The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Image
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 148 Ratings

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  • 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.
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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - Battle Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 95
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a godsend for Vita fans. At a time when support for the little handheld seems to be rapidly dwindling, here comes a role-playing masterpiece with all the right stuff: XSeed’s superior localization, which bypasses anime cliches in favor of real depth; an addictive set of life-sim mechanics, from bonding with the lovable cast to cooking a bevy of dishes; and a combat system that rewards customization and cooperation between party members.
  2. 85
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has an old-timey feel to it while not getting lost in the novelty of that. Trails channels inspirations from the entire RPG timeline in subtle ways and brings it into a modern and progressive light. The PS3 and PS Vita are lucky to have this gem of an RPG in their library, even if it doesn’t push the hardware as it could.
  3. Mar 31, 2016
    85
    Ultimately, while Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a solid JRPG sure to be enjoyed by fans of the genre, it must be said that it doesn't break any new ground.
  4. Dec 24, 2015
    76
    Although it has several technical and graphical disappointments , it offers a very dense and precise combat system. With new elements such as cross-save between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, it manages to bring a classic gameplay with somehow decent visuals.
  5. May 31, 2016
    71
    Aimed at the most diehard fans of the JRPG, Trails of Cold Steel offers extensive experience, but chaotic at first sight.
  6. Jan 8, 2016
    70
    Despite my gripes with the game and the struggle to make it through achingly slow opening chapter, the care and detail that went into the game is clear to see, and I know there are JRPG fans that live to appreciate the kind of meticulous detail that this game contains.
  7. Jan 19, 2016
    60
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel had my attention and lost it.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Dec 28, 2015
    10
    Trails of Cold Steel is the 6th game in an ongoing "Story JRPG Series" made by Falcom.
    However due to the fact that the game is somewhat
    Trails of Cold Steel is the 6th game in an ongoing "Story JRPG Series" made by Falcom.
    However due to the fact that the game is somewhat current gen compared to the earlier games, this game may very well be the very first Trails game for many. That is fine because Cold Steel marks the beginning of the 3rd story arc of the Trails series and it is perfectly fine as a starting point.

    For those who are new to the series, think of this series as the JRPG version of a visual novel. The series has mastered the trifecta that many JRPGs this generation lacks: Characters, Setting, Plot.
    The gameplay and combat aims to complement the above strengths, it never gets in the way and takes a backseat but still manages to differentiate the series from visual novels by being very entertaining and somewhat addictive. The bonus here is the music, Team JDK makes great music and Trails series has been very consistent in that aspect. Playing this game with the sound off in public is not a cool thing to do.
    While this narrative-focused approach is not very popular in today's standards (compared to Tales of series that focuses much on combat, and XCX which focuses on exploration and combat), but it doesn't try to be. It has one cute little ambition: to create the most well written, continuous JRPG series. It is doing a bang up job at it so far.

    For those who have played Trails in the Sky games, expect the same quality of writing, lovable cast, and the level of depth as those games with a few changes:
    Firstly, this entry is the first "3D Transition" of the series featuring 3D Character models and abundant voice acting. It is nicely done and it will not take you long to get used to it.
    Another difference is strictly limited to this episode, and that's the school setting. While it really wouldn't work any other way for the sake of the story, the school setting can feel too formulaic and repetitive. A large contrast from Sky FC and SC's adventure style where you move from town to town, in Cold Steel 1 it is more like "Campus life -> Visit a town (via Train) -> Campus life -> Visit a town repeat", you will spend about 50% of the game on campus. You can definitely see some, no, a lot of resemblance to Persona in this entry.
    Lastly, Orbment is easier to set up and works slightly differently, trying to figure out what stacks in what ways is also pretty fun.

    As someone who has been in love with the series for the past decade and has been importing all of the games, I can say Xseed has done a great job on the localization. It is quite refreshing and worth another play through.
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  2. Sep 29, 2019
    10
    The Greatest RPG in my life since ff7 and after having played this Beauty of a game I became more and more irritated The whole Collection ofThe Greatest RPG in my life since ff7 and after having played this Beauty of a game I became more and more irritated The whole Collection of trails games were not on my platform of choice the playstation. the game's "back-end" play akind to Final Fantasy's materia system except instead of the quartz/materia leveling up on their own, you have to do change them out on your own. It's not a beginner's game however, but highly enjoyable. The main story is hide in the background however and searching for it takes your attention outside of gameplay. THIS IS MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE of a game. Technical, filled with backstory, and rich in depth to it's world. Warning: This game FEELS alive! Expand
  3. Jan 7, 2016
    9
    Make no mistake. This is a AAA RPG on the Vita in a time when AAA vita games are hard to come by. The combat system is deep, fun andMake no mistake. This is a AAA RPG on the Vita in a time when AAA vita games are hard to come by. The combat system is deep, fun and engaging... and also easily some of the best I've experienced in a while. The main characters are a group of kids that SHOULD be annoying, but the writing is so good, that I found them to be believable, warm, and human. The voice acting ranges from okay to pretty good (nothing bad), and the localization is almost perfect. This is a BIG game. The story is a slow burn, but is VERY well done. Graphics are 2011 PS3, but the colors definitely pop on the vita screen, and the vita is best way to play. Give this one a chance if you're a lover of RPG's and have the time to play one on the go. 9 out of 10 because not everyone will be able to weather the pacing of the story. Expand
  4. Dec 17, 2016
    8
    It's a very odd tactical RPG, I'm on action and turn based RPG's but this one surprised me with it's gameplay(for good). It's located in theIt's a very odd tactical RPG, I'm on action and turn based RPG's but this one surprised me with it's gameplay(for good). It's located in the same universe as Trails in the Sky, but don't spect to meet someone you know, there are only little references to them. The story it's pretty good and the characters are very charismatic and it won't take you too long to sympathize with them. It has also very anime cliches(you know, "accidents", little sisters, tsunderes :D). The difficulty it's very balanced, not too hard not too easy, but I can tell that you're going to have a bad time with a pair of fights. It took me 80 hours to finish but from what I have been seeing it doesn't have too much replay, anyway, recommended for every fan of RPG and every fan of anime-like characters. Expand
  5. Dec 27, 2015
    8
    Good game overall however most character events are a bit shallow. It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of real bonding and significance. ItGood game overall however most character events are a bit shallow. It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of real bonding and significance. It feels alot better than every other jrpg I have played.

    One interesting note is that the game both looks and sound better on a vita than a ps3.
    Im using the original vita with an OLED and a basic 24" monitor. The picture dont look as clear, as sharp, as bright. But it still does feel good playing on a bigger screen. There is also an adjustment option to change the width, height and brightness of the picture. I found the lowest brightness setting to be the best, but thats just personal preference.

    For sound, I used the same headphone - Creative Aurvana Live. Its a bit hard to explain but vita sounded better. its definitely not the volume, the sound was slightly sharper, more crystal and felt better. The PS3 sounded a bit hallow in comparison.
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  6. Apr 5, 2021
    8
    Una compra obligada para los usuarios de la PSVita

    Es un excelente RPG como esperarías de Falcom. La historia es interesante con buenas
    Una compra obligada para los usuarios de la PSVita

    Es un excelente RPG como esperarías de Falcom. La historia es interesante con buenas mecánicas de juego. Si tienes la versión en PS3 puedes realizar cross-save para disfrutar el juego en consola casera, y aprovechar la portabilidad de la Vita para completar misiones secundarias y subir de nivel de los personajes.
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  7. Jun 20, 2020
    1
    I was convinced to buy this game since it's apparently one of the more highly revered JRPG's on a system that's well known for mostly being aI was convinced to buy this game since it's apparently one of the more highly revered JRPG's on a system that's well known for mostly being a JRPG machine. From what I gathered, this is apparently the 9th entry to "The Legend of Heroes" series. I've heard that while it's better to play these games in order, it's ultimately not legally possible to play them all in English. I was also convinced by other reviewers that it wouldn't be THAT confusing to use the newer, easier to access titles as an entry point... This was inaccurate. Another reason I was initially interested in jumping into a new-to-me Japanese series was that I was under the impression, due to the raving reviews users have given it, that these games lacked "anime tropes" that several Japanese-heavy influenced games have. I jumped into the prologue with high but cautious expectations, for them to basically be immediately shattered. One of the very first things that happened was the protagonist had a "tripping & falling" moment with a blonde girl, where your face ends up nestled between her breasts. Other than that, every single character introduced is the most absolute cringey animoo stereotype that you could possibly think of. This is coming from a big anime & JRPG fan. Most of the dialogue was very boring exposition, the combat was fine I suppose, but nothing a turn based battle system hasn't done before. Perhaps I will return to this review to update it & I'll admit how wrong I was. In fact, I hope that happens. But all I can say is don't always trust other peoples opinions, sometimes you just gotta see for yourself if you like something. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews