No Such Thing as Second Best!

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is one of my favourite JRPGs to come out on the PS3, after being re-released on the PS4 just a few years later the sequel is again now in the spotlight on the PS4 also.

Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel II continues the story of Class VII in their efforts to do what it is that students do, of course, save the world. The extraordinary length of the first game was just the beginning, with returning characters and a host of new and future characters to get into depth with Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel II is a huge and hearty sequel that deserves your time.

You may ask do I need to play the first one to know what’s going on here? The answer is Yes you do, if you haven’t finished or played the first one then I absolutely recommend you doing so as the experience will be hindered by confusion if you don’t. This isn’t Final Fantasy where each main game in the series is different. The story in the second part to Trails of Cold Steel continues after the events of the first game where Rean our main protagonist must reunite with his classmates and push the forces of war away.

Being a game that is heavy on character interactions and heavy story segments, it is for that reason alone why you must go back and finish the first Trails of Cold Steel, it may be very tempting to jump right in like I did but the game doesn’t change much in terms of gameplay except some minor new additions but the real core comes from the story. The battle system itself and core presentation of the game remain untouched so as a master of the original Trails of Cold Steel you can jump straight in.

As we know most of the characters and have come to love and endure them Trails of Cold Steel II introduces host to new characters and mostly villains trying to take down Class VII, much like the first part it does a perfect job of breaking it up in manageable sections with character growth and great battles in Trails of Cold Steel fashion to boot. While there isn’t really anything new you will find your party overly strong as they have learned much from growing from the first game both in character and physical strength. The difficulty here is heightened also, again a perfectly good reason to start with the first game of the series.

While the game is Linear structured there is a point where the game opens up rather than going back to school every term it feels more like you are on the move constantly exploring the world, this is a big bonus for anyone wanting a more traditional JRPG. The bigger part of the game relies on strategy to overcome your foes, there are plenty of battle options and all make a welcome return here from S-break to Link attacks. Most noticeable is the new Overdrive feature that can turn the tide of battle by chaining several uninterrupted attacks to overwhelm the enemy. It won’t always by any means win you the fight but it may turn the tide in your favour at least, something which was never easy or an option in the original game so here it is very welcome.

The game boasts 60 FPS while I have noticed considerable slowdowns at times which is disappointing, this usually happens when too much is going on at once. There is the option of boosting the games speed to make that grinding much faster and easier and even with it turned on the game is by no means short so be prepared for the long haul.

While the game’s soundtrack is just as awesome as before, characters themselves have seen little improvement graphically and for a game of recent years they do look outdated in comparison but then again when a game is being built with the story in mind then it really doesn’t matter.

A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Nihon Falcom