Review: Trillion: God of Destruction (PSV/PSTV)

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
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Title: Trillion: God of Destruction
Format: Game Card / PlayStation Network Download (3.2 GB)
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Idea Factory
Developer: Compile Heart / Idea Factory
Original MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T
Trillion: God of Destruction is exclusive to PlayStation Vita.
The PlayStation Vita download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Trillion, the God of Destruction, is a being unleashed on the Underworld by the gods in an attempt to end the war between the two. The ruler of the Underworld, Zeabolos, and his brother Astaroth fight Trillion but are both defeated.

Before he dies, a girl named Faust appears before Zeabolos and offers to revive him and help fight Trillion in exchange for his soul once Trillion is defeated. However, the almost-zombie body of Zeabolos is not capable of fighting so he decides to train six of the Overlords, his nieces, cousins, and sister, to fight Trillion.

Unfortunately due to the miasma shed by Trillion, only one of the Overlords is able to fight Trillion at a time, so after picking one of the six girls he begins a strict training regimen to get them ready to fight once it reawakens.

Gameplay:
Trillion, the game, is seemingly designed around one central gimmick. Trillion, the boss, is an enemy with one trillion HP and the entire point of the game is that the Overlords must slowly whittle down Trillion’s 1,000,000,000,000 hit points over multiple battles. Compile Heart is here with the damage sponge to end all damage sponges.

The game plays like a mashup between a management simulation game, not entirely dissimilar to an idol management game like Hyperdimension Neptunia PP, and a strategy RPG. Plus, of course, a few dating sim elements and one or two mechanics one might associate with a roguelike.

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The minute-to-minute gameplay involves planning the day-to-day activities of the chosen Overlord. This means picking their training and other actions, keeping in mind the game’s deadlines and the fatigue level of the Overlord.

There are a few different types of training, each of which focuses on a different kind of experience (EXP). These multiple types of experience can then be used to teach the overlord new battle skills, passive skills, or enhance their stats.

Training also fatigues the Overlord. The outcome of each training session is random and a more fatigued Overlord is less likely to get good results from the training.

… mostly menu based gameplay …
Zeabolos can also instruct the Overlord to rest or use a day to interact with them. Both of these actions reduce fatigue, although the latter reduces less fatigue in return for increasing the girl’s affection for Zeabolos. The final action that passes time is that Zeabolos can ask the citizens of the Underworld to raise funds to help him.

All of this is menu based, and the menus also have options for things that don’t take time: a shop to spend said funds, a machine to spend tokens on for random gifts for the Overlords, a blacksmith to strengthen the Overlord’s weapon, and an option to check on Trillion or the Overlord’s stats.

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As time passes, some story and side events can crop up. There is also combat to break up the monotony of the mostly menu based gameplay. Using five training medals, obtained by training, the Overlord can tackle a randomized dungeon.

Plus, once per cycle – a cycle is seven days so it’s a week, call it a week dammit – the Overlord will challenge a training dummy that copies Trillion’s attack patterns.

These gameplay sections, plus the fights against Trillion, use a pretty standard grid-based tactics RPG system. The Overlord can move around on the grid and attack adjacent enemies with their weapon or use skills to damage farther away enemies.

… pretty simple attack patterns …
These sections also give the Overlord EXP so jumping into the dungeon or fighting the training dummy is important to helping take down Trillion. Taking down Trillion is, of course, the ultimate goal and as one might expect, this isn’t easy – mostly because of just how big a number one trillion actually is.

This game attends the Disgaea school of absurdly huge numbers since much of the staff on this game worked on the Disgaea series. However, even attacking for one billion damage means it’ll take a thousand hits to down Trillion.

Which really leads to my criticism of the game: Trillion isn’t interesting to fight for one thousand hits, or even less once the Overlord gets over a billion damage a hit. It has pretty simple attack patterns, all of which are easily avoided thanks to grids showing where they’ll hit several turns before they do. Once the player has a handle on the few attacks Trillion can do, it’s easy to find a strategy that makes the Overlord rarely take damage.

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The game’s designers knew this too, so there’s another fail case in the fight against Trillion. If Trillion moves forward enough to reach a defense line on the battlefield, the Overlord loses the fight. The Overlord doesn’t die though, which means they get another chance to fight Trillion.

In the case that the Overlord lets Trillion advance, or they retreat from the fight, Trillion will fall asleep again and the Overlord get a shorter period of time to keep training. Assuming they don’t die before then, the chosen overlord automatically dies after the third time they face Trillion and the player picks a new Overlord to fight it next.

… Train overlord, fight Trillion, Overlord dies, train new Overlord and repeat …
This means the player gets basically six chances to stave off Trillion, using all six of the overlords. Each torch pass to a new Overlord means starting over on training, although not from square one.

The new Overlord gets some bonus EXP from the previous one and the player still has all of the equipment and gifts they’ve amassed, save whatever the Overlord was using when they fought Trillion.

That’s really about it. Train overlord, fight Trillion, Overlord dies, train new Overlord and repeat… Either the player finally whittles down enough of Trillion’s HP to kill it or Trillion advances all the way to the final layer of the Underworld and the player gets a Game Over.

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Trillion, the game, gets pretty boring pretty fast though. As is clear, Trillion, the god, is an absolute damage sponge and it doesn’t have many tactics at its disposal. Trillion does get a few new tricks once it gets lower on health but it’s still a pretty boring fight.

Admission: I actually haven’t beat Trillion yet and it might have one more form I didn’t fight, so maybe it gains new attacks. However, I’m bored enough to not care at this point.

The parts not fighting Trillion aren’t that great either. I don’t mind slogging through some menus here and there but that’s what 90% of this game is. The randomized dungeons are so short that neither they nor fighting the training-version of Trillion can break up the monotony once it sets in.

… I like the core mechanic …
If anything, interacting with the characters is the high point. Each of the six Overlords has a pretty unique personality and the special events that crop up every now-and-then can be interesting. Those are pretty far between though, as there are also a lot of repeatable events which are even reused between the different Overlords.

There are some cool ideas in Trillion. I like the core mechanic of fighting with multiple characters over time to whittle down a single massive enemy. And there’s an interesting system in place where characters can build up affection, which drains as a replacement to HP or MP in battle. None of the good manages to outweigh the monotonous though.

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Visuals:
Pretty normal Compile Heart fare here. The art style and character designs reminded me a lot of Mugen Souls and lo-and-behold the art direction was by Kei Nanameda, who also worked on those games.

It’s pretty good overall, though oddly processor intensive. The Vita can’t use any apps, even things like Photos, while the game is running.

… There isn’t much variety …
2D art is used for all of the menus and most of the story events. I like the character designs and even the menus feel pretty expressive and interesting. There’s a cohesiveness to all of it that makes everything fit nicely together.

Once in battle, the game uses fully 3D graphics. These are relatively simple in detail but pretty effective at fitting in with the 2D art. There isn’t much variety though, particularly in the environments.

The arena used to fight Trillion/the training dummy only changes after Trillion advances quite a ways, for example, so the same ones get used multiple times.

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Audio:
I mentioned some of the staff from Disgaea earlier. One such person is Tenpei Sato, who worked on some of the earlier Disgaea game soundtracks and now on this game as well. The soundtrack is pretty decent but suffers from some of the same complaints, namely that so much of the game is spent doing the same things that have the same songs.

Audio is available in both English and Japanese. Critical story sequences are fully voiced, however many of the repeatable events and some of the side story scenes aren’t. Instead, the character will give a simple, quick thing to match the tone of what the text box says.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

… just a mediocre game …
Conclusion:
In theory I like the central conceit of this game: slowly hacking away to take down a massive enemy. However, this one feels like an attempt to put a budget game’s worth of good ideas into a full game.

The massive enemy the player hacks away at just isn’t interesting enough and there’s far too much tedium both in fighting Trillion and in the intervening training. As there is some good in the game, I don’t think Trillion is flat-out bad.

It might be okay to play slowly over a longer period of time; to stave off the boredom by not focusing solely on this game. At face value though, Trillion is just a mediocre game that I wish was better than it is.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.

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