Trinity Trigger Review: like the JRPGs of yesteryear

Trinity Trigger an action RPG reminiscent of Japanese role-playing games of the PS1 and PS2 era: how does it fare? We played it.

Trinity Trigger Review: like the JRPGs of yesteryear

With releases from the likes of Miasma Chronicles and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, without forgetting the launch of the old-gen versions of Hogwarts Legacy (in this regard, have you already read our special on the performances of Hogwarts Legacy for PS4?), it was perhaps inevitable that some products due out in May 2023 would go completely unnoticed. It is the case of Trinity Triggers, action RPG developed by the Japanese studio Three Rings and which has enjoyed the contribution of outstanding artists such as Yuki Nobuteru, Raita Kazama, Yura Kubota and Hiroki Kikuta. Attracted by the big names behind the production, in recent weeks we have therefore recovered the title already available on PC, PS4, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and we offer you our consolidated impressions on Trinity Trigger below.

The fate of the chosen ones

Inspired by JRPGs of yesteryear, the narrative framework of Trinity Trigger is extremely classic and tells of a war that has been going on for eons. Since ancient times, the benevolent Gods of Order and the evil Gods of Chaos have battled for supremacy, risking the destruction of the mortal realm in the process. Since their clashes were increasingly devastating the continent of Trinitia, leaving huge and powerful divine weapons embedded in the ground, in a now forgotten era the superior beings decided to put an end to the direct conflict, selecting each of the representatives among the mortals so that they could continue to fight in their name.

Born and raised in a small rural village, the protagonist Cyan is a seemingly normal boy who, after losing his parents when he was still very young, had to roll up his sleeves to look after his little sister. Joined the Scavenger, i.e. individuals who explore the various sites where the towering divine weapons rest, our hero leads a peaceful existence, at least until the appearance of Elise, a mysterious girl from whom he learns the truth about the strange brand inside inside of his right eye. Having been chosen from birth by a deity, Cyan is destined to become its champion and carry on the long-running conflict. The boy with a noble soul, however, will decide not to surrender to the fate that a supreme being has established for him, but on the contrary he will travel with Elise and another chosen one named Zantis to try to put an end to the war that continues. for millennia and save his world from its horrors. Together with their “Triggers”, seemingly harmless and cuddly creatures that however hide great power, the trio will therefore cross the whole continent to escape an ominous and predetermined destiny.

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That of the chosen one on whose decisions the future of the whole world depends It’s an overused stereotype which over the decades has led to the creation of hundreds of video games, anime and manga that are all too similar to each other and which have only rarely been able to offer some unpublished implications. Thanks to a script that is never complex and the scarce propensity to delve into the topics covered, that of Trinity Trigger is a trivial and already seen storywhich in the approximately 20 hours required to reach the end credits accompanies the player with predictable developments, without ever being able to really surprise or in any case stand out in any way.

Net of well-characterized characters, with whom we immediately empathized, the narrative does not even shine from a structural point of view, instead following a fairly linear scheme in which the exploration of small inhabited centers and dungeon wanderings alternate, culminating in the inevitable boss fights end of level. On the other hand, it must be recognized that the story flows quickly and without running into the annoying dead moments which, between one discovery and another, often afflict JRPGs.

Functional but not too much

If the plot of Trinity Trigger does not shine for originality or depth, the same cannot be said for the real-time combat system, which instead we found solid and fulfilling, but not without flaws. Like Ys (here you will find our review of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox) the player controls only one character at a time, entrusting the management of his companions to the albeit poor artificial intelligence, reserving the possibility of switching from one ally to another at any time other to change strategy and enjoy their diverse attack patterns.

That of the switch is in fact a central mechanic in the gameplay economy of Trinity Trigger, since the effectiveness of our attacks is linked to a bar that empties after each successful attack and which on the contrary is recharged as the seconds go by. By relentlessly targeting the enemies, the aforementioned indicator is progressively consumed, but once it is emptied the characters are not forced to interrupt the offensive, which however suffers in terms of power. Taking control of a different fighter and letting the one used previously rest therefore allows you to attack your opponents without seeing the effectiveness of the attacks diminish. In addition to being able to juggle rapid assaults and equally lightning-fast dodges, the three members of the party also have customizable combos: a bit like in the recent Final Fantasy XVI and in the episodes of the Tales of series, it is after all the user who choose from an ever-growing deck which moves to “equip” and boost dramaticallyin order to make them constantly stronger and above all to obtain movesets close to one’s style of play.

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It is a gimmick that on the one hand rewards and encourages experimentation, but on the other hand tends to oversimplify a level of challenge already calibrated downwards. In addition to being devoid of the now usual difficulty selector, unfortunately Trinity Trigger seemed too simple to us, as the enemies – already affected by a defeatist and inadequate artificial intelligence – are penalized by a lack of reactivity and much slower movements than those of our heroes.

In any case, the most successful element of the package is undoubtedly represented by the aforementioned Triggers, animals that can turn into eight different weapons. Equipped with distinctive features, not only these they are the keys to opening previously blocked paths, but grant access to spectacular special attacks (mostly useful against bosses) and a whole series of bonuses which, among other things, allow you to steal health points and heal yourself after each knocked down target. Another interesting aspect of Trinity Trigger must be found in the possibility of tackling it almost entirely in coop for up to three users.

Once you have the third and final party member, FuRyu’s action RPG can in fact be played in local multiplayer with two friends: a very convenient solution that allows participants to share tasks, optimize team management and implement even complex strategies. It’s just a pity that the coop further lowers an already small and not at all satisfactory level of challenge. We are convinced that a proper experience rebalancing or difficulty selector, which we hope will be implemented over the next few months, would greatly enhance the offer by FuRyu and Japanese developer Three Rings.

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Echoes of a lost era

Finally, moving on to the graphic layout, we must point out that the yield of the product seemed to us anything but homogeneous. Where the animated cutscenes are quite beautiful, also thanks to the unmistakable character design of Raita Kazama (Xenoblade Chronicles), the chibi-style polygonal models and the settings are far from today’s quality standards and, like the weapons scattered throughout Trinitia, they would seem precisely a legacy belonging to a bygone era.

Just the graphic backwardness prompted us to conduct our tests on Nintendo Switch, which at least in portability manages to partially hide a technical sector that is at least two generations old. Excellent, however, the soundtrack composed by master Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana), who once again he gave us a musical accompaniment that was always in line with the tones assumed by the narration and careful to decisively underline the darkest moments of the plot.

Trinity Triggers
Trinity TriggersNintendo Switch Analyzed VersionDespite the involvement of outstanding artists, the star of Trinity Trigger does not shine as much as one would expect. As engaging as it is, the plot faithfully follows the topoi of the playful genre to which it belongs without ever proposing even vaguely original developments, while from a graphic point of view it seems to have in your hands a production destined for the now defunct Nintendo 3DS. Net of an almost non-existent challenge rate, the frenetic real-time combat system is the most successful aspect of the action RPG, which if played in local multiplayer with two friends shows much of its great unexpressed potential. Maybe it won’t end up in the annals of the JRPG, but overall Trinity Trigger remains a more than decent title. Our advice is to recover it on Nintendo Switch during the discount period.