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The Legend of Heroes Thread - Trails of Cold Steel in the Sky

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Crooked Bee, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. kain30 Arbiter

    kain30
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    I loved tits 1 and 2. I cannot wait for tocs4. Is the tocs saga going to end in the 4th game?
     
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  2. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Technically yes, though its all kind of wrapped up in the game that follows it - Hajimari no Kiseki. Hajimari kind of serves as an end to TitS, Crossbell, and ToCS all in one, while serving as a beginning leading into the Calvard arc coming up.

    Can't wait for Hajimari. It really looks amazing.
     
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  3. Harry Easter Arbiter

    Harry Easter
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    Who doesn't? Sorry, I couldn't resist :D.

    I started playing Trails in the Sky 1 and I like what I see. I'm thinking of getting the Crossbell-Arc next, since that should come out in summer. I think I get the appeal of the series. It's just so wholesome right now.
     
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  4. You can already get Trails from Zero from dlsite.com and the excellent Geofront localisation from here.
     
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  5. Harry Easter Arbiter

    Harry Easter
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  6. cruel Savant

    cruel
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    I need to rant a little bit. Heavy spoilers below, don't read if you haven't played CS4 yet.

    Show Spoiler

    I really don't like some of the plot decisions they make, and how they treat legends in CS4. First, Viscount Arseid - fantastic, epic character. It was obvious from the start that his death in CS3 is fake. Sure enough, he is indeed alive, but what? He lost his left arm. Why? What's the point? First, some injuries after McBurn fight, now the guy has only one arm left. Totally unnecessary for one on my favorite characters, and at the same time Toval is perfectly fine without a single scratch.

    And next, worse, the Steel Maiden. One fight, followed by harder Divine Knight fight, some drama, and it seems that they were able to convince her to stay with them. I'm already imagining, how epic would it be to give player control of her, even for some time? Truly epic material right there. But no, what happens? Rufus appears out of nowhere, NOT SEEN by 20+ people, including legendary knight and the most powerful witch in the world, and kills her in one hit. And a moment later deflects Rose's pure wrath, no problem, she is only the most powerful witch in the world. What a load of bullshit.


    Also, Jermu was right. Difficulty on Hard in later parts of the game is virtually non-existent (at least for non Divine Knight battles). Nightmare should be the way to go for people wanting some challenge.
     
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  7. Ysaye Savant

    Ysaye
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    I generally agree with those examples being not great choices.

    Show Spoiler
    I generally agree that Victor losing an arm was a bit of a weird choice; I had read speculation before playing the game that Toval would survive but lose a leg but that doesn't seem to have happened? I think what they were trying to do with Victor is to pull him down (power level wise) to make him equal or otherwise to Aurelia. That and/or to "level out" some gameplay stuff which I am guessing you haven't got to yet?

    I suspect you may not like the final treatment of Claire and maybe Lecter. On the other hand, I liked the final treatment of Cedric as well as some other characters that get developed a bit more that I was surprised at. There is even a little more of Lianne in the "true ending" - just make sure you finish all the sub-quests so that you get the ??? quest so that in turn you can easily get to the final "true" ending.
     
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  8. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    Just started the first Trials of Cold Steel. Never played any of these games before and, despite quite a jarringly odd first 5-10 min, the first few hours on the whole have been very enjoyable.

    Looking forward to delving deeper.
     
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  9. Harry Easter Arbiter

    Harry Easter
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    It is quite slow isn't it? But once you're hooked, you're hooked on the games. I think it really is the writing.
     
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  10. Yep, TOCS is probably the slowest game in the series (even more so than TITS and Zero, just because the writing in TOCS admittedly isn't as good), yet it's still great.

    If you start to get bored or annoyed with the twee-ness of it all, just push through, it's worth it.
     
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  11. Harry Easter Arbiter

    Harry Easter
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    It's interesting, that they make even the twee-ness work. I don't know what their writing does better than other JRPG's, but it works. Even in the Ys - Games.
     
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  12. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    They have nailed a great rate of pacing between being active and watching the story, which I think helps a lot.

    It also made me laugh how at the start they stated "Class 7 is a diverse selection of students" after the 1st boss fight in the prologue, and yet there's not ONE negro, paki, feminazi, faggot amongst them :)

    Proper, straight white supremacy like only the slopes know how. Brilliant stuff.
     
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  13. Harry Easter Arbiter

    Harry Easter
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    What is a slope?
     
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  14. An ethnic slur used to describe Asian people.
     
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  15. Valestein Arcane Patron

    Valestein
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here Strap Yourselves In
    They aren't considered honorary aryans for nothin'.
     
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  16. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    I finished Cold Steel 2 last year and already bought and started CS3 a couple days back. I gotta say, even though I'm only around 15 hours into the 3rd, both games feel like a noticeable improvement over the first. Not that the first game was bad, mind you, I would probably not be playing the newer ones if it hadn't hooked me, but it does seem Falcom just keeps iterating the gameplay into perfection while maintaining an uncompromising diligence in developing the setting, characters, and overall narrative with care. In that connection, I'm frankly glad they decided to extend the franchise into a fourth game.

    I like the changes and additions to the combat and character systems they've been making with each game, even if it took a while for me to get used to the new combat interface of 3. The dungeons seem to have gotten more interesting in their design in 2, and so far 3 has been solid in that regard, especially the Keep areas. I hope they keep it up.

    So far I think CS3 has the strongest early game of the bunch, if they can maintain this level of quality I might end up liking it more than CS2, which is one of the best Japanese RPGs I've played in the last decade. One thing I am liking about 3 more than 2 so far is that it doesn't have anything as tedious as the whole "find the students" side-tasks were in that one. But it's still early in the game, they might still come up with something like that.

    I'd probably be a bit bummed that they don't let you carry over your save from 2 to 3 if it wasn't for the fact that I switched from playing 2 on the Vita to playing 3 on the Switch. The Switch version is great so far in portable mode (certainly much better than Ys VIII, which has some graphical issues), my only issue is this bug where the game freezes when you start moving in the dorm after fast travelling to it. Not sure if that's a Switch thing or whatever, but it's no biggie either way.

    Anyway, great series. A while back I thought I'd only have bought and completed CS3 after CS4 got its Switch release, but at the rate at which I've been playing these games, I'll probably have to wait for 4. In the meantime, there are always replays (which I'm already looking forward to), plus the other Trails games.
     
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  17. If it makes any difference, Cold Steel 4 scans your disk drive for save games from ALL CS games.

    On PS4 this was meaningless because I only had CS 3 saves there, but I expect the PC release of CS4 to check saves of CS 1, 2 and 3.

    You'll get bonus items but not much else, so it's not that important.
     
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  18. cruel Savant

    cruel
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    I think that you are also getting some additional dialog with your 'chosen one' based on save import.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Endemic Arcane

    Endemic
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    They aren't talking about skin colour when they say that :P social class, home region and academic background was the point.
     
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  20. cruel Savant

    cruel
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    Why did they put the last master quartz locked behind a shitty mini game like Pom? :( there is no way I'm suffering through that.

    Btw, 130 hours on the clock and still playing. Huge, huge game with a lot of content (and not boring!).

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
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  21. HoboForEternity sunset tequila Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    Pom! Is pretty fun
     
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  22. cruel Savant

    cruel
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    With first few opponents, sure is. After that, they all start playing like Japanese kids on steroids - not doable with my reflexes.
     
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  23. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    So, an April release has been confirmed for the Western Switch version of IV:



    Funny that the announcement came out just as I'm wrapping up the third. Waiting for a release date is a bitch.
     
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  24. HoboForEternity sunset tequila Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    when is PC?? ? ? ? ?
     
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  25. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    Some impressions after having finished CS3 (spoilers included):

    -I didn't expect it to take me longer to beat than 2, but it did, despite my liberal use of the speed-up options. Thankfully the game retains a high level of quality right up to the epic final boss gauntlet.

    -Despite being longer than 2, I thought the pacing was better. The start is much stronger (I liked the Ymir start in 2, but the reunion with Class VII dragged on a bit too much for my taste), the middle section is suitably exploratory while having the best content in the game, and the ending doesn't drag as much as it does in 1 or 2: once the campaign and story reach peak momentum the game just rushes to its climatic ending, as it should be. To be fair to 2, in its case there were extenuating circumstances, such as the fact that there was no other section of the story where they could have comfortably stuck the Lloyd chapter and the fact that the "true" finale was essentially a post-game dungeon, but CS1 does just drag its ending out.

    -The cities and regions are great. Both Crossbell and Ordis-Raquel were very well done. Great music, very cozy atmosphere, distinct aesthetics that nevertheless fit the setting well, plus plenty of content and solid overland exploration in the surrounding areas. There is even some incentive to check out the smaller shops for unique items (such as the gifts) that aren't available elsewhere, not to mention the department stores have gear that you can't get in other shops. There are also points of interest that are not marked on your journal that have some interesting stuff or contribute AP. Overall, it feels like non-dungeon exploration is a massive upgrade over the previous two games, which makes the more linear structure (compared to 2) all the more of a shame.

    -Dungeons also feel like an improvement. The Dark Dragon's Nest and Juno Naval Fortress are probably the best designed dungeons in the series. I also liked how they handled the huge cast by implementing parties that operate separately but coordinate in their navigation of the dungeons. Very solid mechanic that makes party building all the more interesting (if also more time consuming) while also enhancing exploration. The Keep levels also maintain a solid level of quality throughout.

    -Both the combat and the party/character building retain the strengths of the previous entries while adding new stuff that makes it, if anything, more interesting. Break is a pretty good mechanic that makes encounters and tactics more varied while, incidentally, also making Earth slots more useful to physical attackers. I'm not sure that delay is as broken as it was in 2, but this time around there seems to be a lot more stuff to experiment around with, so I didn't focus as much on it as I did back in 2. I think I prefer the Brave Orders to Overdrive in 2. However, I'll admit some of this stuff is just broken, like Ash's Crazy Hunt order. Well, at least that one is not available in the final gauntlet. Domination is still busted, hehe.

    -World-building and characterization seem, if anything, to be an improvement over previous games. Western Erebonia ended up being, perhaps paradoxically, even more interesting than the Eastern part. We see fewer distinct areas, but both Sutherland and Lamarre feel more detailed than the Eastern regions. This connects to the point I was making above regarding exploration. Crossbell is also great, of course, and has made me even more curious about the Crossbell games. The new Class VII is alright, none of them is as consistently annoying as the worst of CS1's main cast. They toned down the tropey anime high school drama despite returning to the academy setting. Old Class VII is more likeable than ever as well. Rean is finally a strong protagonist (he was something of a nonentity in 1 and 2 tbh), insufferable characters like Machias are tolerable now, and bland characters like Gaius are actually cool now.

    To be fair, this game benefits massively from a lot of setups from previous games that add a lot to what we see, thanks to the fact that the devs were committed from the get-go to crafting a meticulously interconnected world.

    -I'm not a huge fan of the fact that they've moving away from factional and international politics and further towards "Dark Dragon" and "Ancient Evil" shenanigans, but whatcha gonna do? This sort of thing was baked into the setting from the beginning as far as I can tell (e.g. the Sept-Terrion as a motivation for Ouroboros), so I guess they have no choice but to incorporate it into things despite the fact that Erebonian politics are probably more interesting than that stuff. Not to mention this kind of thing is to be expected in a JRPG. Still, I have to admit the timing for this shift in gears wasn't the best: things were just starting to get interesting with the Calvard special forces story. Would have liked to see a bit more of that.

    Not a fan of having another cliffhanger ending either, though I sorta saw it coming (I figured they'd repeat the structure of 1 and 2 with 3 and 4) and I plan on getting 4 when it comes out for the Switch in any case.

    Overall, I liked CS3 a lot. Right now, it's probably my favorite in the series along with 2. I'm not sure of which I'd rank higher, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. As I mentioned, I find the more open-ended structure of CS2's midgame to be an advantage over CS3, even if CS3 has overall better areas. Either way, they are both great games, and they are both among the very best JRPGs as far as I'm concerned. It's been a while since a series has hooked me like this one did. Already looking forward to the Calvard arc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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