The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd - Steam/PC Review

A story full of depth, mystery and plenty of adventure.

Game Info

  • System: PC (Steam)
  • Publisher: XSEED Games
  • Developer: Nihon Falcom
  • Release Date: May 3, 2017

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd - Launch Trailer

Who it Caters to

Die hard fans of The Legend of Heroes franchise will most certainly not hesitate to pick up the latest title, which is the final entry in the illustrious series. Will it savour the palette of those who haven’t played the series at all? Trails in the Sky 3rd certainly comes with a large handful of perks that make it a certified purchase for any fan of RPGs, and with its challenging yet rewarding gameplay implemented it’s worth every penny you have. If you’re into a very story driven tactical role playing game, then Trails of the Sky 3rd is one you should promptly pick up.

What to Expect

The Legend of Heroes series has always been celebrated for its impeccable storytelling, and having a vast array of delightful characters that really glue everything together beautifully. Trails in the Sky 3rd is no different and will surprise you in many ways, testing your wits in long battles while warming your heart with its variety of side stories that help to breathe life into the main cast. It’s not often that role playing games provide side stories within the main chunk of it all, most of the time you have side missions that solve most of that. In Trails in the Sky 3rd these side stories play such a major role in the progression of the game, but also reward you with Mira and other various bonuses if you sit through the entire thing. Trails in the Sky 3rd feels more like a virtual storybook that you can interact with and take control of the action when necessary. Its robust features allow for versatility in battle, while learning how to synchronize your Quartz can be a difficult yet truly endearing experience. With well over 60 hours of gameplay alone The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd is no slouch when it comes to investing a lot of time into seeing results, so if you’re willing to put in a lot of work to see the end result, Trails in the Sky the 3rd will surely grant you plenty rewards.

Story

Trails in the Sky the 3rd begins half a year after the events of Trails in the Sky Second Chapter. The quiet town of Liberl has once again found peace in what was once a war torn environment, but despite all of that there are still those who attempt to create mischief in order to collect ancient artifacts. The population is left unaware of what’s transpiring, but the Septian Church known as Gralsritter are working hard to wipe out these greedy mongrels to avoid further conflict.

Kevin Graham, a high ranking Father in the field, is tasked with the mission to retrieve one more artifact that rests beneath Grancel Cathedral. While he prides himself on doing missions alone, he’s told to bring along rookie Gralsritter and childhood friend Sister Ries Argent to assist him on his journey. This new partnership now has the team on a new adventure to seek out the truth behind Phantasma. With Liberls fate at stake, these adventurers must now uncover the mysteries behind what’s unfolding before it’s too late.

Gameplay

To be frank, there’s a lot to grasp when you pick up Trails in the Sky the 3rd because of its intensive story driven gameplay. Much of the game consists of dialogue which hold a lot of secrets and if you lose track of what’s happening, oftentimes you’ll fall behind. This isn’t really a bad thing at all because the story is honestly worth paying attention to since it’s emotionally gripping. As you progress further into the game and learn the backstory behind the cast of characters, there’s an emotional bond that starts to cultivate within your soul and that creates this very deep immersion. Unlike other JRPGs that try to balance a gripping story with stylish gameplay, Trails in the Sky the 3rd places a lot of emphasis on capturing your attention with its strong narrative while still placing importance on its battle mechanics. Battles can be mentally taxing at times especially on higher difficulties, but that’s the essence of The Legend of Heroes and it reels you in every time. You always need to keep track of your CP and EP meters since those two play such an integral role in dealing massive damage to certain enemies.

Each character you encounter has their own distinctive approach in battle and so coming up with a strategic formation becomes even more important, since enemies tend to be unpredictable despite a linear approach. You simply can’t just nosedive into battle and use whatever attack

you please because some enemies may be immune to your Arts and Crafts, while others may be extremely weak to them. So a lot of the time as you prepare for battle, highlighting the enemy to know of their weak points starts to become a habit. One of the major differences that make The Legend of Heroes games stand out is their in battle bonuses that you randomly receive, which can help to turn the tide of battle in your favor. This makes investing time into each encounter more satisfying because there will be moments where you’ll need that CP heal or strength bonus to take out a gang of enemies who are targeting the weakest link on your team. We loved this feature a lot because it not only targets you but it also can grant the enemy buffs as well. It throws in that extra added dose of difficulty because now just when you think the battle is won, your opponent can also take advantage of the bonuses. Some people may be indifferent to this feature because they might feel it prolongs the battle, but honestly it’s so balanced in that no one person gets more buffs than the other. It’s always random so you’ll never know what direction the battle could head into, which only makes the game so much fun and rewarding.

Speaking of rewards, Trails in the Sky the 3rd allows you to collect Mira along with Sepith that you can trade in to buy, sell, trade and convert items into better ones. The elements you collect along the way also play a major role in synchronizing your Quartz, so much of the game becomes a strategy of whether you spend your elements to upgrade your weapons or save them so that you can create better Arts for your team. Learning other various skills such as cooking can really come in handy down the road since a lot of your Mira will be used to buy potions and other important items. You’re given a recipe book early on in the game from Ries who encourages you to learn new dishes as you progress through the game. A lot of the time when you come across treasure chests, you’ll find things like an egg sandwich or spicy french fries that can be used as a potion to heal wounds, or remove ailments. When you use them in battle it will notify you that you’ve learned that recipe so that the next time you encounter certain materials you can cook it up yourself.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd, visually speaking, looks glorious in HD form, with character sprites moving with more vigor and fluidity compared to before. While we can certainly give praise to the very engaging dialogue, we often found ourselves rolling our eyes at some of the corny drivel that some of these characters say to each other. It doesn’t take away from the overall experience of course, but it’s these cringe moments that make you want to skip some parts of the narrative and move onto bigger and better things. Be careful though because as we stated in the earlier paragraphs of the article, skipping some parts may actually leave you confused once you reach the end game so it’s important to still keep a close eye on the details.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Overall, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd is a remarkable title that will keep you glued to your seat for hours, with enough challenge to keep you hungry for more. With well over 60 hours of playtime, Trails in the Sky the 3rd is not that type of game you can rush through. It’s a game that requires a lot of patience, a lot of reading to grasp not only the story but various aspects of the game mechanics, along with being able to use your tactical prowess to get out of battles alive. While some of the narrative could use a little bit of fine tuning, the overall flow of the story felt very smooth and didn’t take us in numerous directions to confuse us. The point was very clear and that you needed to ensure the survival of the world around you, before the enemy could strike back. Plot twists do happen so be on the lookout for that as well.

Honey's Pros:

  • Incredibly long and detailed story with a wonderful cast of characters.
  • HD visuals really bring out the beauty of the game.
  • Battle system is incredibly deep yet rewarding.
  • 60+ hours of incredible gameplay.
  • Challenging enough to keep you coming back, but nightmare mode will torture your soul.
  • Full PS4 controller support.
  • Great soundtrack!

Honey's Cons:

  • A lot of people may not enjoy the long dialogue.
  • Some of the conversations between characters were a little corny at times.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Simply put, if you enjoy tactical RPGs then grab Trails of the Sky the 3rd now. This game has enough play time to satisfy you and the depth within the game will surely test your wits. It sounds like we’re repeating ourselves here and we probably are, but we can’t stress just how fun this game is when you take it seriously and focus on every battle carefully. While you could simply breeze through everything for bragging rights, it’s a lot like that Bruce Lee quote, “It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” If all you do is concentrate on beating the game, you miss out on all of the really exciting aspects that make this game one of the best RPGs we’ve played in a long time. Take our word for it, buy it now and never regret it. For all things gaming, be sure to check out our Twitch page and follow us on Twitter to know when we go live! Until next time, this is NualphaJPN signing out.

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

Previous Articles

Top 5 Anime by Rob "NualphaJPN" B.