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

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There are gamings where 30 hrs seem to paris by in an instant, and there are gamings where I"ll be play for what seems choose days upon end, only to uncover that I"ve just put in 10 hours. In ~ the threat of sounding much more negative 보다 I"d like, The Legends that Heroes: Trails the Cold Steel has mostly please in the latter classification for me.

Despite a concerted initiative over the holiday, I"ve had a hard time advertise much past the very first chapter that Trails the Cold Steel, which come out shortly before Christmas. I"ve warmed to it as the story has slowly yet surely progressed, but it"s certainly been a slown burn. Choose Trails in the Sky before it, Trails the Cold stole asks because that a good deal the patience native the player as it gradually introduces its cast, its battle system, and also its world. Together late as five hours in, ns was still taking on tutorial-style quests meant to introduce me come the game"s mechanics.


This is the means of Nihon Falcom"s Legend of Heroes games, i beg your pardon has regulated to win a cult following in north America v its richly in-depth worlds and also epic story arcs. V a story that unfolds over the food of two full games, Trails of Cold stole expects friend to be invested because that the long haul, therefore it"s content to take its time laying the groundwork because that what"s to come. Indigenous a pacing perspective this can not be the smartest approach, but fans seem content to overlook the in favor of the more positive elements of Trails of Cold Steel"s world-building.

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

Comparisons through Persona 3 and also 4 room natural, if imperfect. Like those games, Trails of Cold stole progresses indigenous day to day top top a calendar, with activities including bonding events, exams, bring quests, and monster hunting, the last 2 being the most typical in the early on going. Bonding occasions bear part resemblance come the social links in Persona - you have actually a restricted amount the time to construct up a partnership with her classmates by pull close them and viewing cutscenes, which in turn makes them much more powerful in battle.

All that this is fine because that the many part. I choose RPGs wherein you build up relationships with other characters, and also I like having actually a degree of flexibility to method the game as i please. The point is the a video game like this requirements a solid cast come succeed, and that"s wherein Trails the Cold Steel struggles in my mind. Course VII is greatly stocked through anime archetypes - the brave and also hard-working protagonist, the bratty girl that secretly has actually a crush on the hero, the Misato Katsuragi-like instructor that likes come drink and also is watch disinterested in teaching, and also so forth. To be fair, Trails in the Sky"s protagonists initially come off that means as well prior to becoming much more interesting under the line, and also I intend that"s likewise the case with Trails the Cold Steel. In the first pair chapters, though, they are painted in only the broadest the strokes, which makes it tough for me come care about them. Thus Trails the Cold steel being a slow-moving burn.

Aside from the somewhat stereotypical cast, Trails that Cold Steel"s momentum is additionally hurt by its relatively unremarkable quests. In the very first 10 hours or for this reason you"ll spend a lot of time do deliveries and also fighting generic monsters, v the occasional featureless dungeon over there to break things up. Castle aren"t exactly bad, but they aren"t especially interesting either. A the majority of them come off together filler.

Happily, the battle system is deeper and more enjoyable 보다 it an initial appears. In the beforehand going that feels like a little of a hodge-podge - a repertoire of disparate facets that don"t fit together an especially well; yet after a while, the starts to work. The device is built around materia-like quartz, which have the right to be put into an unlockable slot come grant personalities various attack and also support spells, as well as inherent abilities called crafts that play a huge role in each character"s role in the party. The last abilities attract from CP, i m sorry grows together you successfully strike enemies, and fuels an effective S-Break attacks that have the right to do big amounts that damage.

With characters being able come move around the field, among your most essential tactical decision is whether to save the party together so castle can advantage from healing and also buffs, or to spread out them the end to stop area of effect attacks. Friend can additionally link personalities together, which deserve to in some cases lead come a complimentary follow-up assault that does added damage. It all feels a little confusing and messy at first, but once you acquire the cave of it, you"ll discover that there are enough interesting decision to be made at any given time to store the fights interesting. An ext than something else, the battle system has been what has kept me play Trails that Cold Steel.


So is Trails of Cold steel worth checking out?

Based on what I"ve written so far, you"re probably thinking, "No, it"s not." however despite my negativity, ns think Trails that Cold stole is worth checking out for a specific segment that RPG fans, an especially those who enjoy anime.

Though heavy-handed in the method that it"s presented, the seeds of an interesting story space present, through imperialism and also populism being 2 of the major threads introduced early on. Alas, castle are mainly left come nibble about the edges with the early hours, through the key thrust the the story being the arrival to the school and also the various internal problems that space meant to to mark a troubled empire. It has actually the potential come blossom into something down the line, but it really takes its sweet time obtaining to that point.

It is in many respects an old-school RPG - one the would have fit in well on the game stations 2 earlier in the day. It"s not meant to breakthrough the genre so much as call a sprawling story in ~ the confines of established design tropes, v a cast developed specifically come appeal come anime fans. That structure and also pace makes it a particularly an excellent fit because that the playstations Vita, whereby it deserve to be suspended at will. It"s just the kind of meaty, old-school JRPG the has end up being the system"s call card.

Having claimed that, ns think that appeals come a very specific taste, and also I"d have a tough time recommending it to someone exterior of its established niche. It"s a solidly design RPG with a good pedigree, yet 10 hours hasn"t been enough for that to gain its hooks into me, which is generally the threshold past which I move on come something else.

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

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Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a previous freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and also EGM. She fondest memories together a journalist space at GamePro, wherein she held RolePlayer's Realm and also had legal accessibility to the term "Protip." She is's resides mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings seed (skol).