The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV
Top Critic Average
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is an excellent JRPG and easily one of the very best the genre has to offer in a generation which was rich with great experiences. Its turn-based combat has been finely tuned to perfection and its narrative is a fantastic example of how to reward players for investing time throughout multiple games, ending the metaseries and setting the stage for the future in the best way possible.
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Really, the Trails of Cold Steel series is like one of those favourite fantasy books that you can read and re-read over and over again. Whether that be Lord of the Rings, Magician, Thomas Covenant, Drizzt Do'Urden's novels, Earthsea or Game of Thrones, they (and Trails of Cold Steel) all share a quality that makes them eminently relatable and comfortable. There are some excellent themes scattered through the game with regards to the impact of conflict, political and moral relativism, individual heroism and the strength of the group. Unfortunately, all the strengths of this series are tied up with its narrative, and we're at the point where it's hard to discuss the narrative without giving important moments away, so my review can't really reflect just how enthused I really am about Trails of Cold Steel. All I can say is that the fourth chapter is, if anything, even stronger than what came before and so while you should play all four in order, this is the one to look forward to the most.
For those who’ve stuck with Class VII through thick and thin over three games, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is the crowning achievement to an exceptionally well-written story with plenty of tears and laughter mixed together into a timeless package.
Few titles exist that feature one of the best combat systems ever created with a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Trails of Cold Steel IV is quite frankly one of the best RPGs I have ever played, and I cannot wait to see what the future of the franchise has in store.
Nihon Falcom’s Trails of Cold Steel proudly stands amongst the few which can truly be considered to be at the pinnacle of the modern-day, story-driven JRPG, and it was truly wonderful seeing the culmination of the series’ work within The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV.
The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV delivers the perfect conclusion to the epic saga of Class VII. All our questions are answered, we get to reunite with every character we’ve bonded with over the years, and it all comes together into a spectacular finale which won’t disappoint fans of the series. There’s so much to see, do, interact with, and ‘collect’, the world is massive and the game actively encourages you to explore and investigate every location as if it’s your last chance to do so – providing addictive mini-games and funny events to keep you occupied between slaughtering enemies. If you’ve played any of the previous games and you liked them, this game is an essential purchase.
Although it would have been nice to see a little more innovation from Cold Steel III, this finale to the Erebonia arc is still one of the best JRPGs I've ever played. The world-building and character development are as exquisite as ever, while the gameplay mechanics are still well above average, albeit unextraordinary. Regardless, assuming you have played at least Cold Steel III and know enough about the Trails lore, this latest addition is well worth your time.
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.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is a fitting end to the saga of Erebonia. While there are tons of characters returning and plot threads from previous games, newcomers will still be able to enjoy the complicated, political tale along with a deep battle system.
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.