THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN BY DAVID RESTREPO
The hallmark of a truly excellent game is one that invades your subconscious and makes you think about it constantly. You could be at work or in class and the game seeps into every fiber of your being. The impulse to play becomes so great that you begin to shirk responsibilities so that you can get right back to where you left off. That kind of feeling is a testament to a special experience and Trillion: God of Destruction, at least for staunch RPG veterans, is capable of instilling that sense of compulsion to play more. It is a consuming experience.
The game begins with an exhaustive prologue. There are three worlds: The human world, the heavens, and the underworld. After consuming the heavens, a gargantuan beast known only as Trillion shows up at the gates to the underworld, massacring soldiers left and right. There is also mention of how the overlords of the underworld came to be as “fallen ones” unfit to reside in heaven. The game gets far too wrapped up in exposition early on, exacerbated only by the simple concept of training a series of overlords to combat a boss with one trillion health. This game doesn’t need such extensive world building and overbearing character monologues that it seems to revel in. That’s not to say it’s all a travesty. In fact, quite a few scenes managed to be endearing and incite emotion when coupled with the soundtrack, though these emotional beats don’t hit consistently enough to impact the narrative experience dramatically. Luckily, with the simple press of a button, you can fast forward through dialogue. If there is fear of missing an important line, players can look back through dialogue history for that particular scene.
After roughly half an hour, Trillion: God of Destruction begins proper and lets its leash loose upon the player with the confidence that they’ll be able to overcome this formidable foe. The game’s menu centric nature becomes apparent from the outset. Players are capable of initiating any one of six training exercises to grant experience for each corresponding stat tied to the various exercises. Choosing the Aura option, for example, will greatly improve the amount of points allotted to aura while a tiny portion will be granted to the remaining stats: mana, spell, reflex, charm, and taste. Training amounts to nothing more than a simple animation that can and should be skipped.
After sufficient training, you are able to use those acquired points to improve your selected character’s attributes–be it health, defense, attack, speed, and so on. Different attributes will require varying degrees of points from various fields. Increasing a character’s attack uses up aura, charm, and taste points while improving her speed requires points from spell, mana, charm, and taste. These points can also be used to gain new passive and active skills or level up those already acquired. Deciding what attributes to focus on in the early game is crucial to success since there is no way to reallocate points once you have committed with the currently selected character.
Time management is equally crucial to success. The game takes place over a set number of weeks and days. Each training exercise marks one day closer to the impending arrival of Trillion. Along with this passing of time comes fatigue. If your heroin experiences too much fatigue without resting, which also consumes a day, she will be unable to train or enter the Valley of Swords dungeon for a set number of days. Entering the dungeon, though, does not consume any time, allowing a moment of brevity for the player to cool down. Entry into the Valley of Swords requires five training medals.
Medals are handed out for each “great” and “excellent” awarded through training, though the parameters that determine what grade a player receives seems random. The Valley of Swords is a completely randomized mini-dungeon, providing the chance to acquire gold, items, and equipment. The caveat is that each foray into the dungeon is limited to 120 turns. Movement is tied a grid based system. Every tile moved and attack/skill used equates to one turn. It becomes a fun puzzle figuring out how to acquire everything in the dungeon and make it back to the exit within the turn limit.
In addition to training medals, players also acquire tokens for training and events, most of which come at random points in the story and amount to nothing more than heavy dialogue scenes with the only interaction being the occasional dialogue choice. These tokens are just as important as training medals. Tokens can be used to buy prizes from a randomized slot machine. The items acquired from this machine can be given to the overlord to increase her level of affection and the amount of affection points available. Only three items can be given to the overlord each day, preventing players from abusing the system. When in battle, any damage taken or skill used will deplete affection points first. Health and magic points only start to tick away after affection points have reached zero.
Trillion: God of Destruction becomes a delicate balancing act between training to acquire experience and interacting with the character, which also takes up a day just as with training, but boosts affection points significantly. Perhaps you decide it’s best to hold out on increasing health and magic too much so that you can default on affection points, allowing room for other attributes to be improved instead. The mandatory rpg blacksmith makes an appearance as well. Gold can be used to increase the strength of the heroine’s sole weapon as well as unlock seal slots to equip magical seals. This kind of thing should be instantly familiar to the avid rpg fanatics that are interested in this game to begin with.
Mokujin mock battles are mandatory at the end of each week. These battles are near identical to the fight against Trillion with the only differentiating factors being lesser health and a lack of armor that can be destroyed to deal more damage once flesh is exposed. The mokujin mock battles begin at 500 million health. If the player wins, the next mock battle will increase mokujin’s health by 500 million. If the player loses, next to no experienced will be gained and the next encounter will default the mokujin to the same amount of health it had at the start of the last failed attempt. These mock battles serve as tools to help gauge the player’s progress. Those unable to succeed in these battles stand no chance against Trillion, but players that can consistently defeat the mokujin upon each successive attempt are making progress. It doesn’t guarantee success against the real deal, though as bookends to the week, they are enticing enough mini engagements.
Once time is up and your overlord must face off against Trillion, it will hands down result in disaster. It is impossible to defeat Trillion with your first overlord on a first playthrough. No matter how strategic you are, failure is imminent. Trillion generally unleashes several skills in a row and then after a determined amount of turns, it moves forward in the battle grid. Once it reaches the end of the map, Trillion unleashes a poisonous miasma upon the entire grid, wiping out the overlord instantly. This is unavoidable on the very first fight as the amount of experience that can be pumped into both attack and speed will be nowhere near enough to stop Trillion. This is also where the affection points from earlier take center stage. At any point in battle, provided there are affection points remaining, the player can retreat. Retreating will then revert the game to its original flow of training each day until Trillion arrives. You can only retreat twice and after each retreat, less and less time will be given for training.
Even with all these attempts, players should be prepared to lose at least their first overlord. Once a character dies, players will be given control to the next overlord in line. There are six in all. The next character will always carry over an allotted amount of experience from the previous character, allowing for training to begin at a better state than before. Trillion’s health doesn’t recover. Any damage dealt will carry over into every encounter. This progression is the most addictive thing about Trillion: God of Destruction. No matter what, the game’s centered focus ensures a consistent sense of progression. Players are continually growing more competent at a steady enough pace to make each opportunity to put these skills to the test a genuinely exciting moment. Even when failing every single fight against Trillion, there’s still the sense that this gigantic beast can be taken down eventually.
The game even encourages this with its generous new game plus feature. If you happen to lose all six overlords and are greeted by a game over screen, the game counts this a cleared save file. Continuing from this file will then initiate new game plus, carrying over all gold, equipment, items, and most experience from before. The only thing that resets is Trillion’s health. This continuous loop encourages players to continue leveling up without overpowering players too much. One can’t just brute force their way through the entire game. Placement on the battle grid and the heroin’s distance from enemies and Trillion’s incoming attacks still need to be taken into account.
Trillion: God of Destruction is an excellent rpg in many ways. One of the defining characteristics of rpg’s, progression, is the focal point here. There is always progress to be made. There is always this overarching goal of defeating Trillion to work toward. Some may need to become accustomed to the fact that there isn’t as much traditional gameplay here as there is in a lot of other games. The Valley of Swords only consists of incredibly tiny one floor dungeons. Additionally, mokujin mock battles usually don’t last very long and also only come once a week. The real meat of the experience is careful planning, pouring over stats, and allocating points. Trillion: God of Destruction’s simple concept and clear goal allows the stat crunching rpg elements to shine, becoming the perfect game for anyone even remotely interested in that kind of stuff.
- Some effective emotional scenes
- Good sense of progression and game flow
- Sufficient rpg elements and pouring over stats
- Mostly awful writing and poor plot pacing