Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

Well... this is going to be fun to talk about spoiler free.

and i promise... no spoilers... even though i desperately want to talk about each and every little thing.

Oh and Thank you to Xseed and Falcom and Marvelous and the translation team for bringing this game (and the next) over. you make me so happy that i get to play all these falcom titles (in fairly short succession... Second chapter just released like... at the end of oct?)

Thors Military Academy has quite the history, however after 120ish years in operation seems the faculty want to shake up the caste system that has been with them since inception.
Normally classes are divided between nobility and commoners.
Nobles, dressed in white, occupy Class I and II
Commoners, Dressed in green, Occupy III-V
However this year there has been an aditional class which mixes the two... Dressed in the best colour (or at least my personal fav) Red they are Class VII
because who needs counting...

Anyways everything about this class is a little different, these students have oddly high aptitudes with these new ARCUS Units so they were specially selected and go on these field studies where you would be convinced that the fate of the world may be on their shoulder.... because well it might be.

Anyways we Follow Rean Schewarzer, a Swordsman who apparently flunked out of the "Eight Leaves" school of swordsmanship and has resigned to being just another military grunt.
However either by chance or twist of fate he ends up the classes leader whenever they are on the field.

Normally i would describe gameplay like "this game and that game had a baby" but that isn't fully the case here.
this is more like a Legend of heroes game had two popular friends it hung out with... Tales of and Persona.
LoH desperately wanted to be cool and popular like them as well so it added a calendar and social points you can spend on certain days... and it added more skits after it's battle system
however despite these new elements it still feels just like the LoH games i have come to love. (minus the god awful translation of the Garghav trilogy... this actually has a fantastic translation that had me laughing quite often)
To me at least it didn't feel like it was ripping off these features... more adapting them to fit this new form (but hey... thats just me... i'm a Falcom fangirl so i'm more then a little biased)

If you have played Trails in the sky combat is very similar. Turnbased with use of Arts and Crafts--
i see what yo udid there falcom.
anyways Arts are magic attacks that tale time to charge, crafts are attacks that can do all sorts of unique things but you have to have CP which charges up as you fight.
S breaks are powerful attack that can be used at any time as long as yous CP is over 100 (max is 200)
However new to this game is Linking (like tales of Xillia but way better) and Bravery points... if you put an enemy off balance you can do an assist where you linked partner attacks and earn a point.
If you get 3 points you can Rush with you linked partner
if you get 5 point you can Burst with everyone (not accessed until quite late in the game but so good)

Other then that the game spends just over half a year with Class VII and their adventures across Erobonia
Also the music is really good, like some of the best music in the entire Legend of heroes Series (well... based on the ones i've had a chance to play)

Is it all perfect? no...
The game did crash on me once (luckily only once)
and there were certain instances where the lag did have me worried (specifically the 3rd floor of the final dungeon where the lag actually happens in battles as well... it's the only time there was lag out of a cutscene though [for me])
The graphics (while i like them) are not stunning or mind blowing but the world is filled with life and colour.

In the end i ended up with a timestamp of 77:03:01
so for a point of reference.
Ys games 8-50 hours (mostly thanks to Origins.. i think Ys4 was only like... 25 hours)
Assorted Tales of games - 30-60 (avg 40)
Trails in the sky 1 - 40ish hours
Trails in the ski 2 - 60 hours
Cold Steel - 77
Persona 4 - 80ish
Persona 3 - 120

I never expected the game to be that long... i thought it would be shorter then Second chapter (cause Second chapter is so long it's apparently on 2 UMDs)
and the best part is there is another one almost done translation... i wont have to wait 4 years (i hope)

to be fair the ending of this isn't quite as.... soul crushing as the ending of First Chapter.. but still i desperately want the next game now.

I really loved this game, i'm actually debating doing a New Game + of it cause i feel like i missed so much (well i know i missed like... all but 3 hidden quests...) and apparently some characters act differently on a second playthrough... i'm curious.

However there is one thing that makes me incredibly sad... and it has nothing to do with how the game was handled.

I figured out the biggest Twist of the game in the second chapter by accident.
so i spent the rest of the game trying to prove myself wrong
but in the end i was right.
And i was so incredibly sad about being right... i desperately wanted to be wrong. it'll make for interesting drama in the next game but dammit...

also apparently Cold steel 3 was recently announced as being a possibility... well... that'll probably be a few years away... *sob* one step at a time i guess.

One word to the wise.
Play Trails in The Sky First.
so many spoilers by character cameos
i feel like theres a whole chunk of the story i'm missing cause we haven't been able to play The Third, Zero or Ao or Nayuta... ok Nayuta no kiseki has no bearings on this plot but the fairy does show up as a plush toy
but yeah... play trails in the sky first, you'll get much more out of cold steel.

ok i'm gunna start a new game+ file and see what costumes it gives me (cause yeah... thats an option)
Also i wish i could play the field studies that Rean doesn't go on.... feels like there is half the game i haven't even experienced yet.

Then when i have had my fill i think it'll be time to give Final fantasy Tactics a try for the first time.

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