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The Power of Three- Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll Review

Recent PS3 release Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll commences with a condemning prophecy, as a tyrannical ruler is advised that he will be murdered by his own grandson. Attempting to outwit destiny, Emperor Balor, orders the death of his pregnant daughter, unaware that his son has furtively fathered a child with an Elven woman. Over years, rumors of an illicit heir grow, initiating a second crusade to purge the nefarious leader’s lineage. This campaign culminates in a final stand, where the seditious son’s mortal sacrifice permits the grandchild to escape. Driven by vengeance- Areus, the young half-elf, begins training to fulfill his destiny.

Mirroring the game’s narrative impetus, Souls of Zill O’ll also seeks to make a clean break from its ancestry. With development handled by Omega Force, the entity behind the fertile Dynasty/Samurai Warriors franchise, players might expect little more that a hack-and-slack with a high-fantasy reskinning. While the sporadic sensation of swathing through a crowd of goblins might feel familiar, Trinity’s role-playing influenced additions deviate remarkably, making the game feel wildly divergent from yet another trip to the feudal kingdoms of the far east.

Traditionally, Omega Force’s titles present an adept solitary officer flanked by fleeting bands of incompetent cohorts and an occasional ham-fisted high-ranking assistant. Trinity offers a swappable trio of ever-present heroes, each with a distinct offensive arsenal. Although your two sidekicks follow RPG trope- Dadga is the prototypical friendly behemoth capable of using stone pillars as clubs, while Selene is the detached, agile assassin, they are mercifully self-reliant. Sure, you’ll have to take control of each character to solve the intermittent environmental puzzle, but they habitually hold their own in battle, hammering away diligently at each observable threat.

As foes are vanquished the team is rewarded with both a steady stream of loot as well as skill points. These credits can be used to bolster the two switchable skillsets of each hero, granting elemental damage abilities. Before long, Areus was using his augmented flame and ice powers to ignite tumbleweeds or freeze patches of water, inciting environmental damage to adversaries. Although not every object in Trinity’s realm is destroyable, the periodic toppling of an archer tower or dislodging of icicles offers a gratifying alternative to melee and ranged attacks. The title even offers a variant of Dynasty Warriors‘ prominent Musuo attacks, with players ability to initiate a  crowd-clearing Soul Burst, or boss-dispatching Trinity Attack once a gauge has been filled to capacity. Wisely, tactics are required when dispatching the game’s more fearsome opponents- who are susceptible to specific types of elemental damage. The title’s built-in bestiary even reveals weaknesses, if gamers  need additional assistance with a stubborn creature.

With a decent variety of missions- ranging from rescuing wayward adventurers, finding misplaced items, dispatching a string of boss characters and even fighting in a gladiatorial arena,  trekking through each location is undeniably enjoyable. Thankfully, the developers transform most venues over time; allowing access to deeper recesses or augmenting stages with additional enemy types, in an attempt to offset fatigue. Regrettably, the process of obtaining missions isn’t as rewarding, with Zill O’ll subjecting players to stationary, often unvoiced, cut-scenes. Although this technique is quicker than the customary crawl through town, the method inhibits Trinity from delivering the type of meticulously detailed world savored by players.

Omega Force’s experience refining Dynasty Warriors‘ graphical engine is evident throughout Souls of Zill O’ll. From a fluid framerate despite dozens of on-screen characters to stages filled with well-rendered lush flora or giant phosphorescent fungi the title periodically impresses. Less successful is the translucent layer employed to give the title a handdrawn aesthetic, which periodically resembled Saran wrap covering the corners on my HDTV. Although Trinity‘s camera usually behaved, when confined to a corner, the game would frequently offer an ungainly perspective on the action. The title’s symphonic score complemented the on-screen action well, but was prone to repetition through the twenty-plus hour expedition.

As long as players aren’t diametrically opposed to gameplay which mildly recalls the crowd-control mechanics of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll can be an enjoyable endeavor. As an action oriented game, the title’s blend of combat with skill and equipment management has the capability to win over fantasy fans too impatient for a turn-based affair.


About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

33 comments

  1. I’m not surprised Desert likes this one. The video looks sharp, but the gameplay looks kind of meh to me.

  2. I like that you are adding videos to the reviews now. When can we get a true video review?

  3. So worth 60 bucks, or should I wait for this to hit the $20 mark?

  4. I only see the effect you were talking about in two screen, and not really that much in the video? Can you turn it off or what?

  5. So far I read one review that said it looked and played like a PS2 game. I take it you disagree.

  6. W-Force is the same as Omega Force? Or did you make a mistake?

  7. Your boy Shipwreck must have thought it was garbage, he gave it to Wombat, who said he liked the e3 demo so much he played for half an hour.

  8. I remember seeing this on your release list and thinking it was a really messed up name for a game.

  9. Yeah, Ship isn’t a big DW fan.

    I can see Wombat’s interest. The game has the ability to suck you in, and play “just one more stage”.

  10. Corrected.

    “The game has the ability to suck”

    There. Thats better.

  11. I could have sworn this was $40. Anyway, is there a demo for it?

  12. Kinda weird that that isn’t for the 360. I would have liked to play it. Maybe a rental.

  13. Okami called and it wasn’t it’s filter back. NOW!

  14. I never had a problem with DW. It’s just there’s so many games and the new ones don’t do all that much new.

    I think the setting and ways you can screw with the environment are really cool with this one.

  15. If Ryu Hayabusa is in it, I’m there quicker than a free Jamba Juice.

  16. That’s the lower case greek symbol for Omega, BTW.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega

  17. I second this. As long as you and SeanNOLA don’t fight during it.

    On second thought, that might be cool.

  18. There’s co-op for this, right? Because if not, this game needs it but local and online.

  19. Here’s another review for it, that got 6/10:

    http://www.hit-reset.co.uk/index.php?view=article&id=3732

  20. “Perhaps it was the fact that I’ve been unfamiliar with the franchise until now, although I’d question that too as the game does a good job at the start of explaining the back story as the original was only released in Japan so will be unfamiliar to most gamers on this side of the world.”

    HUH? Forget that review.

  21. I’ll bet you a broken 360 with GTA IV stuck in it, that I know how the game ends.

  22. Can you change armor? Because every shot Ive seen, the heroes are wearing the same three outfits.

  23. Wait Shipwreck likes Too Human, therefore he cannot review this game. It is forbidden.

  24. careful, Deagle probably liked Too Human.

    Or did he???

  25. I heard they took all the DLC (most of which was free) from the Japanese version of the game.

  26. Yep, hit reset on your writing, guys.

  27. Thanks. good review.

  28. Yep, there’s a demo on PSN, but it’s pretty damn short.

  29. Downing the demo right now. This better be good.

  30. Were you played the same game as Gamepro?

    GP-“I have two theories when it comes to Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll: either it began life as a PS2 game, or it has a tiny budget. Because this is one awful looking game.”

    GP:”Personally, I wouldn’t give this game the time of day, and I happen to like RPGs. However, I’m envisioning Trinity being available for 99 cents a couple years down the line, and some very poor college student may want to grab it because they’re bored and can’t afford the latest shooter du jour. To those people I say, hey, if you don’t mind forgoing ramen for a day, knock yourself out. You’ll get a healthy 15-20 hours of kicking around goblins for your money. As for the rest of you, you’ll probably be happier sticking with the ramen.”

  31. I haven’t seen any game for 99 cents. What is this person talking about?

  32. Who the hell reads Gamepro anymore? Exploding head with excitement guy icon was their only claim to fame. Ever.

  33. Haters got to hate!