It’s one hell of a task to get through the entire The Legend of Heroes series, with SO many entries available that span across different story arcs that are woven into the grander narrative. Many of them weren’t available in English for a long time either, so unless you’ve kept up with each release over the last few years, you’ll have a big task ahead of you if you hope to catch up. But if you have been playing them? You can finally experience the culmination in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie.

Check out some screenshots down below:

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie acts as a sort of epilogue for the Cold Steel and Crossbell stories of the series, so if you haven’t played through those, you might be left a little baffled as to what’s going on. And if you’re working through them right now? You’ll probably want to stop reading this review and get back to playing them. Know one thing, though: the series ends with a bang that’s worth all of the effort. I do plan on keeping things pretty spoiler-free in this review though, so I won’t give away too much.

The game features three protagonists to play as, with the returning Rean Schwarzer and Lloyd Bannings also joined by the mysterious C, a masked knight who is hiding his true identity. Each of the characters are following their own narrative across the game, with players able to switch between the three stories freely as they play. It’s all split into chapters, so you can’t progress too far through each character’s narrative without hitting a certain point for each one, but it helps make it easier to keep track of what’s going on whilst dealing with the massive cast of characters that show up across the adventure.

Because believe me, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie goes ALL OUT with its returning characters and locales. Whilst there is an overarching plot to follow that brings with it high stakes for Crossbell, there are plenty of stories interwoven within it which are influenced by the folk you’d have met across your journey as well as the events which occurred in previous titles in the series. As a long-time player, it felt good to see such a rich ensemble of familiar characters re-appear, whilst re-treading familiar territory felt equally rewarding. At the same time, there’s so much going on at it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed, especially if it’s been a while since you last played through the other titles in the series.

“The story is gripping, the combat is great, whilst seeing everything come together in one big culmination made everything all the more exciting.”

That being said, there was something about The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie that helped make it feel very straightforward to progress through. Whilst there was plenty to see and do across the world, the story progresses at a quick pace and doesn’t see the player doing much busywork along the way. Side quests are kept at a minimum and exploration mainly takes you through the areas you need to visit, so it can feel quite linear. It might sound like a downside, but with the game already offering three different narratives to play through, I found myself appreciating it more. There’s plenty to do already across each character’s story, so having the experience be more streamlined felt like a bit of a relief.

When it comes to the combat, everything will feel familiar for returning players. Combat encounters are turn-based affairs, with the player leading a party of four characters that they can move around the battle area as they perform their actions. Characters can perform standard attacks, Arts (special abilities), Crafts, equip Quartz to grant buffs, and so forth, whilst there are some newly introduced actions such as the United Front which sees characters from outside of your party form up with you to use their abilities in one big burst. The combat mechanics have always been one of the strongest points of The Legend of Heroes and that remains the same here – even if there hasn’t been a whole lot done to differentiate it that much from modern entries in the series.

Every encounter feels great though, whilst the action can be frantic in some of the more intense showdowns that really put your skills to the test. The sheer scale of the game and your potential party lineup means there’s plenty of variety to be found in combat too, with The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie offering more than enough thrills across its lengthy adventure to ensure players will never tire of each battle. There can be a lot for players to learn with each character, but the difficulty curve of combat feels fair and ensures you’re always prepared for any situation.

Check out some screenshots down below:

In many ways, everything about The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie feels like more of the same that players would’ve expected from the series, albeit on a bigger scale. And believe me, that isn’t a complaint – the story is gripping, the combat is great, whilst seeing everything come together in one big culmination made everything all the more exciting. It looks great too, and whilst The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie might not match up to the visuals seen in other recent RPG releases, there’s no denying that this is the best that the series has looked. Re-visiting old locales in this revamped and pretty form always felt special in-game.

It brings with it one other REALLY cool feature too: the Reverie Corridor. Think of it as a huge dungeon that allows players to face off against all sorts of enemies to help level up and improve their character’s capabilities, all whilst unlocking plenty of goodies that help flesh out the whole experience. You’ll face formidable foes, complete special missions, gather treasures, unlock Daydreams (extra story episodes that flesh out the world), play through a variety of whimsical mini-games… there’s a LOT going on. You can even unlock new characters to introduce to your battle party, with the player able to bring everyone together to battle in union against the nasties you encounter here.

I’m normally the kind of RPG fan who likes to stick to the main story, yet I’ve found myself blasting through the Reverie Corridor for the fun of it and seeing everything it has to offer, which just shows how cool its rewards are and how satisfying its gameplay loop is. It’s randomised too, so you’ll never know what you’ll face off against next or what bonuses you might unlock. The main game already delivers a thrilling RPG experience that’ll keep players enthralled until the very end, but the Reverie Corridor is what will keep them coming back for more even after they’ve seen the narrative through to its conclusion.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie Review

The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie acts as an excellent finale that long-time fans of the series will find themselves fully engrossed in until the very end. It brings together so many characters, locales, and events from the games that came before it in a meaningful and satisfying manner, whilst the core gameplay mechanics remain as engaging as ever. Add to that the brilliant Reverie Corridor that really fleshes out the experience and it’ll be clear that this is a triumphant conclusion for the long-running story.

Developer: Nihom Falcom
Publisher: NIS America
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch