Wow, that’s a lot of HP!
A lot of old-school RPGs had a thing about not telling you how much HP enemies had, especially when it came to the endgame. Think back to fighting Zeromus in Final Fantasy IV, or The Dragonlord in Dragon Quest – didn’t not knowing exactly how much health those bosses had make you nervous? Even if you thought that you were doing well you never really knew, and was always vexing. As the video game industry has progressed, I feel as though it is safe to say that we have largely migrated away from that. Plenty of games out now tell you exactly how much HP enemies, including bosses, have, or if it doesn’t there’s generally some sort of tell. While that sort of thing is pretty common now, it kind of takes away some intensity from the fight – after all, when I know how much HP something has then I can better prepare my next move. I feel as though knowing a last boss’ HP value has always been an advantage, never a necessity – until now. Trillion: God of Destruction is a game literally named after the maximum HP value of the last boss: 1,000,000,000,000. That’s a lot of zeroes! While it seemed a bit odd to me at first, I soon learned that there is such a thing as needing to know where the HP of a last boss stands at. With a game named after such an impressive number, there are certainly plenty of expectations it has for players; but what can players expect in return from it?
The story of Trillion: God of Destruction revolves around an attack on the Underworld launched by an all-powerful creature named Trillion – known to the denizens of the Underworld as the “God of Destruction (hence the game’s name) – and the Underworld’s attempt to defeat it under the reign of the Great Overlord Zeabolos (that’s you!). Little is known of Trillion outside of its incredible strength, which isn’t a whole lot to go on, but Zeabolos has never backed down from a fight before and he certainly isn’t about to back down to an opponent which threatens to destroy his entire world. Amusingly, the game begins right away with a legitimate fight against the last boss – technically you could beat the game right here. If it’s your first time playing though, I can tell you right now that things won’t go well; Zeabolos will end up losing. Badly. Beaten down by Trillion, a dying Zeabolos is approached by a mysterious woman named Faust. Faust offers to save Zeabolos and help him defeat Trillion, but only if he offers up his soul upon Trillion’s defeat. Not wanting to leave the Underworld in its time of need, Zeabolos accepts and is whisked away to the safety of his castle.
Zeabolos may be alive thanks to Faust’s assistance but, because of the damage he suffered during battle, he can no longer fight. In his place, Zeabolos must send out one of six Overlords – personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins – to do battle with Trillion. While sending all of the Overlords out at once seems like the best idea, it can’t happen due to a few stipulations. Trillion constantly emits a deadly miasma that will instantaneously kill any and all who approach it – all except for the Great Overlord. By using a piece of the Zeabolos’ soul and fusing it into a ring, Faust created a way for the other Overlords to battle Trillion without succumbing to the miasma’s effects. Because Faust could only create one right however, that only means that one Overlord at a time can tackle the world-eating monstrosity.
But wait, there’s more! After each battle, Trillion falls asleep for quite some time. While this would normally leave it vulnerable, Trillion’s miasma emission intensifies whenever it sleeps meaning that absolutely nothing can get anywhere near it without dying – that’s where the core gameplay comes in!
Trillion: God of Destruction may revolve around training characters and sending them out to battle with the God of Destruction but the game, strangely enough, mostly plays like a dating sim. Here’s how that works: Trillion’s sleep is counted in “cycles”, with each cycle consisting of seven days. The number of cycles that Trillion is asleep depends upon a few different conditions. Players can spend each “day” doing a number of things such as training stats, fundraising, resting, and conversing with your chosen Overlord in order to build a deeper bond with her. At first glance, training may seem like the most important thing – especially if you’re fighting a boss with 1,000,000,000,000 HP – but it quickly becomes evident that strength isn’t everything. By taking time off from training in order to hang out with your Overlord companion and getting to know her better, she will start to build Affection – an indication of how much the Overlord likes you. Affection. In combat, Affection essentially acts as “armor” for both HP and MP. Before depleting from their respective stats, both damage taken from enemy attacks and using skills will drain Affection. While HP and MP are both very important, Affection can be built up at a much quicker pace in greater quantities making it incredibly reliable. Combat mechanics aside, Affection also determines a few other things, but I’ll leave those a secret! All-in-all, it’s a pretty unique mechanic – and one that I grew to enjoy.
By now it probably sounds like a lot of the game’s progress is made through chatting it up with the ladies, and it is. But! There is still combat, and it is still important. Combat takes place in what can best be described as happening in a pseudo-SRPG style, with characters moving and fighting on a grid. Rather than consisting of a player and enemy phases, movement by all parties occur simultaneously (think Pokémon Mystery Dungeon). Attacks made by the player do technically happen first, giving them a slight advantage against certain enemies, but I would call that a necessity when facing Trillion. While combat offers a decent amount of fun, it unfortunately ends up feeling a bit wonky for a few different reasons.
First, the combat doesn’t feel entirely balanced. Nearly every enemy falls into one of two categories: too easy or too hard. Lesser enemies are generally so weak that even untrained characters can one-shot them, which can honestly get boring pretty quickly. Killing an enemy will also grant the player an extra chance to move. While good, it feels incredibly redundant if you can’t kill multiple enemies in one turn. On the other hand, there are enemies such as Mokujin – a training dummy battled weekly that acts as a weaker form of Trillion – and Trillion itself that end up being a bit too much at times. I completely understand that these mega-sized baddies are difficult; especially Trillion. Unless players know exactly what they’re doing however, they’ll end up wasting all of their time training a character just to lose her – and with that we move onto our next point.
Though the actual combat left me wanting more, the meaning behind it certainly hit home. Remember how when Zeabolos died he was brought back to life? That doesn’t happen with any of the other characters. Much of your time during Trillion: God of Destruction will be spent training your current Overlord, developing a meaningful relationship with her, sending her out to battle Trillion, and watching helplessly as she is literally ripped to shreds and devoured as she begs for mercy. By forcing players to spend time individually with each of the Overlords individually a feeling of companionship is inevitably formed, and because of that I genuinely felt very badly whenever I watched one of my companions die.
The fact that Trillion: God of Destruction was a product of Idea Factory and Compile Heart set me up to think that the audio and visual would be similar to that of the Neptunia series; surprisingly, they’re not! With Mugen Souls’ Kei Nanameda on visuals and Tenpei Sato, the man behind Disgaea‘s soundtrack, as one of the composers it came off feeling less sexy and more whimsical overall in terms of tone and was a nice change of pace in terms of aesthetics. Unfortunately, there were times when the audio quality sounded a bit tinny. It never lasted for long, but was certainly noticeable when it was there.
Trillion: God of Destruction tried to be something unique, and it really tried hard. I want to do nothing but praise it for thinking outside of the box, but I have to be fair. Much of my experience with Trillion was fun; it was a charming game with a decent pace that mixed a few different genres together relatively successfully. Unfortunately, the concept isn’t all the way there just yet. With a battle system that was shallow and underutilized, and an imbalance between the RPG and dating sim aspects, Trillion: God of Destruction left me wanting more out of it.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed), Vita Publisher: Idea Factory International, Compile Heart ; Developer: Idea Factory International, Compile Heart ; Players: 1; Released: November 7, 2016 ; MSRP N/A
Full Disclosure: This review was based on a PC review copy of Trillion: God of Destruction provided by Idea Factory Internationaland Compile Heart