Life isn’t easy for a demonic Overlord
Trillion: God of Destruction is poised to bring its devilish blend of SRPG action to the PlayStation Vita in just over a week. We’ve spent the last week fighting our way through the perilous underworld in Idea Factory International and Compile Heart’s upcoming adventure to give you an early look at what to expect when the game releases on March 29 in North America.
A product of Masahiro Yamamoto, known for working on such titles as Nippon Ichi Software’s Disgaea 4 and The Guided Fate Paradox, Trillion begins with the forces of Hell under siege. After being vanquished ages ago by the first Great Demon Overlord Satan in a battle that nearly resulted in the utter obliteration of their demons’ homeland, Trillion, an ancient and endlessly powerful force has returned to finish what it started. Players take control of Zeabolos, the third Great Demon Overlord and grandson of Satan, as he attempts to vanquish the towering abomination, but quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the creature as it effortlessly slaughters countless demons, leaving poor Zeabolos battered and broken at the gates of the Underworld. However, before Trillion can strike down Zeabolos for good, the Overlord manages to use all of his strength to pierce the monster with his sword, gravely wounding it and forcing it to lay dormant for several weeks until it can regain its energy and continue its steady march towards the heart of the underworld.
At death’s door, Zeabolos is visited by a mysterious woman named Faust who, you guessed it, offers the fallen Overlord a shot at vengeance in exchange for his soul. Zeabolos jumps at the opportunity for revenge, but quickly discovers his quest for vengeance isn’t going to be as straightforward as he had hoped. Left with more stitches than a football and a ghoulish new look, the once-great leader is essentially a dead man walking, with no real strength to speak of. What’s more, Zeabolos was also the only warrior strong enough to get close enough to Trillion due to a toxic miasma the game’s titular terror emits. Using a piece of the Great Overlord’s shattered soul, Faust forges a ring which allows one of his six demonic Overlords to approach the monster, effectively forcing the team to fight in shifts as they seek to topple the mammoth monster and liberate the underworld.
While the game is described as an SRPG, the core gameplay has a lot more in common with the likes of the aforementioned The Guided Fate Paradox from developer Nippon Ichi Software or the Mystery Dungeon series of games. When in battle or exploring the game’s randomly-generated Valley of Swords dungeons looking for valuable loot, players move across a grid-based map, with enemies moving with each turn you take. As you take a step or swing your sword, enemies will all do the same, forcing you to carefully consider your actions, as one misstep can quickly result in a fierce pummeling from hordes of baddies. In fact, you’ll find early on in Trillion: God of Destruction that you’ll sample the bitter taste of defeat with startling frequency in the game’s early hours, and that grinding is absolutely necessary if you wish to put a dent in Trillion’s bottomless pool of hit points.
It’s here that training comes in. While Trillion is resting, players will be left with several weeks to train for their next encounter with the God of Destruction. It’s up to you to decide how you want to spend this time preparing your Overlord for the upcoming battle, but you’ll certainly want to hit the hit the training grounds if you don’t want to end up a bloody stain on the ground in a matter of seconds. You can choose from several training activities in Trillion which range from dodging swinging iron balls to studying mystical arts and soaping yourself up in the calming hot springs of the Underworld. Each of these activities brings with it a brief, button-tapping minigame that, once successfully completed, will award you with an array of experience bonuses which you can then use to spend on leveling up your stats and purchasing valuable spells. Each training exercise takes a day off of the counter towards Trillion’s inevitable return, and each training mission rewards you with a token, which if you earn five of them you can redeem them for a chance to dive into the randomly-generated Valley of Swords dungeons to score some precious loot.
While training your mind and body is important in your fight to defeat Trillion, conquering the heart of your Overlord also has its benefits in the form of Affection Points. By taking breaks between during your training sessions to talk to your Overlord or give them gifts, you’ll be able to increase the Affection between them and Zeabolos. Affection Points are exceptionally important, as your love creates a buffer for your Overlord in battle that Trillion will have to chip away before getting to your Overlord’s actualy HP. It’s an interesting mechanic, and the visual novel sequences that accompany these outings do a good job of fleshing out the individual Overlord’s backstories.
When Trillion does return after the end of each resting phase, you’ll be forced to attack the monster head-on. These battles essentially play out with your currently selected heroine marching down a narrow path on her way to battle Trillion, dodging a constant barrage of attacks and battling enemies as they spawn all around you. During these encounters, you can see color-coded grid squares littered across the map which indicate areas which are about to be attacked by Trillion, or areas where enemies will be appearing from. You’ll have to pay close attention to these hot-spots, as one good hit from Trillion can spell serious trouble for your Overlord. It’s here you’ll have to do your best to pummel the monster with everything you have, as each encounter with Trillion takes a permanent chunk of damage off of his 1,000,000,000,000 HP health bar. If things look grim for your Overlord, you can choose to retreat, but Trillion will devour a large portion of the underworld when you flee as he works his way towards the Hell’s core. If you choose to stay and fight to the death – and you will die often – you have the choice of using your final moments to deliver a powerful blow against Trillion, which can cause a few lasting outcomes to assist your next Overlord such as dealing massive damage, sealing an attack-dealing body part of Trillion so he can no longer use it in battle, or even bringing your Overlord back to fight as a specter and assist your next Overlord for a period of time.
Sporting an impressive pedigree and a wide variety of interesting characters to play as, Trillion is certainly a unique RPG experience unlike any other on the Vita. The game sports the kind of vibrant, over-the-top character designs we simply love, and the visual novel storytelling sequences are both comedic and entertaining. The game also packs a real challenge that SRPG sadist may find appealing. However, we do have some concerns about the game that need to be addressed. So far, while the storytelling has been fun and the characters are all interesting, the game’s actual dungeons and battles with the game’s titular tyrant so far have been lacking any real sense of variety. Simply put, there hasn’t been a whole lot to do aside from battle Trillion himself and undertake the bite-sized Valley of Swords dungeons to beef up your character, which is a bit of a shame. That said, it remains to be seen if Trillion offers enough excitement in its encounters to hold your interest until the final credits roll. For our final verdict on Trillion: God of Destruction, be sure to check back ahead of the game’s March 29 release and read our full review.