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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2010
Despite low expectations of this character mash-up RPG, I'm giddy to be able to summarize it in one word-- "Fun". This is a rarity these days, no matter what you play.

Like a number of NIS titles or mash-up crossover-type games, expect nothing to make any sense. On paper, the story sounds serious (and it does need a serious resolution), but the presentation and direction taken with the characters is entirely absurd a good way. All the better, there are 2 entirely different storylines and you get your pick of protagonists. This is similar to Mana Khemia 2, where despite the different paths, you get goofy cast members either way and eventually everyone will end up working together at the finish. A second play was more enjoyable for me, as I could see all the times I'd bumped into or battled the other party, and could see a few sneaky points where the plots were weaved together.

As is finally the expected for JRPGs, everything is offered in eye-popping and excitable (if not a little stiff) 3D models. Instead of an "open world" format, Trinity Universe is the "hub" type of RPG where you'll be sent out to various dungeons and always come home to the same place. The story actually ties into this and offers a nice sense of progression despite never actually going anywhere.

I cannot speak highly enough about the cast of characters, and feeding on their energy alone is more than enough to slide through the game. All are simply absurd and quirky in his/her own way and are incredibly hard to explain. An alchemist that only eats and battles with carrots, a pop idol convinced she's an assassin, and a ghost that joins the group so she can kill foes to 'make new friends' (as ghosts) are among the offerings. Each of the storylines has several special party members, and several are shared are can be picked up on either route. One might be worried upon seeing a trio of recurring NIS characters from the Disgaea series appearing in an otherwise all-new game reality, but they're even more lovable and silly as ever. Fans of the underdog would-be hero Prinny character will be glad to know that Trinity Universe is yet another step forward in removing them from being nothing more than a gimmick/sidekick character. The 'fallen angel' Flonne absolutely steals the show on personality. Despite being recycled and even if knowing her past, it's impossible not to laugh whenever she speaks, and even after hearing her various battle cries a thousand times they still had me giggling every time. It must be experienced to really understand.

Cutscenes and dialogue sections are SIGNIFICANTLY evolved here versus any other JRPG to date. Instead of a still 2D graphic of a character appearing on the screen when they speak, these are replaced by a multi-layered semi-animated 2D model, where it's possible to see movement (such as, hair moving around, or clothing adjusting shape). Mouths are now also animated as characters speak, and adding these changes makes the game feel a lot more alive and energized. I wouldn't have thought a change from the 'static' graphic style would make this huge of a difference. Over 50-100 hours I suppose it does add up.

In closing, this is more than worth a purchase from fans of the genre and/or NIS titles. It bends and tweaks the standard formula in a whole lot of areas, yet somehow pulls it off from every angle. The cutscenes, 3D modeling, soundtrack, cast, humor, battle system, equipment system, etc.; All of it feels like a completely natural evolution of those familiar from other RPGs. Just sit back, let the silly bits of story play out, enjoy what's handed to you and you'll have a great time. Personally, I was so lost in the fun that by the end I'd completely forgotten that there were 2 stories to play! This game will surely go under-appreciated because of its small demographic, and it is something that a far wider audience could enjoy.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Trinity Universe is in full 1080p 3D. By comparison to Cross Edge, which I feel is fair to say this game spiritually succeeds, I hesitate to say that graphically it has improved. Despite a clear level of sharpness to the game the look is rather uninspired. Many of the enemies and animations are effectively drawn straight from Cross Edge, and they look well enough I suppose, but on the whole there is an exclusion of fine detail and variety to the general look of the game that lends to an overall bland presentation. It's serviceable to the game no doubt, and usually I'm not a stickler for graphics, but it is disappointing that rather than having pretty impressive 2D graphics this game opted for a very stale and rudimentary 3D approach.

The game in my simplest way of putting it is a bit like a turn-based dungeon crawler. You board these objects which dangerously orbit your home world out in the Netherverse and battle your way through a dungeon in order to disrupt their gravitational orbit and fling them out in to space. While this isn't the case with all of the dungeons the design is still effectively the same, grab for loot, slay some monster, reach the end of the dungeon.

Throughout dungeons you'll find an abundance of loot just hanging out on the ground. This loot will periodically respawn randomly as well. Within these dungeons are various hidden items and objectives. These can be rare items, schematics for `managraphics', the gravitational control for the dungeon, or an enemy nest of sorts. You have a search function to find these hidden objectives which will reveal any of these things in immediate proximity to you or shoot a colored line in the direction of such a hidden objective. The more you search the better your search function becomes but it has been pretty fool proof so far. You're given limited uses based on your search level but I have yet to need my full amount for any given dungeon.

The enemy nest things, called hunts, when revealed allow you to fight a string of monsters. Upon clearing the string the node disappears leaving a chest behind and you are granted immunity from being randomly attacked for the (long) duration of the buff. This is quite nice if you just want to tool around looking for treasure.

Should you linger in a dungeon too long, or in the event you destroy its gravity node, the dungeon will begin to `drift'. While the dungeon is drifting rare items will begin to spawn around the dungeon. Sounds great right? Well it is cool but on the downside once you start to drift you have a limited amount of time to get to the exit as well. Generally it's a pretty comfortable amount of time to walk away with some solid loot but it is still advised that you get out. If you can't make it out in time you are cast out in to orbit with the dungeon. I personally haven't tested this yet but the game suggests that you're basically stuck there until you're rescued and that the subsequent rescue is costly.

Finally some dungeons have very powerful enemies which will randomly attack you. You'll see a dark mist creep up on you in the event that the `lurker' as they're called is on to you and that's most likely your queue to run. Unless you over-level an area pretty substantially chances are the lurker will flatten you. Defeating a lurker obviously yields great rewards as well as giving you a completion bonus on the dungeon, but they shouldn't be taken lightly.

Finishing dungeons awards points toward an overall accrued value and these can be submitted to an online leaderboard as well as progress your "dungeon level" which allows you to travel to higher level versions of the dungeons which are available at the time.

Combat, to the game's credit, is very deep. In battle you are allotted a set amount of action points per turn which can be spent on attacks, `spells', or stocked for later use. Individual characters have personal combos using various combinations of light, heavy, and ranged/magical attacks which result in more powerful abilities. In addition to these personal skills there is also a selection of other more general combos that characters for the most part all have access to at any given time. These combos can be intermingled to basically get double duty out of your action points should you find some overlap in their sequences. Individual character's actions can also be strung together by initiating a combo with another player before finishing up. On a basic level this allows you to carry over your hit and damage counter from the previous character's action in addition to granting a seemingly random buff during the switch. Under certain circumstances, which as far as I can tell results from stringing together long individual combos, team combo attacks can be activated.

Aside from the basic combo system, which is the meat and potatoes of your battles, there are equippable spells and skills which can also be used. These come in the form of the item command, escape command, healing spells, enemy debuffs, player buffs, and basically anything which you would probably consider supplementary. The lowest level of these may simply be used by hitting O but higher level abilities, or those equipped to higher level slots, require a period of charging the O button all the while consuming your AP. These all typically take a large chunk of your overall AP.

As you battle you also slowly fill little globes around your AP gauge called the Image gauge. These orbs power some rather potent abilities but even there you have options. A minimum of two globes can be used to unleash a character's super attack with devastating results as expected, but individual globes can be used to either heal or shield your party. Early on you won't get too much use out of these but towards the end of the game you'll definitely be seeing these on bosses and frequently enough on standard fights.
One downside I have encountered with the combat is the feel of its implementation. It's lacking the visceral impact the combat in other similar titles manages to relay. While I can't put my finger on it there's some combination of timing, graphics, and sound not coming together quite right which makes the combat feel unfortunately soft.

When the dust settles:
Outside of battle and dungeons you'll spend your time basically waiting for story events to come up so that you can move on. There's a timed aspect of the game so things eventually become available as you complete dungeons and various other events. You may also simply sleep at an Inn to force time forward. The story is told through little blocks of conversation in the typical anime way, portraits on either side of the screen talking to you. In this game those portraits actually are animated on a basic level unlike in Cross Edge and other similar games. You can see the characters breathing, lips moving, hair swaying... This method works but the story itself is as one would expect pretty ridiculous with sophomoric humor peppered in. If you've played any NIS game you basically know what to expect, and it's not necessarily a 'bad' thing, but by New York Times best seller material this is not.

The game also features several shops which allow you to create various things. The most basic system is effectively identical to the one in Cross Edge. Over the course of the game you acquire various schematic books which list item/equipment recipes and meeting the requirements for those allows you to craft all kinds of things. Generally speaking this is what you're going to rely on for gearing up your party. In addition to the general equipment you can also craft other things in very much the same fashion. There are `Managraphics' which change the skin of your weapon and grant you various attributes, monsters which can then be challenged for rewards, and `Meteors/Planetary Rings' which allow you to place stat increasing Meteors in to corresponding nodes on the Planetary Ring very much like Final Fantasy 10's Sphere Grid.

A quick note about the trophies, they don't seem impossibly hard or grindy. Many of them require a pretty modest number of kills/wins/gold to obtain but even some of the higher ones I can only imagine become trivial towards the end of the game. At the moment I'm tentatively stating that this game strikes me as a doable platinum. At the very least it isn't the eye-stabbing grind fest of achievements that Cross Edge had.

Some DLC is also already available. A couple of free packs for basic resource items and a couple of cheap packs which get you voice packs and such. Nothing too crazy but it's pretty obvious continued support of the game is likely.

The game has all the depth that a NIS fan is probably going to buy it for but it also unfortunately forces a lackluster 3D presentation, the story is about as corny as you'd expect in a cross-over game, and a fair number of aspects were directly recycled from Cross Edge. It's the style of game I was in the mood for but on that same note I'm not really blown away by anything this game has to offer. The $50 price point makes it easier to swallow but even then all my RPG nerd bretheren out there might want to give this one a little while to simmer in the bargain bin unless you're simply looking for something to tide you over to the next big game.

Deep combat
Deep crafting
High character customization

Crisp but otherwise dated graphics.
Many borrowed elements
Skip button story
Combat doesn't feel right
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2014
Its a good game, more for story than gameplay, but make sure your seller sends you the US version. The EU version doesn't have any DLC and doesn't work with US DLC even if you are in the US. You miss out on an end game dungeon and some free goodies, such as more kinds of Managraphics. Buying this item from just the item page didn't get me a US version and I had to order a used copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2012
This game was funny, witty and had a great rpg feal. Dispite mostly being a dungeon crawler and not much else it kept me amused and entertained for a long while. there was so much to do, i'm not sure if ill get to everything. Really fun, highly recomend fir any rpg fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2015
Every now and then, you come across these up-beat games you can't help but love; Trinity Universe is that game. Definitely a must-buy for JRPG fans.
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on May 1, 2014
Lacking good tutorial but other than that it's a good game. Could have a little more cohesive story. Takes a good bit of good amount of time to get used to.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2013
While I enjoyed the game over all, I felt it was a little too cheesy to really keep my attention. Frankly, this has been a problem with most recent NIS games. They've forgotten how to blend comedy with meaningful character and plot development and what they end up with just too zany to be compelling in the long term. Such is the case with Trinity Universe. It is a fun game, but not terribly engaging and in the long term it's just so-so.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2012
I purchased Trinity Universe quite a long time after its release. I had heard good things, but I had also heard good things about Cross Edge, and that was a disaster. I can safely say that Trinity Universe is a better game than its so called spiritual predecessor, but in the end, it gets just as tiring as Cross Edge.

Trinity Universe is another one of those "Worlds Collide!" things that NIS has been publishing over here. I think only three worlds manage to collide this time. Two of them are pretty well-known to me (Disgaea and the Atelier series). Anyway, somehow, all of these people appear together, but this time, they don't seem to care as much that they have been displaced. You have the option of playing through two nominally-separate stories. In one, you are the Demon Dog King, who is searching for a way to save his universe from the threat of crashing objects in the shape of common items such as irons, ships, candy, etc. One possibility is to transform into a gem, but in doing so, your life will essentially end, so that's not really optimal. In the other story, you play as a Valkyrie whose quest is to...force a demon king to become a gem. Yeah, as you probably surmise, both stories connect later on, and the difference are purely perspective. And really, that's ALL that's going on here. There are a few plot turns (and 4 separate endings, which have nothing to do with plot choices, of which there are none), but it's pretty simplistic all around.

Instead, the developers are trying to make the game interesting with humor and atmosphere. The humor is the standard "Japanese fun happy time!" nonsense you have come to love (or loathe). It's better here than in Cross Edge, but it's still never as funny as it thinks it is. For example, there's a character named Recit, which is pronounced like "receipt"...
...that's the joke.

The voice actors range from interesting (I love the Prinnies) to downright annoying (pretty much any female character). The art style is quite nice. Cutscenes remain on still backdrops, but the characters are now drawn, and have minor movements. I think the game overemphasizes this new movement in its descriptions, but it's a nice effect nonetheless. The dungeons range from plain, afterthought designs to very nice backgrounds. All in all, I like the graphics here. It's not the water-color beauty of Atelier Rorona, but it's not bad.

Gameplay drags this one down. Basically, you travel through dungeons that have absolutely nothing to do with anything. Occasionally, you'll have an "event" dungeon that pushes the plot forward, but the vast majority of combat gameplay takes place in random dungeons that drift into and out of orbit over time. The game tries to make this more interesting by suggesting that you need to "drift" these planets/objects to save your netherworld (i.e. removing them from orbit), but failing to drift an object has absolutely no effect on the game (it has a minor effect on the endings, but most particular dungeon planets have absolutely no real meaning in the game). In the end, these dungeons merely serve as a location for level grinding, and that's all you'll do. You can hunt objects to try to improve your weapons and whatnot, but I have found that this has very little meaning in the main game, and is completely useless for the postgame, due to significantly easier ways to obtain items. The one exception is meteor construction (which I won't even bother describing - think of a mash-up of stat enhancement and skill tree), but even that is significantly slower than simply leveling your characters to the stratosphere.

Thankfully, leveling isn't atrocious, due to a rather nice combat system. It's standard turn-based fare, with one twist - you can combo attacks between characters. Good use of this combo system can open up bonus attacks, as well as confer battle bonuses on each character. It's fun trying to hit huge combos in the game, and it makes leveling far less of a chore than it ought to be.

I mentioned the story briefly above. It's good for what it is, but mostly forgettable. However, if you drop this game for an extended amount of time (like I did), you'll have little trouble picking it up later.

The trophies in this game are bland and unoriginal. They're not too hard, but they can annoy.

All in all, I think this game is OK, but I wanted better. Still, in the wasteland of JRPGs, this isn't the worst you'll play.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
I really REALLY wanted to like this. It was an Amazon recommendation and the video review I watched made it seem like a great game, the type of game I would really like. So I set out to find it, found only one Gamestop in the area that had it- there are about 12 Gamestops - maybe more that are within 20 minutes of me- and finally found it hidden in the cabinet behind the register.
Then I got it into the PS3...and it was nothing like I had thought. Cute anime characters? Yes. Humor? Kind of. Disgaea characters? Didn't get that far. The story seemed very slow to me- it dragged on to the point where I just wanted to hit buttons until it got to the part where you play. Which is unusual for someone who enjoys even visual novel games and as much talking and story as possible. Here, it felt unnecessary. When the actual gameplay began, I had to struggle to find where I could go to actually play and suddenly the character was dropped into a tiny dungeon with one or two small rooms. You then proceed to beat the enemies with your giant sword once or twice and you run around for a few seconds before it's clear there is nothing else there save for one or two more mini battles. I then gave up sadly and decided that I had no choice but to return the game. It seems to me like a game for kids, minus the dialogue of course.
I guess I was hoping for something along the lines of Rhapsody- wandering around a town, talking to other characters, going on little missions, leveling up, battling bosses, and enjoying a immersive story.
Feeling very let down and maybe a little less willing to try something based on one good video review.
I still may try one more time before i return it.
I should also note it cost $25 used.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2010
Love NIS. Really enjoy this game. Was a bit iffy for the first hour or so playing it but once you get a hang of the whole "drifting objects" thing it's awesome! I could only find one online walkthrough that wasn't a video walkthrough (do not like those). It's not complete, but you don't really need it, the game is very self explanatory, but just for those first couple of chapters, getting the hang of things, it's kind of nice. This guy does a very good job for the first 5 chapters though :) [...]
Definitely worth a go if you like jrpg's or NIS! If exploring towns etc is a must for you this may not be for you. When viewing an "event" like a conversation or something you have no chance to walk around and interact with other characters or items. You will just watch a scene with two characters interacting at a time. Example [...] Now keep in mind this is with the english voice overs, which I HATE. The japanese voice acting is superior. ugh. The Prinnies sound retarded on this one. Ok good luck
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