Fans of the Legend of Heroes series will know what they’re getting themselves into with the latest entry, Trails of Cold Steel. The game was originally released in Japan back in 2013 under the title The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki, and it’ll finally get an English release later this year. Developed by Nihon Falcom, The Legend of Heroes is a series of strategic RPGs. However, Trails of Cold Steel brings just a few new things to the combat system here.
The game takes place during the same time as Zero and Ao no Kiseki, so fans of the series can expect nods and callbacks to those prequels. Beyond that, however, Trails of Cold Steel is still very newbie-friendly and you don’t have to play the previous games to enjoy this one. This installment in the series centers around Class VII, a new class formed in Thors Military Academy that composes of both normal citizens in Erebonia and its aristocrats.
During the demo, I got to play the opening of the game where my party of characters from Class VII get dropped into the middle of a military operation. What’s new in Trails of Cold Steel is the introduction of the Tactical Link system. You’ll take control of four characters in your party and you can link up any two of them to enhance their stats in battle. Tactical Link also allows your sub character to get an extra hit in after your main character has finished his or her attack. As you continue to use the Tactical Links, you’ll also be able to increase the Link Level between your characters. Increasing the Link Level allows your characters to gain extra abilities such as healing your Link partner and increasing the amount of CP gained.
In addition to that, you can also freely swap your characters in and out of the party. Each character is equipped with their own set of spells and special attacks, so you’ll need to be familiar with your party members and know which ones to bring in at the right time.
Everything else in the game was pretty much what you’d expect from a typical Legend of Heroes game; the combat system remains rather deep and immersive, and Trails of Cold Steel definitely retains that anime charm the series has become known for.
The graphics aren’t too impressive, but the art style of the game is beautiful as usual. While the game may not look too flattering on a TV screen when playing on the PS3, the game looks crisp on the PS Vita’s OLED and LCD screens.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will be made available for the PS3 and PS Vita later this year.