The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
Top Critic Average
An ashamedly old school role-player that nevertheless does its best to attract new players and entertain existing fans.
With fun combat, interesting twists, and a cool social system, Trails of Cold Steel is one of my favorite recent RPGs
A hero sandwich that's way too heavy on the bread.
There are games where 30 hours seem to fly by in an instant, and there are games where I'll be playing for what seems like days upon end, only to find that I've only put in 10 hours. At the risk of sounding more negative than I'd like, The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has mostly fallen in the latter category for me.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel follows a lot of classic JRPG conventions, and as a result, it doesn't do a whole lot of things that haven't been done before, and better elsewhere. But the combat system still holds up, and the characters are charming enough to see the story through until the end.
Despite my gripes with the game and the struggle to make it through achingly slow opening chapter, the care and detail that went into the game is clear to see, and I know there are JRPG fans that live to appreciate the kind of meticulous detail that this game contains. Trails of Cold Steel wants you to strap in for the long haul, and as the first of three chapters it’s not afraid to take its time. If you want a JRPG that isn’t afraid to soak you in story until you’re nothing but wrinkles, this is absolutely the game for you.
Trails of Cold Steel doesn't lack for a pretty atmosphere throughout, and I enjoy the design elements quite a bit regardless of graphic quality. The music isn't anything mind-blowing, but it is still Falcom quality goodness.
Trails… is a superb example of classic JRPGs done right.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has an old-timey feel to it while not getting lost in the novelty of that. Trails channels inspirations from the entire RPG timeline in subtle ways and brings it into a modern and progressive light. The PS3 and PS Vita are lucky to have this gem of an RPG in their library, even if it doesn’t push the hardware as it could.
One of the best examples of how good the Japanese RPG can be, even if no single aspect sets the bar for the genre.