As of the writing of this review, I have yet to defeat the one and only boss in Trillion: God of Destruction. Even after starting on New Game Plus, and having spent so much time with it, I find myself having difficulty adjusting to the seemingly alien strategic focus the game so boasts (and its technical hiccups). It’s not an impossible, soul-crushing challenge, no — it’s a fine and fair one, and even when I’m away from home, I find myself pondering new strategies I can implement into my next encounter with Trillion and how to further develop my current character so as to bring those means to an end. If you’re a fan of Disgaea and enjoy the crazy mechanics or the series’ stylistic approach to the SRPG genre, this game will feel close to home and yet still so very foreign.
Trillion, a being made up of 1,000,000,000,000 curses (rather, HP), dubbed “God of Destruction”, has descended upon the Underworld and threatens to consume its core. Crippled in battle, you – Great Overlord Zeabolos – must train one reigning Overlord to defeat Trillion, promising that they be crowned as the next Great Overlord should they accomplish such a feat. If they fall in battle, they die forever, and training must begin anew with a different candidate.
The world of Trillion is very reminiscent to that of Disgaea: taking place in the Underworld (or Hell), having quirky characters, and funny dialogue. While they’re certainly similar in concept, Trillion is distinct in that the characters are much more thematic, and that you’ll be spending a majority of your time either in the menu-based development dubbed ‘Training’ (those familiar with Hyperdimension Neptunia PP will have a better idea of what I mean) or interacting with them. Each of the candidates represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and their outfits and appearances lends to their individual titles to be much more convincing. It’s the perfect setup for the characters to be written so shoddily and one-dimensionally, minimizing costs in writing, but it was surprising to see that these characters have much more depth than their titles initially lend. Sure they follow the overdone anime archetypes, and that’s typical, but they’re not so overbearing that they’re incapable of being endearing. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that the ‘story’ thrives on interaction, and that the overarching narrative mainly consists of, “Grrrrr, gotta kill Trillion,” but the characters are surprisingly well-done. A majority of the interactions were heartwarming, and I found myself even caring for the characters with traits that I otherwise found aggravating. I certainly felt the toll when they were lost to Trillion, as you spend so much time with them (granted, if you take the time to interact with them) that I couldn’t help but care. Some have touching stories to tell, and you can certainly feel the bond between them and Zeabolos, making the world and characters feel all the more real. Not many games have made me care so much about its characters, and in that regard, I can safely say that Trillion earns itself a spot on my shelf.
I’ve never played a game like Trillion. Yes, I’ve explored the SRPG genre, but never has the core gameplay had such a focus on position-based evasion and character building. It’s a rogue-like under the guise of an SRPG essentially. Outside of the bland menu-selection that takes up a majority of the gameplay, lies one of the finer strategy games I’ve ever played. The game offers a slew of skills to the player, and allows you to raise stats in such a way that you can craft the current Overlord-in-training in whatever way you so please. If a character’s meant for magic and naturally has low strength, with enough attribute points put into ATK and the proper Passive skills, you can refine them into a heavy-hitter. Of course, you can’t just rely on stats alone. Enemy attacks are choreographed with danger zones on the grid, and Trillion being able to chain attacks one after another, and with an incredibly high damage output, your position on the map is essential to surviving.
The game is difficult because you can’t just rely on running up to Trillion and taking turns beating each other until the other one gives in. You’re given a very limited number of days, and at the end of predetermined cycles, it’ll be time to face off with Trillion wherein it’ll gradually proceed further down the arena until you either die, you defeat one of its forms, or it reaches the boundary at the far end of the map and you have to take time to train until next it awakens, taking another gamble at death. Should three attempts at the superboss’ life pass, your Overlord is guaranteed dead. They’ll unleash from one of five final attacks and then pass on their abilities (and a certain amount of points to put into stats) before they die a gruesome death. Take time into thinking about where you are and where you want to be, in both training and combat, so as to maximize your skills, avoid death, and achieve victory — that’s Trillion. Even if death isn’t all that avoidable.
Perhaps I’ve grown too used to anime and the medium’s cliches, or I hate the bias most reviewers hold against it or JRPGs; but I hold Trillion in high regard. From the art to the music to the characters to gameplay, I enjoyed my time with it. While it’s certainly not high budget, offering some bland, yet fitting and serene songs, awkward character models and animations, it carries the spirit of oldschool JRPGs and their sense of growth. It’s one of the few games as of late that has really caused me to think about how to best approach both leveling and combat. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly for me.
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