The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Image
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 155 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: At the elite Thors Military Academy, Erebonias best and brightest learn everything from the art of war to the liberal arts. Rean Schwarzer, a new student, learns that hes been selected as a member of the newly-minted Class VII, made up of students from both noble and commoner backgrounds.At the elite Thors Military Academy, Erebonias best and brightest learn everything from the art of war to the liberal arts. Rean Schwarzer, a new student, learns that hes been selected as a member of the newly-minted Class VII, made up of students from both noble and commoner backgrounds.

    Class VII has no shortage of issues to overcome, but Rean and his classmates will have to work past their differences and hone their skills, because theyll need more than just top marks to make the grade theyll need to safeguard their country from those who would plunge it into war.

    - A World of Lore Return to the Zemurian continent, setting of the Trails in the Sky titles, with a new adventure for old and new fans alike.

    - Tactical Thinking Execute your strategies in exciting turn-based battles where timing and distance can make the difference between victory and defeat.

    - Combat Links Link any two characters in battle, enabling unique synergies between them.
    Expand
Buy On

Trailer

Please enter your birth date to watch this video:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - Battle Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 100
    While simple in presentation, the grand scope of Trails of Cold Steel’s narrative is really what drives this game, and it does so with remarkable intelligence and confidence. You’ll need a good block of time to actually play through this one, but for people that do make the commitment to it, the rewards are more than enough.
  2. Dec 24, 2015
    90
    In the early hours of Trails of Cold Steel, I was skeptical that it could live up to the lofty standards set by Trails in the Sky. However, after my first year spent as a student of Class VII, I can confidently say that it has, and knowing that this is just the beginning of a new series fills me with great anticipation.
  3. Jan 14, 2016
    90
    I can say without hesitation that Trails of Cold Steel is my favorite RPG of 2015, and fans of the genre definitely shouldn't pass this one up.
  4. Jan 13, 2016
    85
    If you like traditional JRPGs but Trails in the Sky was a little too dated for you, Cold Steel is exactly what you've been looking for.
  5. Jan 14, 2016
    85
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is an excellent, well-made RPG.
  6. Jan 18, 2016
    80
    Great JRPG title, one of the best released so far on PS3 and PS Vita in recent times. Outstanding story, cast of characters and extension.
  7. Dec 23, 2015
    75
    Trails of Cold Steel is a very good, long JRPG. It’s not going to win any game of the year awards, but if you’re a fan of the genre, and are aching for something that harks back to the glory days of the PS1 RPG, play it. Thoroughly enjoyable combat, and a deceptively well-told story, make this a JRPG totally worth your time.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Aug 8, 2016
    10
    I will admit, the Lionheart Edition caught my eye and so I bought this game on a whim, though I had heard good things about the Legend ofI will admit, the Lionheart Edition caught my eye and so I bought this game on a whim, though I had heard good things about the Legend of Heroes series, so I figured I might as well give this game a go. I cannot say how long it has been since a game has hooked me on its lore and storyline. It may be pretty cliche at times, having similar story structure to Final Fantasy Type-0, but the (mostly) likeable characters, great battle system and vast amount of content make this game shine. Going for the platinum on this is was not much of a hassle because of how enjoyable it is. 10/10 Expand
  2. Dec 23, 2015
    10
    I love this game. It has everything a Legend of Heroes game has, and then streamlines the skills and compresses it. So even those startingI love this game. It has everything a Legend of Heroes game has, and then streamlines the skills and compresses it. So even those starting this series will pick it up. Good on ya XSEED Games for picking up a great game. Expand
  3. Apr 20, 2019
    10
    Gran juego, un poco lento al principio pero como las buenas as historias te va dando detalles un cresccendo, para el gran concierto final delGran juego, un poco lento al principio pero como las buenas as historias te va dando detalles un cresccendo, para el gran concierto final del último capítulo.combate brutal y adictivo, personajes interesantes y únicos. Expand
  4. Feb 14, 2017
    10
    I was initially very harsh on this game at first and for a petty reason (the combat) But I think it's unfair to bash this game solely onI was initially very harsh on this game at first and for a petty reason (the combat) But I think it's unfair to bash this game solely on combat, especially when other rpgs are getting praised for doing worse on every other aspect ("Cough" FFXV "Cough").

    For that reason, I want to say what's wrong with this game instead:

    1) Combat is well made and has a lot of depth into it, with each character equipping quartz (basically materias from ff7) and Master Quartz (sort of "class gems", but in a very light way) as well as having special moves, link abilities and random effects on the battle. The combat itself is honestly great but that's not why I bashed it for: I bashed the combat because of how cheap the game is against you, because they're insultingly easy...if you counter thei status effect. Yes, the only thing that enemies will do - THE ONLY THING THAT ENEMIES WILL EVER DO TO YOU - is putting status effect that will make the fight inhumanly difficult. Examples are when you fight an enemy that will always (ALWAYS) blind you, which will make you miss attacks, in which the enemy will counter and most likely kill you, or when an enemy will constantly stun you with every single basic attack, or when another boss will freeze the team and kill you right after, or where some enemies tend to inexplicably kill you without any reasons (no skill name, no special attack, no special turn). This is just unforgivable because it's trial and error and as soon as you manage to counter THAT specific debuff for the fight, the enemies are a real push over and won't even kill you (seriously I can overheal the damage with ease, it's so unbalanced) but just because the enemies have special effects, the game becomes harder all of the sudden. I expect this from anyone ("cough" Square Enix "Cough") but Nihon Falcom.

    2) The game is slow. Very slow. Too slow at some points. The story is amazing and I love it: I love the exposition that actually makes it interesting and never boring (I even read the books!) and I love how the world is both similar to the real one (The main capital is basically London) and far different at the same time. On top of that the characters are great as they all have screentime, none of them feels left out and this is a great improvement over Trails in the Sky where that annoying slut of Estelle kept taking the spot for better characters: I played Trails in the sky for 40 hours and I don't even remember who was that white haired chick with the whip, or that blondie who played the piano, since the game was too busy focusing on that whiny girl with no personality who had the harry potter syndrome. I digress.
    Anyway, despite the story being great, despite it's amazing writing and plot...it's just too slow in certain moments and including the slow combat, it can be a chore to play through. I played a lot of RPGs and this one is one of the slowest I ever played. It's not bad per se but if you ever buy it, be ready!

    3) Technical standpoint...well it's a ps3 game that's supposed to run also on Vita, which is why the game has anything but great graphics. It's not bad per se but if you are hoping for some AAA graphics...well you won't find it here and I'm personally fine, for great graphics don't equal to great gameplay (just like another famous series where Fantasy is in the title!)

    4)Cheap Replayability. The game is long: I'm at chapter 6 and I'm nearly hitting 60 hours and the game actually has a lot of replayability, since you can unlock new stuff and info thanks to NG+. But at what cost? Well for starters the game actually is nearly impossible to complete 100% without a guide (or unless you're able to spend 20 hours in a single section every single transition) due to the fact that a lot of stuff are hidden for no real reason. On top of that there's a ranking system that will change depending on your choices, quests and several actions in the game...which is not really smart design. Quests are hidden, certain choices are only possible if you know the answer, few battles require to do certain specific things, and if you miss one of these you might not get the best rank or might lose certain things...which will be ported into the second chapter. This is the kind of stuff that RPGs during the 2000s tended to do, blocking or hiding stuff unless you had a guide, and because of this it's highly advised to have one in case you need to reach that 100% score and platinum thing.

    But really, beside these flaws (which are personal really), I can't stop praising this amazing piece of art: I never felt so invested in an RPG before and I cannot wait to start chapter 2 and buy chapter 3 someday in the future, is that amazing. Is it flawed? Surely, but even those flaws don't stop making this game the best RPG in recent years.

    And since it's already 1 year old, you can find it cheap too so...go get it! NOW!
    Expand
  5. May 13, 2016
    10
    Great turn-based combat system, great characters, great customization, superb story, absolutely outstanding JRPG.
    Despite some minor flaws, a
    Great turn-based combat system, great characters, great customization, superb story, absolutely outstanding JRPG.
    Despite some minor flaws, a must-buy for every JRPG lover.
    Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2016
    8
    Pros
    - Well-designed battle system.
    - Lovable characters. - Amazing character development. - Stiff animations from cutscenes remain
    Pros
    - Well-designed battle system.
    - Lovable characters.
    - Amazing character development.
    - Stiff animations from cutscenes remain old-fashion, making you laugh in a good way.
    - Detailed lore - one with more depth than could possibly be asked for. In comparison, it is like delicious sprinkles on a cake.
    - The time of day is reflected visually, so you have morning, noon, and night.
    - Advanced customization for equipment and quartz, allowing you to design your party the way you want.
    - Link attacks giving your entire party meaning.
    - The "Blade" card game is loads of fun. (I played this for hours, and would do it again with a smile on my face.)
    - For the most part, enemies remain fresh instead of being cookie-cut everywhere.
    - Despite copy/paste of dungeon gimmicks, everything continues to remain fresh.
    - Cooking with a variety of different results.
    - Fishing, as well as other fun mini-games.

    Cons
    - Tutorial spam.
    - Where's the voice acting??? Really? You couldn't pay your dub actors for the finished product!?!
    - Empty school. For a building that is visited constantly, it all just seems so empty for a blocky high school. There's no attitude to it.
    - Terrible water effects. Go stare at the river while you're fishing...
    - No way to check Link Exp's number without a bonding event. Your only indication outside that is a green meter.
    - Awful motion blur while sprinting.
    - Copy/Pasted NPCs
    - Faces missing from generic NPCs. (Xseed, did you really think anyone wouldn't notice this?)
    - Random time skips.
    - Teachers smoking on school grounds....
    - Bottles of alcohol in the resting room of underaged students...
    - Your equipment and quartz gets constantly removed every chapter, so you have to open up the menu and put it back on your party every single time.
    - Level locking. At multiple points of the story, you'll gain exp from battles at a very slow rate. Not only that, but the exp intentionally reduces itself, forcing you to continue with the game's story.

    This game isn't perfect, but it's definitely worth it. I've had more fun with this game than I've had with nearly all of my *PS4* games combined! Recommend that everyone should go out and buy this. Trials of Cold Steel is an experience like no other.
    Expand
  7. Feb 21, 2016
    6
    As a huge fan of the series and of most of Falcom's games in general, I have to say that Trails of Cold Steel is one of the most disappointingAs a huge fan of the series and of most of Falcom's games in general, I have to say that Trails of Cold Steel is one of the most disappointing games I've played in recent memory. It's not a terrible game; in fact, I'd put it just above average. It still has the garnish that made the series great, such as an intense attention to detail in worldbuilding and fleshed-out NPCs with their own lives and stories that advance alongside the main plot, but it drops the ball in crucial ways.

    I'll start with the most glaring and obvious flaw: the technical details. The most noticable thing about the game right off the bat is the loading time. I spent most of my time playing the Vita version where it was more noticable, but it's still a major issue on PS3. Load times were occasionally quite short (three seconds or so), but most of the time, I would be waiting a good five to ten seconds for a load screen, which really starts to add up when you get one every time you enter a new screen or start a battle/cutscene. On top of this, the 3D models and animations are simply awful looking and a poor replacement for the 2D portraits and well-animated 3D rendered sprites of previous games.

    To start, the gameplay is simply a step down from every other game in the series after Trails in the Sky FC. In short, it's pathetically easy. Even on hard mode, fights end with almost no effort whatsoever. I normally wouldn't be one to knock a game for being too easy, especially a turn-based RPG, but when combat starts to feel like nothing more than a boring chore, it gets in the way of enjoying the game. While you could break previous games in the series with the right setups and party compositions, it did take some effort. It takes almost none to break Sen over your knee. I can count the number of battles on one hand where a boss got more than three turns before dying, and several of those were because I waited to fulfill a special condition on the battle. Perhaps it's different on nightmare mode, but I have my doubts. As it stands, even on hard mode, the gameplay in Cold Steel was less enjoyable than Trails in the Sky SC in spite of the many technical improvements made since then, to say nothing of comparisons to the rest of the series.

    Arguably one of the best aspects of this series are its strong, detailed characters, and Cold Steel simply drops the ball on that front completely. I won't go too in-depth to avoid spoilers, but in short, several of the characters are so poorly written that I actually put the game down and avoided playing it for a while after seeing their "development" in action. This might be forgivable if the rest of the cast were as well-executed as previous games in the series, but that's not the case here. Rean feels like a typical dime-a-dozen light novel protagonist, even having a poorly explained supernatural power (which remains poorly explained even in the sequel). Gaius and Elliot are completely irrelevant characters who serve no role in the story whatsoever aside from guiding the party around their hometowns (and coincidentally, Gaius' hometown is host to the most boring chapter in the series, and Elliot passes the guide role on to Machias quite quickly in his chapter), to the point where you question why they're even in the game. Machias and Jusis are both good enough characters, and though Machias is a bit too exaggerated I found their antics to be the most redeeming parts of the early game. Laura has no character beyond her obsession with her swordsmanship. Emma could have been interesting, but they don't answer any questions about her throughout almost all of the first game, so she simply remains the class president type throughout. Alisa is a grating, obnoxious character who is completely unlikable for no reason other than having some overinflated mommy issues. Fie's personality clashes so much with her backstory that I went from finding her cute and somewhat endearing to seeing her as everything wrong with the lazy character writing in the game. I'm astounded that the same company who wrote Renne, Randy, and various other similar characters produced a character as poor as Fie. In spite of all that, the supporting cast, especially the NPCs, are all quite excellent. Sara is exactly what I'd expect from a Trails character. Crow is very endearing while still breaking free of his archetype. I found myself playing just to advance the story of the various NPCs as well.

    The plot wasn't botched nearly as much as the characters, but it still feels like it's mostly filler. Each chapter drags on a lot longer than it really needs to and Chapter 1 feels like it was completely irrelevant in the long run. Nothing much is accomplished throughout the game and the only time something is is during the ending, when the game suddenly stops with a "to be continued."

    Overall, Trails of Cold Steel is an average game and a disappointment to fans of the series. If you're a fan of the previous games, prepare for disappointment.
    Expand

See all 20 User Reviews