Trinity Universe Review
Trinity Universe box art
System: PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Idea Factory 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: NIS America 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 29, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Beyond Mere Craziness Lies a Universe of Insanity
by Kyle B. Stiff

Trinity Universe is the most absurdly cute RPG that I have ever played, and I’ve played a lot of absurd and cute Japanese games over the years. The overall aesthetic of Trinity Universe is so strange, so utterly removed from the template of Western game design that it looks like it comes from the future. Characters bound around in a brightly-colored world saying things that are humorous because everything comes from so far out in left field.

Trinity Universe screenshot

Some games try to balance cuteness with all the things that we tend to think are necessary for a story. Things like a dramatic narrative, revolting villains, idealistic heroes, dialogue that moves the story along, and so forth. Trinity Universe throws all of that out the window in favor of taking fans of Japanese kitsch to the next level of utter weirdness. If you like that sort of thing, then Trinity Universe is the epitome of uniquely Japanese craziness; break out the life-sized Etna pillowcase and imported octopus Ramen-flavored soda.

If, on the other hand, you have ever enjoyed even one game developed in the West, and you never once thought to yourself, “You know, these characters just aren’t flamboyant enough,” then Trinity Universe will simply make no sense. While the play mechanics, the combo system, loot drops, and general RPG conventions will make sense, the rest will be a complete and utter carpet bombing to the rational left side of the brain.

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Combat is not so foreign. Characters have a set number of action points that can be accumulated through inaction or boosted via gear. These points can be spent on three different kinds of attacks that can be strung together into combos (most of which are different based on character or weapon used) or even group attacks. It makes sense, as long as you can handle the nonsensical statements and absurd “battle cries” of the heroes, and enemies that are more cartoonish than intimidating.

Trinity Universe screenshot

Things seem to get a little more complicated with the introduction of upgrading equipment. One character can synthesize items from random loot drops into powerful weapons, another can etch “managraphics” onto weapons for power-ups, and a third makes power-boosting items that can be slotted into weapons. I found it overwhelming until I realized that doing these things was actually making my characters way too powerful.

While normal level-ups occur frequently, few enemies are powerful enough to warrant a detailed understanding of the intricacies of maxing out the potential of your weapons. If you think the random combat is tedious, just wait until your gear is so powerful that you can steamroll over anyone. Combat then becomes little more than a nuisance, delaying your progression between point A and point B.

Trinity Universe screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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