Sorry for the lack of pretentious introduction that I usually give on my blog. Frontwing recently released Grisaia: Phantom Trigger on steam so I decided that I wanted to give my impressions on the first two volumes that have been released. The Phantom Trigger series is not complete at the time of this post being written so I’m not considering it a full review like many of the post I’ve previously done.
I won’t talk in detail about the setting and the characters as information on them can be found on the Grisaia: Phantom Trigger site or my previous blog post from when it was announced. This will just be a discussion on my thoughts and feelings when playing the game.
The scenario of Phantom Trigger was written by Fujisaki Ryuuta who wrote Grisaia no Kajitsu‘s common route, Makina and Amane’s routes, Cocoon of Caprice and The Seed of Blanc Aile. As you would expect this gave Phantom Trigger lots of the character introspection which is a staple of the series. This delved into the new characters motivations and morals which was something I enjoyed in the previous games and in this series as well.
Grisaia: Phantom Trigger also had a much larger focus on action than a character driven narrative. This was definitely the case in volume 2 where there was Fist fights, Gun fights and even a motorcycle chase which was very well done. This was due to the music and sound effects complimenting the visuals to create a very thrilling experience.
There was some character driven conflict in the second volume surrounding Rena which gave some insight into her past and how she became the a member of SORD. Although this wasn’t a huge part of the game it did develop her into an endearing character.
The other characters were fun and quirky which really worked well with the sections set during their everyday school life. This was something I was surprised to see as the original cast of Grisaia is a beloved group of individuals amongst fans, so it is good that the new characters filled the gap left by them.
The only characters I felt were lacking compared to the rest of the cast were Aoi and Christina. They weren’t particularly bad characters but they lack charisma in comparison to the other characters so they didn’t really stand out.
The Pacing of Grisaia: Phantom Trigger was good, which was surprising as this was something that I criticised the original series for. This may have been due to the length of both volumes being rather short and it being episodic. I think the episodic formula worked well for Phantom Trigger but I don’t think the length of each volume didn’t justify its price.
Finally the production values of Grisaia: Phantom Trigger was much higher than the original series. The art by Akio Watanabe was a highlight of the series and didn’t disappoint me in Phantom trigger. The chibi art which I also previously criticised in my Grisaia no Kajitsu review was much better and enhanced the comedy a lot.
The Music by Elements Garden was also one of the strongest points of the game. This entry into the series did feature new music exclusive to Phantom Trigger which was very well done. Some tracks in the game were reused from the original series which may disappoint some people.
In conclusion, Grisaia: Phantom Trigger was a great, new entry into the series. The game is true to the series roots with fun and quirky characters, great character introspection and high production value.
The only problem I have at the moment is that the cost of both volumes is maybe to high for the amount of content it has. If you are looking for value for money, I would suggest that you wait until it’s on sale or is sold in a bundle for a discounted price.
Grisaia: Phantom Trigger is definitely a good read for fans and newcomers alike. It was definitely a worthy successor to Frontwing’s beloved series, I will definitely be keeping up with it and I’m interested in the direction that they will take the franchise.
So this was my first impressions of Grisaia: Phantom Trigger, I hope this was useful for anybody on the edge about whether to purchase it. If you enjoyed this make sure to check out the other post on my site. My latest review was of Hoshizora no Memoria so make sure to check that out if you are interested. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and I will see you on the next VN Completionist.