The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
|a game by||Nihon Falcom|
|Platforms:||PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||Anime Games, JRPG Games|
With so many JRPGs released, spanning tons of franchises and installments, it can often be difficult to know where to start—but as a remarkable entry in the Legends of Heroes franchise, Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a must play for the genre. Similar, and perhaps inspired by the likes of the Final Fantasy and Persona series, Trails of Cold Steel is a full-fledged JRPG with all the wonderful aspects you come to expect: rich characters, fully realized world-building, intense combat and a compelling story. Released as the first in the Trails of Cold Steel subheading that follows a specific group of characters through The Legend of Heroes Universe, there is no better place to begin the series.
Come for the Style, Stay for the World
One of the single most amazing aspects of Trails of Cold Steel strikes you immediately, and that is the world. The history, characters, and depth of Erebonia as a country beset on all sides by opposing countries is rich with lore, conflict of competing noble factions and imperial government—and, the fully explored life of protagonist Rean as he works to unfold all of its secrets as you, the player, does too. In a story reminiscent of entries of the Fire Emblem series, Rean starts off in a military academy with other students and is involved in a specialized training which offers wonderful growth between him and compatriots—and also the nuance of Thor’s Academy set within the world as a whole. In essence, it’s a wonderful introduction that has you clamoring to see more outside the academy’s walls.
Take Your Time
The strength of Trails of Cold Steel could also be regarded as a weakness to some players. In following Class 7 through different field trips that explore the world and uncover themes of political strife and person character dramas, there can be a good bit of down time between action pieces. Although the action pieces have compelling build, that can still leave the game feeling less game-like in the time between—and in so doing, turn away some players. However, if you push through those more meandering moments there are some amazing set-pieces that add gravitas to the combat encounters.
Nothing Unique, But Everything Solid
Beyond the world and the rich characters of Class 7, Trails of Cold Steel offers very traditional turn-based combat. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does make that wheel very polished, refined and fully functional. Turn-based combat is consistently engaging, though sometimes feels like a relic of older Final Fantasy entries. The best part about its combat is the unpredictability of what characters will be on the adventure with you—forcing you to get to know more than just the main people and seeing the value in each of your large party makes for a lot of inherent variety in the Xenoblade saga type battles.
Trails of Cold Steel has everything a JRPG lover needs to make a compelling series. With amazing character development, extensive customization, a rich world and tons to do—it is a must play entry in a, sometimes overwhelming, genre.
Not to mention, Trails of Cold Steel is the first entry of its own branching series of Legend of Heroes that follows the characters here that you come to love.
- Remarkable world-building
- Solid gameplay mechanics all-around
- Great cast of characters
- Continual rising tension in main storyline
- Nothing overly unique in gameplay
- Lots of downtime between action pieces