The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

released on Sep 26, 2013

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

released on Sep 26, 2013

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a role-playing game and a part of the long running The Legend of Heroes series of games. The basic gameplay is nearly identical to the previous Kiseki series entries with a few changes. The biggest change to the battle system and also counting as a brand new feature is the "Tactical Link System". The "Tactical Link" allow players follow up with three different kinds of link attacks, dealing additional damage and providing various other benefits. "Tactical Link" becomes a more useful asset to the player as the story progress and characters level up their "Link Levels" with other characters. As the link levels increase, you will obtain new link abilities such as healing the link partner or increase the CP gain of the partner.

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Full disclosure…I played this game on easy, and I’ll probably continue to in the future. For all the positives I have for this game, it sadly doesn’t change my stance on turn based RPG’s, and I find it can fall into many of the trappings that makes them hard to enjoy at times.

With that being said, the other aspects of the game were…actually really freaking good! While I don’t think the combat is perfect, it’s at least fun enough to the point where I could at least finish it. And the plot was…very simple. But that’s not a negative. I like how it’s very nice and easy going at the start, and doesn’t bring anything super big in until the end. The game needs to introduce its world…or, in this case, it’s country.

While this was the first Trails/Kiseki game I beat, I did watch some plot summaries to prepare for it beforehand. I did try playing Trails in the Sky, but I didn’t find it enjoyable enough to really want to spend hours trying to get through all that tedium. And I feel it was worth it.

I enjoyed this game immensely, even if the final dungeon did make me groan more than once. And I am more than excited to get into Cold Steel II.

This was the first Trails game I've played and while I consider this to be the weakest Trails game, it's still overall a worthy JRPG to play and a great entry point into the series.

While I think the cast starts off as painfully generic anime cliches and Class VII already started off as a huge group (which will become larger as the Cold Steel arc progress) it gives plenty of room for the characters to develop, find their own identities, and take part of the social themes of Erebonia hierarchy and government during field trips.

Gameplay also has notable improvements with new features such as brave points to have a linked character follow up with additional attacks when the other paired character hit a weak spot with different weapons.

Cold Steel 1 also decides to switch up the format from past Trails games and give off a more pseudo Persona feel with the school settings and spending down time with bonding points with your fellow classmates. Whatever or not that is a good thing depends on the player but it does provide additional details for the characters.

Like Trails in the Sky and Trails from Zero, Trails of Cold Steel is no exception of starting off slow but compared to later games, this could be a plus since it's a much more relaxed atmosphere establishing the country of Erebonia in great detail while conflict and danger soon rise up more and more as the game progress.

While Cold Steel 1 has notable cliche anime writing at times that holds back the game from ever truly being amazing, the series' stapes in world-building and character relationship is still strong in this game. If someone a more modern Trails game to experience first with 3D graphics and better gameplay, then Trails of Cold Steel is a great starting point in the series (even if I highly recommend to play the Sky and Crossbell arcs eventually before Cold Steel 3)!

Solid 'set-up' game with the one of the best finales in the entire series.