Fair warning. If an all-consuming desire for a meaty RPG replete with a shiny metal Bracer badge, soundtrack and poster* should sacrifice your wallet to the gaming gods, your PSP is ours for the next 50+ hours of your life. You will be held hostage to its crushing narrative, and YOU WILL LIKE IT.
Salutations, readers. My name is Jessica Chavez, and I have worked on such delights as Half-Minute Hero and Rune Factory: Frontier, and inserted something salacious about Pikkards into Ys I&II. I also toiled for months on the enormity that is The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, which hits the PSP on March 29, and I shall tell you about it today.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (also known affectionately as “TitS” thanks to the tender caress of the internet) is an RPG that was first released in 2004 for the PC. It gained fame and notoriety on the computer circuit by virtue of being both massive and the first 3D iteration of its kind within the Legend of Heroes series. Fast-forward to 2011 and you now have a PSP version crammed with all the original goodness, polished to a blinding sheen and accented with newly added battle voices. There’s also one crucial addition that is very relevant for you, the reader: those ~1.5 million characters of Japanese have since been put through the translation grinder. Trails in the Sky is ready for its Western debut.
Which brings me to you, the buyer. How will you know if this is the game for you? Let us count the ways…
1) The script for the game was so huge that the translation/editing process straddled 3 separate years (November 2009 to February 2011), which translates to a) employee dementia and b) some serious value for your money.
2) You will travel this huge, detailed world and bludgeon things to death.
3) The dismembered body parts of your foes are great for cooking.
4) There are no random encounters.
5) You do not need to grind, but if that pleases you, you may mill your little heart into tiny, tiny stats.
6) There is a sizeable and painstakingly crafted plot under all those text windows.
7) There is a rotating 3D camera function, and holding either the L or R buttons for prolonged periods of time will make any secondary parties that are watching quite motion sick (I have tried this and enjoyed their suffering; you will too).
8) The soundtrack was composed by the Falcom Sound Team JDK
9) You get to go fishing.
10) A select few NPCs will say unexpected and offensive things. Please enjoy them.
11) There is a dictionary… for cats.
12) There are several in-game books and one very, VERY long novel.
13) There is a bath scene.
Anyway, between all the unfolding plot points and dungeon crawling, you have rock-solid gameplay and a virtual interactive novel. As our in-house Falcom fanboy has said before, “It strikes a nice balance between hardcore and accessible, and as long as you don’t mind a game that’s about 70% narrative and 30% action, I guarantee you’ll be hooked.” He’s also said that Dinosaur Resurrection is the pinnacle of gaming, but I think he’s right on this one.
Trails in the Sky will release on both PSN and UMD on March 29th for $29.99. As mentioned above, there will also be a Limited Edition package which will contain a soundtrack CD, a 13-inch by 19.5-inch poster and a Bracer Guild replica metal badge for the suggested retail price of $39.99.
*Bracer badge, soundtrack and poster are all Limited Edition bonus content