The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is the dramatic conclusion to a grand epic that’s been almost a decade in the making. It’s another chance to spend time with a bunch of characters that have become like family across three prior games, and the culmination of a nuanced exploration of the many faces of war. Most of all, it’s the sort of payoff that only hundreds of hours of meticulous, thoughtful worldbuilding can lead up to.
- a perfect send off to one of the most exciting arcs in this series
- biggest playable cast in the series (39 playable characters with their own skills)
- most complex main villain with my personal favorite right hand man
- threat you can feel slowly encroaching on the world
- stakes on an apocalyptic scale
- beautiful OST
- the end credits had me in tears as this series proved just how special it is
- the worst iteration of the female social events in the entire series
The ninth game in the series and the finale of the Cold Steel arc, Trails of Cold Steel IV is one of the most epic culminations I have ever experienced. A culmination of not just the Cold Steel arc, but also the Sky and Crosbell arcs.
Let me start with the one annoying thing I have against this game before gushing. The female social events are utter garbage and suffer the worst effects of Cold Steel's focus on fan service. For any of the homies: Ayo I got three social events dealing with me leading one quarter of the entire country. Oh yeah, I got three dealing with my music career. Sick, mine deals with me joining the IRS. Damn, mine is about how I became a black ops for the church.
For the women? Each and every single one of them got three as well: Yo, I joined the Bracers but exactly half of each of my three events deals with me wanting to bang you. Accompany me to visit my dads grave but half of our time there let's spend talking about how much I want to bang you. I am leading the family company but hey how about we bang?
I am stuck leading my house and teaching our sword techniques but heyyyy, bang? Like clockwork, all of them. Each of their three events is half and half. It is stupid and ridiculous.
Luckily, the social events were never my favorite anyway. How about the story and characters? Oh. My. God. This game went far beyond anything I could imagine.
The amount of characters would seem overwhelming to anybody who has only played the Cold Steel arc, but with the greater context, their inclusion is hype beyond hype. My god. The fact is, the returning cast doesn't do much growing here. They did it back in their games. They are here to give you themselves and their contributions to the story. I absolutely adore it.
The main story starts slow, coming off of the cliffhanger in CSIII, but immediately kicks back in. The new Class VII is left to shine on their own, allowing them to show just how great they are by themselves. Rean is pushed to his absolute limits and finally gets an ending, where he is not suffering.
The main villain is multifaceted and proven to be much greyer than what the series ever attempted. His right hand man, a walking ad for L'Oréal, is one of my favorite characters the Cold Steel arc produced. And overall, the gallery of villains in this game prove that not everyone fighting against the protagonist is an evil maniac. Some of them are indeed heroic from the right point of view.
Combat was once again rebalanced. The Brave Orders are still kinda OP but breaking enemies was nerfed to be actually balanced in this game. As to the good old Arts vs Crafts, Arts started as laughably bad at the beginning of this arc. In Cold Steel IV, Arts are the hardest hitting abilities in the game. Not just viable, they make the game easier.
I think the moment this game proved to be the most epic story I ever played was right before the final bossfight. You have to make three separate teams, each featuring four active and four support characters. Three teams of eight make 24 characters in total. And the pool you are picking from features 39 of them. 39 separate characters featured across the three arcs and I know and care for all 39 of them.
Cold Steel IV is one of the greatest games and strongest finishes to an arc I have ever experienced. God damn does it make me hype for Reverie and Kuro. If you have ever wondered if it is worth it to take the plunge, yes. Head first. No looking back. You'll thank yourself.
Trails of Cold Steel IV is a great farewell letter to the Cold Steel franchise. If you are up to date with the series, then this chapter is a must-play: even when the ending is one of its few drawbacks, it's time to see how the story ends.
Enjoyable in some respects, but very disappointing in others, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV does not fail to live up to the series’ legacy. Still, it's a little step back compared to the third installment.
An ambitious closer spanning nearly two decades of characters, storytelling and world-building, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is both a fitting send-off and a satisfying reflection of what has made Trails such a fascinating saga to invest in.
If you already invested more than 500 hours to the previous instalments of Trails of Cold Steel series, you would definitely enjoy seeing familiar faces and you would love the overall experience. But as a newcomer you should probably try earlier games first, just to see if you want to get invested in the whole franchise.
I was, if not confident, hopeful that the lingering issues that I found myself grappling with in Cold Steel I and II had been mitigated when I played through Cold Steel III. However, now that I've seen the whole story, I can only say that those issues never went away. Even if they appeared fixed for Cold Steel III, they were always there, just below the surface. At this point, if I wasn't already in too deep, I'm not sure if I would even want to continue playing the Trails series. I have very little confidence that Falcom will learn their lesson with how to pace their games, and with the scope of both the world and the series as a whole constantly growing I have no confidence that future games won't run into these self-same issues, but to an even greater degree.
Sadly this is the weakest entry of the ToCS series. I'm a very big fan of this series so you may take that however you want. The game is the easiest one in the franchise giving you a way to raise your characters stats infinitely within either the second or third chapter, and there is actually nothing new to this game other than a puyo puyo rip off, in a game with already too many side activities. Literally no one in this series can die. It's just a thing that if someone dies you will see them later on or in the next game, this is one of the most infuriating things, and I found myself literally staring there with "seriously" face any time they tried to be dramatic only to fall over later whenever they tried to make it a dramatic reveal that they were just fine. they spend a good 60 hours explaining the entirety of the story you've already played through like you're the idiot no lie, It was hard for me to even keep playing because of this. Whenever I played through the series I always felt number 2 was the weak link, because most of the game was devoted to just finding the characters you had from the start of the first one, and this game starts you out repeating that formula except now there's much more meaningless characters. The most exciting promise of this game was everyone being a part of it, I mean the previous two protagonists are all over the advertisements for the game, however you only get to play with the characters from the other games a total of three times for about 10 minutes each, and you can't change anything on them. The ending was very lack luster, almost acting as if the entire story was about your Speechless (90% of the time) robot instead of the actual characters you spent so much time pretending were worth a damn. It was very sad to end the story this way and I truly hope the next game will fix these issues of being the same game with an hour of new story. It's not all incredibly bad though. Whenever the story finally picks up (literally after the halfway) It's actually quite interesting and if you enjoyed playing through the first few you're going to of course love playing with the characters still. My main hang ups with this game are there's just too much everything. They never pay enough attention to the story about the characters and even at times when they do they really slop on it. The ToCs series could be squashed down into two games with a focus on the story and they would be excellent. As a closing remark I really was dissapointed with this entry which hurts all that much more knowing that the first game is one of my favorite RPGs. It's a shame they decided to end things like this, but it doesn't defer me from playing the next ones. If you're a fan of the series you owe it to yourself to see it through to the end, but if you've had trouble getting through any of the previous games maybe just go watch a YouTube video that sizes up the story.
The game was unavailable for download for 38 hours after release for all pre -orderers. The developer team laid on their backs and said they wont do anything and put it all on Sony.This was done by a few tweets/facebook posts during office hours the day AFTER release. People were also said their collector editions would be delivered mid November. That announcement was given AFTER the game was released while leading them to believe everything would be ok until that very moment.
The game is good ( thus the score) and nicely wraps up the story and Falcom deserves praise for their writting.
NISA on the other hand has shown unacceptable and non proffesional behaviour regarding the games release. It felt like they did it just because they had to. There are also translation errors in the game ( especially on item/quartz/recipe descriptions) and various typos. Makes you wonder if they even checked their work after they finished it.
Lets hope that Hajimari and the upcoming 2021 Trails game will be localised by a company that actually cares about both their product's quality and proper communication with their customers
- Story in this game is like a kid's cartoon. The story treat every battle like sparing practise.
- Bad guys joining you after you beat them and it happens over and over. So repetitive.
- Like the past games this game feels like it's way longer than it deserves to be.
- Horrible pacing. The story is watered down juice and the juice wasn't good to begin with.
- Do you love it when you finish a game then don't get the full ending?
- Battle system was great but hasn't changed in the 4 games much.
- Not enough new locations to see.
= The story is some how even worse in this game and the pacing is some how just as slow despite this been the game the story has built up to. I am done with doing dull tasks after the credits to get the right ending. This is the worst of the 4 Cold Steel games and should have been the best.
What an awful experience. A bloated cast, abysmal pacing, inane dialogue, harem of a dozen girls who only orbit around the self-insert protagonist, ridiculous plot developments that retcon the earlier entries, lame antagonists, all the bad guys get forgiven, death has no consequences as people get easily resurrected, cheesy gameplay, mediocre graphics, even the soundtrack has fallen in quality. This is the entry that made me drop this series for good. Trails will never reach its earlier heights again, this much is clear.
SummaryThe Erebonian Empire is on the brink of all out war! Taking place shortly after the ending of Trails of Cold Steel III, the heroes of Class VII find themselves against the full force of the Empire in an attempt to stop its path of total domination. Further, the hero of the Erebonian Civil War and Class VII's instructor, Rean Schwarzer, h...