Hailed as one of the largest, longest and most meticulously detailed turn-based JRPG series of all time, this first chapter in the ongoing Trails saga sets the stage for what's quickly become Ys developer Nihon Falcom's most popular and best-selling franchise in their entire 30+ year history.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,204 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 29, 2014

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Buy The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

 

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About This Game

Modern society owes much to a mystical technology known as “orbal energy.” Fifty years ago, during what’s come to be known as the “Orbal Revolution,” the invention of this technology and the “orbments” developed from it led to a period of rapid human advancement, birthing innovations of all shapes and sizes -- not the least of which was the airliner, or “orbalship” industry. Although the positive impact of this revolution is obvious, every coin has a flipside; for every beneficial device developed with these new materials, so too were advanced weapons and other implements of war. Thus, the land became mired with turmoil, and remains in such a state even now.

Enter, the bracers: an organization established to serve as police and intermediaries alike, holding above all else the peace and safety of the lands under their jurisdiction. Whenever a citizen is in need of assistance, he or she may place a request at the local Bracer Guild -- and be it monster extermination, crime prevention or even peace talks among warring nations, the bracers will do whatever they can to resolve the matter cleanly and efficiently.

Some matters require a gentler touch than others, however. When an orbalship transporting a legendary "S-rank" bracer named Cassius Bright suddenly goes missing, said bracer's daughter, Estelle, and adoptive son, Joshua, must join forces in search of him across the entire Kingdom of Liberl.

And what they find along the way could change both of their lives forever...

Hailed as one of the largest, longest and most meticulously detailed turn-based JRPG series of all time, this first chapter in the ongoing Trails saga sets the stage for what's quickly become Ys developer Nihon Falcom's most popular and best-selling franchise in their entire 30+ year history. Introducing people, places, ideas, events and lore that rival in complexity those of even the most highly-regarded fantasy epics in literature, the care and attention given to each and every NPC, location and historical in-game event is what sets The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky apart from its contemporaries.

Come join Estelle, Joshua, Scherazard, Olivier and the rest of the cast as they uncover the secret underbelly of Liberl in their first 50+ hour masterpiece, and see what Japanese gamers have been raving about for over ten years.

Key Features:

  • The original version of the first chapter in this historical series, featuring strategic turn-based combat with unmatched customization.
  • Over 50 hours of gameplay on average, with countless side-quests, collectibles and secrets to encourage replay.
  • A vast world where every NPC has a name and personality, every town has its own unique politics and economic concerns, and no detail is ever trivial.
  • Support for a wide variety of fullscreen and widescreen resolutions, including true 1080p HD.
  • Fully adjustable controls supporting virtually any USB gamepad, as well as a standard keyboard and mouse setup.
  • Over two dozen unique Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud support and Steam Trading Cards featuring gorgeous anime-style art from the franchise's original artists.
  • Numerous updates previously seen only in the handheld version, including:
    - Selectable difficulty level and new game+ features on subsequent playthroughs
    - Full voice-acting during combat
    - "Retry Offset" feature to lower the difficulty of battle with each attempt if desired

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Pentium III 550 MHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 32 MB VRAM, 3D accelerator compatible w/ DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7 or 8 (64-bit supported)
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or higher
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64 MB VRAM, 3D accelerator compatible w/ DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
44 of 50 people (88%) found this review helpful
129.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
I play games for a few reasons, but first and foremost, I play a game for its story. A game with a poor story can't be saved by amazing graphics or awesome gameplay. However, if the story is good enough, I can forgive a lot.

Trails in the Sky may not have the best plot in RPG history, but it more than makes up for that with incredibly strong writing. The dialogue is amazing and each character gets several moments to shine; the main protagonist especially is incredibly fun.

The combat system is really interesting; the orbment system superficially resembles FF7's materia system, but it works really differently in ways that make the game a lot more strategic. The actual fights are most similar to FFX, with some really cool wrinkles.

The soundtrack is amazing, the controls are great, either with a mouse or a control pad and the graphics, while dated, still really work.

This is the first half of a duology; it's already one of my favorite games and from what I've heard, the sequel is EVEN BETTER. If you like or even tolerate JRPGs, you should definitely give this game a shot. It's really really good.
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47 of 59 people (80%) found this review helpful
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Wow. Just, wow. Do you like generic RPGs? Cliche as hell all the way through? Do you like a bunch of quirky characters fitting your typical mold? From quiet brave boy, to tsundere girl and perverted bard? We got you covered today!

Now, what if I told you you get all the typical RPG delights, and the game is actually good? Then you're in for a treat.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is fantastic if you want your JRPG goodness done right. Nothing new, nothing special, just good quality entertainment to be found. Can't recommend any more than this. Please buy it so we can get the whole trilogy in the US.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
50.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
pros:
-its a classic and solid jrpg with good storyline
-all characters are really likeable(even the npcs, btw some of then have their own story if you check then out)
-the combat system is pretty fun with some good customization
-the game is pretty challenging, especially at the end
-it has some pretty funny moments(try checking each chest after openning then)
-the game is really long with hours(around 40 hours if you speedrun) of gameplay(its kind silly that i have to say that these days since most of games are around 10 hours max long)
-the port is very well done

cons:
-the game graphically is pretty outdated(not that i give a ♥♥♥♥ since still looks good)
-you cant backtrack(so if you wanna 100% you WILL NEED A GUIDE)

dont buy this game just because you wanna more jrpgs on steam
buy this game because its a fantastic game
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Typically, I'm not a big fan of JRPGs, since I consider Dragon Warrior 8 and Final Fantasy X the last major JRPGs with any likable characters, cohesive plot and fun gameplay (with the exception of Fire Emblem: Awakening, and that's not really a pure JRPG). Sure, I'll sometimes play The Last Remnant or something along those lines for its gameplay, but I haven't met a JRPG since the PS2 days that nailed down my (admittedly subjective) three characteristics of an all-around good game (story, characters and gameplay).

I say all this so you can understand how surprised I was by Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, especially given the old-school style of it. I think 'heartwarmingly whimsical' describes the tone of the game best, even at its 'to be continued' conclusion. It's a shame this game doesn't have more attention, because it certainly deserves it, and I can't wait for the second chapter to come out (hopefully by the end of this year, as planned *EDIT* Guess not).

As far as gameplay, what you see in the pictures up there describes it perfectly. It's an old-school turn-based system, where you can use a combination of gems to tailor each person's specific playstyle. There's also the Bracer Levels, where completing sidequests will give you BP and unlock rewards with each level, giving you a reason to do them. As mentioned by most the other reviews, the amount of dialogue in the game is staggering, with even NPC dialogue changing dependant on where you are in a quest.

Which brings us to story. Now, this is a story you have to be a bit patient for. It's a very slow build, but does its best to immerse you in a world that feels like it's changing around you (helped, obviously, by the changing NPC dialogue). This is the good kind of vast storytelling, where there is a massive story going on in the background, but the focus is on the core group you're following and their small part in big events. There are plenty of cliches and tropes to be found here, but that never bothers me as long as they're used in a way that doesn't come across as cheesy, which they generally don't in this game. All told, it's an EXTREMELY slow boil, but if you're big on story-heavy games, this is for you . Honestly, the story was probably one of the (if not THE) best I've seen in a JRPG (Admittedly not the highest bar to set, especially with the biggest JRPG developer out there obsessed with sequels to a terrible game and pink-haired waifu nobody likes).

As for characters, this game has a wide array of endearing characters who (with a couple exceptions) go out of their way to avoid being archtypes to fill the void between you and gameplay. The two main characters are well fleshed out, and the story itself is a very satisfying one that ends quite well. I like that they actually managed to write teenage characters without them being so grating that I wanted to stick a pair of scissors in both ears. It's no Mass Effect, Walking Dead or TLOU in the character department, but Legend of Heroes certainly had enough good characters that I found my time with them honestly enjoyable.

So do yourself a favor. If you don't mind slower JRPGs, pick this up.

*Edited for typos and to add a bit more substance to it
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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
54.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
I always have the most difficulty talking about a game I am completely enamored with, but The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is one of the best games I've played. I have only played a handful of JRPGs such as Valkyria Chronicles, another of my favorites (most of which, including LoH aren't traditional JRPGs) however the appeal of this game, along with the likes of Valkyria Chronicles, is the connection to the characters, supported by a terrific battle system that emphasizes strategy and preparation.

What makes this game special, for me, is the dialogue and the characters. So much care and thought is put into the writing and the cadence of the dialogue, that it really reads like a comic or a manga where, even though you read the dialogue, the intonations of the characters come across to make them real people with values, strengths and weaknesses, and not simply there to move things along.

LoH takes its time, as well it should.

Too often, things are thrust into an "end of the world" scenario in video games that compels a forward momentum with the main quest, but LoH meanders. It is a tale about the journey, and not so much the final boss battle, to the point that the game is more than the sum of its mechanics. This is rare, in a video game, I think. Lesser games use the story as window-dressing for its mechanics, but things like putting on the school play, while little more than "cutscenes" are given weight and gravitas that it is clear, to me, that the developers consider it just as important as the battle system.

The battle system, too, is a lot of fun and while I don't have much to say about it, I do like the balance it achieves in terms of giving each character its own style, while still allowing a certain degree of customization with the Orbment system.

I'm reiterating myself, but the meat is in the writing, and there is always the impression that Estelle & Co. are making their own personal journies within the greater macrocosm of a mysterious political world that is shifting with tectonic unease... pieces on the board are moving, and the beauty is being able to step inside the shoes of Estelle's perspective (who is really the main character, at least of this chapter), and be lost, grappling with the pieces of the puzzle.

A balancing of the microcosmic, personal concerns with the larger, political and altruistic values is something that LoH manages to achieve, to the point that the game feels... well, like a full course meal.

This is food for the soul, you could say.

From the technical perspective, the music is terrific and enhances the atmosphere and connection to the diegesis. I had a few CTDs when I first installed, but IIRC, there was a patch and since then I have had no problems in my 55 hrs with the game.

10/10
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
47.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
For those who want some nostalgia factor, Trails in the Sky is a winner. While the game only represents the first chapter of what had turned into one of Nihon Falcom's most ambitious projects at the time, the game itself is solid.

The storyline is very well written and the dialogue feels far more natural between the characters than your standard JRPG fare. Unlike the standard JRPG cliché of a bunch of kids saving the world while the adults are useless, it becomes clear that they are in over their heads and are simply treading water. Also, the adults in the game are far from useless, as it becomes clear that while Estelle and Joshua, out heroes, have been busy, several of the adults in the game are busy in the background, or actually fighting.

Each of the characters has their own personality quirks and their dialogue is much more natural seeming than is typical in most JRPGs. The NPCs are even more interesting in some respects, mostly because each NPC, regardless of their importance to the plot, have names and quirky personalities at times. This level of detail gives the storyline much more depth than you would expect and the amount of dialogue is MASSIVE. (no wonder the release was delayed by several months).

The combat system forces you to think more tactically, learning the weaknesses of your enemies and exploiting them, using your character's strengths wisely and covering their weaknesses. Also, the magic system, while not as intuitive as some, is very customizable and gives you a large number of options, as well as using character specific skills.

It is repetitive at times, to the point where you will find yourself avoiding combat to get past the monotony due to eventually being too overpowered. At other times, it is extremely frustrating (one boss has an achievement for beating just because he is that difficult and the plot continues regardless of whether you win or not) due to how turn orders work.

As to sidequests, this game massively averts JRPG convention by having a large number of them. All of them are event linked, some are hidden and you have to find, and all of them have time durations on them. Short time quests must be completed before the next plot event, medium duration ones can last for a good while and long duration ones must be completed before the end of the chapter. These quests are responsible for about a third of the time you will spend on the game, if not longer and it is very easy to miss some (have fun finding them 100% completionists).

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go back to it and do a replay in New Game +
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
105.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Best RPG I have played since Skyrim, and if you look at the hours I've logged and the number of games in my library, you would know that's quite a statement. Yeah it's llinear, but the story and game mechanics are awesome. This is what the modern Final Fantasy games should be like
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
83.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
One of my most favorite JRPG of all time next to FF7. Can't wait for the sequel
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
67.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
This is by far my favorite game.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
155.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
Story [good]: If you don't like the anime and JRPG genres you should probably stop reading because this game has many cliches and cultural habits from them and no amount of praise will be able to convince you to like it. However the world building and dailogue of First Chapter is like the calm before the storm, the disc 1 of PS1 RPGs, an incredibly large prologue. The little things dropped here and there really get you wondering about where it's all really headed but you have to be willing to give it a chance.

Characters [very good]: Speaking of cliche I can admit that there's a lot of them. Especially with the characters, you can pretty easily figure out who the bad guys are or how the good guys are going to react to situations (save for the end, I knew it was going to happen but HOW it happened was a surprise). But at the same time they grow and change which can be seen in their dialogue, your main characters are fledgling bracers afterall.

Music [average]: It isn't the most epic soundtrack but it at least fits each situation except maybe the normal battle music but at the same time it's a jazz tune which basically tells you to sit back, relax and enjoy the game's pace.

Difficulty [good]: For me the challenge is just right but it also depends on how much you think about how to use your assets. Depending on the fight and how you plan, the fight can be stupidly easy or frustratingly hard.

Combat [very good]: There's a reason it's turn-based and with so many ways of attacking. Part of the fun is figuring out what you can do with your spells, special attacks, equipment and positioning. Sometimes simply moving your characters to the front or back rows can make all the difference in a fight.

Length [good]: The pacing makes it seem long but by the time you hit the end you'll realize it's not and wish it kept going (which it will because First Chapter and Second Chapter were originally intended to be 1 game).

Replayability [average]: I've already played through to the last dungeon once but had to restart and I'm not bored or tired of it 50 hours into this new playthrough either. Add in the New Game+, achievements and how much of a completionist you want to be along with bonuses you'll get to carry over to the upcoming Second Chapter, there's plenty to offer by replaying it.

Bugs [average]: Some people have had more trouble with these than others but the game has been out long enough that most of the common issues have been solved by the publisher with patches already or has a guide on how to fix the problem on the steam forums. Which, by the way, gets monitored by the publisher and is regularly visited to help with issues and keep us updated on the rest of the Trails in the Sky series.

My only real negative is not being able to skip battle animations and cutscenes which makes redoing parts when you realize you missed something and have to reload from an earlier save, a bit of a pain.

TL;DR: The biggest thing I have to say about the game is that it's fun, it makes me think and use my imagination and there's literally nothing on the Steam Store that is as high quality or satisfying in terms of Strategy RPGs. There's a direct sequel on its way so if you're still on the fence about buying this, wait until Second Chapter arrives to make a final decision.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
So far, so good. Really like the customization system as well as the food aspect. The story leaves something to be desired and at times it can feel like you're talking for far too long about things that are totally irrelevant. Overall, it's proving to be a challenging, enjoyable gameplay experience.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
49.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
This game is pure awesomeness. The story, the battle, the world, only reason not to play it is if you do you will be super impatient waiting for the second chapter.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
67.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
There's a book in this game that teaches you cat dialects.

Actually the greatest video game ever made.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
51.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
I rate this anime game 4/5 Gokus, because it has some of the best characters and storytelling I've seen in any recent jrpg. It reminds me of the kind of tone that classics like Grandia and Lunar had. The attention to detail is insane, and every npc villager in every town has something new to say after almost every event. I was really impressed by how much small talk dialogue they added.

It loses a Goku because the battle system is a ton of wasted potential. It gives you movement and attack ranges, and could easily have had more combat depth because of positioning, but in practice that doesn't happen because using a move takes your entire turn. This ends up encouraging you to simply attack at all times, since moving is baked in, and leads to no control over position unless you chose to spend multiple turns micromanaging (and if the enemy moves you have to do that again). This of course results in the usual jrpg menu-battling slapfights that I have a severe aversion to.

The combat is sadly very jrpg, requiring little player agency aside from the rare interupt to disrupt casts. Most fights can simply be completely avoided, but doing this led to me being a dozen or so levels lower than what I needed to be at the end of the game and unable to pass the levelcheck at the final boss until I pointlessly ground out bear asses to make my numbers good enough to do damage to his numbers.

The game ends as part 1 of 3, and there's a pretty huge cliffhanger. So waiting for the second chapter (which supposedly ends the main story of the two protagonists) might not be a bad idea if you're worried about Falcom's typical glacial pace.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
I have played the game 8 years ago when I was a boy. Though I played it in chinese version( I don' t even know why there was chinese version at that time). But this time I'm playing in HD and English. The story doesn't change. But the change is mine. An old game and an old me now. I wonder what can I gain by play this again. Maybe just memory of my former self or the memory with this game 8 years ago.
Whatever, thanks Xseed to renovate this game for me.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
53.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
I hope you like lengthy traditional PS1 era style JRPGs, because if you do, you almost can't go wrong with this one. Goes to show that if you do a formula well enough it still works, no matter how "tired" it might seem.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
41.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
First time I played this was back in 2011 on my trusty PSP which now lies somewhere because I have no idea why. And boy, that was an experience. Being a hardcore fanboy of RPG and especially those from Japan (because I'm a giant fat weeaboo) and played games like the original Legend of Heroes, Ys, Generation of Chaos, Persona/Shin Megami Tensei and whatnot I was very quick to pick this up from my local Gamestop back in California. I think that was the best 20 bucks I spent during that semester.

Trails in the Sky is a spinoff/sidestory, or if you would like to call it the sixth game in the Legend of Heroes franschise. It's your typical turn-based JRPG with a little twist and a bit of strategy to it. Battle doesn't become too dull thanks to that and because of the "Arts" system you can customize your characters (which are quite the amount) for a specific role whenever you want to. And it is paramount for the important battles. Unless you are playing on easy. Which you shouldn't do anyway. Shame on you if you do. Like, seriously.

But then, a lot of peope play RPGs for a good storyline which Trails in the Sky does not falter at. More the opposite; albeit that it has a problem of pacing. Now, the game is divided into chapters (I actually forget how many) but the game doesn't start to pick up about halfway through and for many that can be a turnoff. But to compromise this there are a lot of other things one can do. Sidestories, extra missions, exploration. The world of Trails in the Sky is vast and extremely beautiful which is one of its selling point. It's extremely well detailed and the characters just compliments this so well. Compared to a lot of other JRPGn out here on Steam the characters are actually interesting (*cough* Agarest *cough*) Seriously, of a cast of 35 party members in Agarest only three of them were actually somewhat interesting. Now, Trails in the Sky doesn't really have THAT huge of a cast but that doesn't matter when the majority of the characters are great. But of course, it's Japan so we have some sort of stereotypical characters which you will always see. *sighs*

But those minor flaws just pales in comparison of the whole greatness of the game. It's a rich and engaging world with some actually great music (I actually have the CD with the OST, suck it ♥♥♥♥♥es!) that fits the vivid world and enhances the experience. Battle is somewhat fluid, characters actually have an interesting personality (for most part) and has an amazing story... if you can get past the first two chapters (but hey, the story isn't actually bad even from the beginning).

The experience from playing it on a PSP was great but I don't think I could experience the details from that small ♥♥♥ screen the same way I can do on a PC. I mean, holy ♥♥♥♥. The difference is amazing and I can finally enjoy both the artwork and the surroundings to its fullest potential. Only downside is that I feel like a neanderthal sitting in front of my computer and playing games with a controller. With both hands close to the crotch with the vibrating controller, I could do something else. Ya'now.

9/10. "Anime was a mistake" - Hayao Miyazaki

but this game wasn't
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
61.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
Trails has one of the best stories in JRPGs, awesome world-making with even the secondary characters reacting to the stuff that happens during the plot. It's really dialogue-heavy and could use some editing but it eventually engrosses the player in the world.

Trails In The Sky also has one of the worst combat systems ever put into an RPG. So many stupid design decisions - positioning is important yet you cannot decide from where you attack, you can either move where you want or attack. The AI cheats blatantly, the enemies are spongy to the point where they have 20,000 HP (when your characters have around 3000). Spell animations are long and you'll see them thousands of times making fighting a chore. I beat Persona 4 few months ago and Trails has nothing on that game where it comes to combat systems.

That's the main flaw. I've invested lots of hours in the game already but didn't finish it. The last boss fight takes about two or three hours and I just can't bear to sit through all the animations again. I'll pick it up before the Second Chapter appears on Steam.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
54.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
After 52 hours spent playing blind and finishing up my first playthough, I cannot express in words how much I enjoyed the experience playing through The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. The story was amazing, full of emotion; very well written. The music was exceptional and fit perfectly in each scene. The gameplay was engaging and fun and the various mechanics set in place just further enhanced the experience. Heres to hoping the second chapter for this game gets put on Steam soon. I fully recommend this game to anyone looking for a long and wonderful adventure in the land of Liberl.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
I played the original release of Frist Chapter back in 2006 and the Second Chapter in 2008, and now my son (4-yr-old) is playing the re-released on Steam. On a glance this is one of your staple JRPG: cute and seemingly clueless though motivated protagonists, tactical turn-based combat, heavy text-based menu and stats/mechanisms. But beneath that thin layer of disguise, you would have one of the most wonderfully made story-driven RPGs with a plot as dark as the Witcher series (dare I say) you have ever played--if you play all three entries you will reach the same conclusion.

Needless to say the story goes beyond the good vs. evil scheme, but characters in this game also evolve in a believable way. They are very aware of the changing world and interact with each other in meaningful ways. Suffice to say you won't find any one-dimensional character in this game, be it a protagonist or antagonist.

Also worth mentioning is the quality of English translation, which I believe has been to be marvelously done by professionals. It's almost like a re-interpretation of the source material--if you will--in Japanese. This definitely sets this game (and most likely its sequel--Second Chapter and the 3rd) apart from the likes of Final Fantasy and such.

You will probably find choke full o' troupes or cliché common to comics and mangas in this game:
- shadowy groups with profound motives beyond human comprehensions and far reach to every corner of the continent by all means fathomed by only the most conspiracy-minded individuals in the creative industry,;
- mysterious enemy combatants ranked in number not by sheer strength but their legendary reputations;
- villains turned out to be activists manipulated by a greater force each step of the way without a clue;
- etc.

However if you can look past this and accept that most of the deeper story-driven games are more or less like this, and it's only a matter of expertise to conceal the usage of these troupes, then you will have a wonderful time like me to explore this universe--its lore and its characters. Not to mention this is one of the few REAL steampunk themed games available on PC, or even the entire industry, consider it being a niche not generally looked into. And if you are concerned about cliffhangers since this is the only the first entry, worry not--for each "chapter"(game) conclude its story in a satisfying way, while foreshadowing the next one and leaving room for a respite and a sense of achievement.

Gameplay wise, this game sports both open-world (opened up gradually in the first 5 hours) and meaningful character customizations (able to be re-speced at any time) through assemblies of clockworks and gem-socketing (thus comply to its Steampunk theme). Enemies are varied and requires certain tactical thinking in the manners of both character positioning in the battlefield and strength/vulnerabilities of each enemy type. Character progression is also non-linear, meaning there's no hard coded class definition, so you can have detailed customization of each character's role, while everyone still has their unique specialties.

Aesthetically this is one of the more pleasing JRPGs you'll ever come across. The graphics have been remade into HD and its aesthetic design definitely takes cue from both contemporary and mid-19th century old-world life, and the visual design does a great job taking care of every minute detail in 3D and the textures are excellent if you take into account of the fact that this game is made in the early 2000's.

The soundtracks have been one of my favorites and it certainly sounds like it 's heavily inspired by the work of Academy award winner Joe Hisaishi.

To conclude this review, I would absolutely recommend this game to all RPG enthusiasts, even if you don't usually touch JRPG. When you do, make sure you endure through the first 3 or 4 hours of this game after which point the story really starts to pick up its pace.

Final verdict: first chapter of a deep and story-driven steampunk RPG trilogy, 9.5/10.
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