The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure

Posted:  Mar 07, 2023
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Trails to Azure was provided to us by NIS America for review. Thank you!

Peace has finally settled over Crossbell, but with tensions rising from organizations and threats looming ahead, you will have to gear up decide the fate of your home. Set a few months after its predecessor, Trails to Azure continues the story of Lloyd and the Special Support Section in the finale of the Crossbell arc in the Trails universe. Gather your allies and take them in a story-driven JRPG with turn-based battles and unique equipment systems to power yourselves up. The city-state's fate rests with you and your team, will you be able to save it?

If you are a fan of JRPGs, this is a game you won't want to wait up on. The Trails series is known for its big stories that intertwine between all of its games and this one doesn't disappoint. Along with the continuing story from Trails from Zero, there are also some new combat mechanics and even customize your own car. There are also wonderful accessibility features like speeding up the game and even importing a save from Trails from Zero for some extra goodies and story content. And with some excellent Japanese voice acting, the game feels absolutely superb.

While this game can be played on its own, there are flashbacks that can explain parts you miss from the previous game, there is a lot of joy to be had by playing the other games in the series. The games regularly reference older games to some degree, with this one referencing a character from the first game in the series in the beginning! (Trails to Azure is the 5th installment in the series). These references aren't necessary to enjoy Trails to Azure, but it is definitely part of the allure the series has on me. And just like the other games in the series, Azure runs flawlessly on the Steam Deck.

Trails to Azure - Best on Deck

With no changes at all, Trails to Azure runs at 60 FPS with 6W - 8W drain, for a solid 6.5 - 7 hours of battery life. The game does support 1280x800 during gameplay and battles, but in any cutscenes, it will bring in the black bars mimicking letterbox format. It really isn't a big deal, but it happens in every cutscene and initially made me think the game was 1280x720 and not 800p.

There were no controller issues that I discovered and no visual issues. Trails to Azure performed as expected, which makes sense, and I couldn't be happier.

The Trails Series - Interconnected Stories

So I did mention above that Trails to Azure references characters from the previous games, which is true, but this is also one of the staples of the series. Throughout the games, there are references to events or characters that happened in previous games, including some foreshadowing for certain characters. In my opinion, this makes the world feel much more alive and connected, rather than it just being individual stories taking place in the same world.

The games can be played without playing the others since it will explain a little, and you could always look up and read the story from the last to get the general gist of what happened, but that gets rid of some of the magic these games carry. Not to mention that almost each game can carry over previous content that affects relationships and gives bonuses in some way. I personally find it worthwhile to invest time into, and I really love how the stories can weave in together, but it does take a lot of investment. Thankfully, the other games in the series run well on the Deck too (we will dive into that later on) and enjoying the entire series on the device isn't out of reach.


For those who have played the Trails series and want to continue it on the Deck, you can have the complete confidence that this will be a near-perfect experience. For those who haven't yet tried the series, but enjoy JRPGs and story-heavy games, I urge you to take a look into this series. The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure holds up and continues the wonderful series that I have fallen in love with and makes me look forward to the next entry coming out later this year.

And of course, since there was no setting changes needed to enjoy this game optimally, it is a Best on Deck game!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is the great conclusion to the Crossbell arc in the fantastic Trails series, bringing in some new mechanics while keeping the staples of the Trails games that make it so great. And with no setting changes needed to enjoy optimally, this is a Best on Deck game!

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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