The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 is a true culmination of an epic journey filled with unforgettable characters in a world that has become as familiar and inviting to me as my own hometown. If not for the lackluster localization effort and continuous implementation of uneven voice acting, this could have been the perfect send off for the members of Class VII, Thors military academy.
Trails of Cold Steel IV is the climax that fans of the series deserve, comprehensively delivering on its promise as the end of a saga while setting up future plotlines that are sure to affect the lore in all kinds of fascinating ways. That said, this is also a rather weird game to recommend. Newcomers absolutely should not play this game first, given that it's a concluding chapter to an ongoing saga years in the making. Longtime fans, on the other hand, don't need any convincing, as they're going to get this game if they've already invested the hundreds of hours of legwork that set it up. Assuming that's you, Trails of Cold Steel IV is a spectacular RPG experience that no fan of the genre will want to miss out on, and we can comfortably say that it's worth your time.
I appreciate that The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is here. I'm glad this is finally over and having this sense of resolution. It's a sense of finality, and it does an admirable job of bringing everything together and to a close. But it also very much is more of the same, only on a much grander scale and with an overwhelming amount of characters and exposition. This is a game for those who have been following along for the last five years and understand it is more about concluding a story than offering major innovations. While it can be exhausting and overwhelming, I would say it is worth it.
A fantastic conclusion to the Trails of Cold Steel series, a highlight in the ever-impressive The Legend of Heroes franchise, and a must-play for JRPG fans.
Overall, I spent well over one hundred twenty hours playing the Switch port of Trails of Cold Steel IV. While I certainly felt that the game dragged at times, it was ultimately still a solid JRPG experience. At times, “the end of saga” might have felt like it was going out with more of a whimper than a roar, but the conclusion of the True Ending more than makes up for the game’s pacing struggles. I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience the ending of the Erebonian story arc, and even with some Switch-specific flaws, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is yet another truly solid addition to the console’s JRPG lineup. If you picked up the Switch’s port of Trails of Cold Steel III, then the fourth game is certainly worth playing on that system as well.
Cold Steel IV finally ends the "Phantasmal Blaze Plan" arc for the series after nearly a decade, for better or worse.
Despite some shortcomings, this is still a fantastic JRPG that remembers what made players fall in love with the genre. You have a wondrous story that is topped with engaging gameplay that is more than enough to keep most people engaged. Toss in a wide variety of mechanics not even mentioned, exploration and so many details and it's easy to understand why so many people love this franchise. And while newcomers are better off playing through the other titles, the recap is robust enough to either remind you what happened or explain so many were excited about the conclusion.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is massive. It's massively fun and massively rewarding. Fans of JRPGs can get delightfully lost in its deep story, its numerous characters, and its battle system that provides a ridiculous amount of options for customization. Just make sure you've played Trails of Cold Steel III (and have at least read up on I and II).
Though it may feel like a case of "more of the same" as opposed to some grand, fourth-and-final leap forward, Trails of Cold Steel IV just about manages to achieve success in maintaining that kind of familiar yet high standard the saga has satisfied long-time fans with.
It's taken a long time to get here but The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 is a well-rounded experience, brimming with memorable characters, storylines and world-building. Despite a few stumbles in pacing and localization, not to mention performance issues, it's an incredible role-playing experience.