The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Image
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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 144 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: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Sep 6, 2019
    100
    It was and still is an absolute must-play for any JRPG fan, and a master class in slow-burn world-building that should be mandatory gaming, and if a modern-hardware remaster puts it into the hands of even more gamers, I can’t help but be all for it. If the original release was already a modern classic, then this improved version is nothing short of a masterpiece.
  2. Mar 26, 2019
    90
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel on PS4 is everything I wanted in a remaster of one of my favourite RPGs this decade and more.
  3. Mar 26, 2019
    90
    It’s a story that isn’t afraid to take its time and let things play out slowly, and even though the pacing can be rough at times, it’s a refreshing thing to see in video games, which are usually so focused on keeping the action and pace at 100 percent. The quality-of-life improvements to the game, like Turbo Mode, help make it that much more digestible.
  4. May 15, 2019
    82
    Slighty enhanced PS4 premiere of the epic rpg saga with a slight touch of Persona.
  5. 80
    If you haven’t played The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel before, I wholeheartedly recommend playing the new PlayStation 4 version. It’s the most complete edition after all, even if that doesn’t mean much in terms of additional content volume.
  6. Mar 26, 2019
    80
    If you're a fan of Japanese RPGs and you missed out on Trails of Cold Steel the first time around, we can't recommend this PS4 port enough. Between its brilliant world building and fantastic cast of characters, this is a slow-burning story that refuses to let you go. While the game does plod at points, it's hard not to sit back and appreciate just how much effort has gone into making this world feel so rich and interesting. Add a rock solid turn based combat system to the mix, and you've got all the makings of a genre classic.
  7. May 10, 2019
    30
    Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel lacks vibrancy, the animations lack imagination, and the characters are a bunch of bores. Not having played any other games in the series, I can’t say whether this series is suffering from sequelitis exhaustion, but this installment just lacks so much. It’s an excruciating play that I cannot recommend.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Mar 28, 2019
    10
    I forgot exactly how amazing this game is! Includes all DLC for free, a steelbook, soundtrack and a mira coin! (get the physical copy!). II forgot exactly how amazing this game is! Includes all DLC for free, a steelbook, soundtrack and a mira coin! (get the physical copy!). I can't recommend this game enough. The game is full of rich lore, character development, and a wonderful soundtrack. The combat is engaging and very rewarding. The enemies are challenging but not overly frustrating. There is a very nice crafting/abilities system if you like to tinker. The game is set on a calendar similar to Persona and like Persona you get to partake in activities with your classmates in order to strengthen bonds. The graphics are similar to Tokyo Xanadu and Ys Viii (a little better than those maybe). If you enjoyed those games you will be so psyched to play this! In fact if you like JRPGs period you must buy this game! Expand
  2. Nov 2, 2019
    10
    Definitely a jrpg, starts off kinda slow but when you get into the story you won't want to stop playing then things slow up and then a hugeDefinitely a jrpg, starts off kinda slow but when you get into the story you won't want to stop playing then things slow up and then a huge reveal and it picks up pace again. the soundtrack in all these games is amazing, and not a bad character in the bunch. Expand
  3. Sep 25, 2019
    10
    My first Trails/Legend of Heroes game. If you play a game for its story then this might be the game for you. The pacing can be slow at timesMy first Trails/Legend of Heroes game. If you play a game for its story then this might be the game for you. The pacing can be slow at times and there are few JRPG tropes regarding the female characters that feels tremendously dated and cringey. Still a 10 out of 10 for me due to the enjoyment and addicting nature of its story and gameplay. Expand
  4. Nov 7, 2019
    9
    Fantastic JRPG. A significant step up in graphics from its psvita / ps3 release especially in 4k. If you love JRPG's you can't go wrong. 3Fantastic JRPG. A significant step up in graphics from its psvita / ps3 release especially in 4k. If you love JRPG's you can't go wrong. 3 game's released thus far and a 4th on the way so you will be really busy Expand
  5. Apr 10, 2019
    9
    I didn't hear about this game when it was originally released.
    I was pleasantly surprised. The first 2 hours were a little boring but it
    I didn't hear about this game when it was originally released.
    I was pleasantly surprised. The first 2 hours were a little boring but it picked up quickly and is a true TBRPG which are hard to find now in this gaming generation. Totally worth your time!
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  6. Jun 19, 2020
    8
    A surprisingly good JRPG. The world established by the franchise is great and a ton of fun to explore. The combat is also a strong point andA surprisingly good JRPG. The world established by the franchise is great and a ton of fun to explore. The combat is also a strong point and one of the better turn based combat systems with a surprisingly large amount of depth. The plot itself is meanders from complex and interesting to bog-standard high school harem drama while the characters are fine, if unremarkable. Expand
  7. Jun 17, 2020
    4
    Great game for teaching good morals to teens, but doesn't have much to offer to old JRPG veterans.

    I finally got around to playing this
    Great game for teaching good morals to teens, but doesn't have much to offer to old JRPG veterans.

    I finally got around to playing this series, revered for its grand storytelling and turn-based combat and ended up disappointed.

    All except the last few hours of this 70-hour JRPG retreads just about everything that great JRPGs have done in the past. Which is teaching you though example, the dangers of discrimination, nationalism, corporate greed, turning a blind-eye to tragedies, and backing your family or group even though they're wrong. The game is very up front about pointing out what's bad, with frequent long conversations between the main characters that show you how they decided these things were bad. And to the game's credit, it gets them all right, unlike Persona 5, which teaches that discrimination of adults is okay because an adult or two hurt some children in the past.

    Much of the game reminded me of the original Scooby-Doo cartoons. Meddling kids are always exposing bad people's crimes in the face of inaction or corruption by law-enforcement organizations. And you'll get this a lot, with the bad guys even pointing out that they would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids. The problem with this is that the game is centered around the idea that your protagonists, just going about their school assignments, are more capable than adults whose jobs it is to solve these things. This is great if you want to empower teens, but it's not very believable to an adult.

    The story is also full of an unbelievable number of conveniences. Your class goes on several trips to learn about the world, and something amazing/unexpected happens each and every time, at the exact time you're visiting, just so that you can solve the problem and save the day. For example, when a military complex is attacked, your teen protagonists, who were previously proven to be much weaker than adults, end up repelling the attack. All of the soldiers in the complex just mysteriously disappeared at that time.

    The political representation in the game is frequently praised. But I found it to be basic and full of conveniences. I give the writers credit for creating a functioning political landscape, but when tragedies occur, their systems mysteriously break down, paving the way for your teen protagonists to save the country. Also, there's a big emphasis on a particular terrorist group that continues to attack various sites (that you just happen to be visiting) Their goals and motives make little sense, even after the protagonists explain them to you, and make even less sense once you get to the end of the game. After learning their true goals and capabilities, the astute players will wonder why they partook in some of their earlier missions.

    I can't explain the end-game twists to avoid spoilers, but just say that they turned this decent JRPG story and world to being borderline nonsensical. It's not nearly as bad as what happened in Persona 5, and will be acceptable to the game's teen target audience, but intelligent adults should beware of the incoming poorly-done anime tropes.

    There's much more to say about the story as there's a lot going on in the game, but I'll move on to the gameplay.

    The turn-based battle system is average at best. Great turn-based battle systems have one thing in common: using the tools and training given, you can create strategies to beat the challenging enemies and bosses (or those who aren't good at strategy can just level grind). This game, on Normal mode, was just too easy. After I got used to the battle system, I frequently skipped enemies (to reduce my level) and skipped upgrading weapons and armor since that was the only way to get any sort of challenge. Harder difficulties might have been better, but the game doesn't let you change difficulties mid-game.

    Also, I must point out that while position-based combat systems are normally great, this one was annoying. Changing your position takes a turn and performing an action (such as attacking or casting certain spells) automatically moves your position to where the game thinks you want to go. So it's annoying to get your characters in the position you want them to be. If I perform a normal attack, and I have movement points to spare, why must it move me in a straight light right at the enemy? Why can't I run to the side? I got used to it, but was disappointed that the typical Idea Factory RPG has more strategic combat.

    So with the game being overly preachy with its morals (although they are good morals), leaving nothing up for intellectual interpretation, having way too many story conveniences, having a disappointing combat system, and a downright silly twist ending, there wasn't much for me to like. It's not bad - I've just done all of this before. Though the typical teen should love it and there's a lot of good stuff for them to learn here.
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See all 16 User Reviews