The GWJ JRPG Club - Q2 2019 - The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel!

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Welcome to the GWJ JRPG Club's pick for the second quarter of 2019: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel!

Here is an estimation of how long it takes to beat it (courtesy of HowLongToBeat.com, of course):
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/rF3QizG.png)

It seems we're in for another long one! After DQ VII and Persona 5, it seems we can't catch a break! Here is a schedule suggestion:

  • April: Prologue, chapters 1 and 2
  • May: Chapters 3, 4, and 5
  • June: Chapters 6 and 7

Since neither LastSurprise nor myself has played that game, we do not know for sure whether this is realistic or not. I used the assumption that the last chapter was longer that the other ones. If that is not the case, please let me know and I will update this post!

If you do not own the game and want to jump in, it is available for the following platforms:

  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation 4 (releases on March 26th, 2019)
  • Playstation Vita/Playstation TV (requires a patch for PSTV)
  • PC via Steam/GoG

I do not think there is any sale going on at the moment, but I will post in this thread if it does become on sale for the duration of the quarter. It is not included in the current GoG Spring sale.

Our players:

Spoiler:

bobbywatson
LastSurprise
steinkrug
walterqchocobo
brokenclavicle
Malkroth

Please post in this thread if you plan to play along with us!

Spoilers:
If you are referring to specific story elements, please mark them as spoilers, as not everyone will be at the same point of the story you are. Before the spoiler, if possible, please give a clue as to where you are in the game, so people can better determine if they should click the spoiler button or not.

I’m planning on playing. Coming out on PS4 in a couple days but I think I’m going to pick up a used Vita copy today and save $35 dollars.

I'm in! Getting my copy on Tuesday. I plan to start right away and play this simultaneously with Persona 5, which will slow down my progress in both -- but I don't want to miss out!

steinkrug wrote:

I’m planning on playing. Coming out on PS4 in a couple days but I think I’m going to pick up a used Vita copy today and save $35 dollars.

The performance is pretty good through out the vita version. Only a touch of slow down in the bigger areas/ lots of effects going on.

Starting Breath of the Wild was a mistake. Now it's all I want to play.

JohnKillo wrote:
steinkrug wrote:

I’m planning on playing. Coming out on PS4 in a couple days but I think I’m going to pick up a used Vita copy today and save $35 dollars.

The performance is pretty good through out the vita version. Only a touch of slow down in the bigger areas/ lots of effects going on.

Yeah, originally developed for Vita, so it plays okay.

bobbywatson wrote:

Starting Breath of the Wild was a mistake. Now it's all I want to play.

That game ruined open world games for me because it's so good.

Good luck everyone! I'm looking forward to reading along.

For the moment I'm going to hold off, but I might join in depending on how things go with the CRPG club and if I can find the game on sale. Looks like the PC version has gone down to $24 now and then, which would work. I'd be curious to hear how the PS4 version works too.

Hooray! A game that I own! I'm in!! Now I need to finish up Rainbow Skies quickly so I can devote Q2 to this game in my Vita rotation.

I'm (positively) surprised by the number of people who played/will be playing on Vita!

garion333 wrote:
bobbywatson wrote:

Starting Breath of the Wild was a mistake. Now it's all I want to play.

That game ruined open world games for me because it's so good.

Weapon degradation kills a lot of the fun for me, and makes me avoid combat as much as possible.

Got the PS3 vesion fired up and ready to go!

bobbywatson wrote:

I'm (positively) surprised by the number of people who played/will be playing on Vita!

We are working adults with little free time. Makes sense to me.

But the Steam and PS4 has a 2 time speed up function so that also helps too.

Tips: The game will give you quests but there are hidden ones that effect your grade. Talk to people or follow a guide to find them.

Recipes are more cost effective for healing.

Grinding isnt a big deal. Don't have to if you dont want to. Fight the big monsters.

Use your battle scope item on enemies to analyze them. There is a trophy for getting all the monsters.

Looks like a second game I am going to pick up on Tuesday. These next couple of months are going to be packed trying to finish P5, keep up with this, and try Outward. I really should not have wasted February and fallen so far behind on P5.

I've updated the players list. In case I missed anyone, let me know!

Quick question: What is everyone's history with the series? Did you play the old ass PSP games (Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, A Tear of Vermillion, and Song of the Ocean)? What did you think? Have you played the Trails in the Sky trilogy? How about the Crossbell games (neither of which is available in English)?

Here's my history: I almost bought Song of the Ocean at some point, back when it was still fresh. Not sure why I did not pull the trigger at the time, as I was in the habit back then of basically buying every JRPG. I played Trails in the Sky FC and SC. I like FC a lot more than SC.

I would be interested to play both Crossbell games. I might even try to get my hands on the PSP or Vita versions when/if I go to Japan next Fall (though my Japanese will need some work before I can even consider playing either of them).

For those who have already played Trails of Cold Steel, I guess my biggest-and-completely-selfish question is: Does this game abuse the monster calling allies in the middle of fights a lot? (That was a major problem I had with Trails in the Sky SC, so I need to prepare myself for frustration if that is the case.)

No reinforcement monsters to speak of.

I found these forums originally by searching for a JRPG club and the first game I participated in was the first Trails in the Sky. I kept meaning to play the second chapter but never did. As of late, I’ve watched about half of a Let’s Play of it so I can see the conclusion of the plot.

I’ve heard the translation is terrible for the older PSP trilogy.

As for the Crossbell games, I do believe they’ve been fan translated but I don’t know how well.

I've played Trails FC twice, once when I bought it and a second time for the club. I have SC on the backlog but, now that it seems unlikely to ever get up in the vote, I should probably play it sometime. I actually played about 45 minutes of Cold Steel but then I decided to put it on hold to play it with the club. That was probably 2 years ago I guess, it never could quite get up in the vote. Until now!

I'll be playing on Vita.

JohnKillo wrote:

No reinforcement monsters to speak of.

Oh thank God.

I played Trails FC once, up to the final chapter, then burned out. I loved a lot of the world, thought the characters were compelling, and the setting pretty distinctive. I burned out because combat became grindy and repetitive. I also found it frustrating that the game basically demanded a guide if you wanted to avoid missing side quests, losing bracer points within a quest because you said the wrong thing, or missing the game’s many lost forever items.

I’m going to try not to obsess over these things in Trails of Cold Steel; knowing the game is intended to be played twice (even if I don’t do it) will help me chill out and enjoy the ride.

So Arcanum, the shorter game, won the CRPG vote, so that might make this possible. I'm still going to hold off for a bit, but I'm a stronger maybe now.

LastSurprise wrote:

I played Trails FC once, up to the final chapter, then burned out. I loved a lot of the world, thought the characters were compelling, and the setting pretty distinctive. I burned out because combat became grindy and repetitive. I also found it frustrating that the game basically demanded a guide if you wanted to avoid missing side quests, losing bracer points within a quest because you said the wrong thing, or missing the game’s many lost forever items.

I’m going to try not to obsess over these things in Trails of Cold Steel; knowing the game is intended to be played twice (even if I don’t do it) will help me chill out and enjoy the ride.

You don't need the perfect score. You wont lose points and you can main line the required quests if you want. I think there is a trophy tied to getting all the points but that is it.

Enjoy the story and pace.

bobbywatson wrote:

I've updated the players list. In case I missed anyone, let me know!

Quick question: What is everyone's history with the series? Did you play the old ass PSP games (Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, A Tear of Vermillion, and Song of the Ocean)? What did you think? Have you played the Trails in the Sky trilogy? How about the Crossbell games (neither of which is available in English)?

Personally, I first played Trails in the Sky for the first - I think? - JRPG club. I went and purchased it from GOG and played along on my now-defunct Lenovo lappy (I miss you, lappy!). I started playing the second chapter - purchased from the same vendor - when said lappy went kaput, and I haven't touched that part of the LoH series/world since.

The only other games I've gotten are Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2 - and have 3 pre-ordered -, and started 1 a bit ago but haven't really played as much of it as I would like. This club gives me the psychological reasons to focus more on it!

I have played Trails in the Sky FC and started SC which I have been meaning to play more but was hoping it would come up as a club game. Those are my only experiences with the series but I really loved everything about the series. The combat got stale towards the end of FC since it was completely magic based and the regular attacks became useless. My opinion on tactical combat is that normal attacks should be your primary action and skills/spells should be used tactically, not constantly.

I got my copy of this yesterday, but by the time I got home and had dinner, it was too late to do more than watch the intro movie, which (of course) feels very anime. I'm excited to start, though. Juggling this, and Arcanum, and Persona 5 will be a lot!

For JohnKillo, or others who have played this before, what difficulty setting do you like? A little bit of searching online suggested that this game was easier than some other Trails games, Normal was too easy, and Hard was a good setting for folks who had prior experience with the battle system. Hard is supposed to add something like 10% to enemy stats. Some people even thought that Nightmare was okay for a first playthrough, but I doubt I'd want to take that on.

I had a few Vita hiccups. I took it out of my drawer and tried to charge it. Nope, this PSP charger definitely aint going to charge my Vita. That's right, micro-USB! OK, plug it into my Mac, leave it overnight. Nope, apparently that aint enough juice to charge a Vita. Alright, I'd just ordered a fancy smancy new 4 port USB charger from Amazon, let's see how that goes... bingo! Next, oh, game not installed, must have run out of space and deleted it at some point. Hmm, no free space, clear off a bunch of stuff. Go to the PSN Store, hold up, need the latest firmware. Download and install. OK, PSN Store take 2. Start scrolling down my Download List. No, that was a stupid idea. Let's just search for Cold Steel. Hmm 150 hits... well, may as well download that free DLC. OK, found the actual game! Hooray. Set to download. An hour or so later, it finishes, just in time for me to go to bed.

Anyway, I put in 30 minutes today, just walking through the town, some intro stuff. I think I made it about an hour further into the game previously, there was an old save from 2 and a half years ago! That's how long I've been waiting for this one to win the vote!

I managed to finish the prologue on Monday. It took me about 2.5 hours. I was then greeted with a class scene right out of Persona 3/4/5 (including quiz questions).

With a bit of luck, I may be able to put some time in tonight (I've got a few things I want to finish first), and I'm hoping I can complete the first chapter this weekend.

I stuck with the Normal difficulty. If it is easier than previous Trails game, I'm fine with that, as Trails in the Sky SC got on my nerves on a few occasions. With SC, whenever I failed in battle (which did not happen that often), I was offered to replay the same battle with an easier difficulty (with some exceptions, like the fights with

Spoiler:

Lorence

. I think Trails of Cold Steel kept that feature.

LastSurprise wrote:

I got my copy of this yesterday, but by the time I got home and had dinner, it was too late to do more than watch the intro movie, which (of course) feels very anime. I'm excited to start, though. Juggling this, and Arcanum, and Persona 5 will be a lot!

For JohnKillo, or others who have played this before, what difficulty setting do you like? A little bit of searching online suggested that this game was easier than some other Trails games, Normal was too easy, and Hard was a good setting for folks who had prior experience with the battle system. Hard is supposed to add something like 10% to enemy stats. Some people even thought that Nightmare was okay for a first playthrough, but I doubt I'd want to take that on.

1. Very Anime. There is only one scene between Rean and a female student that screams ANIME in your face.

2. Hard is a good balance for difficulty and pace. You can always retry failed battles. The boss battles are the hump of course. Most mobs arent that hard to finish.

Finished the prolog which is as far as I got the first time round. Just a gentle introduction to the combat and very familiar for anyone who's played Trails in the Sky. I'm playing on normal for now.

I'm enjoying the game so far. The fact that it's on Vita means I can actually play it during my lunch break at work, too (after I'm done with kanji revision, of course).

I know it's not EXACTLY the same, but I can certainly see the Persona 3/4/5 influence here. Not a bad thing per se, but playing Persona 5 and this back to back just makes it pretty obvious.

Yep, battle system is definitely very similar to Trails in the Sky. And, a boss gaining back 50% of its HP on a turn reminded me that I DO need to pay attention to the bonuses. It's been a while since I played SC, so I had somewhat forgotten that little detail.

I'm hoping I can get chapter 1 done this weekend. My current plan is to try to get through 1 chapter per week. Not entirely sure this is realistic.

This is the game that's come so so close to getting picked for so long? Pretty sure I remember this being in the running when I first joined the forum and has been pipped to the post ever since.

I own it too. Saying that I also own Personal 5 and haven't started that yet. Oops

Bubblefuzz wrote:

This is the game that's come so so close to getting picked for so long?

It's been on the list for at least three rounds, possibly more. Now I'm thinking I should go through the threads and see how long it took for it to get selected!

bobbywatson wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

This is the game that's come so so close to getting picked for so long?

It's been on the list for at least three rounds, possibly more. Now I'm thinking I should go through the threads and see how long it took for it to get selected!

At least 3 years I reckon

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