The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 – Who Said JRPGs Were Dead?

Trails of Cold Steel 2 Review

When you think about Role-Playing games you think of one main series, Final Fantasy. Well if you thought that Final Fantasy developer Square-Enix was the only company able to make a good role-playing game, you were wrong. There are plenty of Japanese Role-Playing games available on the market and, none of them can quite measure up to Trails of Cold Steel 2. This is our The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 review.

From Developer Nihon Falcom, in collaboration with Marvelous USA Inc and XSEED Games, comes part two of a three-part story about a student named Rean. His story is like so many others, however, this time the game starts a month after the first one ended. His story continues from there. When you awaken from your month-long slumber, you find a talking cat and a giant robot that looks like a Gundam. You slowly start to remember things, and you quickly gather your gear and equip it for the fights ahead. Your battling skills are quickly put to the test against some enemy creatures. You go through the prologue of the game relearning the controls from the first game, as well as picking up on any new additions to the battling system. Speaking of battle systems, aside from being a turn-based system, it also employs an area based battling. You have a specific distance that you can attack within before having to move closer to the target. The same thing goes with buffing your allies, they need to be very close for buffs to hit each member.


Continuing with the battle system brings us into Arcus. Arcus is a personal use device that can harness orbal energy and is tailor-made for each user. Orbal energy is extracted from septium through the use of Orbments. Quartz is a circuit made from sepiths and is set into battle orbments. This allows you to harness the powers and properties of the orbments. This is how you use magic and special skills that you have learned, or attached to your Arcus device. Another mode that is brand new in the game is the Overdrive System. Once you use Overdrive mode you heal up to 30% of your health and remove most health ailments from your character. This mode lasts for three turns and gives you temporarily increased stats to fight the enemy with.

Along with all of these combat types you also have Combat Links. Combat links allow you to link up with another character for added damage after the main attack. You have a normal attack, and an attack that does a little bit more damage called a rush attack. The final piece of the combat system that has been reviewed so far is the Awakener Mode. At certain points in the game, you will come upon bosses that are too strong, this is where your robot, Valimar, comes into play. You enter battle with bumped up hit points and a few attacks, which are hand to hand to start with. Fun, and hard, battles will ensue.

The game has a relatively low graphics requirements, based on the anime art style. At the minimum settings, you can get 30 FPS from the game with decent graphics, however, if you have anything above a Geforce GTX 770 or Radeon R9 280X, greater than an i3 3 GHz processor,  and more than 6GB of RAM, expect to get a max of 60 FPS with high settings. The game is beautiful with the enhanced graphics of the higher end systems. All of the textures of snow, and grass, and even dust in the air spins magically around inside the world of Trails of Cold Steel 2.

The game has some very well thought out and created cinematics as well, they make you feel like you are in the game, or watching it on television like a full-fledged anime. The musical score for the game melds the two worlds together into one cohesive action-drama.  This game is everything you would expect from a studio, especially one that is focused on great storytelling. Along with the excellent musical score, this version of the game includes updated voice acting. It added 50% more English lines of voiceovers to the game which, in the long run, will make for a more immersive storytelling device.

With everything that has been added to this PC port and all the hours that must have been spent perfecting the game. It really makes you feel like you are immersed in the world. Recently the game has come to a point where the developer felt they had to make a change. The game will no longer run on any system that is 32 bits. The company has stated it will only run on 64 bit systems now, IE Windows 10 64 bit. The company, knowing that people purchased the game for the lesser systems, has issued a statement advising that they will offer refunds for these purchasers. If you head to the steam store for the game it has the full details.

Note: Our copy was reviewed on PC and using Windows 10 with a code provided by PR.

Final Trails of Cold Steel 2 Review Score – 8/10

Pros
  • High Graphics Quality
  • Added Voiceover Work
  • Classic Battle System with Updates
  • Immersive Story
Cons
  • No 32-bit Operating System support
  • The Story runs slow at times
Written by
Long time game enthusiast and writer. I have beta tested a lot of Mmorpg's since I was thirteen including Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online, and Star Wars The Old Republic. Currently attending The Art Institute of Pittsburgh for a degree in Game Art and Technology.

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