The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Image
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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Summary: Among the nations on the Zemurian continent, the mighty Erebonian Empire has been quick to stake its claim militarily; yet politically, ugly bouts of internal conflict between the upper class and commoners struggling to rise to power have been steadily intensifying with each passing month.Among the nations on the Zemurian continent, the mighty Erebonian Empire has been quick to stake its claim militarily; yet politically, ugly bouts of internal conflict between the upper class and commoners struggling to rise to power have been steadily intensifying with each passing month. The Noble and Reformist Factions have been none too kind to one another over the years, and tensions between the two only stand to worsen if compromises aren't reached in the very near future.

    Rean Schwarzer, like any other citizen of the Imperial nation, is no stranger to these rising conflicts: the class system has been deeply interwoven into the tapestry of Erebonian culture since the days of old. As a seventeen-year-old student preparing for his new life at Thors Military Academy, however, he notices that his crimson uniform differs from the standard outfits issued to his peerstypically green for commoners, and white for nobles.

    Enter, Class VII of Thors Military Academy. For the first time in the prestigious academy's history, rank means nothing and skill means everything. With nine hand-picked students of various backgrounds and abilities, Rean included, Class VII readies itself to dive deep into the political quagmire that threatens not only them, but the very foundations of the Empire.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Oct 9, 2017
    90
    In case I haven't said it enough already, the PC port of Trails of Cold Steel is quite simply the best version of the game you can get at the moment. It's also an excellent port on its own that brings many improvements and scales well between a dedicated gaming rig at max settings and an ultraportable laptop squeaking by on low. If you're a fan of the series, this is a no-brainer. If you've never played a Trails game before, this is an excellent place to start.
  2. Aug 7, 2017
    90
    Nihon Falcom’s games have helped me to rediscover JRPGs which I had almost given up due to their often perplexing superiority complex. There’s this integrity towards the way Nihon Falcom makes their games, and it’s reflected in the gaming experience. What The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel may lack in production values, it makes up for in the richness and depth in its unpretentious and diverse narrative. That makes following Rean and his friends during their year of study uncannily engaging entertainment. I can’t think of any better way to get acquainted with The Legend of Heroes series than this. The only thing bothering me right now is how long I have to wait for the second part!
  3. Aug 2, 2017
    80
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel takes the best of the Trails in the Sky games and enhances it to new heights. While the school setting isn't particularly innovative, all surrounding mechanics have been masterfully implemented, resulting in a game that's incredibly engaging despite the slow pace and a few other minor issues. Additional, the wealth of PC exclusive features make the game one of the best consoles to PC port ever released.
  4. Aug 3, 2017
    80
    Trails of Cold Steel is one of those games where you get out of it what you put into it. While it is playable for a rank newbie, there is far more depth available to the experienced player. There are some small rough edges, but it works very well overall.
  5. Sep 5, 2017
    80
    In the end, Trails of Cold Steel is a game made for specific fans of the JRPG genre, but it also succeeds in nailing down all of its tropes and mechanics, rather than try to appeal to everyone with a bunch of pieces that don’t fit cohesively. Its emphasis on character development and skill trees prove that it has placed its priorities in the right areas, rather than blow its budget on visuals or other superfluous aspects. What it lacks in innovation, it more than makes up for in polish, and the result is bound to leave many fans hungry for the next two installments in the trilogy regardless of whether they play through the main story or follow every side character’s journey to completion.
  6. Aug 15, 2017
    75
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has made its way to PC, but has made no changes to differentiate itself. This game overall is one that has definitely aged well and has grown on me as time goes by, and is a quality JRPG that any fan of the genre will enjoy. However, this re-release provides no incentive whatsoever for someone wants to double dip.
  7. Aug 18, 2017
    70
    This is a game with a long, arcing story that takes some awkward, colourful teens through their turbulent teenage years with a fun and vibrant world to explore, charming characters to befriend and a turn-based combat system with a surprising amount of depth once you look beneath the surface.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Aug 19, 2017
    10
    A perfect continuation of the series.Once again "Nihon Falcom" made a beautiful, interesting, and most importantly, a fascinating tale!ThankA perfect continuation of the series.Once again "Nihon Falcom" made a beautiful, interesting, and most importantly, a fascinating tale!Thank you for that!!! Expand
  2. Jan 13, 2019
    9
    *currently inside of a train*

    Me: I would like to thank you ToCS,you were definitely a great JRPG game. ToCS: haha. Thanks but I believe
    *currently inside of a train*

    Me: I would like to thank you ToCS,you were definitely a great JRPG game.

    ToCS: haha. Thanks but I believe I still have much to learn in the world of JRPG.

    Me; Don't be humble even though your graphics are outdated you were able to deliver the story and the gameplay.You should be proud of yourself for that.

    ToCS: I appreciate that. Coming from a long time JRPG fan who has played hundreds of JRPG I am honored that I am one of the few that you chose as worthy of your time.

    Me: It wasn't hard to find you in a mountain of JRPG games. you were always a part of a list of top 10 JRPG games that you need to play on youtube and I can see why they said that.

    ToCS: thanks but I still got more to learn I believe and I hope to be still one of the best JRPG on my sequels.

    Me: I believe you won't have to worry about that since you already have 3 sequels. I just hope the other 2 will be localized to the west.

    ToCS: ...............

    Me: ummm.... Hello?

    ToCS: ................

    Me: WHY AREN'T YOU SAYING ANYTHING!!!???

    *in the distance standing on top of a mountain*

    Falcom: *stares at the train while it goes away*

    *TO BE CONTINUED!!
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  3. Aug 3, 2017
    9
    The Trails series has always set the bar quite high within the JRPG genre, and Trails of Cold Steel certainly earns its right to bear the nameThe Trails series has always set the bar quite high within the JRPG genre, and Trails of Cold Steel certainly earns its right to bear the name of this franchise. I would say that in particular, this game even stands out from previous Trails titles with its level of characterization and overall lovableness of the main cast (helped in no small part by bonding events reminiscent of Persona). Not only is the lore deep and interesting, the game eases you into it masterfully, so that even series first-timers can get a solid grasp on the significance of certain plot events. The combat mechanics, a huge step up from past games, are incredibly fun and evolve a bit over the course of the game. The game overall just has a peculiar effect, a spirit to it that hooks you and forces you to form emotional attachments to main characters, locations, factions, and even NPCs - which makes it all the more effective when some of these attachments are tested in Trails of Cold Steel II.

    This new PC port comes out swinging with a ton of potential; the higher-end graphical enhancements more than rise to the challenge of adapting what is essentially a handheld title to meet the standards of PC gaming. However, while the largest flaw of the Vita version (long loading times), seems to have been resolved, there were a few graphical glitches in the game's initial release. It seems, though, that the developers immediately recognized these issues and jumped to work on fixing them, so I expect they should be patched up very soon. And of course, the anime-stylized 3D models that were at least passable in a 2014 handheld seem a little awkward in a 2017 title.

    All in all, Trails of Cold Steel is a high-tier and incredibly fun JRPG that will stick with you for a very long time (and at 70-90 hours per playthrough, it had better). As with most Nihon Falcom titles, the game's concept, story, and "heart" are a solid 10/10, while the execution unfortunately tends to waver at a 7/10. This is nonetheless an excellent game, and a must-play for all JRPG fans.
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  4. Feb 4, 2018
    8
    "Trails of Cold Steel" is finally on PC. To me, this franchise has been the best continuation of classic 1990s JRPGs into the modern era."Trails of Cold Steel" is finally on PC. To me, this franchise has been the best continuation of classic 1990s JRPGs into the modern era. This game shouldn't disappoint anyone who liked "Trails in the Sky". The main differences are a new story, obviously, it has many connections to "Trails in the Sky" but the fresh characters are nice. It is extremely anime and borrows from the Persona games pretty blatantly. The main character is a painfully generic anime MC. That said, the writing is good and the cast of characters is pretty strong.

    It drops the complicated Orbment system of the previous games, which definitely makes it more accessible, but after having spent all that time learning how to combine orbments to get really cool abilities, it did feel a little unrewarding to have such a simplified system. The game also has an unconventional weapon system where instead of just buying them from shops or looting them in dungeons, you need to do pretty simple crafting to get good weapons. It has promise.

    There are some other minor differences but this game is extremely familiar if you've played others in the franchise. I liked the story in "Trails in the Sky" better, it was less generic, and the Estelle character was a very strong lead. This story isn't bad though, and the twists at the end, even if a bit silly, did have me ready to fork over some cash to see what happens next.

    The graphics in the game are very, very basic. It was a Vita game after all. They're really not the reason anyone's playing this game, but they are good enough to be a bit immersive and engaging.

    I didn't like the soundtrack as much as the previous games, which had songs I downloaded and put on my phone to listen to again. The battle music is pretty good though.

    Ultimately if you enjoyed the previous games, this one is a sure-fire hit.
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  5. May 4, 2018
    8
    Newcomer's perspective.
    Having been a sidelines binge-watcher of the persona series for a while I decided this was the best way to get in on
    Newcomer's perspective.
    Having been a sidelines binge-watcher of the persona series for a while I decided this was the best way to get in on the action since I do not own any Sony consoles. As is the case I picked up this game knowing little to nothing about it beforehand and I was pleasantly surprised. For a game that was originally handheld this game holds up really well. I played it to completion once and I will perhaps buy the sequal. To not waste your time I will only state the low points here.

    The gameplay can feel quite unbalanced. I was playing on hard mode the entire game through but I still felt that certain parts of the game were simply unfair. Having prior knowledge of what status effects are going to be present is basically mandatory if you don't want your party to lose 3 straight turns to the boss. I also find the limit breaks (excuse my final fantasy) a little on the stupid to balance side. The game makes it quite clear through the stats that you are required to use them on the bosses as much as possible. Though I would rather them be lowered in power along with enemy health so other tactics would work too. Also one-hit KO's through sheer damage from the boss do not belong in any game period.

    Story, surprisingly engaging. It has some holes but that is to be expected. Fan service always comes first and I like it.

    Hidden quests and other "should've done that now you can't now play the game again" **** can die in a fire. Forcing people to whip out a guide on what was once a handheld game is ridiculous. It breaks immersion, leaves you open to spoilers and makes you miss out on stuff you paid for. You don't feel smart or rewarded or accomplished from them either.

    I only saw minor graphical glitches at the end of the game and they were not enough to fuss over. The game ran smoothly and the initial setup was plenty to get me through to whole game. Having actual control prompts is already a step up from other ports that shall not be named here. Doesn't earn extra points for me.

    The dub itself is also decent though sometimes the voice acting starts midway through a cutscene. If this is intentional or not to build up surprise for a character appearance or unexpected event is debatable. I was less bothered by it than others.

    All in all I like it for what it's worth and I can only hope the rest of the series is even better.
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  6. Apr 22, 2018
    8
    I've loved "The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky" when I found it on Steam, so when I had a PS Vita (mostly for Persona 4 Golden) I alsoI've loved "The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky" when I found it on Steam, so when I had a PS Vita (mostly for Persona 4 Golden) I also had to get this game. Then I...kind of forgot about the series, until I saw that both Trails of Cold Steel and Trails of Cold Steel II had appeared on Steam. So I bought both, and replayed this one before starting on the sequel.

    I have to admit, I kind of miss the sprites from Trails in the Sky and the artwork in the text box. But the graphics look decent, and look better on PC.

    In any case, the worldbuilding and timeline that all the games share are what I love most about the Legend of Heroes games. This game takes place in the country of Erebonia, some stuff about it has already been teased in the Liberl games and I think the Crossbell duology too, but I haven't played the latter and hope for a translation at some point.

    In any case, while in Trails in the Sky you play as a Bracer and in the Crossbell Duology you play as a police officer, here you are a student. A part of a special class, in fact, that has both nobles and commoners as Erebonia still has a fairly rigid class system.

    Over the course of the game you'll visit various parts of the country and discover for yourself what the political climate is like in Erebonia. There is, of course, also some other stuff going on behind the scenes that you discover that I won't spoil.

    The game will run you a good 60-70 hours, and there might still be quests that you might miss if you don't talk to all NPCs, who almost all have names and their own stories going on in the background with lines that seem to change almost every day/after every quest. (or, you know, have a guide handy).

    Even then, a replay is still recommended. Especially if you want to see all the Bonding Events between Rean and his classmates.

    Unfortunately, as much as I loved the series. It's not perfect. There are some dumb anime clichés that might be as eyeroll worthy for you as they were for me. The "animated" fight sequences look stiff and awkward. And usually, the Free Days just felt like a chore where you "complete student council tasks, do bonding events, explore the old schoolhouse". Maybe that's kind of the point since you're helping the Student Council, but it's not the most fun thing around.

    Overall, it's not a perfect game. Some characters might feel unecessary and underdeveloped after their "part" of the game seems to be over (Gaius and Nord) and because you didn't do their bonding events. There is also a whole new type of combat introduced at the end of the game that feels clunky and awkward and, hell, the ending itself felt as if it dragged on for a bit before ending on a massive cliffhanger.

    That being said, I still recommend this game. The music is wonderful, the world and its inhabitants all feel very much alive and the plot has some interesting twists and turns!
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  7. Oct 22, 2017
    7
    The game by itself is well done. Interesting RPG with cooking, upgrades for weapons and equipment. The story is quite political in it's coreThe game by itself is well done. Interesting RPG with cooking, upgrades for weapons and equipment. The story is quite political in it's core and the game shows us events with dates. It's a nice sens of moving forward. However the dialogues are very annoying, not because they are bad but there is so many of them and they state the very obvious almost 75% of the time. Do we have to know every single feelings, every single though. Many, many sequence are very arduous...so be prepared to skip a lot of dialogues in the like you never seen before. The fighting is well done but again in the last chapter you are hit with an impossible boss to handle. The graphics are to the level of a PS3 game. The 3D models are quite basic. Overall it was a fun JRPG but the dialogues skipping can be a long exercise of patience. I give it a 70%. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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