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GAME: The Legend of Heroes: Trails Through Daybreak Game Review


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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:19 pm Reply with quote
I'm fairly far into my initial playthrough, and I generally agree with the review. I do have some pieces to add, though, as someone who has played almost all of the series.

- I think Van is one of their best protagonists in the series. It helps that he is an old man by JRPG setting standards- at 24- with some degree of life experience behind him.

- I don't love the changes to the timeline in turn based combat. I can tell whose turn it currently is, of course, and who has the next turn. But any further than that I find hard to tell. It makes it a bit more difficult to plan a fight out.

-The action combat is a bit janky, in ways I wouldn't expect from the developer of a well regarded action series. My primary issue is weird hitboxes- how did the foe shooting a gun straight ahead hit me when I was behind him?
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 12156
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2024 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, it seems like a pretty consistent thing with Trails that there's a lot that isn't voiced (which kind of stands out in relation to stuff like Persona, FF, and Fire Emblem where at this point it feels like everything is voiced though they have bigger budgets than Falcom). [/list]
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 921
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:49 pm Reply with quote
I plan to start playing sometime tonight. Really looking forward to it -- everything I've heard makes it sound like a big improvement over the Cold Steel series, which I enjoyed, but wasn't exactly the biggest fan of.

I do wonder if we'll see more game localizations added to Steam simply as updates, rather than separate region-locked listings. It's an interesting new(ish) approach, and definitely feels (far) more consumer-friendly.

I also wonder if Falcom will ever decide to go back to being a PC-centric developer. It's so weird to think that they're reliant on third parties, now, to port their games over to PC.
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Vanadise



Joined: 06 Apr 2015
Posts: 508
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:05 pm Reply with quote
Fluwm wrote:
I do wonder if we'll see more game localizations added to Steam simply as updates, rather than separate region-locked listings. It's an interesting new(ish) approach, and definitely feels (far) more consumer-friendly.

NISA actually said at AX that they're planning to go back to their old model of making a new listing on Steam for English releases rather than adding it as a patch to existing releases. They've tried this model a few times now (they also released the English translation for Nayuta as a patch), and in practice, it doesn't work very well; people get confused about which version they should buy (since Clouded Leopard has their own release pages), people buy the game early and get upset when they miss out on launch week discounts/bundles, and the game doesn't show up in Steam's "New Releases" category, which hurts sales.
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Posts: 4901
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2024 4:28 am Reply with quote
I'm in Chapter 3 and I'm loving it so far. They removed those drawn S-Craft visual thingies big minus points for that.

b-dragon wrote:

- I think Van is one of their best protagonists in the series. It helps that he is an old man by JRPG setting standards- at 24- with some degree of life experience behind him.


Yeah, Van is a great protagonist. They gave him some charming, goofy attributes that make him really likeable. Though I have a weird grievance in how he seems to know everyone already.

b-dragon wrote:

- I don't love the changes to the timeline in turn based combat. I can tell whose turn it currently is, of course, and who has the next turn. But any further than that I find hard to tell. It makes it a bit more difficult to plan a fight out.


Yeah, I don't get the changes to the timeline at all. It's very weird. Now I might not be able to tell if the healing art will make it in time before the enemy's turn. Also I personally found the Cold Steel 3 through Reverie combat to be more engaging with the link abilities and Brave Orders. The combat feels more simplified in Daybreak by comparison.

b-dragon wrote:

-The action combat is a bit janky, in ways I wouldn't expect from the developer of a well regarded action series. My primary issue is weird hitboxes- how did the foe shooting a gun straight ahead hit me when I was behind him?


I dunno, I've found the action combat to be very forgiving. You can typically dodge very early and the enemies' will just attack air. I personally haven't noticed weird hitboxes.
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 294
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:03 am Reply with quote
Quote:
My big issue was that not all of the lines of dialogue were fully voiced, even within the same conversation. Given the sheer breadth of what is on offer here, I understand not being able to voice the entire game—that would be a ludicrous amount to have voiced and is a rare achievement only a handful of games have done. That said, there were times when, within a single conversation, some lines were voiced and others weren't, creating weird pauses that took me out of the moment. I would have preferred for the entire conversation not to be voiced rather than have it cut in and out line by line, which I found more distracting.

Yeeeeah sadly the whole series is pretty much like this. The earlier 2D games were silent outside of Battle lines, and for their PSVita ports only had a decent majority of their story cutscenes and some sidequests fully voiced, but they were outsourced, and done by a completely different company that is now out of business. But from Cold Steel onwards Falcom have always stuck to this "partial voiced dialogue" model for a majority of their games, outside of very key story cutscenes which get the fully voiced treatment that's the norm in most games. It's sadly just something anyone who comes into this franchise has to accept, adjust and get used too. XSeed spoiled us by going through and "filling in" and adding in an extra whopping 50% voice acting to Cold Steel 1&2, but that was a luxury, and a rare instance of the English dub going out of its way to craft a smoother and more fully voiced experience than the Japanese voices.

But yeah both past and future games are like this and I think they just always will be haha. Awesome review, just wanted to weigh in a bit and elaborate on why that is the way it is.
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GNPixie



Joined: 25 Jul 2018
Posts: 314
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:34 am Reply with quote
Stelman257 wrote:

Yeeeeah sadly the whole series is pretty much like this. The earlier 2D games were silent outside of Battle lines, and for their PSVita ports only had a decent majority of their story cutscenes and some sidequests fully voiced, but they were outsourced, and done by a completely different company that is now out of business.


Chara-Ani isn't out of business though. They also aren't really a game-developer either. In fact, you can open up the site right now. They've always been more of a marketplace for anime and character goods; they just helped Falcom out with the Evolution parts for stuff like all the extra VO (which is why getting the full VO for stuff like the Xseed PC ports was never an option since the contract was with Falcom and would require renegotiating a new agreement with both them and Chara-Ani seperately.)
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 294
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:43 am Reply with quote
GNPixie wrote:
Chara-Ani isn't out of business though. They also aren't really a game-developer either. In fact, you can open up the site right now.

If you look them up, they went defunct back in 2019 and were absorbed by Kadokawa Corporation officially in 2022, so they don't exist as they used to anymore no. They gave it their all for those voiced Evolution Vita ports...
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 921
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:55 pm Reply with quote
Haven't had much time to play, but so far, at least, I really don't care for the new battle system UI. And the whole hybridized combat system seems just... deeply misguided to me. Really enjoying Van, though (and very appreciative of another excellent English dub).

He may possibly be my favorite PC since Kevin, though it's far too early to tell at this point.

And, really: Kevin needs another game alread.

Vanadise wrote:
NISA actually said at AX that they're planning to go back to their old model of making a new listing on Steam for English releases rather than adding it as a patch to existing releases. They've tried this model a few times now (they also released the English translation for Nayuta as a patch), and in practice, it doesn't work very well; people get confused about which version they should buy (since Clouded Leopard has their own release pages), people buy the game early and get upset when they miss out on launch week discounts/bundles, and the game doesn't show up in Steam's "New Releases" category, which hurts sales.


Yeah, it can certainly be confusing, though I suspect the lack of advertising would be their main reason. It'd be nice if they could do both, given how much they've had to work on old PC ports (affectively remastering them). It'd suck for Japanese players to be left out in the cold.
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Doubleclouder



Joined: 07 Jan 2024
Posts: 48
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 5:33 am Reply with quote
I actually prefer Rean over Van as far as protagonists go. In general I liked Sen no Kiseki's characters and combat more.
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Touma55



Joined: 22 May 2021
Posts: 238
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Doubleclouder wrote:
I actually prefer Rean over Van as far as protagonists go. In general I liked Sen no Kiseki's characters and combat more.


I am surprised to hear that from a western fan since you guys usually seem to dislike rean and like van for some reason and also prefer kuro over sen. Unless you are not from the west and if that is how it is I apologize.
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 921
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Doubleclouder wrote:
I actually prefer Rean over Van as far as protagonists go. In general I liked Sen no Kiseki's characters and combat more.


Yeah, they pretty much perfected the combat system there, or very nearly so, as far as I'm concerned.
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onpufan



Joined: 22 Dec 2022
Posts: 137
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 5:33 pm Reply with quote
Touma55 wrote:
I am surprised to hear that from a western fan since you guys usually seem to dislike rean and like van for some reason and also prefer kuro over sen. Unless you are not from the west and if that is how it is I apologize.


I'm a western fan and really liked Cold Steel. I haven't played Daybreak yet but everything I've heard about it paints it as being the 'adult' and 'mature' take on the series like Tales of Arise or Final Fantasy 16. The kind of entry where the producers say they watched Game of Thrones and wanted to do something similar in dealing with more mature topics and themes. I know some people didn't like Cold Steel because of all the anime-isms like the school setting/cast, fanservice, anime humor like the harem jokes or Angelica flirting with girls.. Again, I've yet to play Daybreak so I don't know how much of that stuff is present in the Daybreak arc but if it's not then it might appeal to certain people more.
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Doubleclouder



Joined: 07 Jan 2024
Posts: 48
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Touma55 wrote:
I am surprised to hear that from a western fan since you guys usually seem to dislike rean and like van for some reason and also prefer kuro over sen. Unless you are not from the west and if that is how it is I apologize.


I am a westerner but I am currently residing in Japan so I don't know how you would classify that. I do generally lean towards Japanese tastes though.
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Vanadise



Joined: 06 Apr 2015
Posts: 508
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2024 9:40 pm Reply with quote
onpufan wrote:
I haven't played Daybreak yet but everything I've heard about it paints it as being the 'adult' and 'mature' take on the series like Tales of Arise or Final Fantasy 16. The kind of entry where the producers say they watched Game of Thrones and wanted to do something similar in dealing with more mature topics and themes.

That's absolutely not the case at all, really.

Van is several years older than the previous protagonists and is a more mature character, and so the story being told from his viewpoint naturally lends itself to a more mature perspective; he's a self-employed adult who runs his own business and is already skilled and well-connected, unlike Estelle or Rean who were practically still children or Lloyd who was just beginning his professional career. (Kevin's a bit older than them but also had a lot of trauma to unpack)

While the serious moments of Daybreak do get a bit darker than some of the previous games (multiple named characters actually die!), but for the most part the tone is the same as it's always been. The game is filled with NPCs that all have their own little story lines where you can help them out as they get in trouble or fall in love; Agnes and her schoolmates have fun chatting about their daily lives; Van obsesses over desserts and his car. Everybody goes and relaxes in hot springs, and you level up your relationships with other characters by watching movies with them and collecting movie pamphlets. It's not a grimdark fantasy by any means.

onpufan wrote:
Angelica flirting with girls

Well, I should also mention that the problem people have with Angelica isn't that she's flirting with girls, it's that she's sexually assaulting girls and the entire cast treats it like it's a joke. The series has at least three "sexual assault is funny when it's lesbians" characters at this point, which is three too many.

On a similar note, Daybreak is also by far the most openly progressive title in the series and has sub-plots that involve white supremacists, anti-immigrant racism, and various LGBTQ topics. It's also a lot more mature than previous games in the sense that it doesn't just treat its LGBTQ characters like jokes. (but, keeping in line with series tradition, there is still some other crude sexual humor)
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