|OT| The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III PC (port by PH3) - A World of Conflict

prudis

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Welcome to the New Class VII – Explore the newly annexed lands of the Empire with a brand new squad, and catch up with familiar faces from the past.


An Immersive Story – Experience an epic story developed across three titles, and crafted for new and old fans alike. Also includes an interactive introduction to catch up new players to the ongoing story so anyone can dive right in to the world of Trails of Cold Steel.


Combat Honed to a Fine Edge – Challenge oncoming threats with a combat system that has been refined over the course of decades. The addition of features like Brave Order and the Break System open up new possibilities in battle.



Story
Rean Schwarzer uncovers a dark plot that threatens his homeland. To face their enemies, he must prepare a new generation of heroes as an instructor at a new branch campus and guide them towards victory.

Nearly a year and a half has passed since the Erebonian civil war, and much has changed since then. From the shifting stances of countries to the internal politics of the Empire, and even the life of Rean Schwarzer, the shadows of the past have given way to the embers of a new chapter. Now graduated from Thors Military Academy, Rean has become an instructor at the Thors Branch Campus, a newly-opened academy that quickly finds itself thrust onto the national stage. It is here that he takes the lead of a brand new Class VII, and must guide a new generation of heroes into an unknown future. Though all is calm now, the nefarious Ouroboros organization continues to weave a dark plot that could engulf the entire continent in war...or perhaps something even more sinister.

Trails of Cold Steel III invites players into a world full of intrigue and excitement that is years in the making. They will embark on a whirlwind tour through the never-before-seen lands of the recently expanded Erebonian countryside, and encounter fresh faces as well as old friends familiar to fans of the series. In true Trails fashion, the deep, engaging story pairs with an incredible cast of characters and a combat system refined over decades of innovative RPG worldbuilding.


thx Durante :blobhug::awwblob::dmcblob:
 
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Ascheroth

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I'm not sure I'll be playing it right away (need to play Zero and Ao first), but it will probably be a day 1 purchase regardless if Durante's porting it :p
 

rybrad

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Will definitely be buying to support a good port. Maybe publishers will eventually get the message.
 
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Arsene

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how is the game, thread kinder died lol
Port’s fantastic as expected,

III is (imo) the best in the Cold Steel series (even though I havent played 4) but I still think the Sky games are the best Trails games because of the story/characters.

Cold Steel III, like most of the Trails games, is a pretty slow burn though, because the series is really heavily focused on world building. But Its a huge game and the slow burn is worth it.

However I still don’t like how NISA touts that you can jump right in at III without playing the previous two. There’s a recap of the first two games on the main menu but it really doesn’t do them justice. I personally don’t recommend playing CS3 without CS1-2 if you haven’t already
 
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Durante

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Port’s fantastic as expected,

III is (imo) the best in the Cold Steel series (even though I havent played 4) but I still think the Sky games are the best Trails games because of the story/characters.

Cold Steel III, like most of the Trails games, is a pretty slow burn though, because the series is really heavily focused on world building. But Its a huge game and the slow burn is worth it.

However I still don’t like how NISA touts that you can jump right in at III without playing the previous two. There’s a recap of the first two games on the main menu but it really doesn’t do them justice. I personally don’t recommend playing CS3 without CS1-2 if you haven’t already
Yeah, I agree with all of this.
It does get a bit slow (even for me as a fan of slow world building) in some chapters, but the payoff is worth it. (Hopefully continuing to be the case in part 4 ;))
 
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Ex-User (119)

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Port’s fantastic as expected,

III is (imo) the best in the Cold Steel series (even though I havent played 4) but I still think the Sky games are the best Trails games because of the story/characters.

Cold Steel III, like most of the Trails games, is a pretty slow burn though, because the series is really heavily focused on world building. But Its a huge game and the slow burn is worth it.

However I still don’t like how NISA touts that you can jump right in at III without playing the previous two. There’s a recap of the first two games on the main menu but it really doesn’t do them justice. I personally don’t recommend playing CS3 without CS1-2 if you haven’t already
ive played all the others yea, how long we looking at for this
 

Arsene

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ive played all the others yea, how long we looking at for this
Its the longest game in the series, Depending on your difficulty and how much side-stuff you do you're maybe looking at 60-100+ hours? Everyone I know who finished it all said they took over 100h on their first run through.
 

Kvik

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Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
Let's get this game started, shall we~!

First things first: I don't like the OP. :flare_lmao:

The music is good, and I know they are going for no-spoilers this time around but it's ... kind of plain. Unless there's a second OP later, but coming from CS1/CS2 it's kind of underwhelming.

Also, the title screen is not 3D anymore, showing the characters and different outfits/locations as we progress through the story, which is kind of a downgrade from CS1/CS2.


Unwinnable fight from the get-go? Falcom pls.

Found these two mods in the meantime.


 

Arsene

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Also, the title screen is not 3D anymore, showing the characters and different outfits/locations as we progress through the story, which is kind of a downgrade from CS1/CS2.
The character art on the title screen changes as you progress through the story on CS3/4. Imo I prefer the 2D drawn art over the 3D models
 

Kvik

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The character art on the title screen changes as you progress through the story on CS3/4. Imo I prefer the 2D drawn art over the 3D models
So far I've seen Rean and Altina, Kurt leaving a room with Mueller in it, and Juna leaving Crossbell. Which is fine, I guess. I don't know, there's something different in seeing members of class 7 being gradually added to the train car in CS1.
 

Kvik

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I've finished Chapter 1 last night. Steam says I've played the game for 50 hours. :flaregalaxycat:


Coming from Crossbell, this is a massive game. Not that I'm complaining though. My complaint lies in another area.


I'm interested in knowing why Randy ended up as an instructor. He's probably the last person I'd expected to be a teacher. Also, NISA's characterisation of Randy has a slightly different feel to it? I don't know. In Crossbell, he seems more of a free spirit, whereas in this game he's a more "responsible" type of guy. Maybe there's a plot reasoning behind it later? Well, at least he's still reading Hot Shots~!

It's nice to see the familiar faces of Thors alumni, now all grown up and excels at their respective fields. It's quite ironic that everybody except Rean was able to choose their own careers. In contrast, Rean is basically a government's dog who has to drop everything at the sight of an executive order. I laughed a bit because even though he's now an instructor, he's still doing the same old shit he was up to when he's still a student: to clean up after other people.

The antagonists of the chapter are also nothing new, we've fought them more than a few times by now, although the strategy is a bit different with each iteration, obviously. Speaking of strategy, abusing Brave Order could make mob fights pretty trivial, although there's a fair bit of difficulty spike for boss fights. I think starting on Hard difficulty is still recommended here.

One thing I don't like is the mecha duels. It feels tedious here because the opponents' HP pool is so deep and each fight could take more than 20 minutes. Yes, it probably only takes 10 minutes or so with Turbo but it still feels longer than necessary. Perhaps they nerfed the support skills? I remember abusing Sara's support skill in CS2. Anyway, we'll see if things will improve later on.

I enjoyed the new fishing mechanics. Feels like they borrowed a little from FFXV/Yakuza fishing mechanics a bit. Although, the starting kit is bloody terrible if you have a high input lag. Thankfully the fishing rod upgrades aren't that expensive. And speaking of minigames, I enjoyed Vantage Master a lot. I tried the standalone Vantage Master game in the past, but in CS3 it has a slightly different feel. I enjoyed Blade too, of course, but Vantage Master is probably the best Cold Steel minigame so far.


Anyway, since the gameplay loop will feel familiar enough if you've played CS I/II, I'd like for things to change up soon. Well, at least doing NPC sweep is less tedious now, even if the area is stupidly large when compared with Crossbell.
 
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Cacher

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Geez, I can't imagine playing Trails game continuously. They are huge undertaking and I am one who burn out easily.

Anyway, my next Trails game will also be Cold Steel 3, so I need to finish it first before clicking those spoilers. :disappointed-face:
 
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Kvik

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They are huge undertaking and I am one who burn out easily.
As much as I love Trails, I would never recommend talking to each NPC 3 times whenever the story progresses. That is just the recipe for burn-outs. :flare_lmao:


my next Trails game will also be Cold Steel 3, so I need to finish it first
Huh. I thought you've finished CS2 NG+ ages ago. I remember you posted some screenshots on Steam.
 
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Cacher

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As much as I love Trails, I would never recommend talking to each NPC 3 times whenever the story progresses. That is just the recipe for burn-outs.

Huh. I thought you've finished CS2 NG+ ages ago. I remember you posted some screenshots on Steam.
Yep, you are describing me here. I talk to all NPCs between story segments. Yeah, sometimes it feel pointless but I can't help doing it.

I only played both CS1 and 2 for the first time last year. I may do NG+ later to get the remaining achievements but CS3 will be prioritized.
 
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Kvik

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Downunder.
I may do NG+ later to get the remaining achievements but CS3 will be prioritized.
Keep in mind there's a bit of lore dump which is only accessible via CS2 NG+ -- and it's referenced in CS3 alongside certain character(s) affiliation.
 
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Cacher

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Keep in mind there's a bit of lore dump which is only accessible via CS2 NG+ -- and it's referenced in CS3 alongside certain character(s) affiliation.
Ouch... Then maybe I will play NG+ of CS1 and 2 first. Anyway, I won't start playing them until finishing Tales of Arise. So they need to wait. :face-without-mouth:
 
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Kvik

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Downunder.
Finished with Chapter 2 over the weekend.

It feels kind of nostalgic visiting Crossbell again, even if I just finished the duology recently. Visiting all these familiar places in a full 360-degree camera sure is a treat. Even though in truth it's simply a cut-down version of Crossbell (we can't visit Entertainment District or Downtown, for example). It still feels massive that I can't help for wanting a remake of Crossbell in full 3D. Lots of NPCs from Crossbell are there, and watching their lives changing under the empire's occupation --for better or worse-- is something that I feel could be worthy of an entire game by itself.

The crux of this chapter, "Operation Birdcage" reminds me a bit of CCP's strategy to reduce the undesirables and political dissidents. Rufus is a frighteningly effective leader, and we finally found out about Randy's situation which makes him ended up in Leeves. We also learned a bit about his history with Osborne. It is quite interesting to me to learn about Rufus' character motivations. All these developments in CS3 are great, although, at the same time, I feel that Falcom didn't give enough time for them to develop, probably because there's a greater plot at work with Ouroboros and their experiments.

At this point, I can see that we probably won't have as much personal character development when compared to older Trails games. There are some good character moments in there, such as Juna's feeling of powerlessness, Kurt's loss of purpose and Altina's envy of Millium's emotion, but it feels like all these things will take a back seat when they need to advance the Ouroboros plot, and lest we forget: Rean's own "ogre" power.

And back to Ouroboros, they are being as cryptic as ever! I know it's pretty much a JRPG staple to fight bosses a number of times, but it started to feel like a chore. Even the fight against Campanella is kind of uninspired. I much prefer his fight in Azure's final chapter since it's very much in line with his "trickster" character. Maybe it's because the Cold Steel games are generally much easier compared to Sky or Crossbell, even in "Hard" difficulty.


Anyway, it's still very much as slow-burn chapter as any other, I dreaded the middle chapter because if the tradition holds true, there will be some incoming fluff; as if we haven't had enough of these already. On to chapter 3.
 

Kvik

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Chapter 3 is done.

That was a long one since it took me two weeks to complete. It feels like this chapter is just going through the motions, for the most part. Not only the loop remained unchanged for the last three chapters, but the big plot reveal didn't really happen until the end of the chapter. The feeling I get for these past three chapters is that the game is very much a refined version of Cold Steel I. Is it a cause for complaint? Well, no. But when we consider that we are now in the third game with the same protagonist, I do wonder if they could accelerate things a little bit for the sake of brevity. After all, the number of playable characters in Trails has become ridiculously high, we don't exactly have the luxury of running errands in home base anymore. This brings me to my next point.

The side quests in this chapter were kind of OK-ish? Apart from a few highlights: fighting Aurelia and Bardias were pretty decent challenges, a quest involving Leonora and one quest involving Ferris and the Kleist Mall, the rest is pretty simple fetch quests which didn't really give us insights into the politics of the region, or the overarching plot with the Jaegers/Ouroboros. Having said that, though, they expanded a bit about Ash and Musse's characters in this chapter, although Ash's relationship with Lechter remains unclear.

And speaking of character development, Sara and Claire finally have some much-needed development we sorely needed from the past two games. The thing is, we don't spend too much time together with these two characters so the emotional impact is not as great as I hoped. There are a few comedic bits in there during Raquel's exploration after dark, but I wish these character exposition can unfold organically instead of being a simple info dump.

Anyway, it's not that I actually dislike the info dump. The Stahlritter members' origin stories are interesting too. The relationship between Arianrhod and that mysterious loli is kind of intriguing. And speaking of Arianrhod, sadly this is also the part which I feel is lacking. The Geofront's localisation of Arianrhod's lines is excellent. Her speech mannerism is archaic, which makes sense considering her true identity. However, in Cold Steel III, her mannerism is magnanimous, but strangely enough, she sounded just like a regular, contemporary knight. I can agree that not all of her lines are like this, but the overall feel seems inconsistent.


I feel the hook at the end of the chapter will finally turn things around though. But knowing how these past 3 chapters were structured, chances are I will need to peel off most of the skin before I can get to the good stuff.
 
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Kvik

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It is done.

The final chapter is short enough that I managed to finish the last quarter of chapter 4 and the entirety of chapter 5 in a single weekend. It has been quite a ride. I think overall, this is the most polished Cold Steel entry in terms of production values. Having said that though, the game isn't without its shares of issues, mostly related to how the story is structured. I feel following the rigid structure of free day -> field study -> dungeon for almost the entirety of the game slowed down the pacing considerably and doesn't allow much for organic storytelling. Take Sara or Claire's personal history, for example. Rean spent barely enough time with either of them in CS3 that the reveal feels more like info dump rather than earning their trust.

I guess it kind of comes back to my old opinion that Cold Steel works best when the focus is not on Rean, but rather on its ensemble cast. A good example of this is Juna's breakdown and how the rest of her comrades help her to stand up again. Altina's relationship with Millium and how she felt envious of Millium's range of emotions is also an example of good storytelling.

Speaking of good storytelling, the books in CS3 tells a good story. Heartless Edgar is a good sci-fi story. The Immoral Hero is a dark story, but still fascinating. While we're on the book topic, I laughed a bit during the finale, because some of the antagonists are suddenly well-versed in the contents of the Black Records. Like, the Royal Family knows of its contents, sure. Albrecht is another. Osborne could find out from them. But suddenly Rufus knows about it too? Did he borrow the tomes from Thors' library or something? lmao.

After the last two games taking multiple days to finish their final dungeons, CS3 final dungeon is kind of a breath of fresh air, for better or worse. It probably can be completed in one sitting, and the final boss' phases are somewhat easy. The Brave Order is far too broken. It's not that I miss having bosses immune to AT delay, but they were at least posed some kind of challenge. I was playing on Hard difficulty, but maybe I'll consider playing on Nightmare for CS4.

One important thing of note is that this game probably has the highest in-game body count so far in Trails series: A monumental 5 lost souls. It's definitely a poggers moment. And it's not the only poggers moment in the finale. I consider myself lucky that I have the opportunity of continuing to CS4 immediately considering how the game ended, because that cliffhanger is EVIL. And speaking of continuing, Falcom knows what they were doing if the end card title reads "to be continued" rather than "to be concluded". We still have Cold Steel V Reverie to tie down the loose ends.


Overall, I have an enjoyable time with the game. I still feel that it was needlessly long in parts, but the great storytelling is still there. Some of it may just a glimmer of a diamond in the rough, but it will make you invested in the characters all the same. Will I start an NG+ run of it? Maybe someday.


Marching forward to Cold Steel IV this weekend.

 
Dec 5, 2018
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I wasn't sure if I should necro this thread but I want to express some things and writing them on the steam thread doesn't make much sense.

First the good things. The characters finally have a semblance of a face, I mean for a series that loves characters speaking for a long time and express a range of emotions it's an improvement. In the first 5 games that wasn't a problem, since they used 2d portraits that expressed that but once they moved to 3d let's say that the faces left a lot to be desired.

Then combat, the new brave order system and the new brake system allow you to (no pun intended) really break the combat. There are fights where you can just get infinite turns if you time things the correct way (I know you could do that in older games, but this is just made so much easier). Some would argue that the games are easier (and I found them way easier, only a couple of fights gave me problems) but it's nice to have a breakable system.

Now with that said, this series needs a fucking editing pass. Most of the time the game spends time over explaining things and that's worse when this game has to recap things from previous games (and I expect this to get worse in IV).

With that said this series is know for being a slow burn where things build up over time but it just doesn't feel like it. In CSI you visited various places and slowly learnt about what was going on there and you could see that something was building up but here sure you know something is going on but It just doesn't work.

And as for the places you visit I never felt like I was learning anything about it, heck the first chapter retells the Hamel incident, sure it was nice to get a recap and finally get to visit it. It's a bit hard for me to believe that no one ever tried to go beyond the fence, but ok. .

In chapter 2, revisiting Crossbell in full 3D, even if it wasn't the full city is great.

The rigid structure of the chapters doesn't do the game any services (Night Before -> Free day -> Training -> Field Exercises -> Ouroboros attacks and you get an Order to stop them), chapter 4 changes a bit (but just barely). And during the Field Exercises getting saved by the old class VII members that were just waiting there to appear in the right moment gets a bit tiring.

The new class VII is fine, it helps that is a waaay smaller group and while they get their small character moments it feels like they take a back seat. But some of them play a role in the overall plot but I'll have to wait to see how that plays out. And the Reunion of Old Class VII was really touching

Finally as far of the overarching plot goes yes you spent most of the game learning how the chancellor is a really smart and evil person We already knew that, though we've known that since the third game in the series, and even earlier. But while we can see how he's prepping a casus belis for a war with Calvard and trying to let the provincial armies fail so he can get public support for their removal but i don't feel it's really well executed. For some reason he's a literal heartless man.

As for the snakes, come on man why do I have to fight this guys AGAIN this is the 8th game some of this guys are still there.. And the revelations about the Workshop well ... let's say that let's see how it plays out but Why does every fucking important character have to be conected in some way. There are too many characters at this point.

And why does the game have to info become an exposition dump towards the end.

This is getting longer than I intended so let's finish this. The ending that's a pure evil cliffhanger. I said yesterday that I didn't want to jump into IV right away after 100h (thank god for turbo) to another game, that should take me even longer but after that ending I kinda need to do it and after having slept on it i might jump sooner rather than later.

Obligatory Fuck cedric.

This came a bit more rambly than I intended but I hope it makes some sense.

E: despite my complains I enjoyed my time with it (I wouldn't have put 100h if I wasn't enjoying it in some form).
 
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Kvik

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Now with that said, this series needs a fucking editing pass. Most of the time the game spends time over explaining things and that's worse when this game has to recap things from previous games
This is the case of Falcom's writing since the beginning of the Cold Steel series which is only "OK" to begin with, is exacerbated by the nature of the repetitiveness of JP language. In the past, XSEED's localisation tried to do something with this so that the characters talk naturally without repeating themselves too often, but NISA's localisation style has a different approach, for better or worse. I personally think it is inferior, although I can't outright blame them for this situation due to how large the script size was.

The rigid structure of the chapters doesn't do the game any services
The low point of the game for me. I understand that they are trying to improve the stuff which works on CS1, but there's still a lot of padding in terms of sidequests and NPC sweeps take much longer here. You'll be glad to know that CS4 is structured more loosely.

And the Reunion of Old Class VII was really touching

The funny thing I noticed here is that the physical interaction between them is separated by gender -- like, they did fist bumps, bro-hugs and stuff but they didn't mix together, sort of speak. The men doing all this stuff on one side of the room, and the women on the other. It feels weird to me, which I can't handwave it immediately because it's a "culture" thing. The game is not set in Japan after all.


As for the snakes
Definitely a groan-fest for sure. I get that the in-universe explanation is that our characters here are much stronger than those in Sky/Crossbell, but somehow I feel it's still less challenging compared with their previous incarnations. And it only made worse because the Brave Orders are utterly broken. :flare_lmao:

Obligatory Fuck cedric
He's one of those characters we love to hate. Keep playing CS4 though, he has a good arc overall. :flare_smirk:
 
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Durante

I <3 Pixels
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I fully agree with the fixed chapter structure hurting the game. I see the reasoning for it game-design-wise, but it just doesn't work with the narrative.

Still enjoyed it overall of course but that (and the pacing, which is of course related) could be better.
 
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