Often, players in North America don't know what they're missing. Be it the dating sim Tokimeki Memorial, the absolutely abysmal budget title Simple 2000: Zombie vs Ambulance, or the inane Rent-a-Hero No. 1, there are lots of titles that stay on the other side of the Pacific. The Zill O'll series was originally released on the PlayStation and PS2, but never stateside. The series wasn't as prolific as many of Koei's others – there was no Samurai Zill O'll Empires 5, but many US gamers still wondered why we never saw its release. Fast forward ten years from the original title's release to E3 2009, where Koei showed video of the new title. Details were still scarce, but Koei had gamers' attention. Fast forward again to this year's show, where the newly-merged Tecmo Koei showed off a playable version of the title. What did this Action-RPG show? Promise, and something different for most RPG fans.
Omega Force isn't known for making RPGs – in fact, the Koei in-house studio is known for the aforementioned Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors titles. Players won't be taking on hordes and hordes of Nobunaga or Sun Ce's soldiers, but they will be presented with a medieval fantasy take on the Action-RPG. The story isn't that dissimilar from the other Omega Force games: there are many warring states on a continent, with an evil empire trying to take over, and it's up to the adventurers to stop the evil powers that be, all while kicking butt and taking names. The first thing fans of the Dynasty Warriors games may notice beyond the similarity in story is that the overall structure of the game is different – players will go through mostly-linear dungeons and will need to clear each area before advancing to the next. It's a fairly straightforward progression system, but it's how players will go about that progression that makes Trinity special.
There's a reason that the game is first titled Trinity, and that Zill O'll is the subtitle. The game takes place five years before the original title, and players will take control of one of three members of a party who can be swapped for each other at any given time. Each of these characters will have different elemental abilities that will be used to solve puzzles in the dungeons. All of the environments in Trinity are interactive and will play a key part in how players defeat enemies. Players might use a fire power to light plants – specifically, tumbleweeds – on fire and launch them at their enemies. Alternatively, they might use an ice power to freeze enemies in a lake and topple pillars onto them. There are several other examples of how the environments can interact with each other, the different elemental powers, and enemies as well.
While players will only ever control one character at a time, the AI-controlled characters do interact with the main character during Trinity Attacks. These powerful attacks combine the powers of all three characters and are incredibly useful against bosses. Combine this with the environmental and elemental attacks, and Omega Force could craft quite the combination of powers for players to experiment with on their enemies. The characters themselves will progress with a fairly standard structure – they will gain skill points that can be distributed amongst 20+ skills for each character.
While the game still hasn't been released in Japan, there's a lot to look forward to with Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll. It won't see release on this side of the Pacific until sometime in 2011, but keep your eyes on RPGFan for more information on the Omega Force-developed title as it inches closer to release.