Is Trails the Cold steel worth check out? Kat checks in after ~ the first 10 hours of the latest Legend the Heroes game.

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There are gamings where 30 hours seem to fly by in one instant, and there are gamings where I"ll be play for what seems prefer days ~ above end, just to uncover that I"ve only put in 10 hours. In ~ the hazard of sounding more negative than I"d like, The Legends the Heroes: Trails that Cold Steel has mostly collapse in the latter category for me.

Despite a concerted effort over the holiday, I"ve had actually a challenging time advertise much past the first chapter of Trails that Cold Steel, which came out shortly prior to Christmas. I"ve warmed to it together the story has actually slowly but surely progressed, however it"s absolutely been a slown burn. Like Trails in the Sky prior to it, Trails the Cold steel asks for a great deal of patience from the player together it slowly introduces that is cast, its battle system, and its world. Together late as 5 hours in, i was still acquisition on tutorial-style searches meant to present me come the game"s mechanics.


This is the way of Nihon Falcom"s Legend of Heroes games, i beg your pardon has regulated to victory a cult following in phibìc America with its richly thorough worlds and epic story arcs. With a story that unfolds over the food of two full games, Trails that Cold steel expects girlfriend to be invested for the lengthy haul, so it"s contents to take its time laying the groundwork for what"s come come. Indigenous a speed perspective this might not it is in the smartest approach, but fans seem contents to overlook the in donate of the much more positive facets of Trails of Cold Steel"s world-building.

Which is no to say that Trails that Cold stole doesn"t open up with a bang. In the opening moments, we"re presented to class VII - a motley collection of nobles and commoners studying together in ~ a prestigious armed forces academy who room battling v what seems prefer an invasion. The mode is intended come showcase several of the fight mechanics when serving as a hint regarding where the story will certainly go, finishing with a lightweight ceo battle and also the requisite animated introduction. The story then picks up at the entrance to Thors armed forces Academy with Rean, the story"s katana-wielding protagonist, after i m sorry we"re introduced to the rest of the class.

Comparisons through Persona 3 and also 4 room natural, if imperfect. Like those games, Trails the Cold stole progresses from day to day ~ above a calendar, with tasks including bonding events, exams, bring quests, and monster hunting, the last two being the most typical in the early on going. Bonding occasions bear part resemblance to the social web links in Persona - you have a minimal amount the time to develop up a partnership with her classmates by approaching them and viewing cutscenes, which in turn makes them more powerful in battle.

All the this is fine because that the many part. I like RPGs where you develop up relationships with various other characters, and also I like having a level of flexibility to strategy the game as i please. The thing is that a game like this demands a strong cast to succeed, and that"s wherein Trails of Cold Steel struggles in mine mind. Class VII is largely stocked v anime archetypes - the brave and hard-working protagonist, the bratty girl that secretly has a crush on the hero, the Misato Katsuragi-like instructor that likes come drink and also is watch disinterested in teaching, and also so forth. To be fair, Trails in the Sky"s protagonists initially come off that method as well prior to becoming more interesting down the line, and I intend that"s additionally the instance with Trails the Cold Steel. In the first couple chapters, though, they room painted in just the broadest that strokes, which provides it tough for me come care around them. Thus Trails of Cold stole being a slow-moving burn.

Aside native the somewhat stereotypical cast, Trails that Cold Steel"s momentum is likewise hurt by its fairly unremarkable quests. In the first 10 hrs or for this reason you"ll spend a most time do deliveries and also fighting generic monsters, through the sometimes featureless dungeon over there to break things up. Lock aren"t exactly bad, but they aren"t particularly interesting either. A many them come off together filler.

Happily, the battle system is depth and an ext enjoyable than it very first appears. In the at an early stage going that feels favor a little of a hodge-podge - a repertoire of disparate elements that don"t fit together particularly well; however after a while, the starts to work. The mechanism is built about materia-like quartz, which can be inserted into an unlockable slot to grant characters various attack and also support spells, as well as inherent abilities called crafts the play a large role in each character"s function in the party. The latter abilities draw from CP, i m sorry grows as you successfully assault enemies, and also fuels powerful S-Break strikes that can do huge amounts the damage.

With characters being able to move about the field, among your most important tactical decision is whether to store the party with each other so they can advantage from healing and also buffs, or to spread them the end to stop area of result attacks. Friend can likewise link characters together, which deserve to in some instances lead to a cost-free follow-up assault that does added damage. It every feels a little confusing and also messy at first, however once you obtain the hang of it, you"ll uncover that there are enough interesting decisions to be made at any kind of given time to store the fights interesting. Much more than something else, the battle system has actually been what has kept me playing Trails of Cold Steel.


So is Trails of Cold steel worth check out?

Based on what I"ve created so far, you"re more than likely thinking, "No, it"s not." but despite mine negativity, i think Trails that Cold steel is worth discovering for a particular segment that RPG fans, specifically those who enjoy anime.

Though heavy-handed in the method that it"s presented, the seeds of an exciting story are present, through imperialism and populism being 2 of the significant threads introduced early on. Alas, castle are greatly left come nibble roughly the edges with the early stage hours, v the main thrust of the story gift the introduction to the school and also the various internal troubles that room meant to to mark a troubled empire. It has the potential to blossom right into something down the line, however it really takes that is sweet time getting to the point.

It is in many respects an old-school RPG - one that would have fit in well on the game stations 2 back in the day. It"s not meant to advancement the genre so lot as phone call a sprawling story within the confines of established architecture tropes, through a cast developed specifically to appeal to anime fans. That is structure and also pace renders it a particularly an excellent fit because that the playstation Vita, whereby it can be suspended in ~ will. It"s just the type of meaty, old-school JRPG the has end up being the system"s calling card.

Having stated that, ns think that appeals come a very particular taste, and also I"d have actually a tough time recommending it to someone outside of its developed niche. It"s a solidly design RPG with a great pedigree, but 10 hrs hasn"t been enough for it to obtain its hooks right into me, i beg your pardon is normally the threshold beyond which I move on to something else.

For now, though, I setup to stick through it. There are some RPGs that you simply learn to love.

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Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a previous freelance writer and contributor to publications consisting of 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and also EGM. She fondest memories as a journalist space at GamePro, whereby she organized RolePlayer's Realm and also had legal access to the term "Protip." She is's resides mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and also Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).