Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

Post by Scraper »

Jaymann wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 9:59 am Ha! I picked up TOCS since it was 50% off on Steam. More to tide me over until BG3 comes out. Love the combat but thank goodness for the turbo mode for the long winded speeches.
Yeah all of these games are a slow burn, but all of them pay off towards the end. Cold Steel 1 is no different. And yes Turbo mode is a god send.

Cold Steel 1 is definitely the slowest of all the Cold Steel games though, part 2 actually starts of fairly fast paced and strong.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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Here's a review for Azure from RPGamer. I usually agree with their reviews on this series.

https://rpgamer.com/review/the-legend-o ... re-review/
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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Trails to Azure gets bonus points from me. There's a mandatory storyline part wherein you have to play and defeat an NPC at the "optional" Pom Pom game (It's a game within the game a lot like Dr Mario that the characters play against each other). A huge pet peve of mine in games is when these "optional" games are required to earn good gear or get trophies. Anyway in Azure if you lose the optional game in the storyline they give you an out and let the story keep progressing anyway. Which is nice since I have no desire to ever become good at the optional game.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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Just a friendly reminder that Trails into Reverie releases today. Here's a review from IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/the-legend ... rie-review . Needless to say I will be playing it as soon as I wrap up FF16.

I know not many of you have played this series but it really is the pinnacle of the classic style JRPGs for me. No other series is even close.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I got about 2/3 through Trails of Cold Steel 1 before abandoning it; I liked the game but the slow parts in town really killed the momentum for me. I'l finish it eventually because I have heard the sequels are much better.

It sounds like Reverie really counts on players having played the previous games in the series, so I'm hesitant to jump right into that. I think I'll just start at the beginning and pick up Trails in the Sky on PC ($10) and see how it grabs me.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I'm currently 1/3 of the way through Trails in the Sky SC and enjoying it. I thought the first one was smooth but with a so-so story until the end. I like these game enough that I'll play through more if not all of them. Not sure I'll ever "catch up" but definitely on the to-do list.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

Post by ChuckB »

Someone mentioned in the Final Fantasy XVI thread that the "Trails" games are really good, so I read more about the series that I had never even heard of and got Trails from Zero on the Switch. I'm not a JRPG fan at all (I enjoyed playing the first Octopath Traveler a bit but never played a FF game prior to XVI) but I'm now 10 hours in and I really like it. The whole series seems somewhat intimidating but even I, who had not heard about the series a week ago, have no trouble following the story (so far) or understanding the setting. The Switch seems to be the ideal system for these types of games.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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For those new to the series and wanting to start, Zero and then Azure really are great places to start. Definitely do not start with Reverie. And as YK said, Cold Steel 1 is a bit of a slog, but trust me, get to the final act and then judge the game, as it really sets up what the rest of the Cold Steel games are like with its finale.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I bought Trails in the Sky just to see if it would grab me enough to maybe hit the whole series, and I'm having a great deal of fun with it. The lore and mechanics were instantly recognizable from Trails of Cold Steel. I was going to hit Solasta again after FFXVI in prep for Baldur's Gate 3, but this one has me hooked.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I missed Liberl News - Issue 3 and it's really throwing my obsessive tendencies for a loop. My most recent save back into previous region/chapter has a cave/dungeon to re-do, and I don't feel like slogging through that again. From what I can read, there is no achievement for reading the newspapers in SC so I think I'm just going to grumble and move on. :D Still have all the available BPs so far, along with the Gambler books and have already hit a blackjack/4-of-a-kind at the casino. A little concerned about completing all of the fishing but I'll worry about that later.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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Baroquen wrote: Thu Jul 13, 2023 11:31 am I missed Liberl News - Issue 3 and it's really throwing my obsessive tendencies for a loop. My most recent save back into previous region/chapter has a cave/dungeon to re-do, and I don't feel like slogging through that again. From what I can read, there is no achievement for reading the newspapers in SC so I think I'm just going to grumble and move on. :D Still have all the available BPs so far, along with the Gambler books and have already hit a blackjack/4-of-a-kind at the casino. A little concerned about completing all of the fishing but I'll worry about that later.
I've played and finished every single Legends game except Reverie and Sky 3 and I haven't completed the News issues in any of them. I also don't feel like I missed anything by not obsessively reading them. There are so many storylines, sub plots and characters to keep track of in this series that the News articles seem unnecessary to me. So my suggestion is to not worry about the missed issue and keep going. The series gets really good after the Sky trilogy.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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Scraper wrote: Thu Jul 13, 2023 1:26 pm
Baroquen wrote: Thu Jul 13, 2023 11:31 am I missed Liberl News - Issue 3 and it's really throwing my obsessive tendencies for a loop. My most recent save back into previous region/chapter has a cave/dungeon to re-do, and I don't feel like slogging through that again. From what I can read, there is no achievement for reading the newspapers in SC so I think I'm just going to grumble and move on. :D Still have all the available BPs so far, along with the Gambler books and have already hit a blackjack/4-of-a-kind at the casino. A little concerned about completing all of the fishing but I'll worry about that later.
I've played and finished every single Legends game except Reverie and Sky 3 and I haven't completed the News issues in any of them. I also don't feel like I missed anything by not obsessively reading them. There are so many storylines, sub plots and characters to keep track of in this series that the News articles seem unnecessary to me. So my suggestion is to not worry about the missed issue and keep going. The series gets really good after the Sky trilogy.
Oh I know it's a trivial thing. I like trying to get most achievements in these games but I will ultimately skip things if I feel it's not worth the trouble (like the very end of Octopath Traveler). This was just an unusual instance where I missed something and saved over the most recent save slot that could fix it. Doesn't happen often, and I'm pretty much over it.

I'm at the point where
Spoiler:
Zin joins up with the party. Glad to see him back - he was a favorite from Sky FC
. Overcautious spoiler tags, just in case.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I started up Trails into Reverie over the weekend. It is very much a direct sequel to both Cold Steel 4 and Trails to Azure. Joshua and Estelle make a cameo in the opening hours and it's really hard to believe that this series somehow still has storylines that are playing out from Trails in the Sky 1 (9 games before Reverie).

Anyway I'll give my thoughts on the game once I get a bit further into it.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I'm about 15 hours into Reverie now and the game is scratching my traditional JRPG itch I had after playing through Devil May Cry 16 (shoot I mean Final Fantasy 16). Much like other games in the series this one is a slow burn and at 15 hours the game is still setting the story up. In fact the prologue section takes about 6 hours alone. Suffice it to say there is a lot of catching up with old characters and world building going on in the first 15 hours.

However at this point in the game I can say that if you enjoyed any of the other Trails games then this one is a no brainer. It's the most refined of the bunch and has the most robust combat of them all, all of the fighting mechanics from prior games are present and new ones are added. So strategically it's probably the most diverse in the entire series. I think the devs knew it too because I'm playing on the normal difficulty level and it has been challenging. I've wiped at least 10 times now and even standard mobs can pose problems at times. This is also a nice change of pace from the less than challenging FF16.

I'll update more as I get closer to the end.
Last edited by Scraper on Thu Aug 10, 2023 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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I'm about 45 hours in now and I read a review online that described Reverie as the video game equivalent of Avengers End Game and I couldn't agree more. The amount of playable characters is staggering (well over 50 at this point in the game), but what's amazing about it is that each character is unique and has their own personality along with their own storyline moments scattered throughout the game. Reverie takes the conclusions from the Sky, Crossbell and Cold Steel series and brings them all together into one game and gives all of them a proper send off. I haven't finished the game yet (and I'm not ready for it to end), but so far I give the game a big thumbs up.

At this point Japan has two more sequels that start an entirely new storyline with all new characters in a different location and I can't wait for those games to be localized.
Last edited by Scraper on Thu Aug 10, 2023 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Series Inclusive)

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This is one of the few series where I look forward to talking to NPCs, as so often they're either unique characters that I've encountered before or they have something interesting and/or new to say. And while I remember the combat in FC to be easy throughout (probably because of the whatever difficulty setting I chose), SC has been a challenge but not discouraging. Though I've been sidetracked by finishing Tactics Ogre, I'm still playing and really enjoying these games.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)

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I finished up the main story yesterday. It clocked in at about 50 hours. The ending was very satisfying and somehow managed to use most of the playable characters in the final stretch.

One thing this game has that other Trails games don't is a Dungeon Crawler feature (Called the Reverie Corridor). It is essentially a tower that is separate from the game world that you can travel to freely and work your way up the tower floors. All the while gaining experience and loot. It also rewards you with Reverie Points which can be used to upgrade various party abilities. It's a really cool addition that I wasn't sure about at first but the more I explored it the more I liked it. The game doesn't fully unlock all of the floors until the post game so it sets up a lot of stuff to do after the credits roll if you still haven't seen enough at that point. It also hosts all kinds of mini games as well as about 20 side stories that flesh out what the characters were up to in between Cold Steel 4 and Reverie.

All in all Reverie is a very satisfying conclusion to the first half of the Legend of Heroes saga.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)

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Just finished SC a couple days ago. 99 hrs. Did use a walkthrough, but finished 100% of the game with all achievements. While I'm sure I played on the easiest (or one of the easier) difficulty levels, it was mostly easy with some fights being challenging. It was a pleasant level to play at - not frustratingly tough, but not too easy either.

While I thought the game didn't have the narrative punch that the first game had, I enjoyed the characters and the continued development of the world around them. Though honestly, I'm getting sick of Joshua and Estelle. Well, really, just Estelle. But on the other hand, the game had expanded fishing. Always a plus.

I'm looking forward to the third game though I'm taking a break from the series and playing something else first. (At the moment, I'm Trying Live A Live. But if that doesn't stick, I might just go right into the next Trails).

Still really enjoying the series much more than I thought I would.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)

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Every time I see a Best of RPG article for 2023 I get pissed that they leave out Trails from Reverie and Azure. They were easily the best RPGs I played last year, so much better than most of the dreck that gets media attention (Sea of Stars I'm looking at you).

Don't get me wrong BG3 was the best RPG from last year, so at least most of the sites get that one right. It's just maddening that the Trails series continues to get overlooked when each game is so good, there literally isn't a bad one in the 10 main line releases.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)

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Legend of Heroes Trails Through Daybreak just released last week. For those unfamiliar this is a new start to the long running series. It takes place just after the last game in the series, BUT it has all new characters and takes place in a different country. In short it's a great place to start playing the series if you've missed the previous 10 entries.

I'm about 8 hours in now and so far so good. The graphics have received an upgrade and the combat system has been tweaked just enough to make it not feel stale. This time around the combat is a mix between a more action oriented 3rd person combat system (similar to any 3rd person action game) and the traditional turn based RPG system this series is known for. At 8 hours in the action system feels a bit shallow but it does help speed up fights against regular mobs. The turn based system is just as good as it always has been.

The characters all seem very likable up to this point and as usual this one seems to have a ton of political themes to the game.

Some thoughts for people who may be new to the series:

1. Think of this game as a novel, but one that you play. There is a ton of story and dialogue, but usually by about the half way point of each game in this series you will be heavily invested in the story.

2. There are a lot of voice actors in the game and some of them aren't good, especially the one off characters. Don't let a small part ruin the whole game.

3. The game does take some time to get going, I'm about 8 hours in and it just now feels like the game is starting.

4. The setting is a mix of fantasy and modern technology, it's a weird blend that somehow works.

5. There is an unwritten rule in this series that some people have super human abilities and they're never really explained. For instance very early in this game a side character is shown defeating a giant Mech by picking up a truck bare handed and throwing it at the mech. It makes for some wild and unique characters.

6. This really is a great place to start this long running series.

Finally it has been getting great reviews, here's one from IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/the-legend ... eak-review
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)

Post by YellowKing »

Nice! I didn't realize this came out.

I'm still in the middle of the Trails from Cold Steel quadrilogy, but I'll likely grab this and jump on in as soon as I finish up Octopath Traveler 2.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Skinypupy »

This is definitely on my radar as well.

I burned out about 10 hours into Cold Steel 2. Wondering if maybe I should go back to that one (it's been three years so I've completely forgotten what happened) or just start with this "new and improved" series. :eusa-think:
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

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Skinypupy wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:18 pm This is definitely on my radar as well.

I burned out about 10 hours into Cold Steel 2. Wondering if maybe I should go back to that one (it's been three years so I've completely forgotten what happened) or just start with this "new and improved" series. :eusa-think:
I would vote to go back to Cold Steel 2. But that's easy for me to say since I've finished all of them except for Daybreak 1 and 2.

Seriously though Daybreak is a good place to start, but the cold Steel series really pics up in part 2 and goes strong through part 4 and even Reverie.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)

Post by Hipolito »

Scraper wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:19 am 6. This really is a great place to start this long running series.
I haven't played any Trails games before, but you've got me thinking of jumping in with Daybreak. I looked up prices and HOLY CATS! On GOG, the Ultimate Edition with all the DLC costs $118.22. I think I'll just go with the no-frills Standard Edition at $59.99. Do you think any of the DLC are necessary?
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by YellowKing »

I'm going for the standard version. I've never bought any DLC for any Trails games and haven't missed it. It's pretty much all cosmetic stuff. Looks like Daybreak, in addition to the cosmetics, adds an art book and a soundtrack, but nothing I'm seeing looks like game content.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

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I agree, the base game is all you need. They release all kinds of cosmetic dlc for this series and they add nothing to the games. In fact they're more distracting than anything.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Baroquen »

Yeah, I'd agree the DLC of the more recent games don't look that important. Cosmetics or game boosts. And soundtracks & artbooks never do much for me.

I'm done with the initial 3 games. Taking a break before continuing on. But still really high on the series. Even after the 3rd Sky title and thought it was going to be disappointing, I was pleasantly surprised. While my least favorite of the three, it was still really smooth with interesting characters, stories and world-building. Looking forward to getting back to the series after a little break.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

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Baroquen wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:07 pm Yeah, I'd agree the DLC of the more recent games don't look that important. Cosmetics or game boosts. And soundtracks & artbooks never do much for me.

I'm done with the initial 3 games. Taking a break before continuing on. But still really high on the series. Even after the 3rd Sky title and thought it was going to be disappointing, I was pleasantly surprised. While my least favorite of the three, it was still really smooth with interesting characters, stories and world-building. Looking forward to getting back to the series after a little break.
Yeah Sky 3 is easily the weakest title. If you go straight to Trails from Zero you will be happy. The Crossbell Duology is top notch old school 2D JRPG greatness.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

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Some observations after about 12 hours of play on the PS5:

1. Van has the potential to be the best protagonist this series has. He's a good guy, but he's not shy about the fact that money drives him. I would say he's chaotic good.

2. The load times are almost non existent. Which is a good thing because the game moves from place to place a lot and it actually helps speed the game up. Usually when you complete an objective in a dungeon the whole group will just teleport back to the next story location. No need to aimlessly run back through dungeons and areas.

3. There are several quality of life improvements from past games. You can instantly teleport to any major location, store items are available to buy at the dungeon rest areas, you can set the text to auto scroll or manual, etc.

4. As usual with the Legends series the story is a slow burn, but so far I'm digging the Yakuza vs. Mafia back ground theme. Somehow I doubt they're the major bad guys in this story though.

5. There are a ton (I mean a lot) of side characters. But so far my favorite one is the F1 racecar driver. You meet him around the 11 hour mark.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Skinypupy »

I picked up Daybreak last night. Thought about going back to Cold Steel 2 (I even reinstalled and went through the story recap) but decided I liked the look of the new combat system, graphics, and QOL improvements.

The story and character development continue to be excellent. I already care more about these characters in the first 2 hours than I do about anyone in the new FF 14 xpac after 20 hours. 😂 Really interesting story and world setup as well, and one that I like much better than “bunch of teenagers at military school” from Cold Steel.

Combat definitely feels more involved this time and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Im a little confused on when I’m supposed to be using the real time and when I should be switching to turn-based mode, but that’s probably because I’m so early on.

My only gripe (again) are the weird, random, creepy/inappropriate sexual comments
Involving minors. There were a couple in the just the first couple hours as Van and others are introduced to Agnès. Just have to resign myself to that being a standard part of this series writing, I guess.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by YellowKing »

Skinypupy wrote:My only gripe (again) are the weird, random, creepy/inappropriate sexual comments
Involving minors. There were a couple in the just the first couple hours as Van and others are introduced to Agnès. Just have to resign myself to that being a standard part of this series writing, I guess.
Yeah I remember in one of the Cold Steel games one of the girl's granddad was basically talking about how hot she was now that she was "grown up" (which in this case is around 15-16). :?
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Scraper »

YellowKing wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:42 am
Skinypupy wrote:My only gripe (again) are the weird, random, creepy/inappropriate sexual comments
Involving minors. There were a couple in the just the first couple hours as Van and others are introduced to Agnès. Just have to resign myself to that being a standard part of this series writing, I guess.
Yeah I remember in one of the Cold Steel games one of the girl's granddad was basically talking about how hot she was now that she was "grown up" (which in this case is around 15-16). :?
This happens in this game, but to Van's credit he usually puts the characters in their place when they act inappropriate. Van is very protective of the youngsters.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Scraper »

Skinypupy wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:36 am

Combat definitely feels more involved this time and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Im a little confused on when I’m supposed to be using the real time and when I should be switching to turn-based mode, but that’s probably because I’m so early on.

It's really up to you, but for me the action combat just helps speed the fights up, if it's a big mob or a difficult enemy then I put it in command mode. The other benefit to switching is that if the enemy is stunned in action mode and you switch to command mode you will automatically do additional damage during the switch.

If it's garbage enemies I just leave it in action mode and beat them quickly.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Skinypupy »

Good lord, this game throws SO much at you in the first few hours. Feels like there’s a new combat, upgrade, or crafting mechanic introduced via text dump every 5 minutes.

Orbals, arts, slots, drivers, plugins, quartz…I’m honestly completely lost at this point.
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Re: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Trails Series Inclusive)(Now onto Trails Through Daybreak)

Post by Scraper »

Skinypupy wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:15 pm Good lord, this game throws SO much at you in the first few hours. Feels like there’s a new combat, upgrade, or crafting mechanic introduced via text dump every 5 minutes.

Orbals, arts, slots, drivers, plugins, quartz…I’m honestly completely lost at this point.
Yeah I could see how it would be overwhelming. Returning players shouldn't have a problem because 95% of the systems are the same as prior games in the series. My advice would be to not get lost in the weeds and just play the game. It's rather forgiving, so you shouldn't struggle too much if you aren't utilizing all the tactics that you can.

Some tips on the combat though:

1. Orbs and unlocking orb slots are essential. You have to go to a vendor to unlock new orb slots and buy new orbs. Orbs boost stats as well as give you magic powers. Some slots can receive any color of orb, but others are limited to one color. More of the same type of orb will grant additional and more powerful spells in that category.

2. The S-Crafts are a key to winning tough fights. To activate them a character needs 100CP and you have to have two full boost bars. Van's S-Craft is a powerful AOE attack whereas Agnes will heal the party and even revive characters. One trick to the S-crafts is that they can be activated at any time in combat even when it's not a characters turn, so I always try to do a normal attack and then directly follow it up with an S attack from that same character.

3. Always try to stand next to a companion in turn based battles, this will boost your attack as well as trigger your companion to follow up with their own attack.

4. All Weapons can be upgraded once at a weapon vendor. I usually buy them and then upgrade them at the same time.

5. Pay attention to the bar that shows character order at the top of the screen during turn based battles, there will be symbols next to their picture that show potential buffs during their next turn. For instance if the spell symbol is there then they will instantly cast the spell and it wont cost any magic points. This feature can really turn the tide of battles.

If you have any other questions fire away. I've put soo many hours into this series that I know the system pretty well.
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