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The Complete Newcomer's Guide to the Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

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Joined: 02 Jan 2017
Posts: 658
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:47 pm Reply with quote
I'd really like to play Trails of Cold Steel sometime, but I feel like I should finish Trails in the Sky first. On the other hand, I also haven't beaten Xanadu Next.

It feels weird saying this for a JRPG. But I think a certain amount of patience is actually necessary to enjoy the Legend of Heroes franchise. Falcom games have this certain similarity in feel that it's often hard to play two of their games back to back.
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:18 pm Reply with quote
Trails of Cold Steel was actually the first Legend of Heroes game I played, and it's a good jumping on point, provided you're ok with it not looking anywhere near as epic as Persona 5 does. Actually, one of my friends suggested I play Cold Steel and said it reminded him a bit of Persona (and with having personal relationships with your party members and having the game progress with some sort of in-game calendar, I can see those points), but it's also definitely its own unique thing.

And yeah, I do agree that it starts off a bit slow, but it never felt boring to me either, even during the long set up time. And by the end, I got to know and like all of the characters (well, not Machias, sorry, I just do not like him). Although it should be pointed out that you really need to have CS2 ready to go if you find yourself enjoying CS1, my Arceus, the cliffhanger CS1 ends on is the most painful thing on the planet (I'm almost lucky to have only beaten the first game a week or so before CS2 was due out in English, I could not imagine waiting years for the sequel!) I am eagerly awaiting CS3, but at least CS2 didn't end on such a huge cliffhanger, so the wait is bearable now. Also, CS2 only gives you more character info (Emma in particular is barely touched until CS2). And I feel like so many games I've played lately have the silent protagonist thing going on, so having Rean with actual personality and character development is actually nice.

Honestly the story is just so damn good that the only thing to be released in the US in the same ballpark in recent memory really is Persona 5. It's rare to come across games with as good a story as these games have.

Both games took me about 120 hours to complete, but it was so awesome and so worth it! Not sure if I'd re-buy them if they got a PS4 release, not unless there were some really shiny extras. But if a PS4 release got CS a bigger fan base, I'd still be all for it!
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Joined: 17 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:37 am Reply with quote
Actually Trails in the Sky only takes place two years before Cold Steel, so it's a lot closer in the timeline than some may think. The Trails to Zero/Azure games in Crossbell are taking place at the same time as CS.
Unlike so many RPGs, they're all intimately connected in their continent of Zemuria, and all that world building and character depth is even more rewarding with Sky in mind and what went down in the Liberl incident.
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Joined: 03 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:33 pm Reply with quote
Aside from the characters, which I think can be some of the best in fiction (Estelle Bright, for instance!), I think the biggest strength of the LoH series is the care put into every npc interaction.

I'm playing Trails in the Sky 3rd right now, a game from the mid-2000s. In the opening scene, two npcs in a completely optional encounter (AKA just walking up to them and pressing "talk") are discussing mink furs from Bareahard in Erebonia.

Come 2014, when the Erebonia games are actually released, and the party gets to actually visit Bareahard. One party members mentions that the city's known for gems and mink furs. The fact that someone almost 10 years before that game had already detailed the exports of one of its most important cities is really cool. It makes games like these a royal pain to translate, but they're so amazing!

And despite being so text-heavy, the scripts are wonderful (thank you, XSeed and Falcom) so I tend to talk to every npc i can. It's really an impressive series, and my favorite.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:33 pm Reply with quote
A PS3 game that launched after the PS4, it looks hardly better than a remastered PS2 title

The game was also developed on Vita. It was announced in 2012 before the PS4 was announced and released before the PS4 was released. Yes, I'm talking about Japan.
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Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:05 am Reply with quote
The Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel titles have all been outstanding games in their own right, and I'm very impressed with the quality of the writing that went into both of them. Cold Steel III feels like it's going to be massive in scope after all the events that have led up to now and I can't wait to see how it will conclude. The Crossbell games are probably going to be hard to relate to if they never get localized, and I'm sure there are some subtle nods to them that we've missed in both Cold Steel titles (spoiler[beyond seeing a photo of Rixia in Cold Steel and playing as Lloyd and Rixia in Cold Steel II's epilogue portion]).
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Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:29 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, really excited for Cold Steel 3 whenever the English version makes it out.

Another really good thing with this game was the dub cast, I really liked them.
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