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Summary
  • Developer: Nihon Falcom - XSeed Games
 

Review: The Definitive Edition of Trails of Cold Steel brings that same, amazing story and characters you've grown to love back in a new and improved way. While in reality it's a port of the PC version of the game it was worked on significantly to bring the best possible experience to the Playstation 4. With all new features including over 3000 new voiced lines of dialogue, turbo mode and enhanced graphics this really is the most definitive experience… Expand

Review: The Definitive Edition of Trails of Cold Steel brings that same, amazing story and characters you've grown to love back in a new and improved way. While in reality it's a port of the PC version of the game it was worked on significantly to bring the best possible experience to the Playstation 4. With all new features including over 3000 new voiced lines of dialogue, turbo mode and enhanced graphics this really is the most definitive experience you can get without playing it on PC.

The game runs flawlessly from start to finish on both a fresh start and New Game + and is pretty much bug free (at least I have yet to experience a single bug in the 150+ hours I've put into it).

For those of you who are new to the series or have never heard of Trails of Cold Steel I'll fill you in on a few things about the game.

You take the role of Rean Schwarzer, a newly enrolled student at the Thors Military Academy and one of the nine founding members of Class VII. Class VII is an elite class of students with it's members coming from all walks of life. From a foreign exchange student, to the son of one of the top ruling houses in the Noble Faction Class VII pretty much covers all its bases when it comes to the intermingling of different social classes and each of their unique experiences help the class grow and become prepared for the rough future that lies ahead. What brought all these students together? The almight ARCUS, an orbement device that allows the user to use Arts (magic) which requires a strong aptitude with the orbment in order to attune with the device and "aptitude trumps background".

You journey along as Rean and the rest of Class VII travel across the country of Erebonia on Field Studies where the students are tasked with helping out the citizens of the town/city they are assigned and uncovering a secret organization's plot to destabilize the country all while maintaining your duties as a student and keeping up with your studies.

Combat is very traditional. It's the standard turn-based JRPG formula with a neat twist due to the customization options of the ARCUS which allows you to combine a multitude of different quartz to create a plethora of different builds for each character. Tradition, however, does not mean boring as it does a very good job at maintaining it's own distinct feel and offers a relatively small amount of required grinding to get through the story.

The story itself is probably one of the best I've encountered. It keeps you engaged from start to finish while balancing cutscene and gameplay sections quite nicely all while leading up to a surprising climax at the end that thrusts you right into Trails of Cold Steel 2. Character development is absolutely top notch. You really learn to care about most of the characters by the end of the game, even the minor ones that offer little more than a small conversation are handled extremely well. There is also a small dating sim aspect to the game though it's not really required to progress through the story BUT it does tie into to your combat. A higher level with your classmates nets you some pretty nifty bonuses to the combat link feature, plus you can share a sweet little moment with your favorite character near the end if that's your thing.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the traditional JRPG with a modern spin, loves a good story, enjoys anime, or all of the above since this game really nails it on pretty much every aspect that is the difference between a decent JRPG and a great JRPG. Plus the Relentless Edition of Trails of Cold Steel 2 will be releasing in May 2019 which is perfect since Trails of Cold Steel 3 is FINALLY getting released in the West in November. Close

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