Trails Into Reverie

Nintendo Switch Review
Trails into Reverie is an exceptional game that delves into emotionally and narratively profound territories, taking the series to new heights. While the battle system may feel familiar, Reverie maximizes its potential, offering a captivating experience that doesn't require the patience to collect every character. The Trails series finds renewed vigor and potential with Reverie, promising an even brighter future for fans.
  • Three story branches keep the pace moving
  • C's story is outstanding
  • Very refined battle system
  • Reverie Corridor is insanely addictive
  • Lots of nostalgia with so many previous characters
  • Some performance issues
Story - 9
Gameplay - 9
Mechanics - 9
Audio - 10
Visuals - 10

Title (EN): The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie
Title (JP): Eiyuu Densetsu: Hajimari no Kiseki (英雄伝説 創の軌跡)
Genre: RPG
Platform: PS4, Switch, PC
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: Nihon Falcom (JP/PS4), Clouded Leopard Entertainment (JP/PC, Switch), NIS America (NA)
Release date: 27 Aug 2020 (JP/PS4), 26 Aug 2021 (JP/PC, Switch), 2023 (NA)
As this game is a sequel, the review may contain spoilers for previous installments in the series.

As a fan of the franchise, I must say – The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is nothing short of a thrilling and expertly crafted finale to a saga that began almost two decades ago with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. The Crossbell arc – comprising Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure – won me over just like it did many others, while the Trails of Cold Steel games established the series’ reputation globally. The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie brings together all the treasured elements that have come to define this series: enchanting characters, powerful narratives, top-notch turn-based combat, and other compelling aspects. It’s really the perfect ode to die-hard Trails fans.

Moving into this final chapter, the intertwined narratives of our favorites, Rean Schwarzer and Lloyd Bannings, arrive at their much-anticipated climax, as the enigmatic ‘C’ makes a striking comeback. Every narrative pathway teems with unexpected plot twists and jaw-dropping revelations, ensuring this instalment pumps up the adrenaline and stays etched in our memory as one of the most riveting Trails stories. This captivating narrative is served on a hearty platter of a richly detailed game world, accentuated by a polished turn-based combat system. The battles no longer feel like mere acts; they’re more akin to a theatrical performance – every move carries a unique charm. Trails into Reverie is undeniably one of Nihon Falcom’s grandest offerings, and the sheer quality radiating from the game speaks louder than any amount of marketing or hype ever could.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie – Woven Paths Unravel

Half a year on from the upheaval of the Great Twilight, the Special Support Section (or SSS for short) has finally put themselves in a position to give the rogue soldiers of Erebonia, huddled in Crossbell, something they haven’t had for a while – liberation. We kick off Lloyd’s narrative journey in earnest as the SSS bands together with their allies, dusting off enemies and spearheading a bold raid on Orchis Tower.

With nods of approval from nearby nations and the Septian Church, Crossbell is at the precipice of penning its own destiny and claiming independence. But does anything ever go off without a hitch? A surprise visit from the former governor-general, Rufus Albarea, along with a handful of ill-intentioned characters, quickly turn a day poised for joy into a living nightmare. 

Unique Angles

The “Trails to Walk” system in the illustrious Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie truly sets the bar high. It armed me with the power to steer the narrative as I controlled the destinies of Rean Schwarzer, Lloyd Bannings, and a mysterious character known as C. The system presented itself after I finished digesting the Class VII members’ update in Lloyd’s very first act. With this unique feature, I had the freedom to wrap up Lloyd’s act or dive straight into the waters of Rean’s tale, all the while keeping Lloyd’s progress tucked away safely.

Once I had my fill of Rean’s exciting debut act, the stage was set for ‘C’ and the plot intensified, leaving me wanting more. The following acts took on a rhythmic pattern where the main narratives occasionally played hard-to-get until I made significant strides in another journey. The beauty of it all? Each route harmoniously intertwined, serving up a hearty blend of jaw-dropping revelations and high-octane battles. Progress isn’t just an option—it’s a necessity if you want to unlock the next thrilling act.

Battle It Out

The prime jewel of Trails into Reverie, in my opinion, has got to be the tantalizing “Turn-Based Pinnacle”—the game’s battle system. The franchise’s tried-and-tested Arts and Crafts combat style has been retouched with more details and polish, undeniably projecting Trails into Reverie as the crowning glory of this unique system. This game signals the advent of a new era, boasting upgrades that only serve to enrich our gaming experience—increasing Battle Points to a whopping eight. It throws in weakness indicators for Arts and even introduces us to the slick Zero Craft AT bonus during fights.

Additionally, the comeback of the Quartz system, along with the exciting new feature of an Ultra Rare rating for Quartz and Orbment slots, is a treat for every player. And if you are like me and appreciate a smooth start, you’re in luck—the game thoughtfully provides two ARCUS II unit slots pre-upgraded. Plus, for all those resource-hungry gamers, it generously sprinkles sepith obtainable from a smorgasbord of sources. To sum it up, the Trails to Walk system and Turn-Based Pinnacle in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie deserve nothing less than a standing ovation.

You can also charge up your team’s fighting spirit with United Fronts, a nifty collection of crackling battle commands that jack up your Battle Points by betting on the Assault Gauge meter. This dynamic trio of United Fronts – United Attack, United Arts, and United Heal – is pretty much what it sounds like. This incredible new twist comes in super handy in both your everyday skirmishes not to mention those nail-biting boss bouts, all while the Assault Gauge steadily refuels itself in the heart of battle. Simply put, the thrill of combat just got a whole lot better in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie. By plunging further into the enigmatic True Reverie Corridor, you’ll unlock handy perks and major upgrades to take your gaming experience to a whole new level.

Let’s dive into the Realm of Reverie!

The True Reverie Corridor adds an intriguing twist – it brings our favorite characters from The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie into a perplexing realm where their recent memories have been wiped out. Amidst this realm lies an all-knowing Central Core that suggests the party could alter their destined ending in the real world, opening the doors to endless possibilities. 

As our heroes trek through the floors of this enigmatic tower, you’ll uncover secrets and forgotten memories. You’ll also discover addictive mini-games, dressing up with new cosmetics, and loads more. The cool part? The upgrades you find in this mysterious place can be used in the main storyline. So just when you thought you had dreamed it all up, the True Reverie Corridor kicks in. It’s available to explore at any time once you’ve progressed to a particular point in the main story.

Reverie Garden

The Reverie Garden isn’t just the party’s central headquarters in the True Reverie Corridor. It’s also a bustling hub for relaxation and fun activities! It’s the place where characters can chill out, chat, and level up their combat camaraderie. They can do so even if they’re miles apart or currently out of the main story’s spotlight.

Familiar mini-games like Vantage Masters or Pom Pom Party are waiting for you to unlock. All you need to do is complete some missions dished out by the ever-helpful Central Core unit or use the mysterious Sealing Stones. And speaking of Sealing Stones, they’re not just about unlocking games. You can use them to welcome new characters to your team, snag some rare goodies, and unveil bonus story scenarios that we affectionately call “Daydreams.”

In a nutshell, the True Reverie Corridor is a true delight for any longtime Trails fan. It’s a playground that beckons you to sculpt your ultimate dream team. The labyrinthian beauty of this expansive dungeon, absolutely brimming with content, is one of the crowning jewels in “The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie”. So whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie, it’s definitely something you won’t want to miss!

Raising the Bar: A Leap Beyond for Trails 

With a sprinkling of delightful quality of life tweaks, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie takes noticeable strides forward, particularly when it comes to animations. The eye-catching game-opening movie is cleverly shot with in-engine footage, creating an immersive experience that invites you into the game world. 

Character models have not just been improved; they’ve been transformed, featuring more pronounced expressions and detail than those in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III and IV. Plus, the cinematic ambiance that the in-game cutscenes now possess, thanks to these enhancements, lends the narrative a more compelling edge. The Trails series has been on an impressive journey, and Trails into Reverie takes it a notch higher. It abounds with rich content and sterling quality, an experience that fans are sure to treasure.

Every moment in Trails into Reverie unveils an exhilarating surprise, thanks to its intricately crafted storyline and dynamic True Reverie Corridor. While the Corridor is not entirely a novelty for RPGs, this substantial dungeon, brimming with an array of content, dovetails beautifully with the main story, offering a meaningful and joyous detour from the main path. The distinctive features cultivated in Trails into Reverie combine to create a total package that’s irresistibly engaging, marking a triumphant homecoming for the Trails series. And the cherry on top? All the fan-favorite features are back, and they shine even brighter in Trails into Reverie. Time to step into a new adventure!

Exploring the Nintendo Switch Experience

Immersing yourself in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie via the handheld mode on Nintendo Switch is nothing short of delightful. It runs smoothly at 30 frames per second on the platform, maintaining this refreshing consistency in most scenarios.

There were a couple of hiccups along the way. I saw a dip in the frame rate, for example, during the grand procession in Crossbell’s first act. This was more of an exception rather than the rule, and thankfully, such drops in frame rate occur only rarely. High-Speed Mode, on the other hand, performed admirably, running flawlessly throughout my gameplay.

During my time exploring the world of Crossbell, I ran into a single glitch that caused the game to crash. It was a minor bump in the road. More importantly, none of my progress was lost thanks to the game’s reliable backup system. It’s a detail worth mentioning, but by no means a deal-breaker.

Moreover, I did notice a few minor errors, a couple of misspelled enemy names and items for instance, in version 1.0 of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie. These small hitches are already being addressed and should be sorted out in the upcoming patches.

So while the Switch port has its quirks, Trails into Reverie stays resilient and even surpasses the quality of earlier Falcom releases on the platform due to improved engine optimizations. By and large, it’s still a fantastic experience, and the charm of the game shines through all the small hiccups, keeping you engaged throughout!

Celebrate the Grand Finale: A Love Letter from The Ultimate Trails

At long last, “The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie” has arrived! Fans who have journeyed through the narrative will see familiar protagonists beaming brighter than ever, threading together loose ends left from “The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV”. Simultaneously, the game offers a tempting peek into future story arcs yet to be explored. Falcom’s upgraded engine for Trails into Reverie vividly animates the Trails universe in previously unimaginable ways – it’s a real spectacle!

But there’s more. “Trails into Reverie” artfully refines an already innovative turn-based combat system. It also introduces delightful enhancements like United Fronts. Dig deeper into this content-rich RPG, and you’ll find an emphasis on diversity and autonomy. It allows players not only to plunge into the lush lore of Trails but also enjoy a myriad of entertaining mini-games sprinkled throughout your main quest. 

While there may be occasional technical hitches, they hardly shadow the fact that Trails into Reverie stands as an exceptional RPG. Those who have followed the franchise’s epic journey through time should absolutely add this to their collection. “Trails into Reverie” is Falcom’s ultimate love letter to the Trails fan base, gifting them with an experience to cherish forever. Truly, it’s the love letter that every Trails enthusiast deserves.

For more information on Trails Into Reverie, check out NIS America’s website. To purchase Trails Into Reverie, visit the Nintendo eShop. And while you’re here, check out our reviews for Trails of Cold Steel III and Trails of Cold Steel IV.

Written by
Jim's first handheld gaming device was an original Gameboy, purchased with Super Mario Land and Tetris.

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