together) impressions so far:

    + No grinding. Absolutely none at all. First, you can avoid all random monsters and even choose which of them to engage with the right combination of Quartz equipped (Haze + Eagle Vision). Second, at least if you do the side-quests, you'll always be able to manage all boss and mid-boss fights (which give most of the exp anyway). Finally, you don't need to grind for gems (called Quartz here) either; you can find most of the good Orbments (magic stones that cost gems, basically) if you explore around and then you'll only need to buy a couple of them every chapter at most, just to fine-tune your setup.

    + Low-key story. It really feels like you're a couple of junior guild members doing assignments and traveling around the continent. This is really refreshing, and done well atmosphere-wise. The writing isn't mostly getting in the way either, some stupid dialogue here and there aside.

    + Feeling of progression. As you progress with missions, you grow stronger - it really feels like it and is also tied into story progression very well. The rate at which you progress is also good - not too fast and not too slow either.

    + Lots of hidden quests/secrets. This is one thing that (good) JRPGs do much better than WRPGs, and Trails in the Sky is solid in that regard. It also has NPC dialogue change a lot between missions, which is a really nice touch when you re-visit the same places a few times, and again something that good JRPGs can excel at. Of course, if you hate missing things just because you aren't in the right place at the right time, you're gonna hate this, but I love stuff like that.

    + Arts customization. Arts are basically magic you can do (though the game is steampunk-ish and so it pretends that technology, not magic), and the game has a neat element-based system where

    + That classic JRPG feeling. This game just feels right, exactly the same way that best JRPGs do.

    + The UI is good and lets you customize everything that matters, including your characters' special attacks and party formation. The quest journal and in-game help manual are good, too.

    - On the other hand, that also comes with having a lot of classic JRPG tropes, which are definitely overused at this point, but personally I even kinda like that and don't find them particularly irritating here - again, thanks to the low-key story and dialogue. YMMV, however.

    - The game is extremely easy. I only had to restart a handful of fights so far, just to change some accessories around. Whoever says this game is hard or "just right" must be kidding. You also always have just enough money to buy everything you need (though not too much money either, which is good).

    - The chapter progression is linear. You do all guild assignments in one region, the plot advances in some major way, you move on to the next region, etc. It's mostly no big deal but occasionally (though thankfully not too often) the forced linearity gets very irritating, e.g. when you want to go to a specific location and do a specific sidequest but the game tells you "no, not right now; you must go a different way first and do what I, game, want you to do".

    - Olivier is extremely irritating, but you can't ditch him because, being a JRPG, this game keeps forcing him on you.

    Neutral: Combat system. It has rudimentary positioning and stuff like limit breaks etc., but that's all really really basic.

    tl;dr If you're looking for a new classic-style JRPG to play, this game is very good and I can mostly recommend it. If you're looking for challenge, look elsewhere.

    It could also be good as a JRPG noob's first JRPG due to low difficulty, low key story, getting the feeling of progression and atmosphere right, but also being modern and having a good UI.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
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  2. SCOgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

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    *translation that doesn't suck donkey genitals
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Humanity has risen!gender: ⚧ Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

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    Wasn't this supposed to already be released on PC?
     
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  4. setgender: ⚧ Erudite

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    It's a lot better than stuff that comes out these days, but it's not something I'd recommend to a newbie.

    Still, I couldn't finish it. Only got like 10 hours in, it was just too easy and predictable, even though it does have some nice elements.
     
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  5. SCOgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

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    Its terrible about backtracking if you care for the optional quests.
     
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  6. Krralothgender: ⚧ Liturgist Patron

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    I am just wondering when/if the others of the series will be translated.
     
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  7. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    A PC port was announced back in September, yeah, but it doesn't seem to have been released yet.

    Not particularly terrible with Haze + Eagle Vision + emulator speed-up key, really. Each region only has a handful of locations that matter anyway.

    Carpe Fulgur (the team which translated Recettear, Chantelise and Fortune Summoners) is supposed to be working on translating the 2nd game.
     
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  8. Krralothgender: ⚧ Liturgist Patron

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    Carpe Fulgur? Awesome.
    That is very good news.
     
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  9. m_s0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Fucking finally.

    Assuming it comes out, that is.
     
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  10. Abu Antargender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    The arena fighting part was the worst part of the game. It felt like it just kept dragging on and on.
     
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  11. SuicideBunnygender: ⚧ (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

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    you might love it but gameplay relevant missable quests like the ones for the best weapons because you didn't talk (again) to an npc with a previous generic response during a certain effectively two minute window between two certain story segments to gain an item you have no way of knowing he would have let alone give you only at that specific time cannot be objectively described as a solid implementation... when secrets require you to obnoxiously travel the entire area every time something changes or you gain a key item and talk again to everyone, that is not solid or good, just obnoxious. a solid design would have inworld clues that let you piece stuff together for yourself rather than having to bruteforce it or use a faq.
     
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  12. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Well, I disagree - that's one of my favorite things about JRPGs, actually, and I hate it when a classic-style JRPG doesn't have it. Random things like that are great precisely because they are random; they add a lot to exploration and discovery for me. And nobody says you have to 100% the game so the complaint about using FAQ is moot.
     
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  13. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Yeah, this logic that people need to beat 100% of the game in one go is recent bullshit, drove by achievements.
     
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  14. SuicideBunnygender: ⚧ (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

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    dood, please. i am not talking about 100% in one go, which by the way is completely and utterly impossible in this game, even if you actually do play with a guide and do not miss anything. i am talking about the stupidity of having somewhat important missables like the weapons quests be completely arbitrarily missable for no good logical or ingame reason. this is just stupid, kinda like putting an ng+ option that doesn't change anything into a thoroughly linear game devoid of c&c or replayability, which trails in the sky also does.
     
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  15. SCOgender: ⚧ Arcane In My Safe Space

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    The problem isn't that they're random - it's that it's devious. In fact it's so devious, that it works exactly like this: just before a major and some minor plot development, before the point of no return (which you don't necessary know about), you want to go back to check previous npcs for editions of that stupid book. And you can only start to check just before the point of no return. And there are dozens of npcs on many areas you need to run too, and they're not shy about making those books be in out of the way places sometimes (although normally it's just 'near' the area, not necessarily geographically, but teleporter wise). Normally the only indication you missed one or more books was when you got one 'out of order' and think 'shit'.

    The 'item interaction' was exactly as bad as far as intervals go, but at least if you thought about the items a bit there was a chance you'd find the appropriate person by pure logic, so it was slightly better than the weapon sidequest, even if the usability of the interface was disastrous on this case too.

    I don't know, maybe the npcs give out clues they have one when you first talk to them before it's the right time for them to give it to you, i can't recall.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
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  16. Chaotic_Hereticgender: ⚧ Magister

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    It was just bait to sell strategy guides, in the days of no internet for those one run 100% aspies. Too bad, those aspies now just have to refer to some walkthrough.
     
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  17. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I always found fun to exchange game secrets with bros during school... from retarded stuff like 5 kids going to another kids house just to see he do Scorpion's Fatality to no the fact that when Pokémon launched we didn't know what were the pokemons available or to what they evolved at what level... a friend would arrive one day "bro, that turtle I got now evolved and has two cannons on his back!!!" and we would run after school to his house to see it.

    RPGs and internet forums would be way more fun without GameFaqs. From people debating discoveres and how to reach it to trolls spreading rumors and photoshops... it would be awesome. :lol:

    "Hey guys, if you beat Baldur's Gate II without ever using the Slayer transformation, you get a different ending!"
     
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  18. Make America Great Again Whiskygender: ⚧ The Solution

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    BROS! Did you know if you feed Charizard 100 Rare Candies he will become a Dragon-type!?

    I actually love missable secrets in JRPGS and all games really, as long as they're not cumulative, like missing a shovel early on and as a result you will never be able to do a digging mini-game throughout the entire game.
     
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  19. Chaotic_Hereticgender: ⚧ Magister

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    They might be fun sure, but the intent is to sell guides.
     
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  20. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

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    There's nothing important in the weapons sidequest in Trails. I missed it in my playthrough and the end boss still went down in a few turns. It's not like you actually need any additional weapons besides those you find in special monster-protected chests (which aren't tied to any side quest and which you can find simply by exploring around). Weapons don't grant any new skills or attacks either - it's Quartz stones that do.

    In fact, Trails' side quests are good precisely because they aren't essential in any way. You don't even have to do them all, like recruiting everyone in Suikoden, to get the best ending. At the same time, they are a really great touch due to how many of them there are (including hidden ones), so that you often feel rewarded for just derping around - which is something I love a lot in those JRPGs that allow it. I think I spent about 60-70% of my Trails playthrough doing just that.

    NG+ in Trails unlocks two additional difficulty levels, so it does change things. (I'd rather those difficulties were there right from the start, though, so in that I concur that it may be stupid.)

    As for replayability, Trails is just not that kind of JRPG. It is in theory replayable, however, if you want to experiment around with the characters' Orbment setups or go for a higher difficulty level. I'm actually thinking of doing that some time in the future.

    I checked and according to the GameFAQs guide, that is actually possible.

    Devious is good.

    In fact, I'd say the side quests in Trails are too obvious. It's true that, as you said, the cut-off points are mostly self-evident. Plus the game tells you the approximate time frame for each non-hidden side quest ("short", "medium" or "long"). Trails is pretty player-friendly compared to many other JRPGs with hidden quests.
     
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  21. SuicideBunnygender: ⚧ (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

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    you can't max bp and monster entries in the same playthrough and since monsters carry over and bp don't, you need to do them in the proper order as well... unless you are not ocd enough to want them both at the very same time.
     
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  22. yes plzgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Has there been any news of the first chapter's release on Steam? I remember them announcing it around the middle of last year, then a bit later saying it was delayed, and then nothing.
     
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  23. Damned Registrationsgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

    Damned Registrations
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    So much this. Even if it's a chained thing I don't mind too much unless it's an especially large chunk of the game (one of the things I hate about ADOM is that if you don't save Khelly you can't get the TotRR, which renders like a third of the entire game pointless.) Knowing that you acquired a unique, missable item due to your own attentiveness feels awesome.

    Except the pegasus wing in Shining Force 2. Fuck that thing. That was SUCH bullshit. Nobody found that legitimately. Not one fucking person I swear. It's the equivalent of placing an item on a random unmarked floortile in a Wizardry game with no hints it's there. And it's totally unique and necessary to make one of the main characters (someone you start the game with) useful.
     
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  24. Seboistgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    It's been delayed to spring.
     
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  25. Applypoisongender: ⚧ Numantian Games Patron Developer

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    Indeed, best thing since bread spread. It's simpler than JPCSP, user-friendly and has overall better compatibility - been able to enjoy tons of great, platform-exclusive RPGs thanks to it. Work like that is well worth supporting.

    The only kind of games where I find this to be appropriate design are ARPGs or pseudo-roguelikes, with higher difficulty meaning updated shopkeepers/economy, new enemies/abilities, polished character growth, so on. I'm curious about how Trails' NG+ settings hold up, and if (in theory) a Lvl.1 character with starting items could take it on.
     
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