For fans of the Legend of Heroes series, the release of Trails from Zero is a dream come true. The long-awaited title bridges the gap between the Trails in the Sky trilogy and the Trails of Cold Steel quadrilogy. First launched as a Japanese-only title on the PlayStation 4, PSP, and Vita, Trails from Zero was only accessible to players via fan translations
The best of these translations was by a team called Geofront. The translation was so well-done that its publisher NIS America used it as the basis for the official western release. Depending on which system players opt to play the game on though, they may find that there are some pretty big differences.
Platform Versions Explained
There are significant differences between ports of Trails from Zero. However, it’s worth noting that the most important factors, like the story, remain unchanged. With this in mind, whichever version players decide to get, they will still get the full Trails from Zero experience. That said, it’s worth explaining the differences and reasons behind the differences between the ports.
The PS4 Version
The PS4 version is effectively a port of the remastered Zero no Kiseki: Evolution. This version launched two years after the PSP version and included upscaled visuals and voice acting. As a result, PS4 owners will get a direct port of the PS Vita version. It’s a straight port, but the character designs look clean, and the animations during Trails from Zero‘s battles still look more than serviceable on a large screen. In the options menu, the PS4 version allows players to select the high-speed mode and assign it to the L2 or R2 button.
The PC And Switch Versions
Tomos Durante’s PH3 studio handled the PC and Switch ports of Trails from Zero. These versions include several quality-of-life improvements and superior graphics that are beyond an HD upscale. The image comparisons are below for a better understanding of the differences.
The textures are better in everything from the cobblestones to hanging signs outside shops. There’s a noticeable difference in the shadows and lighting too. Both react more naturally on the PC/Switch than on the PS4. Another excellent feature allows players to repeat conversations by pressing the RZ on Switch or the R2 button on the Steam Deck and compatible controllers.
The Switch’s High-Speed mode is activated by pressing the LZ/L2. In the System options, players can even fine-tune the speed of the battle and on the field. Under the Graphics menu, one can turn on FXAA Anti-Aliasing on or off, Character Glow can be adjusted, and Dynamic Shadows can be switched on or off.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the upgrades for the PC and Switch versions will make it to the PS4 via a patch. However, PS4 owners still get an outstanding JRPG with the same content. While it’s true that the visuals look cleaner, there’s an argument that they’re too clean. The cobblestones have a more natural look on PS4, and some colors have lost their depth in the upgrade. Either way, Trails from Zero is the same from both a narrative and gameplay aspect.
Trails from Zero is available now for the PC, PS4, and Switch.