The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critic Reviews What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 203 Ratings

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  • Summary: The end of the civil war led to the turning point of a new era for the Erebonian Empire. Centering on Rean Schwarzer as the Ashen Chevalier, the young man who came to be seen as a hero within the country, a new story of young heroes will unfold.
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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 - Opening Gameplay
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Oct 15, 2019
    Minus needing an entire further game to get to the saga’s full conclusion, Trails of Cold Steel III is everything I want from an RPG with a world that fully sucks players in, amazing music and locations in which one can just sit and relax, and a twisting and fascinating story involving incredibly deep characters that are easy to get attached to. Erebonia once again gets some fantastic attention to detail that really brings its complex story and people to life, as the many threads that have been introduced throughout the series further intertwine and begin coming to a head. Combined with a further improved combat system and further quality-of-life improvements, it marks yet another step up for the rightly beloved series. Now all that’s left is just the agonising wait for the fourth and final part of the Cold Steel saga to see how it all ends.
  2. Oct 18, 2019
    The latest entry in the Trails Series offers an excellent continuation of the saga, which presents a great escalation of the story, accompanied by new and old well-developed characters from the series.
  3. 90
    Nihon Falcom has delivered yet another stellar entry in the Trails of Cold Steel series. If you're a newcomer, you'll need to start at the beginning to genuinely appreciate the whole package. However, if you're a long-time fan of the franchise, then you'll love every thrilling second of it.
  4. Oct 28, 2019
    With its solid gameplay mechanics, excellent world-building and character development, The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III is an excellent Japanese role-playing and a more than worthy new entry in the long-running series. Some small flaws like slow pacing do not impact the experience as much as the lack of knowledge about the entire series do, which lessens the impact of several events and plot development. This makes Trails of Cold Steel III a game that must be played only after the previous two entries in the series have been completed.
  5. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Nov 18, 2019
    In between setting off on field expeditions, where you assist Erebonia’s inhabitants by taking on quests, you learn more about your students and colleagues by helping them out at the school. Narrative is still the focus, and with a dizzying amount of dialogue for even minor characters it manages to feel epic and sweeping and personal and intimate all at the same time. [Issue#169, p.84]
  6. Oct 15, 2019
    If you are a JRPG fan, this series is a must-play. It’s one of the strongest running, second only to Persona in my opinion. It’s funny, charming, engaging, and occasionally heartbreaking. And it’s absolutely worth the investment.
  7. Oct 23, 2019
    If you are already into the series then it is likely you will already know whether or not you’re getting this game. If you are not, I wouldn’t recommend you start here unless you like hours of frustrating dialogue with no pay off.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Dec 23, 2019
    This game keeps on doing what has made this such a beloved and cared franchise. The continuous development and growth of the characters,This game keeps on doing what has made this such a beloved and cared franchise. The continuous development and growth of the characters, either npcs or playable as well as the ever expanding world and lore keeps on giving you the sense of a living and breathing world that keeps on aging with each entry making you feel a part of it. Expand
  2. Oct 22, 2019
    A worthy sequel to one of my favorite JRPG of this generation! Hopefully we could also get the fourth game next year.
  3. Jul 27, 2020
    Terrific game. Falcom are the kings of RPGs. It does help to have played other games in the series, but its wholly enjoyable on its own.
  4. Oct 23, 2019
    Lives up to the series' sterling reputation. NIS America did a decent job of taking over localization, which should come as a relief to series fans.
  5. Oct 24, 2019
    While i do find the story to be slow-paced in the beginning, but i still thoroughly enjoyed all of the moments from this game. Seeing how ReanWhile i do find the story to be slow-paced in the beginning, but i still thoroughly enjoyed all of the moments from this game. Seeing how Rean matured a lot from these past few years and become a great instructor for the new Class VII is such a joy. Almost everything about this game is just a step-up from the previous title and the perfect example of a true JRPG. Definitely can't wait to see more of what this series has to offer in the future. Expand
  6. Jul 23, 2020
    Before starting this review, a few disclaimers: I have played neither Zero no Kiseki or Aoi no Kiseki but my judgment of the game won't changeBefore starting this review, a few disclaimers: I have played neither Zero no Kiseki or Aoi no Kiseki but my judgment of the game won't change a whole lot, and secondly I never finished the Trails in the Sky trilogy...because I hate that game.

    With that out of the way, I had a lot of expectations after finishing the second game: CS2 is easily one of my favorite jrpgs of all time, just a few notches below Berseria, and not just that but the combat in CS2 was fun thanks to the changes in magic and making the fight overall more varied and yet still complex. On top of that, the ending was self-contained enough to be satisfying regardless of this sequel.

    So it is sad for me to say, that Trails of Cold Steel good, but not as good.

    I want to start with some positives: graphically the game has improved...somewhat, it still feels very ps3-ish and there's an overabundance of blur used. It reminds me of the ps4 ports of CS1 and 2, which were upscaled ps3/vita versions, so graphically speaking it does its job but you can see there's not a lot of new things going.

    The gameplay has improved a little: they put the turbo mode from the ps4 ports of cs1 and 2 which is GOOD because the game is extremely slow-paced, so slow that I would play them in turbo to make sure the fights ended quicker. You can also save anywhere by pressing options instead of going to the menu AND then pressing select/option, which is one step less. And the minigames have also improved: fishing is a lot less annoying and requires only to hold a button, while the Vantage Masters card game ("SIGH" another card game) is essentially a simpler version of hearthstone. More stuff to later.

    Combat hasn't seen many changes overall, but these changes are pretty interesting: beyond the UI changes of the combat (which has the ONLY issue of being too small IMHO) they added a new thing called Brave Orders, which are AoE buffs that use Brave Points - the same you use for Rush and Burst - to help the game.
    They also added Break Gauges, which are mini defense bars that enemy have that when depleted will lead them to a state of weakness, every attack will be a critical hit, and they won't act until it's their turn

    And with that, I think it's time to talk about the negatives because I'm extremely conflicted here. Don't get me wrong it's a great game so far, spent over 50 hours in and I'm in chapter 3 and I know I should at least finish, but I have many concerns about this game....starting with the combat itself.

    I want to be honest here: I never found combat in trails of cold steel (and even in sky tbh) to be balanced or "fun" at all, for the simple reasons that it was hard and very unfair and always against you and this game doesn't shy away from that - I think this game is way harder than 1 and 2.
    As per usual every enemy in the game will solely rely upon status effects or 1 shot moves to make the game hard and because of that, it can lead to frustrating moments that can make you ragequit, like frogs spamming nightmare status on all your team and then SLOWLY killing them off without even letting you escape. This is why you want to usually use rush the enemies and bosses before they react and why Brave Orders are here.

    Despite being simple buffs, they're EXTREMELY important, and by the end of the game you'll be using 2: Sledgehammer and Wind Blade, a.k.a. "break and stunlock to death". That's the only to survive most boss OHKO moves or being afflicted from status effects. Sure it was usually "spam S-Crafts until they die" but that's not as effective anymore, or only situational. Annoying really, but not as annoying as the story.

    First and foremost, I do like the fact that you get to meet the old class VII and all of the graduates but this time you deal with a new class VII and, to be blunt, they're not as interesting as the OG class VII

    I'm not sure how important they are at the end - which is why I regret not writing this after finishing the game - but good lord they're annoying! I would explain why but my space is little, but they're just uninteresting **** that have no part of the story, except being your students! I would have loved having Elise or Alfin as students under Rean instead (and it would make sense too but I can't say why) or maybe even Thoma from Nord trying to follow Gaius steps or something. At least Altina is back and she's pretty good and better developed.

    Overall, it's a good jrpg, and a worthy sequel but in comparison to 1 and 2 I thought it's lacking a lot.

    I highly recommend playing this after 1 and 2, as there's too much stuff recurring and not just characters and events. I think it's the bare minimum.

    As for the ties to Ao/Zero and sky stuff, I think it's not all that needed: it's a good boost but the game doesn't sway from the Erebonian arc so much you MUST have played it. It made me curious but that's it.
  7. Nov 14, 2019
    Poor repeated main story, even not finished, too easy combat without any balancing effort, one generation late graphics and animation. 1/10.

See all 40 User Reviews