The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure Hands-on Impressions

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure Hands-on Impressions

By  Mike Crewe - 15th Mar 2023

One of the best in the series of long-running JRPGs!

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure Hands-on Impressions

Despite originally releasing way back in 2011, The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure has finally received an English release, giving a brand-new audience the chance to experience this incredible JRPG for the first time! Having had the chance to play through the second (and final) part of the Crossbell arc, we’re here to share our impressions of one of Nihon Falcom’s most beloved titles!

In terms of the story, it will definitely be a bit of a struggle for those that have yet to play The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero, despite Trails to Azure having a recap available from the main menu. You could jump straight into the second title, but you’ll be missing out on a quality RPG! We pick up a few months after the events of the first game, with main protagonist Lloyd Bannings tying up a few loose ends with a new team of SSS members. Party members from the previous title will return — it’s always nice to see a familiar face — but the new characters are just as complex and interesting as them.

It doesn’t take long for things to heat up, and what follows is a series of gripping events and could genuinely be one of our favourite plots in the entire franchise! Obviously there won’t be any spoilers here, but this story-rich journey is magnificent, and the characters at the centre of it all are so well-written that you’ll definitely care about them, and their struggles, long before the credits roll. The great soundtrack featured also helps, with sweeping melodies for dramatic scenes, low-fi tunes during calmer moments, and a fantastic battle theme!

Whilst little has changed in terms of the graphical style and gameplay, why fix what isn’t broken? Trails to Azure features turn-based combat that is surprisingly in-depth, with a whole host of unique magic and special attacks (known as Arts and Crafts respectively) to choose from. Arts are interchangeable depending on which Quartz and Master Quartz each party member has equipped, Crafts are special moves unique to each individual, as are the incredibly flashy S-Craft moves. Using these against foes can really turn the tide of battle, but they’re not unlimited, so watch that SP gauge!

The world Lloyd and his companions will explore is very easy to get lost in. Not in the sense of how large it is — it admittedly isn’t a huge in-game map — but just how easy it is to get swept up in talking to every NPC and learning more about this engrossing universe. The city of Crossbell is a wonderful place to traverse, with side quests and minigames seemingly hidden around every corner!

That was our hands-on impressions of The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure, a terrific RPG with a cast of multifaceted characters and an unforgettable journey!

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