The Amazon Curve: Trinity Universe

By Laura . July 9, 2010 . 3:12pm

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Trinity Universe is the second time that Idea Factory, Nippon Ichi, and Gust have collaborated together. The first was during Cross Edge, a game the three worked on, along with Capcom and Namco Bandai. Trinity Universe brings characters from the Atelier and Disgaea series together with a slew of original characters into a universe filled with floating items that also function as dungeons.

 

The game focuses on two original characters, Kanata the Dog Demon King and Rizelea the Valkyrie, each with their own story, special abilities, and cameos. Kanata’s route focuses on the Nippon Ichi characters, whereas Rizelea’s route focuses on Gust’s.

 

Trinity Universe differs from its spiritual predecessor in a few ways. There is a streamlining of the game style despite the fact that there are two routes; there is no world map, and most of your time in a single chapter is spent either in an event, a shop, or a dungeon. Also, the game takes full advantage of 3D models unlike most previous games.

 

Trinity Universe, however, does not presently enjoy too many reviews on Amazon.jp; only a mere 18 for both the normal and the limited edition. Of these, the ratings range greatly, although the reviews themselves share similarities. The total average star-rating for the game is 3.44.

 

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Reviews

 

Better Than I Thought (4 stars)

 

This was a good game. Hmm, a simple breakdown would be:

 

Story ★★
Character ★★★
Loading Time ★★★★★
Dungeon ★★★
Difficulty ★★★?
Graphics ★★
Battle ★★★★

 

The story is a parody. Since it’s all a gag, you’re probably better off concentrating on the exploring part. The loading time is short. Cross Edge can’t even compare to this.

 

For the most part, the dungeons are simple, so you probably won’t be getting lost. However, there are lots of dark places, so the lack of clear vision is what makes it difficult. I still can’t tell how hard the game is. In the beginning, your levels rise at a quick pace, so it’s easy, but as you go on, EX bosses start appearing, which you’re better off running from.

 

When there’s dialogue on the screen, the graphics appear oddly unsteady. It’s distracting, and I think it’d be better if they just didn’t move. The battles are 3D, and though it felt awkward at first, I got used to it. You use different techniques by entering different commands. However, unlike with Cross Edge, it’s already set for you, so you don’t have to, say, set something to the X button. If I had to compare, I’d say it’s most similar to those beat-‘em-up games with the combos (for example, □,□,×,□) w. Also, if you forget the settings, you can check them by pausing the game.

 

That’s all I have for now. At any rate, compared to the prequel(?), Cross Edge, this game is much better by far.

 

A Pretty Good Game Among PS3 RPGs (4 stars)

 

The game is a straightforward RPG, with the story events taking place on the items drifting in space. The most interesting parts of this game are the battles, raising the characters, and collecting items. If you find these fun, they’re great no matter how much you play.

 

The battle system was various systems put together in a fun, ingenious way. There’re so many combos, and it’s exhilarating when you can do 100-hit combos all on your own to bosses in the later half of the game. It’s also easy to level up. You create equipment by combining materials, so gathering resources is also fun.

 

Exploring the dungeons isn’t just about exploring; you also have to flip a switch. Once it’s flipped, a time limit that appears, counting down to how much time you have to leave. During this time, rare items often appear. If you fail to get out of a dungeon, you drift off into space. This is an interesting idea come up with by the creators, and it suites the title.

 

IF (Idea Factory) has a lot of strange games, but I think this game is great. It’s one of the better ones in a fairly limited category – Japanese RPGs on the PS3. The only parts of concern were the Tutorial of Hell in the beginning, and, even though the 3D models were great, I felt everyone’s faces were a bit off.

 

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If You Turn a Blind Eye to the Graphics, This Game is Playable (3 stars)

 

I finished the Kanata story in a week at 30 hours.I’ve heard that many people finished it in around 15, though. For an RPG, the plot is very short. It’s 13 chapters plus extras.

 

The time spent on each chapter is short. I think fast players can get to the next chapter in under 30 minutes. However, you have both the Kanata story and the Rizelea story, so you can play for two weeks before getting tired of it. Then, once you fulfill certain conditions, you can unlock the True route. There are also lots of dungeons that have no relation to the main story, as well as item combinations to play around with.

 

Usually with IF games, the difficulty level jumps somewhere in the middle, but it seems like it’s pretty consistent here. It’s not hard to play through the whole game. Even if you get killed, you just return to the base without any penalties.

 

The 3D graphics is low-quality. Characters from Gust and Nippon Ichi also appear, so this game might appeal more their fans instead.

 

And (this was posted officially as well) there’s this strange setup where you can’t make any items after the second playthrough (although strictly speaking this isn’t true). It’s kind of like how you can’t go into the item world in the second playthrough of Disgaea or how you can’t buy any new recipes in the second playthrough of Atelier.

 

It seems to be the basis for some sort of safety measure, but who knows…

 

An Addicting Character Game (3 stars)

 

These are my thoughts after completely finishing the Demon Dog King side.

 

☆ Story

 

Though I thought that the many mysteries of this game would be unraveled as the game continued, they all remained mysteries until the very end. The story opened quickly, and while the player was still wondering, “Why’s this happening?” it dashed onward, leaving him behind.

 

Well, it was interesting if you look at it as a “Character Game + Extras”…

 

Also, the story has multiple endings. I think you get different endings depending on how many gravitational fields you break, or something like that. It was stupid of me to purposely try to get the bad ending, though…

 

It’s a “sudden end”-type ending, so you should go and break as many gravitational fields as you can!

 

(*PS: It’s stupid that even though your items carry over to the second playthrough, your levels don’t. And when I thought the tutorial wouldn’t appear anymore, it’s oh so meticulously there, even though everything was already in the book.)

 

☆ Dungeon and Events

 

The structure and level of the dungeons change with the time of day you’re exploring the dungeons – morning, noon, dusk, night – and I think it’s good that each dungeon is like its own little world. However, in general, the dungeons are mostly dark, and it’s hard to explore them. When I play for long periods of time, it hurts my eyes…

 

And then there’s the camera angle. When you move your character over to, say, the entrance, for some reason the camera shifts so that it’s aiming straight down at you. Not only does this make it hard to explore, at times it also gives you motion sickness.

 

The events are divided into chapters and you can beat the story a little at a time over the course of a week.
There are character recruitment events, preview events, and more mundane events as well… I think it’s great that there’s such a variety.

 

The tutorials are easy to understand, but they’re also a bit redundant.

 

☆ Battles

 

You fight by entering commands based on which weapons you have equipped. I say that because when you have different weapons equipped, the number of skills you can use changes. Once you get used to it, it feels absolutely wonderful creaming opponents to pulp in no time at all.

 

The only bad thing is that your abilities aren’t based off your stats. They’re preset. What I mean is, say you equip the healing ability. No matter who you equip it on, they only heal a preset amount. I’d really hoped they would fix that.

 

☆ Other

 

The sprites are ridiculously pretty. The troupe of voice actors is wonderful too. However, because the avatars are of amazing quality, the character graphics when you’re in the dungeon can’t even compare. (The faces, especially, are not cute.)

 

Since the sprites were so beautiful, I’d hoped they’d do something about it… Even though their voices were cute, it’s really hard to stand the close-up zoom to the faces at the end of the battles.

 

Even though this was the Limited Edition, it wasn’t really worth buying … but I’m a collector, so I was happy with it. All the inside information was about the companies, so I had no idea what was going on, and the DVD can only play on my computer. Plus, if you don’t burn it to a DVD-R, you can only play it manually. What the hell?

 

Well … the characters I like are in this game, and people who like to just zip through a game might like it.

 

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Hmm… (2 stars)

 

There was a trite feel to the whole thing, and the story was practically a fandom work. It was boring because there was nothing serious about it at all.

 

Even though you don’t have to install the game, the loading time is very short.

 

There’s no sense of tension to the battles, and even though the option to change the camera angle exists, you can really only see the characters’ backs. The graphics for the characters’ faces are horrible too. Those thinking of buying this game should err on the safe side and not buy the limited edition. The original art booklet is short (and, to be honest, boring) and about the same size as the game. It feels like I was betrayed.

 

As a whole, the game is dull, with nothing to draw players in. Looking at it as an RPG, it’s almost a complete failure, but for an Idea Factory game, it’s not bad.

 

It’s Possible to Finish this Game (2 stars)

 

The ideas of a universe with dungeons and items drifting around in space, Managraphics, and the strengthening of planetary rings are interesting. The story seems like it’d be perfect for a subquest, so it’s not captivating at all, but if you concentrate on exploring the dungeons, there’s quite a bit to play if you try to finish the true route.

 

However, my criticism is that you can trudge through the dungeons even if you don’t level up; there’s no real incentive to combine the items. Each dungeon also appears about the same. It feels like they’re all using the same base. There are only a few variations of monsters, and because the presence of the boss enemies that are clearly strong are washed down, there’s no feeling of accomplishment.

 

I think that if there were an item or monster compendium on top of a gallery, it would be more fun and the players would feel more motivation in finishing the game.

 

A Voiced Tutorial (1 star)

 

From the beginning, you’re just working your way slowly through tutorial upon tutorial.

 

Once you finish one and you think you’re done, another pops up. There are tutorials squeezed in between events. When you open the menu, there’s a tutorial. When you press a button, there’s a tutorial. When you walk a single step, there’s a tutorial.

 

Even though the sprites are great, the 3D models are horrible. It’s like they’re fan-made. It’s not even something you’d see in a character game. There’re all these tutorials on fighting, but movement is also awkward. There’s lots of place for improvement. I wonder if they [the Creators] actually played this game?


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  • Ereek

    The last one makes me wonder if the player even played beyond the first 30 minutes.

    Also, TU surprised me. It’s a step in the right direction for IF games and I hope Neptune improves even more. As one of the reviews commented, the difficulty was surprisingly even and there was no “jump” like most of their games. The story is easily the weak point.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/VY27XRBU2VMQVWCNPXHMXDR4UE chibi

      so far thought i love how the story is simply one running gag after another, which after such a game like nier, with its soul crushing story, is greatly welcomed, id be one of the 5star reviewers, simply because this game does as advertised, isnt broken, and despite one of the amazon reviewers, i simply love the animated characters during events

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/VY27XRBU2VMQVWCNPXHMXDR4UE chibi

    one of the posts says you cant make any new items in subsequent playthroughs, like in disgaea. when in an of the disgaeas could you not make items?

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

      My computer is acting up of sorts, but this is Laura, just in case I’m not signed in.

      Thanks for bringing this up to my attention. The review says that you can’t go into the item world after you load from clear data. As for whether this is true, I’m not sure, since I never finished Disgaea that far, but that’s what the review says.

      • malek86

        I think one just needs to die at the first Mid Boss battle, and they’ll get a clear data.

        • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

          Oh. Then I suppose I was unluckily lucky…

          • http://twitter.com/Sieghardt Sieghardt

            There was a bug in the japanese release of Trinity Universe which meant you couldnt synth most stuff on new game+

            This bug has been fixed for the US release, just in case anyone was worried about it

    • Joanna

      Yeah, I’m wondering about that as well. It would suck if it were true. Both for this game and Disgaea (which I also haven’t finished xD)

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        See Laura’s comment below. We’ve fixed the error in the post, too. :)

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    I want thisssss, i just ordered SO4.. i got ff13 and resonance of fate first, now i wanted SO4 , and im planning on ….white knight chronciles, this or naruto next, and maybe later red dead redemption… is not easy to be a game lover and live outside of USA… Every choice may be the last choice! *suspence* if dollar gets more expensive im gonna kill someone

  • gatotsu911

    I am glad someone took the time to read the reviews of random Japanese Amazon users for a game that is only out in Japan, translate them, and publish them here. Because they are Japanese, we know for a fact that they have greater authority on video games than any inferior Westerner.

    Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but seriously, it must be a slow-ass news day.

    • Hraesvelgr

      …This is a regular feature on Siliconera. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it, and, furthermore, they’re just reviews. No one says you have to agree with them or that they have “greater authority” on video games, either.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee

      I should mention that this IS out here. It’s nice to see the opinions of all sorts of people about anything. It allows one to formulate his/her reaction if they’re hesitant about a product.

    • DlanorKnox

      The game has come out in the US, and since last I checked, there was only one in-depth review for the game on our version of Amazon, I really appreciate this article. Helped me decide that I do want to get the game.

  • http://twitter.com/Shadow1798 Dakar Serin

    To be blunt, I have a hard time believing this game is good, simply because it’s by the company that made Cross Edge. That game was horrible.

  • chaosaxess

    Anyone wanna start a bet on how long it will take for NISA to go under while they keep releasing crappy crossover games and mediocre low-budget RPGs?

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