Kiseki/Trails Community|OT|Familiar faces~, Zemurian places—SPOILERTAGS OR DIE!

Naha-

Member
Feb 6, 2019
31
Like imagine if Machias had bond scenes with Laura, Fie, etc. This is an old complaint, but it really just hit me after playing through Fire Emblem. I think these games would have been more fun if we had cut scenes like that between the other characters.
I absolutely loved Cold Steel 1 and 2, and I'm really excited about CS3 but man, not having bond scenes between party members was so frustrating. It's the only thing that annoys me so much. That's one of the reasons I don't like Rean, even if I know it's not his fault.

And well, It hurts more and more not to have a Switch every time I read something positive about the new FE. It's the type of game I would love so much : (
 

Lozange

Member
Oct 25, 2017
390
Fire Emblem Three Houses is my favourite new Kiseki game released in English since...
...When did 3rd come out? May 3rd 2017? Then.
I'm still early on, so it's not really my place to talk about what Kiseki could learn from it... yet. But it's a fun time that really understands its strengths.
 

Erpy

Member
May 31, 2018
685
Yeah, one of the biggest criticisms of the Cold Steel games was how Rean-centric the whole thing was.
 

Dragon1893

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,780
I've written a CS4 review.
I tried to write it generally at first with spoiler marks for just the story content but it was so painfully annoying I decided to spoiler tag the whole thing and write a more detailed review that doesn't dodge character names or event descriptions.
I also had written a way more detailed review but it was too long and meandering so I decided to condense it.

GAMEPLAY:

This section has been written from the perspective of someone who already beat CS3. The gameplay systems in CS4 and CS3 are the same. I played the game on Hard difficulty. Coming from CS3 and Kondo’s post-CS3 interview where he noted that Orders are too strong and he wanted to add a progression system for orders, I knew that certain parts of the CS3 battle system were going to be nerfed, and I was fine with that. CS3 was a very broken game, largely due to Orders and overpowered master quartz (MQ).

In CS4 Orders are weaker than in CS3 and in some cases cost more BP to use, but you can improve them by completing trial chests (the in-game justification for how your orders got weaker is slightly amusing). MQs also received some nerfs, which include reductions to Sirius’s counter-damage, reductions in Skuld’s break damage, etc. Lastly, the amount of time a boss got delayed for being Broken was heavily reduced, and it’s much harder to Break bosses period. And this worked out pretty well at first. I’d say for the first 1/5 of the game, things are somewhat balanced, though enemies could stand to deal more damage.

However the moment Rean rejoins your party, everything breaks wide open. Rean’s overpowered Orders (though overpowered in CS3, there are even more powerful orders in CS3 you can use in comparison) completely decimate the game’s balance; the ability to reduce incoming damage by 40% for only 2 BP, and the ability to instant cast arts for 6 turns with only 3 BP are just too strong. Though the other members do have strong orders, they are usually temporary buffs or healing orders, or raise damage via a set percentage, or just cost too much BP to loop reliably since it’s harder to Break bosses than before.

Once you reach this part of the game, you can instacast arts, annihilate an enemy’s health, break them, then regain BP easily by linking attacks after they are broken… basically the same loop as CS3 with Juna and Kurt/Sara’s Orders, just slower. It’s not just Rean’s fault, because after the midpoint of the game where you have more or less a ton of characters at your disposal you can break the game as you wish and everything gets smashed even farther wide open with whatever variety of busted you want.

An annoying part of all this is that the enemy bosses have something from CS3 called “Raised State”, where they gain a buffs (some permanent), big CP/EP gain, a big chunk of health, and take reduced damage for three turns or more depending on how long the State lasts. So if you don’t want a fight to take eons, the game almost encourages you to break it. This raised state almost feels like a band-aid fix to balance problems, so that people wouldn’t make the same complaint that they made about CS2 and annihilating bosses.

I haven’t even brought up the incredible link bonuses you get such as healing, blocking attacks (even blocking s-crafts for reduced damage on TOP of having orders reduce damage), and so forth. Linking two casters together almost guarantees an endless pool of EP. It’s the same from CS3, but much worse since you are controlling characters that have way more link bonuses together than before.

Enemy bosses now use Orders, but it was implemented in the lamest way imaginable. Instead of having a system of competing Orders with us versus the enemy, the enemy’s Order actually locks out your Order for several turns at the start of the battle, and then after the enemy’s Order expires, they never use an Order again (or do so EXTREMELY rarely). So instead of being something interesting, it became another balance band-aid.

The mecha fights are largely just as simple as always. However the ability of boss mechs to suddenly gain a big chunk of health and self-buff (with some of these buffs being permanent, mind you) is ridiculous, basically making matches take way longer than they should be with no real strategic benefit. Since a buffed character/mecha cannot be debuffed in the same category, assist characters that have debuff properties on their arts are useless against big boss enemy mechs. The ability to use Orders with mechs isn’t given until WAY too late into the game, another dimension to battles that is sorely missing for the majority of the game.

So like previous CS games, if you don’t mind just breaking them in various ways, you’ll do just fine.

UI/UX:

Same as CS3. Really enjoy how there are quick shortcuts on the d-pad. There is lag on the character select screen, but it’s not too noticeable. One complaint is no wraparound scrolling on the character select screen. Another complaint is that you still can’t sort quartz by element.

When you go to report sidequests there is a big delay before you can actually view them on the computer which is annoying. If you accidentally hit report sidequest, it forces you to sit through a spiel even if you have nothing to report. If you submit notes via ARCUS to other student members and are successful, it will force quit your ARCUS screen even if you have other things on your ARCUS you want to do.

If your character is in the corner of the map during battle, it causes crafts and arts to get bugged out where the aiming lines and circles will always set in the wrong direction in the corner by default. A strange bug.

After you beat the game, the game makes a separate save and asks you to reload and make a choice to see the “actual ending”. There is absolutely no reason to do this and it befuddles me why they went to such trouble. There is a sidequest that is “only accessible” if you do every sidequest in the game up to that point, and clearing this sidequest it is required to reach the actual ending. But if you don’t unlock the sidequest, don’t worry; the game forces you to beat it if you want to see the true ending anyway. This is rather stupid and it makes me wonder why they didn’t just make this sidequest part of the main plot. THEN, after watching the true ending and watching the second set of credits, you can reload the save AGAIN, to see a “hidden scene”. This feels like a ton of nonsense that’s layered for no real reason. You think you would give me the courtesy of watching such important scenes normally without having to jump through such silly hoops. What is the point of a true ending that’s locked like this, just to say the game has a true ending?

GRAPHICS:

The opening animation is of such a horrendous quality, that I was wondering if Falcom had lost their minds approving it. Please go back to dramatic “moving” stills if you need to be mindful of budgets. It’s almost like they recognize how bad it looks because they have a “second opening” character reel, but the combination of these things is so cheap looking and awkward that there really is no need to do something like this again.

There are a lot of beautiful graphical showpieces in this game and the 60fps is very welcome. Lost Arts in particular are just as pretty as ever and the grand spectacle of scenes is impactful (such as the large airship battles). That being said, my previous complaints about lighting and shadows still stand, I would like to see Falcom attempt more stylish lighting and shadows.

The roads are still rather bare, and I would like to see things like rendered grass or more realistic trees. That being said, some areas like the wetlands are very pretty, so no complaints there. I also enjoyed a lot of the graphics in the Crossbell areas like Orchis Tower and Mishelam. Ordis also deserves a special mention for being just as beautiful as always.

MUSIC:

So I feel like this soundtrack is weaker than the one in Cold Steel 3 and might be the weakest soundtrack in the entire Trails series. The biggest problem is the proliferation of very crappy sounding boss battle themes; Endure Grief, Mighty Urge, Deep Carnival, Blue Stardust, Bold Assailants (why are there so many different boss themes that all suck?). Not only do these boss themes sound terrible, but contextually they have no power or depth at all; can you listen to any of the above themes and tell me which one is the battle theme against Ouroboros members or Jaegers? Bet you can’t. It’s like the exact opposite of Trails SC and Ao, where the “Sora no Kiseki” leftmotif and the “Get Over the Barrier” leftmotif rang proudly throughout many high quality songs, or where the beautiful pacing and instrument choices dictated the emotion of the scene or had a composition texture which reflected the character of the opponent you were facing (e.g. Erosion of Madness and McBurn, Unfathomed Force and Arianrhod).

Generally the problem is that Falcom outsourced way too much important music to a dude named Singa who doesn’t have the skill to compose good music, and doesn’t care to put context into his songs either. So there is just this avalanche of shit. Why do I call it an avalanche? Because you will be hearing all of these battle themes A LOT and for a long period of time. To make matters worse, one of the most climactic moments in the whole game (and one of the most emotional, if you’re a big fan of Rean, and I know there are a lot of those) is jarringly ruined by some of the shittiest freestyle rap I’ve ever heard in my life. Meguro this composer is not.

Area themes are fine as usual, though I feel that there isn’t a road song as good as CS3’s “Alley of Silence” (though “Witch of the Quiet Forest” comes close). Ordis theme sounds as beautiful as ever, but town themes are largely reused or just basic stuff, which is perfectly fine. Minigame themes sound good, though I feel that the CS3 Vantage Master theme is superior. Dungeon themes are excellent, with “Betting the Fate of the World” and “The End of SAGA” being the pure sugary good stuff.

There are some absolute standout battle themes such as Excellion Krieg, Unlikely Combination, With Our Own Hands!!, and Majestic Roar, though Unlikely Combination is played very rarely and Majestic Roar is only played once (for good reason). Give some praise to Unisuga and Sonoda, two long-time Falcom composers, for knowing when to bring the hype.

Why am I writing so much about music? Because Falcom is famed for their music and seeing the deterioration of quality in important parts of their soundtracks is very sad. This goes hand in hand with the fact that being the last game in the series, the area, road, and final/major battle/sendoff themes not standing out from the previous entries is a little sad. I do not want to see these games go the way of generic Tales music. The Cold Steel series as a whole has only really had two songs live up to the greats from Sky and Crossbell in terms of memorability, and those are the two sister songs “Decisive Collision” and “Blue Destination”. It’s not a coincidence that these two songs are incredibly popular as they are contextually extremely well composed.

There are other weird problems. The place where new songs and past songs are used during scenes is exceedingly odd. The boss gauntlet leading up to the final boss has two groups use “Belief” SAV as their fight theme, which I’ve heard too much for it to have any real impact (and style wise doesn’t feel like it matches the context, unlike how it fit the desperation fight against C in CS1 very well). “Blue Stardust” is used in a fight that does not match the context of the battle. “Sword of Biting Gale” (an absolute crap-tacular screechy song I might add) is used as the cavalry back-up theme even when other dramatic songs which would have matched the characters in question better are available. “Doomsday Trance” plays NONSTOP during one of the last parts of Act 1, for almost two hours straight! The game is entirely devoid of character-specific themes like CS2’s “Altina” or “The Witch of the Abyss”. “Ai no Uta”, sounds like some cheap romance anime breakup song and does not match the context of the ending scene at all (consider that something like CS2’s “Wakare no Toki” is the polar opposite of this situation). I could go on but there is a lot more, and you will notice this when playing CS4, no doubt about it.

The two final battle themes, while being good compositions, are probably the most forgettable final arc songs in Trails history. The first has no contextual callback and is simply a generic orchestra which could fit in any game or hell, a movie. The second one has pretty much the same criticism. What kills me is that during the final battle, all the major characters from each arc are fighting, so the fact that despite this huge combination of amazing characters, we could only get a generic orchestra battle theme? Not even an attempt to meld the history of each series together into a beautiful melody? This kills the hype.

Now I can already see you reading this review and coming up with some snarky comments as music is usually a touchy subject, so let me head them off at the pass.

Peanut Gallery 1: “Why do you care so much about Falcom music? lol just generic rpg shit.”
A: I too like 4chan level discourse, oh user who I am sure is a connoisseur of the fine musical arts.

Peanut Gallery 2: “All the music from each Cold Steel game sounds the same to me.”
A: Apart from being very insulting to composers who work very hard to make memorable tunes for you and generally being insulting to the craft of music composition as a whole, if you honestly think this you can skip this part of the review as well.

Peanut Gallery 3: “It sounds fine to me.”
A: Your standards are duly noted.

Peanut Gallery 4: “The new battle music sounds great, I love hearing crappy guitars, awful violins, cursed freestyle rap, and songs with no emotional depth or context. It’s my fetish to play devil’s advocate at all costs to protect my precious Cold Steel series.”
A: I can do nothing for you.

Peanut Gallery 5: “The title screen song in CS4 is based.”
A: Agreed!

WRITING QUALITY:

I’ve wanted to write this category for a while. As most people who are astute enough noticed, the writing quality has taken a serious dive since the beginning of Cold Steel 1 (despite XSEED’s best efforts at pruning away a lot of nonsense), but Cold Steel 4 has reached the apex.

Almost every scene in the game where there is a past event that the current cast doesn’t know about starts and goes like this.

Altina: “This was recorded during my time at the Intelligence Division. [Launches into long expository dialogue].”
Other character: “Oh yeah, I think I heard a rumor about that. [Launches into even more expository dialogue].”

AND/OR

Rean: “Oh yeah, I heard about this (you) from [insert character(s)]. This was [launches into long expository dialogue].”

This is seriously jarring because there are many characters and events that are extremely unlikely for any of these people to actually know. But it’s such a transparent attempt to catch people up or remind people of previous characters (hell, they do this for events that happened in the same game!) and the expository dialogue is so out of place that it feels extraordinarily cheap and bad. There is so much time wasted on this junk dialogue and sepia tone flashbacks that I have to wonder how much time would actually be saved if events and characters were merely accepted as they were instead of writing this crap. Freaking GILBERT is reintroduced like this, and I couldn’t believe it. It robs so much joy of rediscovery, and kills the intrigue for those who haven’t played the older games yet.

Cold Steel 3 had a pretty similar problem which is one big mark against that game but this is a CS4 review. I never want to see sepia Lloyd cocking his head like a rooster ever again.

The next thing I want to talk about is how much dialogue is wasted with very unnatural platitudes. It’s gotten so bad that even Japanese players are starting to beg Falcom to stop doing it. There is confluence between written language and spoken language which creates strange jarring effects during dialogue. The whole of the text needs to be refined and shortened into more natural language.

And before you ask, yes the “Rean echo” makes a comeback. That and the listing of every character’s name whenever something emotional happens. No, that’s not natural Japanese.

STORY:

Here we are, the big meaty stuff.
There are so many problems, I don’t know where to start. I originally wrote a far more detailed review, but even then I couldn’t cover everything I wanted to say. So I opted for a more general and condensed style of writing.
There’s a lot of dissatisfaction, but at least we can say Cold Steel is over.

In my personal opinion, the power of Trails games lies in the characters. The better the characters, the better the character interactions and character stories, the better the game. Well-developed characters are the strong foundation of memorable stories. If you divorce character development from the main plot and the fabric of the main plot development, you risk having a main plot that feels “empty”, with little consequence.

And that’s the main problem with CS4. It feels like an empty game. There is no sense of accomplishment or exhilaration. The stakes are almost never there. Even during moments where character developments in the plot puts forward a chance for characters to shine, the majority of things fall flat on their face or never live up to the potential set to them by the previous games. I’m not just talking about heroes either, but also villains.

The main reason for these failures comes down to the cast size. There are just way too many characters, period. This includes all the “guest” characters from other arcs that suck up the tiny remaining oxygen in the plot, and act like cardboard cutouts that were purely inserted into the game for nostalgia marketing grabs. There are so many loose ends from Cold Steel 1 through 3 (especially 3), that making Cold Steel 4 an “Everyone is Here” game was actually a big mistake because it acts like a logjam for plot movement. Old Class VII is merely just background characters, New Class VII happily joins them on the plot sideline soon after, and Rean returns to his blank-faced self-insert self. But that doesn’t excuse the game from failing to address or build on so many things built up to this point.

The villains either fight us for the most inane reasons, or fight for us for unbelievable reasons, or fight us because the curse dictates them to do, but we just merely handwave it off regardless. Shirley is probably the most jarring example of this, but the scene with Irina and Schmidt’s excuses was so unbelievable I well, couldn’t believe it, especially considering what they had done up to this point. Cao attacks New Class VII under contract and the game handwaves it off later, in a section with such perplexing writing that I couldn’t believe what I was actually reading (and before some dude pops in here with B-B-BUT SKY SC, the battle context in that game was handled 1000% better than this nonsense). Just like in CS2 with Vita, making every villain sympathetic and “totally on our side dudes” or “never did anything wrong, really” without even an attempt at developing and providing acceptable and believable context is just Falcom saying “we didn’t really properly develop this idea at all but we need these characters to be kept in the flow because we don’t want to write anything difficult so lol yeah just ignore all that past stuff”. Or “the curse did it” or “we were just testing your resolve” (the last one is especially weird from characters that have no business saying it???). This results in so many scenarios where I wonder why the hell we are even fighting to begin with and gives me the uncomfortable feeling that despite being part of the main plot, there is a ton of wasted time here and ideas that go nowhere.

And one more thing I wanted to mention. Falcom’s disrespect of the dead.

Every single character that gets killed in CS3 revives in this game, and the only people that are allowed to die are Franz (I literally cannot bring myself to care about him, and I doubt anyone else did either) Rutger (a character whose motives are so open and who fought us as often as he pleased that it is VERY difficult to care about him) and Arianrhod (probably the only well-executed death in the game, even if the way she died was a bit contrived). All of the incredibly convenient revivals, including the slow roll fanservice moment where Millium is wearing more or less a skin-tight bikini, undercuts all the themes that Falcom has been promoting since the beginning of Sky (saying goodbye and moving past death to save your world and not give in to hatred or despair). It also undercuts CS4 extremely hard as there are quite a few touching scenes where Crow has to accept his upcoming “death”.

This unbelievably convenient resurrections, restorations, and such completely kill the punch of everything set up from CS3. Is there any point in caring at all in the rest of the series if someone dies (or is about to die), no matter how important?

In an unbelievable end to this section, Falcom shows their total regret at actually allowing Loewe to die by letting him talk AGAIN, which is why I mention Falcom’s disrespect of the dead. They refused to let Loewe rest in peace. Can’t wait to revisit Loewe’s grave in every future Kiseki game so I can call him back from the dead like a 1-800 phone call! I almost feel like if Falcom could think of a stupid enough reason to revive Loewe from the dead for real, they would do it without hesitation, that’s how bad they’ve gotten with dealing with the concept of life and death.

Gilbert is one of the highlight returning characters from Sky but he is used way too much. I think I go against him no less than 6 times including (big) sidequests. I think he’s funny, but his comedy was repeated so much that Falcom ruined his shine, just like any repeated joke. At the very least his final scene is amazing.

Regarding the conclusion to the game. Osborne is magnificent as always, but the Olivier vs. Osborne rivalry from the 3rd never pays off, as the two never truly and properly engage each other after Olivier is revived. Rean does get a good conclusion with Osborne in the end, but Teo Schwarzer is never really introduced into the whole drama other than an explanation for how Rean was handed off to Teo. Which is 1 lost chance of 1000 of introducing some juicy family drama into the game, just like how the Alisa / Sharon drama was a complete dud (what awful writing for those parts of the game!).

Ouroboros has devolved into a joke organization. I’m not sure how I can make this much clearer. That’s largely the fault of Vita and Mariabell. I feel pretty bad for them nowadays, I remember fondly when they used to be a mysterious and threatening organization with awesome power. But who really cares about mysterious power and technological strength when Rean is literally Goku, ARCUS is a catch all powerup, everyone has orbal net and laptops, the Glorious got its ass kicked, and the Courageous II cannon can kill an Aion like it’s nothing? What’s Ouroboros going to do; send some tiny archaisms after our next heroes again for target practice? Cedric joining them is kinda poetic since Ouroboros became so pathetic.

On the same topic, McBurn actually turned out to be a real awesome character, and his scene gave me Sky vibes with how interesting and fun it was implemented. Like the rest of the characters in the game, he is really denied proper screen time due to character volume, but at least his scene was super cool and kinda endearing. I look forward to seeing him in the future.

A huge war breaks out due to the curse as Rean and company go to the final dungeon, and there is an awesome scene of the war beginning, but the fast conclusion to the war and the bringing of peace thanks to the killing of the curse is relegated to the plot cleanup monologue, which reminds me...

...tons of plot cleanup occur at literally the last minute, with Rean monologuing a drama CD script after you finish the true ending. This includes Rufus getting arrested (why the hell can Rufus get arrested but we are completely unable to arrest anyone else?). Stuff like the noble uprising (thus meaning that the whole “finding the answer to the noble and commoner divide” is more or less a failure; not like it was ever a focus again after the midpoint of CS3), the Crossbell Independence movement that has been teased for so long is completely wrapped up with some intensely described scenes that we never even got a chance to participate in... all of this is relegated to a few lines during this monologue… the whole time I was listening to this, I was incredibly sad that all of these interesting plot ideas that could’ve taken the place of filler was instead placed into a black screen readout. Such a huge disappointment.

I absolutely loved seeing the Schera and Olivier wedding, but I didn’t really like how Cold Steel characters took the spotlight in the final photo. It should have been a true, huge group photo with every character you can squish into the shot, with Olivier and Schera in the middle (Schera’s face is blocked by a tree!); after all, it is a big celebratory event in the whole Trails universe. And Rean being surrounded by girls and all the guys shoved to the side or back… like, really? How indulgent is Falcom really?

OK, I’ll stop here before I keep writing nonstop. But if someone wants me to write more leave a comment and I will cause there’s a lot to talk about and I definitely didn’t address all the characters and events, like the final boss being Ishmelga, Osborne’s Divine Knight who is the originator of the curse on the empire. Or you can tell me to stop writing. :)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

For those of you who scroll to the end of reviews to find a rating number or something, sorry, I don’t have anything for you. All I have is my final personal ranking for Trails games.

3rd > Zero > Ao > SC > CS3 > FC > CS1 > CS4 > CS2

CS4 like CS2 becomes more of a disappointment the more I think back to what I played.
I’m not here to dissuade anyone from buying the game, after all it’s the “conclusion game” so if you’re already invested this far into the series, there's no way you’re not going to buy it lol. If you don’t really care about the details and you don’t mind if context is all messed up, you should probably have a good time. You can enjoy it as a generic RPG, just like CS2.

People docked a lot of the game for the harem aspect, but I accepted that it was going to be part of the game since it was part of every Cold Steel game. You either accept it or you don’t. Yeah, it’s shitty, but that’s a consequence of the bonding system being shitty too. It’s not like the bonding events are bad, in fact they’re usually quite good when the characters in question are not sucking Rean off, but the very way they exist by nature is flawed, and everyone knows why by now.

CS4 has really tested my patience though, I won’t deny this. Trails games are no longer an automatic purchase for me. I’m going to be taking a good hard look at the next game… and who knows? If it doesn’t meet my liking, I have no problems stopping here and only playing Ys games from now on. I’m not gonna make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past like where I kept buying tickets to every successive Hobbit movie even though each one was awful. Falcom has a lot of refining to do and a lot of junk to throw out. End review, catch you on the outside.
I read the closing paragraphs and I'm in the same boat. After playing through 2 games I might as well see the saga through to the end, but if the first game of the next arc isn't better I'm putting my time and money towards other games. Not gonna put myself in the same situation of finishing a saga because I already started it, even though it's average.
Anyway, the Sky characters are in CS4 so I have to play it.
 

lucancel

Member
Oct 30, 2017
317
Wow. End of saga Is becoming end of old supporting fans lol.
Probably my last trails due to quality falling of cold steel and lack of portability. Unless next arc proves me wrong and stadia succedes lol
 

skLaFarebear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
641
Can't say I agree with Kiseki having 3H's support system at all. The games are already wordy enough and with how big the cast of a Trails game can get (even before CS where it blew up with the 3rd) it can be even more of a pacing killer than the games all already are to have 1-2 hours of bonding events with all the cast members interacting with each other on top of the usual dialogue/NPC interactions. It's already exhausting with 3H where after every battle it seems like 7-8 new supports pop up and I only recruited like 5 characters before the TS.

The reason the support system works the way it does in FE is so that the people who don't care about that stuff and only care about the gameplay can just move onto the next battle immediately without much consequence, where generally the character writing is one of, if not, the biggest draw of Trails and having all that stuff delegated to a support system instead of naturally integrated through the story itself just feels off. It's not like the games aren't long enough in the first place where that dialogue couldn't just be worked right into the main story/side quests like it's done really well in SC.

Falcom's already done non MC character interactions a bit with the 3rd and more notably Tokyo Xanadu EX+. TX had side stories after each chapter revolving around the rest of the cast interacting and growing their relationships as well as giving backdrops on some of the more mysterious characters like Asuka and the White Shroud. There's no reason why this approach couldn't be done with Kiseki as well. It's not like Estelle, Lloyd, and Rean have to be involved with every single scene.

But anyway back to meme posting.

 

PK Gaming

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,789
Wow. End of saga Is becoming end of old supporting fans lol.
Probably my last trails due to quality falling of cold steel and lack of portability. Unless next arc proves me wrong and stadia succedes lol
I mean Cold Steel IV is flawed, but I definitely think some of the hate is absolutely overblown/typical "let's see how many flaws I can fit into a paragraph" Cold Steel shitting

Like, there's barely any consideration given to any of the improvements. So with that said, let's highlight them!

Non-spoilers:

-Bond events are the best in the series
-Series wide crossover appeal at maximum power
-NPCs are the best in the series
-The game's atmosphere is very good
-Character building is the best in the series (pretty much CS2's spiritual successor)
-An absurd amount of playable characters
-Minigames
-Greatly expands the lore of the series
-Rean's final S-craft is the best S-craft in the series. It's an event
-Waifu pandering is a thing, but the game is also extremely gay, in a non-pejorative sense

Spoilers (but nothing relating to the plot, just details):

-Dual protagonists. Juna is our 2nd female protagonist and effectively the story's deuteragonist
-There's an emotional core to the story in the form of Rean and Crow's relationship
-The final act is pretty tense and exciting
-The overarching antagonist is trash but there's a genuine sense of accomplishment in seeing Rean + a character I won't mention overcoming them
-Playable Estelle + Lloyd in 3D is (chef's kiss)
-Some truly, genuinely great series highs
 

Lozange

Member
Oct 25, 2017
390
I mean Cold Steel IV is flawed, but I definitely think some of the hate is absolutely overblown/typical "let's see how many flaws I can fit into a paragraph" Cold Steel shitting

Like, there's barely any consideration given to any of the improvements. So with that said, let's highlight them!

Non-spoilers:

-Bond events are the best in the series
-Series wide crossover appeal at maximum power
-NPCs are the best in the series
-The game's atmosphere is very good
-Character building is the best in the series (pretty much CS2's spiritual successor)
-An absurd amount of playable characters
-Minigames
-Greatly expands the lore of the series
-Rean's final S-craft is the best S-craft in the series. It's an event
-Waifu pandering is a thing, but the game is also extremely gay, in a non-pejorative sense

Spoilers (but nothing relating to the plot, just details):

-Dual protagonists. Juna is our 2nd female protagonist and effectively the story's deuteragonist
-There's an emotional core to the story in the form of Rean and Crow's relationship
-The final act is pretty tense and exciting
-The overarching antagonist is trash but there's a genuine sense of accomplishment in seeing Rean + a character I won't mention overcoming them
-Playable Estelle + Lloyd in 3D is (chef's kiss)
-Some truly, genuinely great series highs
See this is exactly the sort of post I need to see to make me understand why people call it "CS2 2" without just bringing up the negatives. As a CS2 stan, thanks for this.
 

Eppcetera

Member
Mar 3, 2018
365
I've actually had similar thoughts about Fire Emblem: Three Houses as I go through it, as I would've liked more bonding scenes between non-Rean characters (like, how do the various trios in the first act of Cold Steel 2, like Machias/Elliot/Fie, spend a month together without becoming closer to each other?). Still, I don't think the bonding events system is really necessary at all. Later games could just have scenes between characters without gamifying the process (like how the Trails in the Sky trilogy shows Agate and Tita interacting with each other, for example).

See this is exactly the sort of post I need to see to make me understand why people call it "CS2 2" without just bringing up the negatives. As a CS2 stan, thanks for this.
Well, I think Cold Steel 2 is awesome, so I don't see an issue with Cold Steel 4 resembling one of my favourite games (yeah, I get that the harem stuff is dumb, but it's not like it comprises the majority of the game). So far, my biggest concern is that Cold Steel 4 will have too many characters, but I can handle that if the resolution is good, at least.

Anyway, I hope that the Trails franchise's fanbase doesn't go the way the fanbases for Persona/Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem have. With those series, I like both the recent and older games (or both the Persona and SMT series), and I can hardly stand forums for those franchises since they're mostly complaints about the new directions of the series, or complaints about the aforementioned complaints.
 

Yunyo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,458
CS4 positive things:

Anton is back in all his glory
Margarita is amazing and has taken the place as the best Thors student
Freddy is the true MVP of new Thors and I can never get enough of his wild expression
There is a veritable shit ton of character to character conversations between characters from all walks of Trails, though it tends to only really happen in large groups
You can control a lot of cool characters that you wouldn't expect
Duvalie is still funny as all get out
Ash is the "player representative" character and as such he is amazing just like in CS3
There is a stage performance in the game which is always welcome
The non-romantic bonding events are all really good (including non-romantic ones in romantic bonding lines)
Sidequests are great just like CS3's (in my opinion CS3 has superior sidequests, but I know not everyone will agree)

Bleublanc is a lot of fun (seriously)
Gilbert makes a comeback and adds some sorely missed comedy, the part where he is telling a little kid not to cry is freaking hilarious, not to mention his failed grenade attack is stupendously good, and he has the best battle portrait in all of kiseki period
All the guest characters look amazing in Sen 4, especially Lloyd who is a handsome devil and Estelle who has the workout booty of power and Elie's everything
Crow is a madman character in battle, an absolute unit
 

skLaFarebear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
641
Cold Steel kicked both my dog and my kitty, Crossbell is video game jesus here to save us from anime, and Trails the 3rd is just a bad Dungeon Travelers clone without the tiddy.
 

Sandstar

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,315
It's funny how people complain about the harem "nonsense" in CS, but everyone's trying to get with Lloyd in Ao. It even has bonding points, for god's sake. I don't see what people get on about CS being Rean centric, since Zero and Ao both revolve around Lloyd. I realize most people haven't played the crossbell arc, but it's not like all the stuff people hate about CS started there.
 

Pedro

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,298
Because it's not the first game with that "system" doesn't mean it can't be criticized.
 

Yunyo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,458
It's funny how people complain about the harem "nonsense" in CS, but everyone's trying to get with Lloyd in Ao. It even has bonding points, for god's sake. I don't see what people get on about CS being Rean centric, since Zero and Ao both revolve around Lloyd. I realize most people haven't played the crossbell arc, but it's not like all the stuff people hate about CS started there.
Consider that I really do not like it in Ao either
 

Lozange

Member
Oct 25, 2017
390
I haven't played Crossbell, but the common, surface level critiques of the CS games by people who don't like them often don't strike me as the real reasons people don't like the games. The harem stuff for example. It's an easy to point out issue with the game in regards to characterisation, but textually it only truly affects...the optional end game bonding events of CS2? Not including Elise and Alisa, for whom being into Rean is a bigger part of who they are, and if it were just those two I wouldn't call it a harem.
Now when we get into subtext, and why things are written they are, the harem stuff becomes a bigger issue, but by that point the core of the problem has changed. It's not "Most of the main female cast are able to get with Rean", it's "The character writing has suffered since previous entries, and the harem stuff is one possible reason why". It's entirely possible to write optional harem nonsense in a way that doesn't impact the characters too harshly by placing a bigger emphasis on the optional bit (I think I've said this before, but Persona of all things is able to have waifus *and* good character dynamics by not really accounting for romance in the main narrative... for better or worse), so maybe for people who prefer Ao, Ao manages to strike that balance.

...That being said, from what little I've heard about Ao, I have no reason to believe this is the case, and it's probably just that the writing in general is covering stronger material, possibly due to strong setup in #TheLastGoodKisekiGameApparently, Zero.
 

PK Gaming

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,789
It's funny how people complain about the harem "nonsense" in CS, but everyone's trying to get with Lloyd in Ao. It even has bonding points, for god's sake. I don't see what people get on about CS being Rean centric, since Zero and Ao both revolve around Lloyd. I realize most people haven't played the crossbell arc, but it's not like all the stuff people hate about CS started there.
I mean you answered your own question LMAO

Most of these people either haven't played Crossbell or they're being intentionally disingenuous. They just use those games as a springboard to shit on Cold Steel/Rean

My fav is when people criticize the bond events in Cold Steel then positively mention Crossbell's approach to characters in the same sentence. I'm sure Crossbell's focus on a core cast of 4(5?) characters is preferable to Cold Steel's glut, but people are so damn disingenuous when it comes to bond events, harem mechanics and the story being centralized around the protagonist.
 

Yunyo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,458
Lloyd got done dirty in Ao. If they had just stuck to the Elie romance we could've gotten some absolutely delicious drama and heartbreak, my favorite. Instead Elie is denied relevance, turned into a grope joke (then breaks down into tears while Lloyd just watches her get assaulted, why the perverbs think this is "cute" I'll never know), and Lloyd is turned into magnet man (not the mega man boss) instead of continuing his lovable doofus routine.

I wonder if Falcom got spooked after all their non-Kiseki-Ys stuff bombed on PSP back in the day and decided that it was time to crank up the fanservice dumb dumb to 11.

If it wasn't for Randy, Rixia, and Arios setting up their awesome character arcs in Zero and finishing through in Ao, we might've hit harem dud status way earlier.
 

Sandstar

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,315
Well, there's nothing more trustworthy than fan translations. That's why people praise the hell out of the zero and Ao leaked scripts, because they're just so perfect that they drive you to tears. Who needs the professionalism of Xseed (and hopefully NSIA with people who worked on them at Xseed) when we can have fans use brute force machine translations?!
 

Eppcetera

Member
Mar 3, 2018
365
There's nothing wrong with the text in the top-right image, as far as I can tell. That comma after "Sorry" should be there. Still, these examples indicate that the script needs at least one thorough proofing pass, which I hope NISA actually bothers to do. Typos like the ones in these images are in the Xseed localizations, as well, but Xseed keeps them to a respective minimum (and they went back and later removed some of them).
 

CrazyDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,749
There's nothing wrong with the text in the top-right image, as far as I can tell. That comma after "Sorry" should be there. Still, these examples indicate that the script needs at least one thorough proofing pass, which I hope NISA actually bothers to do. Typos like the ones in these images are in the Xseed localizations, as well, but Xseed keeps them to a respective minimum (and they went back and later removed some of them).
NISA rep on discord said that the game informer build is from their June build and those typos are already fixed,
 

Scrooge McDuck

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,493
I haven't played Crossbell, but the common, surface level critiques of the CS games by people who don't like them often don't strike me as the real reasons people don't like the games. The harem stuff for example. It's an easy to point out issue with the game in regards to characterisation, but textually it only truly affects...the optional end game bonding events of CS2? Not including Elise and Alisa, for whom being into Rean is a bigger part of who they are, and if it were just those two I wouldn't call it a harem.
It's totally a big reason for me. I like strong, persistent romance element in stories, not just for the protagonists, but for the supporting characters too. I really believe that the harem element is a big reason why Rean is not actually allowed to commit on a long term, and why every single one of the female party members do not even have a close male friend, or even anyone I could force-ship with without going the yuri route. (Jusis at least has Paula, Machias has Patiry, etc).

Can't say I agree with Kiseki having 3H's support system at all. The games are already wordy enough and with how big the cast of a Trails game can get (even before CS where it blew up with the 3rd) it can be even more of a pacing killer than the games all already are to have 1-2 hours of bonding events with all the cast members interacting with each other on top of the usual dialogue/NPC interactions. It's already exhausting with 3H where after every battle it seems like 7-8 new supports pop up and I only recruited like 5 characters before the TS.

The reason the support system works the way it does in FE is so that the people who don't care about that stuff and only care about the gameplay can just move onto the next battle immediately without much consequence, where generally the character writing is one of, if not, the biggest draw of Trails and having all that stuff delegated to a support system instead of naturally integrated through the story itself just feels off. It's not like the games aren't long enough in the first place where that dialogue couldn't just be worked right into the main story/side quests like it's done really well in SC.
I disagree with this. I like the slice of life-y elements the bonding events provide, and exactly with a lot of cast, I think it's important to relegate them to optional content.
It's not like you could put "Fie finding some measure of direction in her life by taking care of a flower" or "the great Machias chess battle" in the main story without them bloating it even more.

And personally, I don't really imagine party member bonding events on top of Rean's, but rather them supplanting some of Rean's. Like, instead of having Rean helping Fie through her flower quest, for example, just put Emma there instead. Or even Gaius; I don't think they have even say more than three lines to one another over the entire two games.
 

devSin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,433
There's nothing wrong with the text in the top-right image, as far as I can tell. That comma after "Sorry" should be there.
It's absolutely correct. Some people choose to omit it as a matter of style, but a comma always precedes vocative.

NISA rep on discord said that the game informer build is from their June build and those typos are already fixed,
Yeah, they said the same thing with Ys 8 too.
 

nivorae

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
It's funny how people complain about the harem "nonsense" in CS, but everyone's trying to get with Lloyd in Ao. It even has bonding points, for god's sake. I don't see what people get on about CS being Rean centric, since Zero and Ao both revolve around Lloyd. I realize most people haven't played the crossbell arc, but it's not like all the stuff people hate about CS started there.
people barely talk about AO because most people haven't played Ao. But yes, Ao no Kiseki is the patient zero of Falcom's contemporary writing being a shitshow at times. It's just natural that people don't talk about it because they haven't played it, the complaints would be a lot more prevalent simply because of how jarring the shift between Zero and Ao is.
But even then Falcom still has no clue, with Sen 3 they were moving in a better direction with more clear bonding events and routes, not every girl was a romance anymore. But then suddenly in Sen 4 they shift it again and Rean operates like any hole is a goal. So yeah, be prepared to see this complaint being reiterated for years to come.
 

Sandstar

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,315
people barely talk about AO because most people haven't played Ao. But yes, Ao no Kiseki is the patient zero of Falcom's contemporary writing being a shitshow at times. It's just natural that people don't talk about it because they haven't played it, the complaints would be a lot more prevalent simply because of how jarring the shift between Zero and Ao is.
But even then Falcom still has no clue, with Sen 3 they were moving in a better direction with more clear bonding events and routes, not every girl was a romance anymore. But then suddenly in Sen 4 they shift it again and Rean operates like any hole is a goal. So yeah, be prepared to see this complaint being reiterated for years to come.
Yeah, but for the longest time, I've heard people who have played zero and Ao have been singing the praises of them as the best of the kiseki series, and CS is but a pale imitation.
 

nivorae

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
Yeah, but for the longest time, I've heard people who have played zero and Ao have been singing the praises of them as the best of the kiseki series, and CS is but a pale imitation.
the people i can think of that have been singing praise about Zero/Ao also aren't the ones having issues with how Cold Steel is. But even then a lot of the praise for Zero and Ao is of a completely different nature.

But I kinda wonder if NISA would risk to repeat that with CS3, a much more anticipated title. At the very least,I think they'd actually give this game some care to finally built some goodwill with players and Falcom, too.
CS3 will be alright, CS4 will too. They are desperate enough for a long term partnership to not push their hand. Their famous quality is going to show with other games like Utawarerumono.
 

Negator

Member
Oct 25, 2017
392
It has been a few days since I completed Trails from Zero/Azure, and I have to say, the game absolutely blew me away and has become one of my favorites in the series.

Aside from Elie kind of being kinda Eh, I adored the cast for the game. Lloyd, for being a fairly stereotypical MC, wormed his way into my heart, way more than Rean ever did. His struggles with coming to figure out what happened to his Brother and banding everyone together again to get KeA back resonated with me, and getting to know more about him from what little I knew from the short bit of playing him in Cold Steel 2 was really cool.

The shocking events of what happened with Tio and Renne and the cult...oof. Seeing poor Tio deal with her past trauma of her three years with the Cult and finding out that Renne was connected to the events...I felt horrible and empty inside, feelings I rarely feel playing video games. Opening the file and asking what "Paradise" was when I immediately understood how bad shit was going to go down and that I was about to see poor Tio in that file.

Going through the arc of Randy's story and having to deal with his Jaeger past and his family members was really satisfying. Shirley and Sigmund were appropriately terrifying to fight and had amazing battle themes to go with them. I thoroughly enjoyed toppling Sigmund down and seeing that Shirley was going to follow Bell around after the game ends, knowing I would not be done seeing the last of her, perhaps with a shiny new Enforcer number?

It was funny watching Noel get helplessly swept up in Lloyd's nonsense, and watching her be so happy to drive the ZCF car around. I think they could have done a little more to flesh out her character though.

Seeing Wazy dispatch Wald at the beginning of the game in Downtown made me go "Oh lord, you are so suspicious, what are you hiding?" But enough time had passed that I eventually forgot about it until that time comes, the time he reveals himself as a Dominion, which blew me the hell away. It was a complete shock considering how he had been acting this whole time, and setting up the rivalry all the way until the end with the 'Angel' vs 'Devil' was a nice touch.

Rixia was a really great character all the way through both games. This was another character I was dying to know about because of all the breadcrumbs strewn out from Cold Steel about Arc en Ciel, and Cold Steel 2 when you get to play as her. Yin was relatively mysterious until I saw her S-Craft and I was like 'Oh, so that's how it is." Watching her develop and see the group's reaction to the crushing realization that their relationship had been changed forever when the Steel Maiden knocked off her mask was hard to watch. It was great watching Lloyd be Lloyd and ruin Cao's plan to keep her employed to Heiyue.

Over the course of these games I have grown extremely attached to all the characters. Every time I see Lechter, Kilika, Mueller, Olivier, Julia, Kloe, Estelle, Joshua, Renne, I am instantly just fanboying over seeing them again and spending more time with them. The send off to the Liberl Trio at the end of Zero was just so perfect, I admit, I cried. Then I cried again when I saw Renne lose Pater-Mater in his selfless sacrifice.

But nothing could prepare me for the absolute mindfuck that was the ending of the game. Holy moley, getting to fight Campanella was really awesome, and the sheer terror of knowing that I was completely fucked when I broke the Steel Maiden's mask was palpable. Dealing with Duvalie and friends was great, and I'm so glad to know I will be seeing more of them in CS3. Bell was suspicious as hell the whole time, it wasn't shocking to see her involved. I knew Deiter would be arrested from Cold Steel 2, but I didn't know how bad he fucked up until now. Lawyer Ian shocked me, I had to put the controller down and step away for a few minutes for that one.

And then the ultimate mind-fuck, that KeA had rewritten history because the SSS had all been killed by Joacim, and the very beginning part of Zero was actually them marching to their untimely demise, that was extremely dark, holy shit! Then I was pointed out by a friend the beginning of Cold Steel when dealing with the Garrelia fortress cannons...holy shit, did KeA do that too? HOLY SHIT!? There is no doubt in my mind that the prologue of Cold Steel 1 is very similar and that KeA affected Class VII too. Without Crow and Millium there (or at least, having Crow there with an alternate plan further down the line to assassinate Osborne) , they could have possibly failed to stop the cannons from firing and blowing up the SSS at Orchis tower and KeA had to alter that too. If this was actually intended, holy shit!? This is some Galaxy Brain shit from Falcom if it wasn't actually just a hook for people playing to stick around and give it actual plot relevance over the series.

This isn't even getting into having Bell join Ouroboros to replace Weissmann as the 3rd Anguis. Holy hell, she just casually drops it as if it was no big deal. My heart.

All in all, I had a fantastic time playing these games, outside of all the really SUS and sometimes incomprehensible text in Zero and having technical issues like being stuck at 30 FPS on my PC, a softlock during one of the boss battles in Ao, and having to use Borderless Gaming to get the damn thing to actually fullscreen.

I had finished Trails FC a few years ago, and at the tail end of 2018 started SC, and finished early 2019. I had such a fantastic time playing through SC it was unreal how great it was. I ended up not playing 3rd right away and jumped straight to Cold Steel 1 when it came out on PS4 and was absolutely floored by the ending of the game, and the few month wait for Cold Steel 2 on PS4 was painful, but I ended up deciding to complete 3rd while waiting, and hot damn, while initially I hated the structure of the game, as I kept going through, the game's ending, the extremely satisfying door side plots with so much trails lore, and the absolutely amazing music more than made up for it. After finishing Cold Steel 2 after it came out, I absolutely had to play the Crossbell games, and I am extremely glad that I did not wait longer than I did. I watched all the Cold Steel 3 trailers again after finishing Zero/Ao and my hype levels are through the goddamn roof.

I have finished six trails games this year in 2019 with a total of 372 hours across all seven games, and I am eagerly anticipating the next 372 hours. What a fantastic year this has been for me and video games. Not much more that I have to say other than that, October cannot come soon enough. Sorry for the wall of text.
 
Last edited:

skLaFarebear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
641
I disagree with this. I like the slice of life-y elements the bonding events provide, and exactly with a lot of cast, I think it's important to relegate them to optional content.
It's not like you could put "Fie finding some measure of direction in her life by taking care of a flower" or "the great Machias chess battle" in the main story without them bloating it even more.

And personally, I don't really imagine party member bonding events on top of Rean's, but rather them supplanting some of Rean's. Like, instead of having Rean helping Fie through her flower quest, for example, just put Emma there instead. Or even Gaius; I don't think they have even say more than three lines to one another over the entire two games.

I love the slice of life moments in Trails as well. But stuff as minor as your example can be shown through NPC dialogue when you're going around talking to party members as well. It doesn't need to be it's own whole support convo, and frankly that'd be a really bad support convo to have. CS1 is an incredible game for this exact thing, where you get entire stories revolving around the main cast interacting with the others students just through the NPC dialogue as you follow it in each chapter.

Also your latter point would never happen outside of "bridge" games like the 3rd. As coming of age stories thematically, Kiseki's has always been heavily MC centric since the very early days of FC and I don't see that changing anytime soon outside of the games being way less haremy due to all the JP/ENG backlash. That's why I pitched the TX EX+ idea of side stories where the characters interact between missions/days/etc. outside of the focus of the MC.

I'm tellin yall, the idea of bonding events with other party members sounds nice now, but it ain't gonna be so nice when you're 70 hours into the game and your 30+ party members all have a new bonding event with each other, again, that's about to eat up the next 7 hours of your life on top of the side quests and NPC dialogue, when all you wanna do is move on with the story. That's also a ton of unnecessary writing to add onto the writing team at Falcom, who are basically writing these games and making edits till the day of release. And ofc people are still gonna bitch "tHEsE cHaRaCters bArELy tALk tO eAcH OtHer" if you don't see it all or "wOw thEsE gAmEs aRe sOOOOooo SLow" if you try to. I've said it before, it's not like all the Trails games aren't already bloated enough that they couldn't naturally work more freeform character interactions into the narrative during the obvious bloat. They've already done it with the first half of SC.

CS3 will be alright, CS4 will too. They are desperate enough for a long term partnership to not push their hand. Their famous quality is going to show with other games like Utawarerumono.
Let me know when the spreadsheets drop for the uta gacha.
 
Last edited:

logash

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,616
Alright guys, I think I need either some encouragement or a reality check. I started playing Trails in the Sky FC about a month ago because I've heard such high praise and I liked what I saw when CS3 was announced. I am 20 hours in and I am on Chapter 2 and I can't for the life of me find interest in what's going on.

Estelle and Joshua are fine and I like the idea of travelling around the country to become a bracer but nothing major has happened in 20 hours! Now I knew the games were slow going in and that is part of their charm but I still haven't been hooked and that is a long time. I guess my question is does it get more engaging or do you guys think this game is just not for me?
 

skLaFarebear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
641
Alright guys, I think I need either some encouragement or a reality check. I started playing Trails in the Sky FC about a month ago because I've heard such high praise and I liked what I saw when CS3 was announced. I am 20 hours in and I am on Chapter 2 and I can't for the life of me find interest in what's going on.

Estelle and Joshua are fine and I like the idea of travelling around the country to become a bracer but nothing major has happened in 20 hours! Now I knew the games were slow going in and that is part of their charm but I still haven't been hooked and that is a long time. I guess my question is does it get more engaging or do you guys think this game is just not for me?
It absolutely does get more engaging as the foreshadowing starts to finally come into effect and you see things starting to fall into place around chapter 3. Trails games are notorious for their slow moving plots as they emphasize the character and world building that can sometimes put off people not knowing what to expect. I'd definitely keep going because the payoff is always more than worth it in these games, but know that "slow" is basically the lifeblood of the franchise going forward.

For reference, even as diehard of a fan as I am, the first time I beat FC it took me almost a year because of how often I'd put it down and come back to it.
 

logash

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,616
It absolutely does get more engaging as the foreshadowing starts to finally come into effect and you see things starting to fall into place around chapter 3. Trails games are notorious for their slow moving plots as they emphasize the character and world building that can sometimes put off people not knowing what to expect. I'd definitely keep going because the payoff is always more than worth it in these games, but know that "slow" is basically the lifeblood of the franchise going forward.

For reference, even as diehard of a fan as I am, the first time I beat FC it took me almost a year because of how often I'd put it down and come back to it.
It's really good to hear that not only am I not the only one to feel this way, but that it gets more engaging soon. I am going to keep moving forward with that in mind :)
 

Sandstar

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,315
Yeah FC takes a looooong time to get going, and it seems really inconsequential, and then shit starts happening. It's sort of the same with Zero. Lots of time spent doing crap that doesn't matter, and then chapter 4 hits, and you're going "what the fuck, that's awesome."
 

Dragon1893

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,780
Alright guys, I think I need either some encouragement or a reality check. I started playing Trails in the Sky FC about a month ago because I've heard such high praise and I liked what I saw when CS3 was announced. I am 20 hours in and I am on Chapter 2 and I can't for the life of me find interest in what's going on.

Estelle and Joshua are fine and I like the idea of travelling around the country to become a bracer but nothing major has happened in 20 hours! Now I knew the games were slow going in and that is part of their charm but I still haven't been hooked and that is a long time. I guess my question is does it get more engaging or do you guys think this game is just not for me?
Most people feel that way when playing it for the first time, it was the same for me.
Now I consider the Sky trilogy one of the best things to ever happen in gaming.
 

Psxphile

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,209

a tiny bit spoilery if you're going in blind
 

Eppcetera

Member
Mar 3, 2018
365
Alright guys, I think I need either some encouragement or a reality check. I started playing Trails in the Sky FC about a month ago because I've heard such high praise and I liked what I saw when CS3 was announced. I am 20 hours in and I am on Chapter 2 and I can't for the life of me find interest in what's going on.

Estelle and Joshua are fine and I like the idea of travelling around the country to become a bracer but nothing major has happened in 20 hours! Now I knew the games were slow going in and that is part of their charm but I still haven't been hooked and that is a long time. I guess my question is does it get more engaging or do you guys think this game is just not for me?
Basically, every chapter in that game is better than the previous. I don't think the plot in Sky gets interesting until near the end of Chapter 3, personally, but the finale is excellent, and the next two games are much better. I think you're already past the dullest part in the franchise (well, except for maybe the backtracking chapter of doom in the sequel, but by that point you should be so invested in the story that you can easily tolerate it).
 

Sandstar

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,315

Dragon1893

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,780
One of the reasons I'm looking forward to CS3 is the new class 7. In the old class 7 there's nobody I REALLY care about. I like some of them and am indifferent towards others, but it's a cast I never got deeply invested in, it's one of several aspects where CS fell short compared to Sky. I've been avoiding most media as I always do but from what I've seen Juna and the others look like an interesting bunch. I could be dead wrong though lol.