When it comes down to RPG games, and specifically any JRPG, I always grew up in love with a certain brand of game that was made by a certain rival. But when XSEED dropped that they were bringing the polarizing Trails of Cold Steel game to PlayStation 4, I had to jump at the opportunity.
Like many other gamers could probably say, it was almost always a one-horse race on PlayStation 3. But in the JRPG category, there is a fine line that a game has to toe in order to be a massive success or an utter failure. This is the story of the latter, a hidden gem that excelled then and on its port over to PlayStation 4, the game continues to excel with little fanfare.
It took me all of a chapter to realize that this game had elements in it that one would love.
From forging bonds with classmates and actually benefitting in battle situations, to seeing the world around you changes the dialogue on things it keeps you interested.
The way that the characters develop in their own ways as well. From the beginning to the end, there is always something that’s going on in the game that will keep your attention. It’s worth noting that the changes they made to the game don’t change how the world reacts to you but really enhanced it all.
If you were worried about the graphics, don’t be. The graphics were kept marginally the same to me with a greater emphasis on colors and gentle physics, such as breathing in cutscenes. No more of the abnormal movements that were not as noticeable in the previous versions. It’s just a bit more flowing.
The core of the game revolves on its battle mechanics to me. It remained in a simple turn-based mode that kept me nostalgic, add to it the use of Craft Skills to give you a little extra “pop” really makes battles flow well for the gamer.
The greatest nugget of the entire edition happened to be the addition of the DLC. Now, I am new to the DLC for Trails of Cold Steel as I was a cheapskate. And the “Decisive” Edition actually gives you all of the DLC with purchase making it worthwhile.
I didn’t crack the DLC open throughout the first 17 hours of play except to put on the casual clothes for the characters, giving them a different look. But it’s notable that there are a lot of starter items in the DLC menu that can be used.
For those that played Trails of Cold Steel on PS3 and PSVita, it’s a nice note to bring up the ability to cross-save is still there. In my test, I moved the PSVita game save to PS4. A source told me via email that the cross-saving is not the same as the previous generation.
Which is evident in the menu of Trails of Cold Steel on PS4 but I’ll elaborate more in the downsides section of this review.
Downsides to the games happen often with games but something that I praised earlier also has a minor problem. Over 17 hours of gameplay, and believe me, you’ll play more than that – the biggest thing that stuck out to me once more was the constant use of the “X” button.
Dialogue doesn’t flow as often as it should automatically which forces you to stay alert throughout to keep it flowing. That’s not an issue for me but it can leave you feeling like it was tedious work.
The dialogue options for active voice would pop up announcing that a treasure chest was found, or spotted, there would be a minor hitch in the graphics of the game. It’s not game-breaking but as the game wears on – you’ll notice things like that become a bit more prevalent.
The ability to cross-save is another downside. I had some advanced information before the release close to 20 days prior to release that leaked the biggest surprise to me.
My source told me that cross-saves are there but it’s not a full cross-save functionality and was doubly-confirmed by the studio’s PR agency.
“The PS4™ system version of the game will allow players with save data from the PlayStation®3 and “PS Vita” versions of the title to import their save data to PS4™, however save data will not transfer back from PS4™ to other platforms. Save data for the PS4™ release will similarly carry over to the forthcoming PS4™ release of the sequel,The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II as well, granting bonuses to those who accomplished various goals in the first title.”
I looked a little further into the cross-saves situation but it’s most definitely true. I ported my New Game+ file over to PS4 but if you hope to take it with you – not going to happen.
Even though the game has some minor issues and hasn’t made many changes over its previous two game console releases, it’s still a game that is worth the play. It changed my mind to the JRPG genre as a whole.
Barring the inability to bring save data back to the PSVita or PS3, this game is still an amazing graphically and the storyline is a thing of beauty.
I don’t have much of a rating scale but on a scale of 0-10, I’d have to give XSEED Games’ The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel “Decisive” Edition a resounding 8/10.