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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: NIS America
Developed By: Idea Factory, Gust
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

July 7, 2010 - Being an avid follower of all things NIS America, I jumped at the opportunity to play and review their latest title, Trinity Universe. Maybe itís the unique storylines, or simply the exploding Prinnies that keep me coming back for more. Either way; the latest project the talented folks over Idea Factory and Gust is yet another crossover title, blending character from several different series into one all-new unique experience. We have seen it before with several series like Kingdom Hearts, Marvel vs. Capcom, Viewtiful Joe and NIS Americaís own Cross Edge. While this type of game is still relatively new, Idea Factory, Gust and NIS America decided to team up once more with the release of Trinity Universe.

Trinity Universe features one storyline told from two distinctive perspectives, which are woven together by the actions and the events surrounding our two protagonists: Demon Dog King Kanata and Valkyrie Rizelea. All of the action takes place within various locales and dungeons within the Netheruniverse. If you decide to venture out with Kanata, you are greeted with the story of how his lineage has been burdened with the task of giving up their lives in order to turn into ďDemon God Gems.Ē These gems emit so much energy that they prevent any and all floating objects within the Netheruniverse from crashing into the capital, Empyria. Instead of willfully giving up his life to save Empyria, Kanata flies the kingdom with his servant Tsubaki by his side. Mr. Kanata feels there is yet another way of going about saving the kingdom without sacrificing his life to do so and this sets in motion the storyline surrounding the Demon Dog King. If you decide to venture down the storyline path of Valkyrie Rizelea, you will be tasked with trying to figure out why so many objects keep drifting in and out of the area surrounding kingdom Empyria while also keeping an eye on the captured Dark Hero, Lucius. Her epic journey starts once you failed at convincing Kanata to sacrifice his life like his ancestors in order to transform into the Demon God Gem.

While both protagonists share a similar storyline, the party members surrounding each main character help strengthen the party in different ways. If you decide to play with Kanata, his servants Tsubaki joins his party and brings along her ability to conjure monsters from various souls found in dungeons and from vanquished monsters. After creating a monster, you can head over to the Monster Coliseum dungeons to fight it and once you defeat said monster, your party will gain clear souls, which can be used to strengthen party parameters. Rizeleaís system works a tad differently in the fact her powers are based on mana. Utilizing weapons with managraphics (drawings that boost weapon/player stats) help to unleash specific types of mana when monsters are defeated. Once the mana is collected and taken back to the shop, it will be sealed away into meteorite stones which can be placed into a playerís planetary ring in order to receive a parameter boost. Depending on how close the meteorites are to the ringís core determines the boosted abilities, while the further away the player can gain new abilities which range from immunity to enemy specific spells.

Once the opening sequences finish playing out, you will soon realize that Trinity Universe doesnít utilize the typical overworld that you come to expect in RPG titles. If you are not scrolling through the navigation menu to select certain options or areas, or traversing various dungeons or ruins, you are going from one object to the next that are floating around Empyria. These objects, which range from a shortcake, to a traffic cone, to a school desk and even a floating library may contain stuff like stores, dungeons and other items of interest that you will need during your quest. When you come across something of interest, you usually have several options to choose from including an event option that you can play out. However, if you want to save this option for a later point, you can anchor the object to keep it from floating away.

If you investigate an item and it happens to consist of a dungeon, you are in for some treasure hunting; mixed with several random battles. For the most part you can traverse these areas with little worry for running into random battle sequences; however there are key points within each dungeon where there is a high risk of battles taking place. To help minimize these occurrences, you can use the search power, which is a light beam that guides you to things of importance; whether it is the destination location within the dungeon, hidden treasures and even more treasure chests. The search power is a useful tool, however you only have a limited amount of times you can use the ability. Also, as soon as you take a step, the search power disappears, so if you didnít check out which color light beam leads where, you can end up running into a battle instead of the room full of treasure chests.

If you do run into a battle sequence, you be glad to know that the battle system is rather simply, yet in-depth with abilities. There are quick, strong and magic attacks that you can use against your enemies. The circle button activates another one of your magic abilities, depending on how long you hold down the button. Just like in Cross Edge, all attacks are governed by AP (Attack Points), which dwindle down as you set an attack in motion. Once you trigger your first attack, a counter counts down until your turn is over, so if you didnít use all your AP the way you extended, you no longer have access to it until your next turn. You have the option not to attack and roll over the AP points for up to 3x the normal amount, allowing you attack numerous times in a row, often enough killing you foe without any troubles.

For those who want some more depth, you can pull off various combos through the use of your quick, strong and magic attack options. You can even have one combo lead into the next so long as the last button within the combo is the same button that startís up the new combo. You can also perform Fury Chain attacks, which will allow you to combine to attacks between multiple party members. To dabble into Fury Chains all you need to do is initiate an attack and following it up by pressing the R1 button to start a Fury Chain and decide which party member to help perform an additional move. While these Fury Chains seem simply enough, unless the right button is hit when the timer is at a certain point, you wonít be able to unless a flurry of combined attacks. Filling up the orbs surrounding the AP meter will allow you to perform either a super attack or a large HP boost to the party. To unless said move all you would need to do is press the R3 button.

When comparing Trinity Universe to Cross Edge itís clear that Trinity Universe makes better use of the PlayStation 3 hardware. Gone are the days of the magical sprites as now all character models are made of polygons. If you felt that Cross Edge was a PS2 title ported to the PS3, then Trinity Edge will be first crossover title made for the PS3 console. All character models are intricate in their own design. A large color palette was used in order to give each and every character their own unique look and personality. Special effects are solid for the most part as well as the level of detail within environments. I will admit there are some dungeons that just seem bland and lifeless, however that doesnít make up the entire experience within Trinity Universe. For the first time, Trinity Universe features Active Animation Adventure (AAA) system, which basically allows the static cutscenes used to deliver most of the dialogue in the game in a more lifelike manner. During conversations, various expressions and movements are registered on the characterís faces, chests and entire bodies. While not a huge leap from the previous setup, it does show that the developers are looking to broadening the visual presentation of their titles.

In regards to the sound of Trinity Universe, itís very upbeat and bouncy. The game features both Japanese and English voiceovers, which is a pleasant surprise for die-hard fans and newcomers to the series. While both feature solid performances, there are a few low points, which isnít due to the translation but the written dialogue itself. While exploring dungeons, you will hear banter between the party members, working up the bond that they have as to see the quest through. When you are in battle, each party member only has a few phrases that are repeated over and over depending on how long the battle last.

While there really is only one storyline, told from the two distinct perspectives via Demon Dog King Kanata and Valkyrie Rizelea, Trinity Universe treatsí you to two immersive adventures that can reach lengths of 30-40 hours depending on style of play. Comparing Trinity Universe to Cross Edge, you can clearly see that Idea Factory, Gust and NIS America has come a long way with reinventing their crossover RPGs for the PlayStation 3 console. Though the battle system is simplistic, it offers up quite a bit of depth that will appeal to those who are looking for a bit more. With a hefty dose of humor and an interesting cast of characters,


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