Platforms: PS3 and PS Vita (Cross-save, no cross-buy)
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games (NA), NIS America (EU)
- NA: December 22, 2015
- EU: January 29, 2016
- JP: September 26, 2013
Official Website: Here
- PS3: ~3.5 GB
- Vita: ~2.7 GB
Trophies List: Here (may contain light spoilers, naturally)
- Standard (Physical and Digital): $39.99
- Lionheart: $49.99
Welcome to the Erebonian Empire, a region of the Zemurian continent renowned for their military prowess.
Behind the powerhouse face of the Empire, however, lie long-held tensions between upper class and common citizens.
Calling themselves the Noble and Reformist factions, the two classes have been escalating the power struggle between them for many years.
Rean Schwarzer enters the Thors Military Academy and is placed within the newly created Class VII.
For the first time in the history of the academy, Class VII does not distinguish its members by the socioeconomic class from which they come.
The nine students in Rean's class all come from different backgrounds and have distinct abilities.
As the students train and get to know each other, with all the tensions that may bring, they find themselves thrust into political events that may threaten the entire Empire.
- Rich worldbuilding that ties in with the rest of the Trails series without being a barrier for newcomers.
Whether you've played and loved every prior Trails game, just the localized Trails in the Sky duology, or are brand new to this series, you will be able to jump in with Trails of Cold Steel and enjoy the story of Class VII.
- Link with characters in combat and through conversation.
Through conversations with your peers, grow closer and gain a slew of combat benefits including healing and guarding. Become a more cohesive team! (Yeah it's sorta like Persona Social Links)
- Refined Orbment system.
The new ARCUS units allow for fast customization of skills and abilities on each character. No more sepith grinding!
Raised in a noble family, Rean decided to enter the Thors Military Academy to find his own path in life. His weapon is a katana.
Alisa joined the Academy to rebel against her mother. She fights with an orbal bow and apparently XSeed thinks her last name is a spoiler as per the Battle Trailer so I've hidden it here as well.
A gentle, music-loving boy, Elliot was forced to attend the Military Academy by his father. He wields an orbal staff.
Daughter of the Arseid family, she fights with a two-handed sword. She's interested in Rean's skill with his sword.
Hates nobles and wields a shotgun in battle. Very intelligent but can be occasionally hotheaded.
Another sword-wielder, Jusis is super haughty. As a Noble, he was just raised that way, though, right?
Wildly intelligent, Emma also wields an orbal staff and seems to have an air of mystery around her.
Fie has twin gunswords and a talent for sleeping anywhere. She often seems emotionless.
Fighting with a three-pronged spear, Gaius joined Thors Military Academy on recommendation of an Erebonian official.
Originally Posted by Screenshots
Originally Posted by Videos
Do I need to play Trails in the Sky to get into this game?
How does this tie into the overall series?
Technically, no. Falcom themselves intended Cold Steel to serve as a decent jumping-in point of the series so feel free to play this as your first Trails title!
However, going back to TitS after playing CS might feel like a regression, as you'll be playing a much older game with more homely graphics and a battle system without any of the series' current improvements.
That said, if you have played the Trails in the Sky games before coming in, you will already have a base knowledge of the cohesive world, overarching plot, and returning characters which will very likely increase your enjoyment of the game so it's recommended to play those first!
Are we ever going to get the 3rd/Ao/Zero?
Chronologically after Trails in the Sky and concurrently with Zero/Ao then extending beyond into the future!
Is there going to be another years-long wait before the sequel comes out?
Hopefully! XSeed have expressed their desire to localize these games as well, but they have also noted that the future prospects of these games are heavily reliant on the sales of released Trails titles.
They were skipped over because Falcom wanted ToCS to be released during this last period where PS3 and Vita are still sort of relevant in the West and the games can potentially sell decently.
Please support Trails in the Sky SC and Trails of Cold Steel I & II if you want the chance to see more Trails games brought over.
Is there cross buy available for this? Cross save?
Nope! XSeed has a lot more experience localizing these big Trails games and are committed to a 2016 date for Trails of Cold Steel II.
I really don't think we have anything to worry about.
Which version should I buy? Are there any major differences between the two?
No cross buy, but cross save is fully functional!
School setting? Yuck. Sounds pretty generic. Is it unbearable?
PS3 reportedly has some better shadows and slightly better performance (a couple seconds less loading time before a battle) but there are no content differences.
The Vita version is competent, and the differences in performance between the two systems is not enough that you should absolutely choose one over the other.
Whichever system you want to play the game on will be fine!
What all comes in the Lionheart Edition? Is it worth the $10 upgrade?
Nah it's not that bad. The typical Trails trademark of intriguing NPCs with lives and things to say continues here. Of course there are some familiar archetypes that may or may not be subverted. The entire game doesn't take place within the Academy, either, as you will often take on quests that have you venturing outside. It's more of a "hub."
Beyond that, Trails of Cold Steel II takes place outside the confines of the Academy and relies heavily on your knowledge of Cold Steel I so buckle up and go to class if you want to play the highly-regarded sequel.
Does this have dual audio?
You get a 100-page artbook, an Erebonian empire pin (wear it alongside your Bracer pin from the TiTS LE to show off your traitorous nature!), and a sturdy clamshell LE box large enough to house both Cold Steel and its sequel.
If that sounds like something you'd drop $10 on, go for it!
Is there a way to speed up battles in this?
Nope! English dub only. Falcom told XSeed that getting the Japanese dub was impossible.
Don't let that stop you, though, voices can be turned off if you find English voices offensive.
Please keep in mind that future localizations of this series are heavily dependent on sales of current entries.
Will this game have DLC?
Yeah, you can skip through actions with the start button.
Can you link me to those sweet, sweet XSeed blog posts detailing some of the localization process?
Yes, there is costume and some battle item DLC. Nothing terribly major. The release schedule is still unknown but I will update this once it is revealed.
Thanks to XSeed for the quick localization and Matt Attack for the thread title!