Trinity Universe – The PS3 Attitude Review
PS3 owners should be familiar with NIS America and their titles such as Disgaea, Cross Edge, and even Last Rebellion. Trinity Universe is the most recent JRPG to hit the market from the developers and features characters from both the Disgaea and Atelier series.
Co-developed with Gust Corporation and Idea Factory, the game takes place in the Netheruniverse capital, Empyria. There lies the Demon Dog King Kanata and his trusty sidekick Tsubaki. It’s his destiny to be turned into a Demon God Gem and protect Empyria. You see, these gems emit a powerful energy wave and prevent drifting objects from crashing into the city. Like any levelheaded person, Kanata doesn’t want to be turned into a gem and decides to break free and protect the Netheruniverse in his own way.
Kanata’s preferred method of saving Empyria consists of traveling to nearby drifting objects and destroying their cores to send them back into the depths of space. About 80% of the objects that come drifting into orbit are pointless. This includes donuts, bowling balls, and other random objects. Occasionally something of importance will come your way like a shop or better yet, a dungeon.
Thankfully, you won’t have to venture in alone. As you travel along on your journey you’ll come across other characters who will join your party. Along with original characters, you’ll see Master Etna, Prinny, and Flonne from the Disgaea series and Pamela and Violetta from the Atelier series.
Sure, it might not make a whole lot of sense as to why these characters are in this game to begin with but does it really matter? The dialogue from Prinny alone is downright hysterical. There in lies one of the biggest faults within the game; the dialogue screens.
If you’ve played any game from NIS, then you should be very familiar with their static anime-styled dialogue conversations. The trend continues with Trinity Universe as you’ll find yourself hitting the X button time and time again to progress through the pages of script. There is an auto feature to eliminate some of the boredom but in all honestly, this is something that needs to be done away with.
I’d rather see the action happening on screen than read or listen to characters talking about it with their cutouts staring blankly back at you. Unfortunately, this makes the story quite uninteresting as I just want to enter the dungeons and start hunting down some monsters.
Exploring is a major aspect of Trinity Universe and will be the primary source for finding treasures. These treasures can be found in plain sight or hidden and can only be uncovered by using the Search ability. Doing so reveals a path towards invisible chests or hunting grounds. If you’re close enough, the treasure itself will be available for plundering. Be careful though because as you go about searching for loot, you’ll randomly encounter enemies.
Battle plays out like many other JRPGs. You can have up to four members in your party, each with their own unique abilities and equipment. Aside from the typical weapons, each character can equip a variety of Managraphics; artwork that has stat boosting properties.
You can perform a various attacks and magic spells at the cost of AP. Run out and it’s then the enemies turn. As you level up your characters, you’ll be able to deal massive damage with combo moves and team attacks. It’s not unreasonable to see 150K+ damage and 200+ hits in a single turn! If you manage to pull off one of these feats, you’ll be rewarded with a shiny new trophy for your collection.
Of course, orchestrating huge attacks like that takes patience and quick thinking. You could just mash a single button until your AP runs out but then you’d be missing out on powerful combos. Timing is everything in Trinity Universe. It can determine whether you chain attacks with a partner or whiff and waste your remaining AP.
It can be very overwhelming at first as you’re constantly learning new attacks and methods but you eventually get the hang of things and it becomes second nature. One problem with that is that once you find a combination of attacks that work well, there really is no reason to change it up. You’ll find yourself performing the same input of buttons each battle and it can get a bit repetitive.
At the end of battle you’re rewarded with a plethora of items and mana, all of which can be used to synthesize goods at shops. This isn’t some little one-item-per-kill reward either. Usually you’ll receive a whole list of items, most of which you’ll have no idea what they are. While I’m not sure of the exact number, I’m willing to bet there are hundreds of different items to collect and synthesize.
This brings me to the next point; Trinity Universe is a massive game. There are dozens of different dungeons to explore and the main storyline will take you anywhere from 10 to 20 hours to complete. Oh, and did I mention that you can choose two different characters, each with their own unique storyline that converges towards the end? Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of content packed onto this one disc.
For the 100% completists out there, you’re in for a challenge. Earning that Platinum trophy will take a whole lot of time and patience. Many of the trophies will require you to be at a high level or perform a certain task dozens of times. Stick to it though and you be well rewarded.
At its heart, Trinity Universe is adventurous and fun. There’s plenty to accomplish and I found that the more I played it, the more I enjoyed doing so. The story and art direction could have been vastly improved but it’s the gameplay that holds everything together. Once you’re drawn into the Netheruniverse, you might not want to leave.