Looking to immerse yourself in the world of RPG? Look no further than The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel because this here is a great JRPG. Initially released on PS3 and PS Vita in Japan in 2013, it’s now playable on the PS4. Here’s The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel game review.
BAM! Just like that the story starts off in a war where Class VII is lead to safety by their instructor. While they are at it, Rean the main protagonist suggest that they do something against the terror attack and so they split into groups. After a few skirmishes, a cutscene brings us back to 5 months earlier to a town called Trista and that’s where the story of Rean begins.
Upon starting the game, I find it very overwhelming because the game just have you going around taking down foes without any guides. By that I mean the combat and game mechanics, it really is overwhelming as all information just comes at you at once. For instance, there are so many options and skills at the get go. An awful start but right after that you’ll get to see what a gem of a JRPG this game is. The game do have very good storylines and it paces itself really well with all seven chapters. Moreover, the side quests are just right that you will not get lost in it. However, the combat can be repetitive which kind of bores me at times.
Throughout the game, a number of game mechanics will be introduced and I’ll go to the interesting ones.
Orbments (ARCUS) & Master Quartz
First off, there’s the Orbments which is basically what brings the Class VII together in the first place. Did I mention that Class VII is made out of commoners and nobles? Yes, and they are the first to make use of ARCUS. That aside, Orbments is an experimental device that can harness powers from septium which allows player to cast Arts. In this device, players can insert Master Quartz to the center slot. It is a rare quartz that will level up and gain new abilities along with the characters in battles.
Arts & Crafts
Well, Arts in the game are basically magics and you can equip it or change it in the equipment loadout as one progresses through the stories. Also, each Arts differ from one another; For instance, there are elements, it can be cast on a single or multiple target, how much Energy Points (EP) it takes to cast and more. Although Arts are cool and all but it has its cons because whenever casting Arts, it will delay your turn unless you get a buff which I’ll explain later on. Moving on to Crafts, It’s every characters signature moves that I personally like more than Arts because it can be cast upon activation although it will also delay your turn but only after casting it. Similar to Arts, each Crafts also differ from one another and each characters will gain more Crafts when they level up.
Now, this is quite something special that I have yet to encounter in the RPGs I’ve played. Like classic JRPGs, there will be monsters roaming about in fields and we can ignore it or go head on. However, there are Encounter Types in this game that’ll provide advantages in battles! For instance, you can hit and immobilize enemies on the field and walk into them which will give you an upper hand. There are a couple advantages that can be acquired in different ways; like when getting Triple Advantage which gives earlier turns, gains CP, and all enemies take damage if walking into a fainted enemy on the field. But, beware because enemies too have an advantage if they walk into from behind.
AT bonuses/ Turn Bonuses
AT bonuses is one of the features in combat which grants different buffs to players in some turns. In battle, a variety of different bonuses or buffs will appear on different turns.
The bonuses can be use strategically if you plan out an attack wisely. For example, you can take advantage of the bonuses by using Arts if you want a particular character to receive Zero Arts buff that will give characters zero casting time or EP consumption like what I mentioned earlier. Moreover, players can even strip enemy off their bonuses by taking them down. So, the combat can be really one-sided if one plans out really well.
Moving on, S-Craft is another feature in the game that allows character to perform super moves. To activate the S-Craft in battles, Craft Points is required and only when it reaches 100 or above. If the CP bar reaches 200, the S-Craft will be enhance with some getting a wider range while some gain additional effects or damage. Moreover, S-Craft can be used when in enemies turn which can really turn players favor around. Let’s say one of the characters is in danger, cast the S-Craft that will skip the enemies turn hence S-Break!
Combat Link System
During combat, players will have the option to link between four characters. The link bonding can only be between two characters which means two links in a party.
So what the Combat Link System does is whenever a character that is linked successfully unbalances (Critical, Thrust, etc.) an enemy, the linked partner will be able to follow up with an attack. Besides that, the links can be manually configure in the party loadout making it possible for one character to have two follow up attacks.
Overall, it’s a solid JRPG that I highly recommend to those who are a JRPG fan to play. The game has a really immersive story but there are some cringy moments as well. The looks of the game on PS4 is pretty much HD-fied, giving better looks on ambiance and lighting. However, the animation for the characters are bland like how their entire movement is very stiff from head to toes but it can’t be blamed because it’s originally a game from PS3 and PS Vita. That aside, all I can pretty much say is people will find it one of the best JRPG out there.
Have a look at our gameplay on PS4
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
The first trail series that everyone loves but is in HD now. A very nostalgia JRPG that people will want to come back for more. Besides that, the storylines is the backbone of the game considered having came out in 2013. Anyone looking for a world of lore can give this gem a go.
- Immersive Storylines
- Game is in HD!
- Nostalgia to Trail fans
- Classic turn-based strategy JRPG
- Side quests that are just right
- Turbo Mode to those who can't stand cutscenes
- English dub can still be improved
- Animations are way too stiff but can't be blamed
- Combat can be repetitive
- Have to talk to EVERY NPC to not miss out anything