The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (PS4)  – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: NIS America, XSEED Games, Nihon Falcom
Platform: PS Vita, PS TV, PS3, PS4, PC
Tested on: PS4

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (PS4) – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Story, Turbo mode, No real loading times
Bad: Feels dated at times
User Score
10.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

With the upcoming release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, the original two games have been ported to the PlayStation 4, as the third installment will also hit the same platform. This allows gamers who missed the series the first time, or those who don’t own an old console or Vita anymore, to play the original two games, to get into the story of Rean Schwarzer and his many companions. For us this was a fun trip down memory lane, be it with slightly better visuals and a turbo mode that allows us to speed things up. If you wish to read our original review of Trails of Cold Steel II, you can do so by clicking here. This review will focus more on the rerelease.

Story

After the conclusive battle at the end of the first game, Rean finds himself in the middle of a mountainous area, standing next to the mysterious robot suit that he linked to earlier. Sadly, he lost the battle, but he is still alive to fight another day. Most of the main cities have been taken over by the ‘Alliance’, and his classmates’ whereabouts are unknown. He finds himself regaining his strength, before venturing out to find his friends.

Just like in the first installment, you’ll find yourself wading through a lot of text windows, with some voiced intermezzos and a whole lot of NPCs that also offer their input on the story. It’s easy to say that this game is story-driven and that, even though there’s a lot of combat and running around, you’ll mostly be playing this title for its plot.

Those who forgot what the first installment was about will be glad to know that this game has implemented a small summary of the things that happened in the first game. You can read up about the different characters and what happened during each chapter in the previous game. While it’s all done in a read-only format, it’s still a nice gesture to have something like this available in the game.

Graphics

Same cast, different day, is pretty much the motto of Trails of Cold Steel II. While you find yourself alone at the beginning of the game, the cast will slowly start to drip through the cracks, showing you many fun designed characters and sceneries. You’ll notice that the graphics aren’t truly PlayStation 4 material, but the game still has pleasant aesthetics. The game looks more like a PlayStation 3 release at the end of the console’s lifespan, but the anime look does take some of the rough edges away, allowing you to be more forgiving.

Sound

Once again we find ourselves enjoying the soundtrack of this title, which has a proper and diverse amount of different tracks to enjoy, but also very decent voice acting that elevates the experience. Sadly, not all dialogues are voiced, and the developers are sometimes whimsical in deciding which dialogues get voiced support, but most main events are voiced by a very pleasant cast, which is certainly a plus.

Gameplay

Like its predecessor, Trails of Cold Steel II is a typical J-RPG that builds on the fundamentals of the genre, and adds a few quirks of its own. You’ll find yourself exploring a decently sized map, in which you can run around in enclosed compartments for the duration of the game. You’ll be able to explore to a certain extent, while wading through many dialogues and menus, going from one fight to another. The basic offset is clear, and some of the mechanics allow some tinkering, making sure the game isn’t too shallow.

All monster (packs) are visible on the map you’re currently in, allowing you to either surprise them or evade them. When choosing for the first option, you’re able to hit them with a preemptive strike, which allows you to get the first turn(s) when combat is initiated. The combat itself will follow a fairly standard turn based format, in which you can choose to move, attack, cast spells, use skills, use items and so on. There are multiple skills available which depend on the Quartz you have equipped, allowing for a small leeway when it comes to different playing styles.

Overall the game is quite basic in terms of complexity, but there are things to be done in ways of exploring, fishing, customizing some of your gear and so on. For those playing through this game for the second time as a preparation for part three, this game has a Turbo function, allowing you to play at double speed. This helps a lot to make the combat less dull, and allows you to explore a lot faster. The loading times have also been reduced/removed, which makes this PlayStation 4 iteration a lot more fluent.

Conclusion

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is still a very decent series to check out, even with the somewhat dated graphics in place. The game offers a lot of story progression, a lot of content, a fun cast of characters to play with and tried-and-tested mechanics that still are fun to this day. If you’re looking for a great J-RPG series, then the Legend of Heroes franchise is one to consider looking into.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (PS4) – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. […] NIS America, Inc. has just released a new gameplay trailer for their upcoming game Trails of Cold Steel III. If you are not familiar with the series you might be in for a long ride as this game is the eighth installment in the Trails series and the third game of the Erebonia arc. The story is therefor too long to explain here and we’ll focus on gameplay as displayed in the trailer. Trails of Cold Steel 3 – Trial By Fire is a roleplaying game with a turn-based battle system, you might compare it to Final Fantasy. Several gameplay mechanics are added or improved such as party-wide buffs, the follow-up moves called Link Attacks, Brave Points that are earned by performing assists, elemental attacks learned from Arts and Crafts and S-Crafts which can be seen as an ultimate attack. You can find our review of the previous installment right here. […]

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