The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter (hereafter: Trails in the Sky SC) is the second game in the Trails in the Sky series, by Falcom and localized by XSeed. This review will mostly be comparing the second chapter to the first and talking about my own experiences, since I have nothing else to go off of. If you have played the first game, but not the second, you probably shouldn’t be reading this because of SPOILERS, and why would you be reading this when you could be playing this game? And if you haven’t played either games, then maybe you should consider, because I really like these. Anyways, here’s my attempt at a review. Again, SPOILERS.
Pretty much the same as the first game, but in this game, there are cutscenes! Like “hey look at how big this ship is” or “hey look at how big this city is!” I really like the (what I like to call) “3D pixel graphics”. Not to mention, one of my favorite things; manually turning the camera angle. These graphics could be considered “aged” but I’d like to think it aged well. Dunno what else to say, and I’m definitely not an expert, so let’s move on.
Even though this is a spoiler review, I still don’t feel comfortable giving away spoilers, so I won’t say much on this topic. So instead of talking about story, I guess I’ll talk about party members. You basically have the same party members as the first game (plus a few later on), except in this game, instead of getting a party because of story, you had to chose who to have. Well, that may seem charming, having your dream party 24/7, it kind of bothered me. I honestly didn’t mind not choosing members in the first game, because now you have to deal with 1) breaking people’s hearts (when you don’t chose them) 2) those you don’t chose don’t get experience and 3) for story-related things (and even quests) you can miss A LOT of text from not having the right people with you. Still, after a while I got used to it and it wasn’t so bad (and if you have the right orbal layouts, being underleveled doesn’t mean much). Anyways, my party was Estelle(of course), Schera, Olivier, and Kloe, but at chapter 5 I started switching it up. One last thing; my favorite character was Tita for her “d’aww”-inducing adorableness and her *gasp*-inducing awesomeness. 🙂
I’ve split this category into three sub-categories. First; the battle system, next; exploring, and last, the thing that was so apparent in this game that it needed it’s own section; riddles.
When the SC ~tutorial battle~ began, I was shocked at the sheer… tininess of everything. I had no idea why… until I got some of the new quartz. In this game, because you get so many more powerful quartz, you get so many more newer and awesomer arts, and your stats go through the roof. And the end of the game, I was scrolling through a seemingly-endless list of arts. So thank goodness they made the text and whatnot smaller. To be honest, I always liked crafts more than arts, but I realized that if you want to go to your full potential with arts, you need to sacrifice physical attack, and vice versa. With Kloe having almost one thousand (you read this right, it is 1000) EP, I was literally raining hell down on the enemies. I came to have a newfound respect for arts, and fell in love with all the new ones (especially the ones that could hit ALL enemies, like my personal favorite: Titanic Roar). Also, in this game, you got better versions of your existing Crafts and S-Crafts. Also, NEW S-Crafts! Yay! So the Craft-enthusiast in me was pleased as well.
One thing that I didn’t like though: if you did too many things wrong in a battle, it could become endless. Especially with enemies that can either A) duplicate or B) heal (either through arts or through your HP) or C) both. This happened to me so many times, I almost raged quitted the game (but thankfully I didn’t, and I eventually made it through). Anyways, moving on…
Well, I hope you like re-exploring old places, because that’s what you’ll be doing for the first part of this game. Though if you took a break in-between the first and second chapters (like I did), you may not mind it much. One thing I was sad about was that when you checked a chest again, it didn’t say anything different unless there was sepith or food in it. However, one thing that I always liked about this and the first game was that if you were ever confused, just consult the Bracer Notebook! I only got to B+ rank of Bracer (that was because I missed one, maybe more quests), and the thing that still bothers me from the first game: where’s my experience for defeating the final boss? I went through all that trouble, and all those healing items… for no experience. I mean… I know there was no point… but… I just want my experience… *Ahem* Moving on…
There were riddles in the first game, but nothing like this. There were so many riddles, I could drown in them. Make a noose and hang myself with riddles. It got to the point where revenge was fueling me to get through the murky tides of riddles. All I wanted to do was staff the Phantom Thief in the face. It was my motivation. And actually my catchphrase became: “Staff. Face. NOW.” These riddles, and even some of the story-related questions, only further shoved the point in my face that I was too dumb fer this game. I was just thankful that the riddles did go away eventually.
Me & Bugs
For some reason, my game of Trails in the Sky SC had bugs. As in, glitches. Not game-breaking glitches, but some… kind-of amusing ones. So I decided to brag here. There are two. The first one (might not even be a bug), was that whenever I changed my party members, their battle positions changed… like, they were getting up & cozy with Estelle (or someone else). I thought that was normal, but when I asked my brother (who played it before me), he said it never happened to him. I think it started happening when I changed the battle positions manually. It may not be a bug, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Now, for the second one. I was taking a stroll around the East Block in Grancel with Kloe, Olivier, and Zane, when I go under a gate, and suddenly… everyone’s sinking into the ground? And they kept falling until I whipped out my 2DS and took some pictures. So yes, this did happen, I HAVE EVIDENCE. Here:
See? And that wasn’t the only time. I was talking to a waitress at the Kirsche Bar in Bose, when suddenly she sinks into the steps she was supposed to be climbing! You can’t serve customers like that! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!
Even though a lot of new things in this game bothered me, I still like this more than the first game. Maybe it was because of the better battle system or just because I played it last. To be honest, I’m terrible at RPGs, but I feel because of the freedom of customization in the game (just like the first), even I could be good at it. If you want to play a fun RPG with good story, you should try playing this game (ah! But play the first one first!)