Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.

In this explanatory review, we’re covering The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure by joint developers Nihon Falcom and PH3 GmbH:

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure (The Explanation)

If there was ever a time to make sure your passport is still in date, then that time is now for a return to Crossbell is imminent thanks to the western release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure, for the Nintendo Switch. Much like its prequel, The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero, Trails to Azure is another fine role-playing game developed by the talented developers over at Nihon Falcom and published by NIS America.

Being the sequel that it is and updated remaster, The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure was originally a game that was released in 2011, but now it is back and better than ever. From a story perspective, The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is set a few months after the events of Trails from Zero and acts as the culmination of the “Crossbell arc.”

The plot, once again, has a focus on “unscrupulous figures” who desire to use and possess KeA’s powers, in order to fulfill their desires. To make matters worse, Lloyd Bannings and the rest of the SSS are compelled to discover who the unscrupulous figures are and foil their plans, all whilst having to endure the civil unrest that is rising within Crossbell. It’s a near impossible task, but if anyone is capable of solving the case and putting things right, it’s the SSS.

While much of the first game’s cast returns in a big way, Lloyd Bannings is not the only original Special Support Section (SSS for short) member to appear in Trails to Azure. Of course, there are plenty of new faces as well, such as two new recruits for the SSS. The first is Wazy Hemisphere, a former gang leader, and the second is Noel Seeker, a former Sargeant Major.

In terms of how it looks and how it plays, the short answer is, in a very similar fashion to The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero as many of that game’s mechanics and “fundamental features” have been brought over to The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure.

The Active Time Battle System is used once again, indicating turn order when in battle. Field attacks make a return, allowing a player’s preferred lead character to attack an enemy when exploring the field map.

One amazing aspect about The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure, however, is save data transfers. Like we’ve seen in other The Legend of Heroes games on the Nintendo Switch, players are able to use their clear data from specific games, which entitles them to certain bonuses. Then of course, S-Craft moves, Combo Crafts and Support Crafts are back.

As for a new mechanic, Trails to Azure now has a Burst feature. When the Burst Gauge has been filled, it can be used to speed up your party’s orders or healing of status ailments. Two other mechanics are back attacks, which should an enemy attack you in the field, it can disrupt your team’s formation when the battle gets underway and speaking of the field map, specific objects can now be destroyed.

In the case of Trails to Azure, should you import save data from Trails from Zero, players are given useful items to help with their adventure, but you can also carry over the levels of your characters, the events they experienced, which can impact the dialogue you experience. You can even carry over the bond levels that you have with Randy, Tio and Elie, Combo Crafts, your detective rank and even your fishing rank.

Then you have the added content, angler’s duels make a return, players can decorate the rooms of key characters, including KeA, there’s a new Orbal Car that can be customized in a variety of ways, a beach you can visit, a mini-game and a whole host of fun factors that I have yet to disclose.

For anyone who has played and enjoyed The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero, there is no way you can afford to miss out on The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure. It’s the end of a story you need to experience and if you consider yourself a fan of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, well then, you definitely need to beat Trails from Zero as the nearer to end game events, tie into the “Divertissement” chapter, which of course, also ties into Cold Steel III and Cold Steel IV.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developers: Nihon Falcom, PH3 GmbH
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Role-Playing
No. of Players: 1 (Single System)
Release Date: NA: March 14, 2023 | EU: March 17, 2023
File Size: 5.5 GB
Nintendo.com Listing

By Jack Longman

In 2015, when rumours of the NX and Zelda U were everywhere, my brother and I started Miketendo64 and we've been running it ever since. As the Editor-in-Chief, I have attended video gaming events in three different countries, been to preview events, and penned more than 4,000 articles to date, ranging from news, to features, reviews, interviews and guides. I love gaming and I love all things Nintendo. I also love Networking, so don't be afaid to reach out. Email: contact@miketendo64.com / jack.lo@miketendo64.com Website: https://miketendo64.com/ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyVMO4QgcniAjhLxoyc9n8Q

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