When you hear the name “Omega Force,” you tend to think of their series Dynasty Warrior and it’s staple in hack-and-slash combat games. With endless waves of enemies continually berating you and your party members, it was combat galore for the multiple installments and interpretations. Because of that same system, most hack-and-slash JRPG’s tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to getting noticed, and Trinity: Souls of the Zill O’ll is no exception. Set up as a prequel to its Japanese-only release, newcomers will get something a little familiar, a little new, and altogether enjoyable in what Omega Force has to offer.
The story in Trinity is nothing we haven’t seen before: evil ruler and father learns that his grandson will kill him via prophecy so he tries to circumvent the situation by killing his first. Of course nobody can change his or her fate, and the half-elf Areus escapes to grow up and train as an Adventurer and Arena fighter in the town of Liberdam. During his growing pains, he’ll meet up with a burly fist-fighter Dagda and secretive lady-friend Selene, each with their own unique abilities and skills that will help him fulfill his destiny. The game practically writes itself.
It’s how you get from point A to B that really makes the difference. Immediately getting tossed into your first few battles the literal second you start the game, you get a chance to learn combat and controls on the fly. Each character is given a specific set of skills that you map to your controller’s Square, Triangle, or Circle buttons. Areus for example, is the one that can use both melee and magic abilities, while Dagda is only set to use devastating fist attacks.
Those differences in character abilities will come in handy for combo breakers and amplifying your attacks, which is where combat really has its moments. Take for example a flying enemy that neither male character can really attack. Switching easily to the nimble and speedy Selene, and the offensive beast is suddenly knocked down, allowing for Areus to freeze the beast while Dagda smashes it into oblivion now that it’s defenses have been negated. Of course, if that doesn’t work, a bonus Trinity Attack will lay devastation to all surrounding enemies if you have enough stamina, or Burst Gauge
The ability to transfer back and forth between characters makes the gameplay and battles flow smoothly, while allowing for quick and accessible attack patterns. The only downside will be that sometimes the camera gets too close to your party so that you don’t know where attacks are coming from. While it makes for an easy fly through a quest, some character’s attacks are far too overpowered and making you feel almost cheap.
Though not everything is about fighting in Trinity, and this is where it becomes hit-or-miss for the game. Letting you travel between different towns and cities to explore and interact with the different townspeople in each area, each section will have something a little different. For example, in your starting town of Liberdam, the Mage shop gives you the chance to upgrade and buy new skills for your characters, while the Arena lets you test your battle prowess in feats of timed matched against sets of specific enemies. Meanwhile in the Dwarf Kingdom, you may only have access to things like the Weapon’s shop and the Tavern, yet in both places, you may be able to get a few extra quests, just by talking to people as you walk into stores.
And quests really drive the game. Offering ample opportunities to pick up the off quest at the Adventurer’s Guild, you can choose between a variety of different options: rescue, elimination, timed, duel, collection, or escort. Some of the quests will have time limits and be important to the overall storyline, which will be highlighted before you purchase, so if you just want to bum around a little before progressing the storyline, you have all the time in the world.
Yet it’s not all fun and games with Trinity, and some of it quirks stop it from being a genuinely good game. Aside from the traditionally bad script that all JRPG’s tend to share, the storyline itself is painfully slow. Being treated as more of a PSP game, you’ll be scrolling through more text and speech bubbles than you will cinematic and CGI. While it’s always better to have a well-written story than badly etched graphics or voice acting, when you’re scripting a game for the PlayStation 3 in 2011, you need to step away from scrolling text.
Plus, as much as it’s proclaimed as a ‘non-linear’ adventure, most of the exploration and treasure seeking are going to be in the same places you have traversed an hour ago, if not earlier. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, if the level design had changed or some of the grander levels, such as the Underground Caverns weren’t so expansive, yet after a while it does get tedious.
Overall, if you’re looking for an interesting game that you can pick up and start knocking Gremlins around, while practicing your combo/ hack-and-slash skills, this is the perfect game for you. It has a plethora of interesting things to keep you busy while playing around with the different Arena battles and quests. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep between reading the overly-excessive dialogue.