Parents' Guide to

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Patience and persistence are rewarded with an epic saga.

Game PlayStation 4 2019
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (4):

This game is an epic story that spans generations and follows multiple viewpoints of its global conflict while never losing sight of the personal struggles of the characters within. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a remastered re-release that serves as a new introduction for a new generation of RPG (role-playing game) fans. Admittedly, the tale of Rean Schwarzer and his Class VII classmates is a bit of a slow burn. There's a lot of plot to follow, with a lot of attention to detail, and lots of reading. Even so, it's an intensely engaging story. Even the side missions have their own fully fleshed-out tales, complete with deep character development that gives even the supplemental characters their fair share of the spotlight. Be forewarned though: The story ends on a cliffhanger, leaving fans with their fingers crossed for a re-release of the rest of the story.

As grand as the story in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is, the gameplay does a pretty good job, but things are far from perfect. Combat is a very complex affair. Battles involve a lot of strategic thinking, both before and after the fighting starts. Players need to make sure they have the correct items equipped and particular orb abilities slotted, and that they're loaded up on the right items even before they face off against a foe. Then there's a complex system of strengths and weaknesses that plays out like an overly complicated version of rock-paper-scissors, with specific attack types (slashing, bludgeoning, etc.) affecting certain enemies differently than others. Though the beginning tutorials try to break all of this down for players, it's still a lot to absorb at any given time and can feel particularly overwhelming in the earlier stages of the story. Even so, if you've got the time to invest and you're looking to recapture a true RPG gem, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is one not to be missed.

Game Details

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