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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel PS4 |OT| This should also fall under the scope of our field study!

Barrylocke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
266


Basics

Platform: Playstation 4
Release Date: March 18th 2018 (JP) / March 26th 2019 (US) / March 29th 2019 (PAL)
Price: 39.99 (PSN) / 49.99 (Physical Decisive Edition)
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: Nihon Falcom (JP) / Xseed Games (US) / Marvelous Europe (PAL)



The Decisive Edition of the game comes with a SteelBook case, a 50 Mira Coin, and a Musical Selection of the OST with 21 tracks.

Synopsis

Trails of Cold Steel is the first game in the Erebonia Arc, the 3rd major chapter in The Legend of Heroes: Trails series after the Liberl Arc and the Crossbell Arc.

“Among the nations on the Zemurian continent, the mighty Erebonian Empire has been quick to stake its claim militarily; yet politically, ugly bouts of internal conflict between the upper class and commoners struggling to rise to power have been steadily intensifying with each passing month. The Noble and Reformist Factions have been none too kind to one another over the years, and tensions between the two only stand to worsen if compromises aren't reached in the very near future.
Rean Schwarzer, like any other citizen of the Imperial nation, is no stranger to these rising conflicts: the class system has been deeply interwoven into the tapestry of Erebonian culture since the days of old. As a seventeen-year-old student preparing for his new life at Thors Military Academy, however, he notices that his crimson uniform differs from the standard outfits issued to his peers—typically green for commoners, and white for nobles.
Enter, Class VII of Thors Military Academy. For the first time in the prestigious academy's history, rank means nothing and skill means everything. With nine hand-picked students of various backgrounds and abilities, Rean included, Class VII readies itself to dive deep into the political quagmire that threatens not only them, but the very foundations of the Empire.”

Gameplay

Trails of Cold Steel’s combat both streamlines and evolves the combat of the games such as Trails in the Sky before it. The combination of personalized Craft abilities and universal Arts spells that you choose to equip are back, along with the Orbment system. This time around you can directly equip quartz directly gives you the arts or character augments you want, very similar to Final Fantasy VII’s Materia system. In addition, Class VII’s state of the art ARCUS Orbments allow for them to form combat links. Characters will back up their link partners when unbalancing an enemy for extra damage, and occasionally receive buffs, provide healing, or take the hit at reduced damage when their partner is targeted.

The plot alternates between school life segments and ‘field studies’. During the school segments, Rean will interact with his fellow Thors students and the people that live in the town of Trista, just outside of the academy. This time is used to perform various jobs for the community, and also to spend quality time with your classmates. The classmates you choose to spend time with will grow a closer relation to Rean, improving their combat link abilities together. During ‘field studies’ Class splits into two groups and you follow Rean’s group into a region in the empire to learn about their culture and assist them with their local concerns. This is where much of the story beats will take place, as you and Rean get a first hand glimpse of Erebonia’s conflicts, both internal and external.

PS4 Enhancements

Compared to the PS3/Vita versions, Trails of Cold Steel has a lot of enhancements that bring it much closer to the PC version of the game:
4K Graphics at 60FPS
Turbo Mode, allowing you to play 2x speed on the map and 4x as fast in battle
Dual Language option allows for you to play the game in English and Japanese.
The updated English voice-over has 50% more lines recorded compared to the Japanese and PS3/Vita English tracks.
All of the old aesthetic and booster DLC is available for free from the get-go.

If you have a save for the PS3 or Vita version, you can use that to continue your game with all the enhancements on the PS4 version.


Characters

Rean Schwarzer
Voiced by Sean Chiplock (ENG) / Koki Uchiyama (JP)
Weapon: Tachi
After School Club: None/Student Council Gopher
Unsure about his future, selfless to a fault, and without a drop of noble blood in his body, Rean Schwarzer hopes to find a place for himself at Thors. He manages to be a source of stability and leadership for the wildly different students of Class VII, while still performing odd jobs for the students of Thor and the citizens of Trista. He’s a beginner level in the Eight Leaves One Blade school that uses his Tachi to shut down enemies before they can hurt his teammates.

Alisa R
Voiced by Rachel Hirschfeld (ENG) / Yui Horie (JP)
Weapon: Orbal Bow
After School Club: Lacross
Alisa is a young woman with many skills from technology to business to physical and social prowess. In battle, she focuses on supporting her teammates with health and vigor, while dishing out some spells for good measure.

Elliot Craig
Voiced by Lucien Dodge (ENG) / Ryoko Shiraishi (JP)
Weapon: Orbal Staff
After School Club: Music
Elliot is a friendly, somewhat meek member of the team who finds some of the nobles of the school to be a bit intimidating. His passion in life is music, and he incorporates that love into his fighting style with the experimental Orbal Staff, supporting his allies and incapacitating enemies with crafts, though his true power lies in his arts.

Laura S. Arseid
Voiced by Marisha Ray (ENG) / Mariya Ise (JP)
Weapon: Greatsword
After School Club: Swimming
Laura is the heir to an old and venerable house with equally old and venerable customs. This leads to her conducting herself in a manner befitting the knights of old which leads to being simultaneously well liked and seen as a bit of an oddball by the other students. The Arseid house is known for wielding massive Greatswords in battle, and Laura is no exception, having arguably the most raw strength of her classmates.

Machias Regnitz
Voiced by Edward Bosco (ENG) / Takuya Satou (JP)
Weapon: Orbal Shotgun
After School Club: Chess
Machias is one of the smartest students in his year, but surprisingly rash in his actions and stern with his tongue. He’s the son of a major Reformist Faction leader, so it’s not too surprising that Machias has a strong dislike for the noble class. Machias works with an interesting grab-bag of AoE combat and support crafts, allowing arts users to keep slinging spells and letting his allies take their next turns instantly.

Jusis Albarea
Voiced by Ben Diskin (ENG) / Shinnosuke Tachibana (JP)
Weapon: Knight Sword
After School Club: Equestrian
As the youngest heir to one of the most powerful families in the Empire, Jusis can cut an intimidating path for many, especially once they witness his sharp tongue. Like Alisa, Jusis’s talents are wide reaching, which shows itself in his jack of all trades combat style.

Fie Claussell
Voiced by Cassandra Morris (ENG) / Hisako Kanemoto (JP)
Weapon: Dual Gunsword
After School Club: Gardening
Fie is a young woman with two sides, being inattentive and even sleepy with schoolwork and in social situations, but quickly acting alert when it’s time for a fight. This awareness takes the form of fast actions in combat; she can quickly dish out the hurt up close or at a distance, or throw out an item or support spell when it’s needed the most.

Emma Millstein
Voiced by Rena Strober (ENG) / Saori Hayami (JP)
Weapon: Orbal Staff
After School Club: Literature
Friendly but reserved, Emma got the highest score on the entrance exam to Thors. She serves as the Class President for Class VII, which may seem odd with her personality, but she does take the job seriously and can frequently be seen playing the part when trying to help Fie get up to speed with her studies. Emma is the other wielder of the Orbal Staff, as evidenced by her ridiculous Arts damage potential, though she has some useful crafts for when a quicker approach to combat is needed.

Gaius Worzel
Voiced by Kaiji Tang (ENG) / Yoshimasa Hosoya (JP)
Weapon: Cross-Shaped Spear
After School Club: Art
Gaius is an exchange student from the distant land of Nord, where his people live a nomadic lifestyle that is very different from the class system that makes up the Erebonian way of life. He’s eager to learn more about the world outside of his homeland. Gaius is a physical fighter, using his spear to deal damage and tag enemies with status effects from a fairly safe distance.

Reviews

Push Square 8/10
Twinfinite 4.5/5
Playstation Lifestyle 8/10

FAQ
There’s a ton of games for this series, right? Is it ok to start here?
Trails of Cold Steel was created from the start to be a gateway into the series and is one of the best places to start your journey in Trails saga alongside Trails in the Sky, the first game in the series. Trails of Cold Steel has a new protagonist in a new region.That said, be aware that the games are collectively built up to be an epic in the literal sense of the word. If you enjoy your time here, it’s definitely worth going back to earlier games like the Sky trilogy to see what happened in the past and get additional context.

How do I transfer my saves to the PS4 version?
https://old.reddit.com/r/Falcom/comments/b5zlee/psa_heres_how_you_transfer_ps3_cs_save_to_ps4/

What about the PC version, can I transfer my progress from that?
Unfortunately no, the PC versions and PS4 versions are independent in terms of saves. The good news is that the PC version essentially has all of the enhancements of the PS4 version, including the Japanese dialogue which was added in a recent update. Only the free DLC is missing.

What should I expect from the difficulty options?
Trails of Cold Steel has Easy, Normal, Hard and Nightmare mode. There’s no benefits given to you for playing on a different mode. Hard Mode is a good choice for veterans of the Trails series or JRPG fans that want a little challenge, and easier modes can be a great way to focus on the story. The game helpfully has a “retry battle on an easier difficulty” option if you game over...though I don’t believe you can select this if you play on Nightmare mode. Beware!

Media




 

Rean

Member
Oct 27, 2017
891
i am replaying 1 and 2 on pc right now, great series.
cant wait for 3 and 4
 

Terraforce

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
9,347
Bought it day one primarily because of how damn good the steelbook looked, but this gives me a reason to actually finish this game. I logged in a solid 20 hours in the PS3 version but never did beat it. Thank god the devs allowed us to transfer our data.
 

darkside

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,984
So I played TITS FC and didn't really care for it much. It felt like an old JRPG in the worst ways possible. Enjoyed the story but the gameplay wasn't very enjoyable. Never really got around to playing SC but this interests me.

Basically how much am I going to miss if I just skip SC entirely and go to this? And how drastically different are things now?
 

Lozange

Member
Oct 25, 2017
508
Not getting this because I've already bought, played, and beaten this twice (vita and pc), but I am here to spread the gospel that
A) Trails is great, hope newcomers enjoy this, it's a wonderful series
and B) REAN IS GREAT don't @me
 

lapsu

Member
Oct 31, 2017
341
Pre-ordered on Sunday and got my copy today, two days before the official EU release. Incredibly excited to play this as I have heard this game has two things I love the most about JRPG's - great world building and character development/interactions. Hopefully some romance as well as I'm sucker for romantic subplots. ^^
 

CloseTalker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,855
Thanks for making this! I picked this up pretty much blind yesterday, after hearing so much about this and Trails in the Sky. I haven't played any of the Sky titles, this is my very first. I put a couple hours in last night (still super early), and it seems decent enough so far. The main thing that has stuck out, even this early, is that the writing is a bit of a cut above standard JRPG fare. Dialogue is just written with a more natural, human touch that makes it read much cleaner than some JRPGs. I even noticed a queer character early on, so I'm excited to learn more about her and pray she isn't written terribly haha

I'm excited to chip away, even if I've heard the Cold Steel series specifically is less....consistent than the Sky trilogy.
 
OP
OP
Barrylocke

Barrylocke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
266
So I played TITS FC and didn't really care for it much. It felt like an old JRPG in the worst ways possible. Enjoyed the story but the gameplay wasn't very enjoyable. Never really got around to playing SC but this interests me.

Basically how much am I going to miss if I just skip SC entirely and go to this? And how drastically different are things now?
Big question, when you played FC, was turbo mode a thing yet? Trails of Cold Steel's battle system has a lot of differences that could make it feel more engaging for you, but the core is still the same. You move around the battlefield in an srpgish fashion (though there's no explicit grids anymore) and attack people according to your turn order. At lot of whether this will be something you'll enjoy depends on what in FC bothered you. But a lot of people did find Sky to be tedious with combat, and the turbo mode that was added to the trilogy on PC (and is available in Cold Steel PC/PS4) could help.

As for what you'll miss plotwise, Trails of Cold Steel is meant to be an entrypoint to the series so you'll definitely be able to comprehend what's going on. Since you played FC, you will have some additional context as well, since this game takes place in the same country that invaded Sky's Liberl Kingdom years before the series took place.
 

LonestarZues

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,930
I had no idea this was out already. Definitely want to play this and the 2nd game before the 3rd game launches.
 

Aal-Vee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,220
Canada
It's the around the same price PSN CAD and Amazon.ca >_>

It makes more sense to get physical for us(unless digital really matters a lot to you).
 

darkside

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,984
Big question, when you played FC, was turbo mode a thing yet? Trails of Cold Steel's battle system has a lot of differences that could make it feel more engaging for you, but the core is still the same. You move around the battlefield in an srpgish fashion (though there's no explicit grids anymore) and attack people according to your turn order. At lot of whether this will be something you'll enjoy depends on what in FC bothered you. But a lot of people did find Sky to be tedious with combat, and the turbo mode that was added to the trilogy on PC (and is available in Cold Steel PC/PS4) could help.

As for what you'll miss plotwise, Trails of Cold Steel is meant to be an entrypoint to the series so you'll definitely be able to comprehend what's going on. Since you played FC, you will have some additional context as well, since this game takes place in the same country that invaded Sky's Liberl Kingdom years before the series took place.
Played it on the PSP and it didnt have that! That feature sounds great, didnt know it was a thing for the PC versions. Might play SC now like that, thanks
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,348
I'll play this game someday, I'm too stubborn and I still want to play Zero/Ao before the Sen games.

So I played TITS FC and didn't really care for it much. It felt like an old JRPG in the worst ways possible. Enjoyed the story but the gameplay wasn't very enjoyable. Never really got around to playing SC but this interests me.

Basically how much am I going to miss if I just skip SC entirely and go to this? And how drastically different are things now?
Worse than missing SC is missing 3rd, which is an incredible game story wise and setups up a lot of things for the rest of the series. It's also an amazing send off for the whole Sora arc.

I recommend to try playing SC, I wasn't crazy about FC but the 2nd half of SC and all of 3rd are incredible.

Also, on PC you can get the voice mod which is INCREDIBLE(almost everything is voiced) + Turbo(battles and just running around became painless), I don't think I could have stomached FC/SC/3rd without those features. Now I consider them some of the best games I have ever played.
 

aiswyda

Member
Aug 11, 2018
1,004
Thinking about picking this up—is combat different than in Trails in the Sky? I tried that and was kinda ehhhhh about it

Also if I like persona will this be kinda up the same alley?
 

NexasX

Member
Oct 29, 2017
263
I'll play this game someday, I'm too stubborn and I still want to play Zero/Ao before the Sen games.



Worse than missing SC is missing 3rd, which is an incredible game story wise and setups up a lot of things for the rest of the series. It's also an amazing send off for the whole Sora arc.

I recommend to try playing SC, I wasn't crazy about FC but the 2nd half of SC and all of 3rd are incredible.

Also, on PC you can get the voice mod which is INCREDIBLE(almost everything is voiced) + Turbo(battles and just running around became painless), I don't think I could have stomached FC/SC/3rd without those features. Now I consider them some of the best games I have ever played.
Last I heard the fan translation for Zero was chugging along nicely. That should get you on track to catch up...sometime in the next 5 years :)
 
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OP
Barrylocke

Barrylocke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
266
So if I'm reading this correctly, if you opt for the Japanese audio then you miss out on 50% of the dialogue? That can't be right surely.
That's correct. The English PC version added a lot of voiced lines where there was none before, and this was carried over to the PS4 version. A notable regular example is that a lot of minor scenes had every character BUT the protagonist Rean voiced (similar to a lot of visual novels that don't voice the protagonist?). It was a weird choice that was likely done to help save some money on Falcom's part. This video promoting the PC version shows what I mean.

 

Acquiescence

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,473
Lake Titicaca
That's correct. The English PC version added a lot of voiced lines where there was none before, and this was carried over to the PS4 version. A notable regular example is that a lot of minor scenes had every character BUT the protagonist Rean voiced (similar to a lot of visual novels that don't voice the protagonist?). It was a weird choice that was likely done to help save some money on Falcom's part. This video promoting the PC version shows what I mean.

Oh, so all the dialogue is in both tracks, but the difference is that a lot of it isn't actually audible in the Japanese track.

I think I can handle that. I have an allergy to dubs in games/movies in general, so I don't mind missing out on lots of voiced lines for the sake of authenticity. Thanks for the info.
 
Oct 28, 2017
677
Ireland
Thinking about picking this up—is combat different than in Trails in the Sky? I tried that and was kinda ehhhhh about it

Also if I like persona will this be kinda up the same alley?
Combat is pretty much the same style, only the field is 3D rather than the tiles used by Sky, and a few other tweaks here and there.

There are bonding events with your classmates, which would be similar to social links in Persona.
 

oni-link

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,155
UK
Played 1 and 2 on PS3, amazing games, I'm jealous of everyone who gets to play these for the first time now

I didn't realise the PS4 versions had a lot of updates. I might pick these up if I ever have a spare 150 hours to replay them
 

hans_castorp

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,128
Worst kiseki game by far, but I'll probably triple dip.

Also don't forget to play Zero/Ao and don't believe imperial propaganda, it was Erebonia who shot first :p
 

aiswyda

Member
Aug 11, 2018
1,004
Combat is pretty much the same style, only the field is 3D rather than the tiles used by Sky, and a few other tweaks here and there.

There are bonding events with your classmates, which would be similar to social links in Persona.
I might try it out anyway—my issue was with how it looked visually and now it seems to look a lot better! Thanks!
 

Thoraxes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,197
Gehenna
Thinking about picking this up—is combat different than in Trails in the Sky? I tried that and was kinda ehhhhh about it

Also if I like persona will this be kinda up the same alley?
It’s no longer grid based in this one, it’s just 3D but still turn-based gameplay for the battles. The ability quartz stuff has been greatly simplified so you don’t need to chart out the math on how to get what you want per line and per gem.

There is a 4x turbo mode now and you can skip animations for each turn after an action has been initiated in combat.

The abilities special attack/magic/melee (known as attack, arts, crafts) system is still in place, as well as the super moves called S-Crafts.
 

Mejilan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,125
Was legit surprised (and pleased) to see the save transfer option when I booted it up the other day.
One day. One day.
 

Jake2byFour

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,428
Never played it before, brought it off the strength of everyone saying is really a great RPG. Steelbook is nice.
 

Clocian

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Apr 23, 2018
839
props for making this.

Picked it up yesterday. Still on chapter 1. Slow start but enjoying it so far. FC and SC are amazing.
 

Phil me in

Member
Nov 22, 2018
815
I really wanna play the trails in the sky before cold steel.my problem is I only own a pc and PS4 and I have patient to play a game like the og trilogy on a pc.
 
Feb 12, 2019
361
I have somehow bought no less than 3 Legend of Heroes games (TitS 1&2, as well as this game) over the years on various steam sales. The level of lunatic enthusiasm for this series from its fanbase is infectious, and one of these days I'm absolutely going to give it a shot.
 

Clocian

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Apr 23, 2018
839
oh, and coming from FC and SC....THANK YOU FOR HAVING FAST TRAVEL! Even with turbo mode in FC and SC it still made them kind of tedious. Also, no more grid floor during battles....so good.
 

mogster7777

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,354
I’ve been playing jrpgs since the SNES and this is definitely up there with the best of them. Amazing game. One of the best jrpg series in the last ten years for sure. I love the extra additions to this version and the gfx are sharp at 4K.

I imported my PS3 completed save and started my nightmare run for the trophy yesterday on ng+
I missed the all chest trophy too in my first playthrough on ps3 three years ago even though i followed a guide. Not sure why I didn’t get it so I’m gonna go for that too on nightmare.

Also For all the master quartz I have to complete all sidequests again for the second MQ you get at the end? Also you have to talk to all the instructors for the medallions again which triggers the MQ choice at the end even though I have these items already from my first playrhrough?
 

Erheller

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,063
Jumping on this, I'm a bit intimitaded by length though. Hopefully I get hooked. Hows the difficulty?
I'm curious about this as well. If I have never played Trails games before but am familiar with turn-based JRPGs, what's the recommended starting difficulty? Can you change difficulties after you start the game?
It's not a very difficult game, I don't think anyone should have too much difficulty on Normal. If you're familiar with JRPG's, I'd suggest starting on Hard.

It's also in the OT

What should I expect from the difficulty options?
Trails of Cold Steel has Easy, Normal, Hard and Nightmare mode. There’s no benefits given to you for playing on a different mode. Hard Mode is a good choice for veterans of the Trails series or JRPG fans that want a little challenge, and easier modes can be a great way to focus on the story. The game helpfully has a “retry battle on an easier difficulty” option if you game over...though I don’t believe you can select this if you play on Nightmare mode. Beware!