The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The 11 Best JRPGs on Switch You Should Play Next https://www.gameskinny.com/15l4j/the-11-best-jrpgs-on-switch-you-should-play-next https://www.gameskinny.com/15l4j/the-11-best-jrpgs-on-switch-you-should-play-next Fri, 02 Oct 2020 10:18:53 -0400 Josh Broadwell

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Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age

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In a world where traditional RPGs are fast losing favor, Dragon Quest XI S shows the formula still has plenty of life in it. You’ll have an idea of what to expect if you’ve played any previous Dragon Quest: turn-based battles, chosen heroes, world-ending darkness, and Akira Toriyama’s fabulous artwork.

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Dragon Quest XI S has all this, but it executes every part of it — and then some — so well.

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That’s thanks in no small part to the excellent cast. Everyone gets their story told, and the Switch version adds even more with optional extra episodes.

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The battle system is the same as ever for the most part, but gets some much-needed boosts from things like Pep Powers and handy new spells and skills. There’s a Dragon Quest version of item crafting, too, which saves money and is worth doing if only because you use a “fun-sized forge” to make things.

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Dragon Quest XI S sweetens the deal even more. Alongside those extra character episodes, you can travel back in time to segments from every previous Dragon Quest game with new story content and quests. Plus you can play the entire game in 16-bit 2D, which makes the slight visual downgrade from the PS4 version more than worth it.

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That's it for our list of the best JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch. Of course, there are other contenders out there, but these are the ones you should start with if you're looking for a brand-new JRPG adventure on the console. What are your favorites? Join the conversation over on Twitter!

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Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

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So far, the Switch only has Tales of Vesperia to represent Bandai Namco’s long-running Tales of series. We’re not complaining, though. It’s widely regarded as one of the best in the series, and with good reason.

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Vesperia inverts the usual cast archetypes from the get-go and ends up being one of the most varied and interesting in the series. Protagonist Yuri Lowell is a snide loner, the mage Rita’s favorite hobbies are studying by herself and insulting people, and Repede the dog smokes a pipe. 

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The story is standard Tales fare, a big, epic fantasy with warring nations, betrayals, and sumptuous locales you’ll visit as you travel the world. Standard doesn’t mean boring, though, and the interesting cast of characters keeps it from ever seeming stale.

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It’s all wrapped up in the series’ signature battle system. Vesperia’s combat is a half-step ahead of Tales of the Abyss’ Flex-Linear system, but a half-step behind the combo-based fighting of more modern entries. The flow might not be as smooth, but managing skills and the points required to use them keeps you on your toes for each battle.

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Romancing SaGa 3

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Romancing SaGa 3 can be a total pain, but the same thing that makes it challenging is what makes it great: minimal barriers.

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The story unfolds as you figure out how to move it forward. Instead of completing objectives, you have to speak with people, understand what’s going on, and then act on it. Your actions and choices determine how the story progresses in some cases, locking specific quest and narrative paths depending on what you do.

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On top of that, Romancing SaGa 3 features multiple characters, not unlike Octopath Traveler. Their stories follow unique paths that simultaneously paint a picture of the wider story. But SaGa 3 does a slightly better job showing how it all works together, assuming you can make it to the end, of course.

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The trouble is that sometimes, you’re really flying by the seat of your pants. The same setup applies to combat and character progression. You’re free to figure out how it works on your own — because the game won’t tell you. Romancing SaGa 3 isn’t for everyone because of that, but if you can power through its more obnoxious elements, there’s an adventure like no other here.

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Disgaea 5 Complete

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Since we’re throwing strategy games in here, we’d be remiss not to include Disgaea 5 Complete as one of the best JRPGs on Switch. Technically, Disgaea 5 is the same Disgaea formula established back with the first entry on PlayStation 2. You play as heroes and anti-heroes from the Netherworld on their journey to Do A Thing, engaging in over-the-top tactical battles and leveling up to 9,999 if you want. 

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It’s wacky — as any game with exploding penguins called Prinnies has to be. It’s also a refreshing take on the usual JRPG setup, even if Disgaea 5 weighs in as slightly more serious than its predecessors.

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With loveable characters, the Item World for eternal grinding, and in-depth character management all being the same, you might be wondering whether to go with Disgaea 5 over the other two on the Switch. While Disgaea 4 Complete+ adds in all the quality of life enhancements D5 introduced, D5 has one thing D4 doesn’t: every bit of DLC.

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Stuff like the Gift of HL is included with no extra charge, and who wants to say no to free money?

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a strategy game. But Nintendo calls it an RPG on the official site. It’s Japanese, so it works.

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Three Houses takes the split narrative style that failed in Fire Emblem Fates and turns it into the central feature. You choose one of the three houses at the beginning and guide your students’ growth as events suddenly spiral out of control. 

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And then it happens: your choices determine who’s gonna die. Emotional manipulation? Maybe. But it sure makes the story hit harder, and more importantly, it makes you want to play the other routes to find out what was going on with everyone else.

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Three Houses changes the battle system enough to keep it interesting, with new monsters, terrain, and weapon types. And even though everyone who plays it is horny for just about everything in Three Houses, it does a much better job keeping support relationships as, well… support, instead of making them the ultimate endgame.

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Octopath Traveler

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Octopath Traveler is great at dividing opinion, but at House GameSkinny, we’re firmly in the “it deserves its spot as one of the best JRPGs on the Switch” camp. Octopath Traveler’s episodic stories and piecemeal narrative don’t work together until the end, though there are connections if you pay attention.

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Even if not, the character stories are enough to make it interesting — the thief facing his betrayer, the merchant realizing the world isn’t made of happiness and butterflies, the hunter apprentice trying to save her mentor. It’s good stuff, even if the individual abilities don’t affect side stories as much as they could.

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The combat is even better stuff, which is good since you’ll be fighting a lot. Outside the deep job system with secondary skills galore, Octopath Traveler uses a Bravely Default-style boost system. Knowing when to spend boost points to bolster your attacks is key, and it creates a satisfying ebb and flow in every fight, especially the dramatic boss fights.

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And if you don’t know when to do this, you better learn fast. Octopath Traveler pulls no punches.

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3

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You can’t get much further from Ys 8 than with The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 on Switch. Trails is heavy on story, with combat steeped in traditional turn-based style. Those things are also what make it so good.

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Unlike Ys, Cold Steel 3 isn’t fully standalone, but it does offer plenty of ways to catch up on what’s been going on with the folks of Class VII. Yes, it’s a school story, but only on the surface. 

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Underneath, Cold Steel 3 builds up one of the best RPG narratives around broad themes of government scheming, imperialism and conquest, and giant mechs. It’s the kind of game where a national tax plan takes center stage one minute and slinging spells at an unhinged would-be terrorist takes the next, and it's all an important part of the same tightly wound story

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Spell slinging and attacks in Trails are never a static affair, despite being traditional in structure. Each character uses an orbment you customize with different quartz crystals. These augment stats, grant the use of certain spells, or inflict status ailments.

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You’ll need to fine-tune your setup for some of the game’s bigger fights, along with balancing your offense with each character’s special skills. There’s a lot going on both in story and gameplay, making Trails of Cold Steel 3 one of the more satisfying RPGs on our list.

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And did I mention the soundtrack is stellar? Because the soundtrack is stellar.

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Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana

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Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana has an 8 in the title, but like other games in the series, it’s a standalone title.

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Protagonist Adol Christin washes up on the shores of a mysterious island called Seiren, where “mysterious” means “crawling with monsters and massive dinosaurs that shouldn’t exist.” Adol is, as always, the story’s main focus, but the action shifts to Dana at various points, as the past and present gradually intertwine in a grand crescendo.

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At its heart, Ys 8 is an action and exploration game, and there’s plenty of both to go around. You’ll open new parts of the island as you explore and recruit more castaways — and party members — to your base camp, which means encountering new monsters as well. 

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Fortunately, Adol and co. have a wide variety of skills you’ll weave together seamlessly when you aren’t swapping between party members to take advantage of enemy weaknesses. Aside from the story, it’s that breathless, fast-paced action that sets Ys 8 apart as one of the best JRPGs on the Switch.

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And if you like what you see, Ys 9: Monstrum Nox is headed to Switch in 2021.

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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is one of the more unique JRPGs on Switch. You set off to save the world — but it’s not your world. It’s a fantastical Studio Ghibli world bursting at the seams with personality. Oliver, the hero, isn’t some reluctant, duty-bound hero fated to banish the darkness either.

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He just wants his mom back, and it’s the power of simple kindness in his heart that lets him face off against the dark forces threatening this other world. That and the army of Familiars he recruits if he’s lucky.

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Ni No Kuni is Pokemon-ish in that you raise adorable little monsters into hulking beat-down machines, but Level-5’s bizarre insistence on making recruitment a challenge mars the experience a bit. It’s not as bad as Yo-Kai Watch, but it could be better.

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Still, dealing with the few bumps in the road is a small price to pay for spending time in this gorgeous world and soaking up its heartfelt story.

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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You can play a lot of Final Fantasy games on Switch, and any of them would be a good choice. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age offers the most value, though, and it boasts one of the best stories and feature sets in the series.

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FFXII takes place in Ivalice, which may already be an indicator of greatness if you’ve played Final Fantasy Tactics. Like Tactics, FFXII leans heavily on fantasy politics for its story. Some have even called it the result of a fling Final Fantasy had with Star Wars, what with XII’s team of plucky rebels resisting an evil empire bent on domination.

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That’s oversimplifying things of course, as there’s plenty of other side stories and character arcs going on.

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Then there’s the combat. FFXII’s Gambit system is a breath of fresh air that puts a twist on traditional turn-based combat. You aren’t controlling your characters’ every move. Instead, you basically program how they act in specific conditions. It takes getting used to, but it’s a wholly absorbing system once you get going.

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We said that "The Zodiac Age takes what was originally a mediocre game and makes it one of the best gameplay-oriented entries to the series." If that sounds good to you, it's probably worth a look. 

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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

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Of the two Xenoblade games on Switch, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition gets the easy recommendation. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has plenty to love about it, including its story. But XC: Definitive Edition does everything better.

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Combat is more varied and easier to get into from the start. Environments are more interesting, with more secrets to uncover. And best of all, the story starts with a huge bang and maintains its momentum throughout the lengthy adventure.

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It’s also easier to see Chronicles as a successor to Xenogears in tone and style. What starts out as a tired sci-fi tale of humans versus alien-things gets weird pretty fast, with plenty of unexpected twists thrown in along the way.

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Definitive Edition smooths out almost all the ugly spots from the original release, with improved visuals, a better map, and more intuitive interfaces. It’s a classic through and through, even if the extra story content is hit-and-miss.

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Check out our review for the full skinny. 

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Nintendo Switch has the games, specifically a boatload of JRPGs to keep you busy for years on end. With so many JRPGs to choose from on the Switch, finding the one that speaks to you could be a challenge. So we've spent the time looking through all of the system's JRPGs to put together this list so you can start your search by finding the best and going from there. 

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Despite all of these games falling under the same broad umbrella of "Japanese RPG," every entry on our list has something different to offer.

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There's fast-paced hack and slash action RPGs, fantasy comfort food, RPGs with grand, epic tales, and even an old-school title to sink dozens of hours into.

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Let's get started with a remake of a modern classic.

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Trails of Cold Steel 4 Combat, Party Members, More Detailed by NISA https://www.gameskinny.com/drv7t/trails-of-cold-steel-4-combat-party-members-more-detailed-by-nisa https://www.gameskinny.com/drv7t/trails-of-cold-steel-4-combat-party-members-more-detailed-by-nisa Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:49:20 -0400 Josh Broadwell

NIS America showed off the first Trails of Cold Steel 4 gameplay during a recent press event, previewing big changes to the party lineup, a couple of locations from the early game, and more.

Note, there are some spoilers for the end of Cold Steel 3 below.

The two segments NISA showed take place in the Isthmia Great Forest, a returning location from Cold Steel 3, and a new area called the Saint Gral Labyrinth that seems to act as a kind of combat training ground.

Trails of Cold Steel 3's core (and very good) gameplay concepts return. There are the Break and Order systems, along with the series' staple Arts and Crafts.

To start with, each character retains the Crafts they had at the end of Cold Steel 3, though they learn new and enhanced Crafts over the course of the game's meaty story.

The two big differences between CS3 and CS4 are party composition and the Order system.

Cold Steel 3 alternated between New and Old Class VII members in the party at a given time. Cold Steel 4 hurls that out the window, for reasons tied in with the end of Cold Steel 3. The Isthmia Great Forest segment NISA played, for example, featured a party with Kurt, Juna, Altina, and Randy, who was unplayable in the previous game.

CS4 boasts the most playable characters of any game in the series so far (minus Hajimari no Kiseki), with characters from the Trails in the Sky games and the two as-yet unlocalized games set in Crossbell.

The game's official website has a handy breakdown of everyone for those unfamiliar with previous games or just in need of a refresher.

The other change is how Orders work. In CS3, Orders are linked to the Arcus II units and bonds between characters. Since Rean begins CS4 still overtaken by his curse, the rest of the cast's bonds have weakened along with their Orders. In other words, don't expect the same battle strategies to work straight away.

Trails of Cold Steel 4 releases on October 27 for PlayStation 4, with Nintendo Switch and PC releases scheduled sometime in 2021. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails of Cold Steel 4 news as it develops.

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Trails of Cold Steel 4 Release Date Revealed at New Game+ Expo https://www.gameskinny.com/bw3g3/trails-of-cold-steel-4-release-date-revealed-at-new-game-expo https://www.gameskinny.com/bw3g3/trails-of-cold-steel-4-release-date-revealed-at-new-game-expo Tue, 23 Jun 2020 12:29:59 -0400 Josh Broadwell

We knew Trails of Cold Steel 4 was coming out sometime this year, and today's New Game+ Expo confirmed the release date. Trails of Cold Steel 4 will launch for PlayStation 4 on October 27.

The announcement came with a brand-new sizzle reel. There are some big spoilers for the excellent Trails of Cold Steel 3 in the reel, so if you haven't finished that yet, don't read on.

The Cold Steel 4 trailer focuses on protagonist Rean Schwarzer immediately after Cold Steel 3 ends. Rean's imprisoned by the Erebonian Chancellor Giliath Osborne and struggles to overcome the as-yet unexplained darkness inside him before he destroys everything he once held dear.

There's a war going on, but in true Cold Steel fashion, the focus is on facing personal challenges as each member of Old and New Class VII tries to figure out their place in the world. Cold Steel 4 probably won't wrap up all the sub-series' plot threads. That's what Hajimari no Kiseki is for.

Following its PlayStation 4 release, Trails of Cold Steel 4 will launch on PC through Steam and Good Old Games, as well as Nintendo Switch sometime in 2021. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails of Cold Steel 4 release date news as it develops.

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First Hajimari no Kiseki Trailer Highlights Intertwining Stories https://www.gameskinny.com/8eg55/first-hajimari-no-kiseki-trailer-highlights-intertwining-stories https://www.gameskinny.com/8eg55/first-hajimari-no-kiseki-trailer-highlights-intertwining-stories Wed, 11 Mar 2020 11:13:15 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Nihon Falcom's Hajimari no Kiseki launches in Japan this summer, and the developer just released the game's first trailer. It highlights some key moments, big reunions, and probably more foreshadowing than we realize. As always, be aware that any Hajimari no Kiseki information contains slight spoilers for previous games, including Trails of Cold Steel 3.

There's actually quite a bit packed into the 30-second trailer, but here's the gist of what's important.

First, we see key characters from earlier games either returning after being absent in the Cold Steel saga or making their debut. On the Crossbell side, we've got assassin Rixia Mao, Wazy Hemisphere of the Septian Church, and the Divine Blade Arios Maclaine, none of whom made an appearance during the Cold Steel games but played vital roles in previous entries.

The Crossbell Special Support Section reunites, as we knew it would, and Cold Steel deuteragonist Juna Crawford is apparently playable in the Crossbell story as well as the Erebonian side of the story.

Hajimari tells four stories at once — Crossbell's Liberation, Erebonia's post-war phase, something to do with Ouroboros, and the mysterious Hermit.

Though they're separate, it appears they'll cross over rather frequently. For example, one of the characters associated with the Hermit side of the story makes an appearance in Crossbell, and the children central in Cold Steel 4's novel series "3 and 9" seem to appear in various areas as well.

Finally, we've got what's probably the biggest tease so far: the masked man. In the game's reveal during last year's Falcom shareholders' meeting, the man was associated with the Hermit side of the story. Yet even without seeing his face, his appearance suggests a strong connection with Cold Steel hero Rean Schwarzer and a certain quirk at the end of Cold Steel 4.

It's also worth noting this is the best-looking Falcom game so far. The company's output isn't known for being graphically advanced, but Hajimari's character models, colors, and movement are the smoothest and least blurry so far.

Whether and when we'll see Hajimari no Kiseki release in the West remains uncertain, as there's still Cold Steel 4 and the two Crossbell games to be localized.

This is all just a high-level overview of what's in the trailer. There's a ton of other details and tidbits hidden away in there, so give it a watch at the top of this post, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Hajimari no Kiseki news as it develops.

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Hajimari no Kiseki Follows Class 7 in a Post-War Erebonia https://www.gameskinny.com/wa168/hajimari-no-kiseki-follows-class-7-in-a-post-war-erebonia https://www.gameskinny.com/wa168/hajimari-no-kiseki-follows-class-7-in-a-post-war-erebonia Fri, 28 Feb 2020 13:34:47 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Hajimari no Kiseki, the latest game in Nihon Falcom's The Legend of Heroes games series, is out this summer in Japan. It's split into multiple story arcs, and Falcom just provided an overview of Class 7 in Hajimari no Kiseki, following the events of Trails of Cold Steel 3 and 4 world.

Note that some spoilers most definitely follow for Cold Steel 3 and Cold Steel 4.

The key phrase for the Erebonian arc is "Lost Symbol". Peace returns to Erebonia as the war with the Republic of Calvard comes to a close and the Great Twilight dissipates. However, this is Trails, which means it deals with tropes differently than most RPGs.

Rather than being all fine and dandy, Erebonia has to deal with what it means for a warmongering empire to exist in a peaceful world, complete with a new Chancellor taking over from Gilliath Osborne.

Rean Schwarzer, protagonist of the Cold Steel games, returns to the Thors Branch Campus as a professor, but goes back home to Ymir at the request of a certain person. He encounters someone unexpected there, which may or may not relate to the series' penchant for alternate timelines colliding.

Juna Crawford, the deuteragonist in Cold Steel 3 and 4, returns to Crossbell and temporarily assists the Special Support Section with Crossbell's second bid for independence before going back to Erebonia and working to improve relations between the two nations.After the war with the Calvard Republic,

Altina Orion briefly returned to the Intelligence Agency and helped in its re-organization, along with the re-organization of the Railway Military Police. She, too, returns to Thors to finish her time as a student, though.

Kurt Vander remained at Thors to hone his skills, but quickly became aware of the need to push his limits and hone his skills further. There's not much indication what Kurt's plot involves other than tracking down the renegade Prince Cedric.

The spoilery heir to House Cayenne (Musse Egret) stepped away from her student life to aid in stabilizing the Erebonian government following the war with Calvard. Now, though, she's anxious to spend her time as a normal student before taking her role as leader of the Four Great Houses.

Finally is Ash Carbide, survivor of the Hamel tragedy and would-be assassin of Emperor Eugent. He also returned to the Thors Branch Campus, but unlike his classmates, Ash has no clear idea of where to go for the future.

Currently, there's no word on localization for Hajimari no Kiseki. We still don't have the two Crossbell games or Cold Steel 4 yet, so don't expect it in the West anytime soon. Meanwhile, you can pass some time by catching up with the Crossbell portion of the story or checking out Trails of Cold Steel 3 when it comes to PC and Switch soon.

You can see the full update with images on the official Hajimari website. We still have two more story arcs for Falcom to reveal leading up to the Japanese launch, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Hajimari no Kiseki news as it spins our way.

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New Trails Game Hajimari no Kiseki Ties Up Loose Threads for Crossbell, Erebonia https://www.gameskinny.com/fxmfm/new-trails-game-hajimari-no-kiseki-ties-up-loose-threads-for-crossbell-erebonia https://www.gameskinny.com/fxmfm/new-trails-game-hajimari-no-kiseki-ties-up-loose-threads-for-crossbell-erebonia Thu, 06 Feb 2020 12:17:31 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Nihon Falcom recently opened the official website for the upcoming Legend of Heroes: Hajimari no Kiseki, roughly translated as Trails of Origin. The game site is still early-days at this point, but it does offer some intriguing insights into what we can expect from part of the story.

Note that there are slight spoilers for Trails of Cold Steel 3 and Trails of Cold Steel 4 below.

If you're just now hearing about the game, Hajimari no Kiseki is positioned as a pivotal game in the Trails series, closing off one section of the story and leading into the series' finale. It ties up loose ends from the as-yet unlocalized Trails of Cold Steel 4 and the two (also unlocalized) Crossbell games, Trails from Zero and Trails of Azure.

There's a third part focused on the mysterious Society of Ouroboros, but Falcom is naturally remaining quiet on that front.

The part of the site opened today focuses on the Crossbell portion of the story. Following the war between Erebonia and Calvard, Crossbell moved to regain its independence and is holding an official re-independence ceremony. If you've played any of the Trails games (and you should), you know official political ceremonies always attract trouble in the Trails universe.

Fortunately, the Crossbell Police's Special Support Section has been re-instated to help deal with any issues that arise. Lloyd Bannings resumed his activities in the SSS after working underground in opposition to Governor General Rufus Albarea, and Elie MacDowell continues acting in her capacities both as SSS member and secretary in the Crossbell government.

Instructor Randy returns to Crossbell to help the SSS and Guardian Force (Crossbell's unofficial-official military) but faces some unexpected opposition from love interest Mireille, while researcher Tio Plato resumes her technology work in the city too.

Finally, we have the two characters mentioned but not seen in the Cold Steel games, Noel Seeker and Wazy Hemisphere. Noel is a high-ranking member of the Guardian Force in charge of seeing the independence ceremony proceeds smoothly. Wazy is the Blue Testament mentioned in Cold Steel 3 and Cold Steel 4, a member of the Gralsritter returning to Crossbell on official church business.

Hajimari no Kiseki releases sometime this summer in Japan. You can check out the site here, though do be aware it contains some images that spoil some parts of Cold Steel 4. Whether we'll see a Western release is unclear, though with NISA bringing Cold Steel 3 to Switch and PC soon, there's always hope. That particular game is already out on the PS4 and made it on our best games of 2019 pick list.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails series news as it rolls our way.

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 Steams Over to PC Soon https://www.gameskinny.com/z3f2g/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-3-steams-over-to-pc-soon https://www.gameskinny.com/z3f2g/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-3-steams-over-to-pc-soon Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:57:43 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 is coming to PC on March 23. It will be available on both Steam and Good Old Games. The news came during Nippon Ichi Software America's PAX South panel on January 17.

Unlike the original port of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, NISA isn't handling this one. Instead, Engine Software and PH3 Games are responsible for porting the massive JRPG to PC.

Cold Steel 3 launched back in October on PlayStation 4. The first two games in the sub-series — and all three in the Trails in the Sky sub-series — are all on PC, so fans naturally wondered if and when they could expect a PC port for CS3.

Like all previous PC ports in the series, this one is getting some extra special features, too:

  • Ultrawide screen support
  • Fully customizable key bindings
  • Enhanced visuals
  • Additional High-Speed Mode Options (now up to 6x faster)
  • Auto-Save functionality

In short, it's easily the definitive edition of the game. Whether it will be getting a demo like the PS4 version isn't certain yet.

We were rather taken with the third entry in the deep Cold Steel saga, with its expert weaving of plot threads and character arcs. More and better ways to experience this school-saga-meets-war-drama certainly can't be a bad thing. While more March games might be quite a strain on our wallets, we at least don't have to worry about spending on Final Fantasy VII Remake until April.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails of Cold Steel news as it mobilizes.

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Trails of Cold Steel 3: How to Get All Vantage Masters Cards https://www.gameskinny.com/y2v3d/trails-of-cold-steel-3-how-to-get-all-vantage-masters-cards https://www.gameskinny.com/y2v3d/trails-of-cold-steel-3-how-to-get-all-vantage-masters-cards Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:37:40 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Trails of Cold Steel 3 improves on the previous Cold Steel games' card mini-game, Blade, with a much expanded, more strategic card game called Vantage Masters. The game goes in-depth about how to play Vantage Masters early on, but what it doesn't tell you is how many card types you can collect, how to get the cards, and what happens when you do.

There are 34 Vantage Masters card types in total. If you collect at least one of each type, then successfully defeat Orie in a Vantage Masters match at the Vander Training Hall in Heimdallr, you win the Chevalier Master Quartz. Chevalier is one of the best Master Quartz in the game, with highly useful arts, stat augments, and abilities all around.

This guide shows you how and where to get all the VM cards, including all of the possible Vantage Masters opponents and when you can (and should) challenge them to a match. It's divided into two sections, one detailing cards earned through Vantage Masters matches and cards you can purchase outright.

There are a couple of points to make before getting into the nitty-gritty about who you can challenge to Vantage Masters, though.

Most main characters (Branch Campus characters, Class VII, and other important characters) can be challenged in Heimdallr towards the end of the game, should you either miss their initial challenge or lose and not feel like trying again.

Those who are location specific, like random people you'll meet during your Field Exercises, cannot be challenged to a rematch. However, the reward you would have gotten from winning against them is usually available in the Neinvalli Exchange Bargain Bin in Leeves at the beginning of the next chapter.

Chapter 1 Vantage Masters Opponents

April 16 (Leeves)

Zach

  • Where: Carnegie Book and Game in Leeves (this is your first VM match and is a tutorial)
  • Reward: Magic Crystal
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes

Rachel

  • Where: Carnegie Book and Game
  • Reward: D-Alma
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes

Rachel is a challenging opponent, but she can be challenged any of your free days in Leeves, so you don't have to defeat her immediately.

Sydney (Evening)

  • Where: Thors Branch Campus Clubhouse
  • Reward: Hepitus
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Dreichels Square, Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
April 21-23 (Saint-Ark)

Juna

Juna is only available on the night trip aboard the Derfflinger. Once you arrive at the Ex Camp, you can't challenge her again. Even though you can try for a rematch in Chapter 4, Ranger is a very useful Master card to have, so it's best to go ahead and challenge her on the Derfflinger.

  • Where: Derfflinger Car 3
  • Reward: Ranger
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Karel Imperial Villa, outside Heimdallr (Chapter 4)

Celestin

  • Where: Marquis Hyarms' Mansion
  • Reward: Guene-Foss
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Heimdallr Cathedral (Chapter 4)

Clover

  • Where: Parm
  • Reward: Zamilpen
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes
  • Rematch: No

Chapter 2 Vantage Masters Opponents

May 13 (Thors Branch Campus)

Major Michael Irving

  • Where: Branch Campus Cafeteria
  • Reward: Wall
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Future Ex Camps or Rieveldt and Co., Reica Sector of Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
May 14 (Leeves)

Luise

  • Where: Recette Bakery and Cafe
  • Reward: Dullmdaler
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Karel Imperial Villa, outside Heimdallr (Chapter 4)

Munk (Evening)

  • Where: Outside Barney's Tavern
  • Reward: Uptide
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Dreichels Square, Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
May 19 (Aboard the Derfflinger)

Kurt

  • Where: Derfflinger Car 4
  • Reward: Knight
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Dreichels Square, Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
May 20 (Crossbell)

Wendy (Morning)

  • Where: Orbal Store Genten (Crossbell Central Square)
  • Reward: Da-Colm
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes
  • Rematch: No

Xin (Afternoon)

The time transition for this one is a bit vague, but the afternoon of May 20 is basically after you meet with the Epstein Foundation Chief at the RF Group building and deal with one of the investigation missions on Ursula Highway.

  • Where: Heiyue Trading Company (Crossbell Harbor District)
  • Reward: Currier Bell
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes
  • Rematch: No

Chapter 3 Vantage Masters Opponents

June 10 (Leeves)

Maya

  • Where: Recette Bakery and Cafe
  • Reward: Ae-Ferrion
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Le Sage Boutique on Vainqueur Street in Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
June 11 (Branch Campus)

Stark (Morning/Afternoon)

  • Where: Branch Campus Cooperative Store
  • Reward: Thief
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Lucien Cafe in Heimdallr's Reica Sector

Randy (Evening)

  • Where: Branch Campus computer room, second floor
  • Reward: Oonevievle
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Vainqueur Street in Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
June 16 (Derfflinger)

Altina

  • Where: Derfflinger Car  3
  • Reward: Vanish
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Foresta Inn on Westa Street in Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
June 17 (Ordis and Raquel)

Mimika

  • Where: Outside Alisha Casino in Raquel
  • Reward: Gia-Bro
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes
  • Rematch: No

Setsuna

  • Where: Egret Mansion in Ordis' North Street
  • Reward: Amoltamiss
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: Yes
  • Rematch: No

Chapter 4 Vantage Masters Opponents

July 8 (Leeves)

Musse (Evening)

  • Location: Branch Campus Dormitory, second floor
  • Reward: Tarbss
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Le Sage Boutique on Vainqueur Street in Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
July 9 (Leeves/Branch Campus)

Rosine (Morning/Afternoon)

  • Location: Leeves Chapel
  • Reward: Fifenall
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Heimdallr Cathedral (Chapter 4)

Dr. Schmidt (Evening)

  • Location: Branch Campus Hangar
  • Reward: Witch
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Imperial Museum in Heimdallr's Reica Sector (Chapter 4)
July 15 (Derfflinger and Heimdallr)

Ash

  • Location: Derfflinger Car 3
  • Reward: Greon
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Imperial Racecourse in Heimdallr (Chapter 4)

Freddy (Afternoon)

  • Location: Westa Street in Heimdallr
  • Reward: Neptune
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Herschel's General Store on Westa Street in Heimdallr (Chapter 4)
July 16 (Heimdallr)

Jingo (Morning)

  • Location: Watson Armory on Vainqueuer Street in Heimdallr
  • Reward: Swordsman
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Heimdallr Airport (Chapter 4)
July 17 (Heimdallr)

Orie — Final Opponent (Afternoon)

  • Location: Vander Training Hall in Heimdallr's Reica Sector
  • Reward: Chevalier Master Quartz; if you win and challenge Orie again, you get Dragon Incense for winning
  • Available in the Bargain Bin: No
  • Rematch: Same place, but do it on the same day; July 17 is the last time you can freely chart your own course in the game.

Vantage Masters Cards You Can Buy

These are all of the Vantage Masters cards you can purchase. All of these cards are initially available at the Carnegie Books and Games store in Leeves, the day you first pick up Vantage Masters (April 16). However, they're also available at any general store throughout the game.

Sister

  • Cost: 700 Mira

Medic

  • Cost: 200 Mira

Conjurate

  • Cost: 1,000 Mira

Marme

  • Cost: 500 Mira

If you've been counting, you'll notice all this adds up to only 28 cards, not 34. That's because the remaining six are the cards you automatically start with in your first Vantage Masters deck.

---

That's it for how to find all the Vantage Masters cards and get one of the best Master Quartz in Cold Steel 3. Be sure to check out our other Trails of Cold Steel 3 guides for other tips and tricks to make the most of your return to Erebonia.

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Trails of Cold Steel 3 Guide: All Recipes and Where to Find Them https://www.gameskinny.com/lfd59/trails-of-cold-steel-3-guide-all-recipes-and-where-to-find-them https://www.gameskinny.com/lfd59/trails-of-cold-steel-3-guide-all-recipes-and-where-to-find-them Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:28:03 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Recipes have always been an integral part of not getting your posterior handed to you in the Trails games, and that's no different in Trails of Cold Steel 3. Where medical items are expensive and typically just restore health or Energy Points (EP), food items go much further, restoring both health and EP, raising stat parameters for a few turns, restoring Craft Points (CP) so you can pull off another S-Break attack.

The cooking mechanic first introduced in the unlocalized Trails to Zero, where a recipe turns out differently depending on who makes it, is back again as well.

Unless you know where to look and take the time to try and find them, chances are, your recipe book's gonna be pretty slim by the end of the game.

This guide is here to ensure that doesn't happen to you. It lists each recipe, where to find it, and what the three variants are in the order they'll appear in your Recipe Book

Unique Dishes and Special Chefs

On top of the regular dish, some characters will produce a superb dish with added bonuses. Some will produce a unique dish that could have a completely different bonus. Failed (peculiar) ones could even be used as attack items.

Your best bet for a superb dish is using a character with high affinity for that dish, and if you want a peculiar or unique dish, try one who isn't very good at it.

It's worth experimenting for unique dishes. You'll actually need at least eight separate unique dishes to finish the Great Crossbell Cookoff quest in Chapter 2.

There is one big difference in Cold Steel 3's cooking party mechanics, though: after you've joined up with other party members, you can still choose them as the chef for a recipe, even if they aren't currently in your party. 

Cold Steel 3 also sort of brings back the old system from Trails in the Sky, where you learn a recipe when you eat a new food item. This time, though, you have to eat it when it's offered as a special at a specific restaurant or cafe.

Your First Recipe

You'll get your Recipe Book as part of a required quest in the prologue. Speak to Gina in the Branch Campus cafeteria to get the book, the first recipe (Chunky Potato Salad), and enough ingredients to make it a few times.

Chunky Potato Salad
  • Best chef: Juna
  • Worst chefs: Altina, Laura, Fie

Variations and Effects:

  • Superb — Pillowy Mashed Potatoes
    • Recovers 600 HP and increases Defense for two turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Chunky Potato Salad
    • Recovers 500 HP and increases Defense for two turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Shield Chips
    • Recovers 400 HP and increases defense for one turn (large area of effect)
  • Unique — Crispy Potato Croquettes
    • Recovers 600 HP and increases defense for four turns (small area of effect)

Chapter 1 Recipes

Piled Onion Rings (April 16)
  • Location: Talk to Barney at Barney's Cafe in Leeves; buy the special
  • Best chef: Elliot
  • Worst chefs: Kurt, Jusis, Fie

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Glistening Onion Rings
    • Cures K.O. and recovers 800 HP
  • Standard — Piled Onion Rings
    • Cures K.O. and recovers 600 HP
  • Attack Dish — Onion Tear Gas
    • B-class power rank; reduces speed by 50%
  • Unique — Onion Trio
    • Cures K.O., recovers 300 HP 60 EP, and 30 CP
Fluffy Chiffon Cake (April 22)
  • Location: Speak to Nash at the April Cafe in Saint-Arkh, and buy the special
  • Best chef: Fie
  • Worst chefs: Rean, Ashe, Sara

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Summertime Fruitcake
    • Recovers 700 HP and increases speed for two turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard Fluffy Chiffon Cake
    • Recovers 600 HP and increases speed for two turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Hollow Cake
    • Recovers 500 HP and increase speed for one turn (large area of effect)
  • Unique — Airy Meringue Cookie
    • Recovers 700 HP and increases speed for four turns (small area of effect)
Southern Punch (April 22)
  • Location: Dyna, the stall proprietor in Saint-Arkh's Cathedral Square
  • Best chef: Rean
  • Worst chefs: Juna, Elliot, Gaius

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb Sunshine Punch
    • Recovers 300 HP, restores 20 CP, and cures poison, blind, and burn
  • Standard — Southern Punch
    • Recovers 200 HP, restores 20 CP, and cures poison, blind, and burn
  • Peculiar — Orange Liquid
    • Restores 100 EP and 20 CP and cures poison, blind, and burn
  • Unique — Yuzu Honey Soda
    • Recovers 100 HP, restores 40 CP, and cures poison, blind, and burn
Hearty White Stew (April 22)
  • Location: Speak to Bertrand at the Footpath Inn in Parm; buy the special
  • Best chef: Laura
  • Worst chefs: Altina, Machias, Fie

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Silky White Stew
    • Recovers 800 HP and increases Strength for two turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Hearty White Stew
    • Recovers 700 HP and increases Strength for two turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Cold Stew
    • Recovers 600 HP and increases Strength for one turn (large area of effect)
  • Unique — Regal Beef Stew
    • Recovers 800 HP and increases Strength for four turns (small area of effect)

Chapter 2 Recipies

Juicy Ham Sandwich (May 14)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Recette Bakery and Cafe in Leeves
  • Best chef: Kurt
  • Worst chefs: Altina, Machias, Jusis

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Nostalgic Sandwich
    • Recovers 1,500 HP and cures freeze, petrify, and faint
  • Standard — Juicy Ham Sandwich
    • Recovers 1,300 HP and cures freeze, petrify, and faint
  • Attack Dish — Electro Sandwich
    • B-class power rank, 50% chance of inflicting seal status
  • Unique — Croque Vader
    • Recovers 1,000 HP, restores 100 EP, and cures freeze, petrify, and faint
Fresh Tomato Noodles (May 20)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Orzel at the noodle stall in Crossbell's Harbor Sector (in front of the Crossbell News Service building)
  • Best chef: Alisa
  • Worst chefs: Musse, Elliot, Laura

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Champion Noodles
    • Recovers 800 HP, restores 30 CP, and cures seal, mute, and stat down
  • Standard — Fresh Tomato Noodles
    • Recovers 700 HP, restores 30 CP, and cures seal, mute, and stat down
  • Peculiar — Scorched Noodles "Misery"
    • Restores 70 HP and 70 CP, but 50% chance of near death (reducing HP to 1)
  • Unique — Vegetable Double Noodles
    • Recovers 500 HP, restores 50 CP, and cures seal, mute, and stat down
Dragon Fried Rice (May 20)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Feng at the Old Dragon Inn on Crossbell's East Street
  • Best chef: Machias
  • Worst chefs: Altina, Alisa, Emma

Effects and Variations:

  • Super — Heavenly Rice
    • Recovers 1,500 HP and increases Defense and ADF for two turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Dragon Fried Rice
    • Recovers 1,300 HP and increases Defense and ADF for two turns (small area of effect)
  • Attack Dish — Fiery Riceball
    • B-rank power class, 50% chance of inflicting burn
  • Unique — Special Garlic Rice
    • Recovers 1,400 HP, and increases Defense and ADF for four turns (small area of effect)
Cafe Macchiato (May 20)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Vingt-Sept Cafe in Crossbell Central Square
  • Best chef: Altina
  • Worst chef: Musse, Jusis, Millium

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Special Macchiato
    • Recovers 700 HP, restores 150 EP, and cures nightmare, sleep, and confuse
  • Standard — Cafe Macchiato
    • Recovers 550 HP, restores 150 EP, and cures nightmare, sleep, and confuse
  • Peculiar — Brown Liquid
    • Restores 200 EP and cures nightmare, sleep, and confuse
  • Unique — Rich Chocolate Parfait
    • Recovers 300 HP, restores 150 EP and 30 CP, and cures nightmare, sleep, and confuse
Honey Bagel (May 20)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Morges Bakery on Crossbell's West Street.
  • Best chef: Emma
  • Worst chef: Ashe, Fie, Gaius

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Golden Bagel
    • Recovers 1,200 HP, restores 60 EP, and increases ATS for three turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Honey Bagel
    • Recovers 1,000 HP, restores 50 EP, and increases ATS for three turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Mirror Bagel
    • Reflects magic once
  • Unique House of Sweets
    • Recovers 1,200 HP, restores 60 EP, and increases ATS for five turns (small area of effect)

Chapter 3 Recipes

Juicy Hamburger (June 10)
  • Location: Purchase from Gina in the Branch Campus cafeteria
  • Best chef: Ashe
  • Worst chefs: Rean, Altina, Laura

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Artisan Hamburger
    • Recovers 1,800 HP and increases Strength for three turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Juicy Hamburger
    • Recovers 1,600 HP and increases Strength for three turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Indestructible Burger
    • Immunity to one physical attack
  • Unique — Spicy Loco Moco Rice Bowl
    • Recovers 1,800 HP and increases Strength for five turns (small area of effect)
Colorful Bouillabaisse (June 17)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Edmond at the Sea Breeze Inn in Ordis
  • Best chef: Millium
  • Worst chef: Juna, Elliot, Jusis

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Passionate Hot Pot
    • Recovers 1,200 HP and 50 CP and cures freeze, petrify, and faint
  • Standard — Colorful Bouillabaisse
    • Recovers 1,000 HP and 40 CP and cures freeze, petrify, and faint
  • Peculiar — Envious Hot Pot
    • CP regeneration (30 points) for three turns
  • Unique — Yogurt Hotpot
    • Recovers 1,000 HP and initiates CP regen by 20 points for five turns
Fisherman's Paella (June 17)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Miranda at Miranda's Tavern in Ordis
  • Best chef: Sara
  • Worst chef: Kurt, Alisa, Fie

Effects and Variation:

  • Superb — Big Catch Feast
    • Recovers 2,000 HP and cures seal, mute, and stat down
  • Standard — Fisherman's Paella
    • Recovers 1,800 HP and cures seal, mute, and stat down
  • Peculiar — Scorched Rice
    • Restores 600 EP, with a 50% chance of near death
  • Unique — Spicy Jambalaya
    • Recovers 1,600 HP and 60 CP and cures seal, mute, and stat down
Purple Heart (June 17)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Julia at the Hermit Bar and Inn in Raquel
  • Best chef: Jusis
  • Worst chefs: Musse, Machias, Emma

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Purple Cloud
    • Cures K.O. and recovers 2,400 HP
  • Standard — Purple Heart
    • Cures K.O. and recovers 2,200 HP
  • Peculiar — Purple Liquid
    • Cures K.O. recovers 100 HP, and restores 250 EP
  • Unique — Esmelas: Rain
    • Cures K.O., recovers 2,000 HP, and restores  200 EP
Stuffed Meat Pie (June 17)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Morley at the Decken Pub and Diner in Raquel
  • Best chef: Juna
  • Worst chefs: Rean, Machias, Fie

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Master's Meat Pie
    • Recovers 2,200 HP and increases Strength and Defense for three turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Stuffed Meat Pie
    • Recovers 2,000 HP and increases Strength and Defense for three turns (small area of effect)
  • Attack Dish — Badly Smelling Pie
    • A-class power rank, 100% chance of poisoning the target
  • Unique — Lovely Apple Pie
    • Recovers 2,200 HP and increases Strength and Defense for five turns (small area of effect)
Aquamarine Ice (June 18)
  • Location: Speak to Jacqueline at the Crepe Stall in Ordis' Business Sector
  • Best chef: Musse
  • Worst chefs: Kurt, Ashe, Gaius

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Grand Blue Gelato
    • Recovers 1,600 HP, restores 80 EP, and cures poison, blind, and burn.
  • Standard — Aquamarine Ice
    • Recovers 1,400 HP, restores 70 EP, and cures poison, blind, and burn
  • Attack Dish — Explosive Snowball
    • A-rank power class, 30% chance of confusion and freeze
  • Unique — Elegant Snowflake Pastry
    • Recovers 1,600 HP, restores 80 EP, and cures poison, blind, and burn

Chapter 4 Recipes

Piled Spaghetti (July 8)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Barney's in Leeves
  • Best chef: Rean
  • Worst chefs: Musse, Millium, Sara

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Shining Spaghetti
    • Recovers 2,500 HP and increases Speed and Movement for three turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Piled Spaghetti
    • Recovers 2,300 HP and increases Speed and Movement for three turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Salted Vongole
    • Recovers 2,100 HP and increases Speed and Movement for one turn (large area of effect)
  • Unique — Hunter's Carbonara
    • Recovers 2,500 HP and increases Speed and Movement for five turns (small area of effect)
Tomato Curry (July 15)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Arendt at the Foresta Inn on Heimdallr's Westa Street
  • Best chef: Musse
  • Worst chefs: Kurt, Laura, Jusis

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Special Tomato Curry
    • Recovers 3,000 HP, restores 50 CP, and cures sleep, nightmare, and confuse
  • Standard — Tomato Curry
    • Recovers 2,700 HP, restores 50 CP, and cures sleep, nightmare, and confuse
  • Peculiar — Super-powered Curry
    • Recovers 2,100 HP, restores 60 CP, and cures sleep, nightmare, and confuse
  • Unique — Aged Shrimp Curry
    • Recovers 1,800 HP, restores 180 EP and 50 CP, and cures sleep, nightmare, and confuse
Pure White Shortcake (July 15)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Nancy at the Lucien Cafe in Heimdallr's Reica sector
  • Best chef: Altina
  • Worst chef: Ashe, Gaius, Sara

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Supreme Shortcake
    • Recovers 2,700 HP and increases Defense and ADF for three turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Pure White Shortcake
    • Recovers 2,400 HP and increases Defense and ADF for three turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Hard Cake
    • Recovers 2,100 HP and increases Defense and ADF for one turn (large area of effect)
  • Unique — Noir Mont Blanc
    • Immunity to one physical attack
Croquette Burger (July 15)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Oscar at the Lafite Bakery in Heimdallr's Westa Street
  • Best chef: Ashe
  • Worst chefs: Kurt, Altina, Alisa

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb Angel Burger
    • Recovers 1,000 HP and regenerates 20% HP for five turns
  • Standard — Croquette Burger
    • Recovers 1,000 HP and regenerates 20% HP for three turns
  • Attack Dish — Devil Burger
    • S-rank power class, 30% chance of death or nightmare
  • Unique — Steak Burger
    • Recovers 1,000 HP and regenerates 20 CP for five turns
Hearty Skewer (July 17)
  • Location: Purchase the special from Brecker at the Imperial Meat Stall in Heimdallr's Dreichels Square.
  • Best chef: Gaius
  • Worst chefs: Juna, Musse, Elliot

Effects and Variations:

  • Superb — Dynasty Grill
    • Recovers 4,000 HP, restores 50 CP, and increases Strength and Defense for five turns (medium area of effect)
  • Standard — Hearty Skewer
    • Recovers 3,500 HP, restores 50 CP, and increases Strength and Defense for five turns (small area of effect)
  • Peculiar — Attack Grill
    • Recovers 3,000 HP, restores 50 CP, and increases Strength and ATS for one turn (large area of effect)
  • Unique — Nordic Kebab
    • Recovers 4,000 HP, restores 50 CP, and increases Strength, ATS, and Speed for seven turns (small area of effect)

---

That's every recipe in Trails of Cold Steel 3 to help see you through the many trials awaiting Class VII. Be sure to check out our other Trails of Cold Steel 3 guides for more tips on your journey through Erebonia.

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Trails of Cold Steel 3 Bond Events, Romance Guide, and Gift List https://www.gameskinny.com/glqaj/trails-of-cold-steel-3-bond-events-romance-guide-and-gift-list https://www.gameskinny.com/glqaj/trails-of-cold-steel-3-bond-events-romance-guide-and-gift-list Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:42:41 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 follows its two predecessors by including a bonding system, where Rean can spend time with, and learn more about, his friends and colleagues during the course of the story.

There's more to it this time around, though, including more characters and more ways to bond with them, plus actual "romance" options. This guide will cover how to get the most out of each bond event, how to unlock the final bond event and trophy, and who the romance options are.

How Cold Steel 3's Bonding System Works

The Cold Steel 3 bonding system works similarly to that of the previous two games. On Rean's and Class VII's Free Days, you get a limited number of bonding points you can spend on specific characters, and you get at least one more on the evening of the same day.

There are always more people available for bonding events than there are points to spend, so like with Cold Steel and Cold Steel 2, you won't see all the bonding events until New Game+.

The first two Cold Steel games tied bond levels to Link Experience, but Cold Steel 3 keeps the two completely separate, which means you're free to Link with whomever you like in combat without suffering any social consequences for it. Additionally, there's a way to increase bond levels without actually spending time with a character: sending gifts.

Sending Gifts

Gift items are available usually once or twice during each chapter, and you can send them to characters not in your party by selecting the item in your inventory. You can also gift them directly if the recipient is nearby.

Sometimes gifting items will increase parameters for one of the recipient's stats as well.

While the bond meter increase is not as hefty as when you experience a bonding event, it's a handy way to move things along.

Using Baths

Another way to (very) slightly increase a friendship meter is using the baths in the dormitory every morning/afternoon and evening when you're free to explore Leeves. You'll get a brief scene with someone else in the baths. If it's someone with a friendship meter, then you get roughly a quarter of a star increase.

Do Cold Steel 2 Bond and Link Levels Carry Over to CS3?

Nope, nary a bit. Rean's bond levels with Old Class VII start at a predetermined level regardless of who you snuggled up to in Cold Steel 2.

How to Unlock Final Bonding Events in CS3

There is, as always, a final bonding event for each character, accompanied by a trophy for maxing that character's bond points. Fortunately, it's not quite as difficult as the final event for the first Cold Steel.

Even though it's the last bonding event, it's worth mentioning now so you can plan ahead. You must do the following two tasks:

  • You need to max out that character's friendship meter, aka their favorability rating, before or during the Summer Festival in Chapter 4

  • Spend at least one Festival Ticket on that character to unlock their final bonding event

Spending a Festival Ticket also triggers a regular bonding event and can help get you to that maxed out level if need be.

During the Summer Festival, you can even get four extra Festival Tickets if you complete the optional sidequests on that day, giving you extra chances to increase bond levels.

There are two final, important things to note on the subject of bonding events. 

  1. In general, because you get more bonding events with the Branch Campus kids (Juna, Kurt, Altina, Musse, and Ash) - you should take advantage of bonding opportunities and gift-giving with Old Class VII when they arise if you want to see their final bond events.

  2. Elise and Princess Alfin work a bit differently as far as their final bonding event. They share a friendship meter, with the max rank for that one being four stars rather than five. Outside gift-giving, there are only a few specific story points when you can increase that meter as well, which we'll include in each chapter below.

Chapter 1 Bond Events and Gift List

April 16: Anytime

Gift Item

  • Silk Handerchief (Elise) - Purchased from Lapin Boutique
  • Mizu Yokan (Altina) - purchased from Nyo-Sui-An Imports (Increases Altina's ADF by 10)

Available Bond Events (2 Bond Points to spend)

  • Kurt
  • Altina
  • Musse (Character Note updated)
April 16: Evening

Available Bond Events (1 Bond Point to spend)

  • Juna
  • Towa
April 22: Morning (Saint-Arkh)/Afternoon (Parm)

Gift Items

  • Fountain Pen (Kurt) - Exchanged at the Demeter Exchange in Saint-Arkh for 1 Silver Glasses and 1 White Earring (Increases HP by 100)
  • Quilted Pouch (Millium) - Purchased in Parm (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)

Chapter 2 Bond Events and Gift List

May 13: Anytime

Gift Items

  • Imperial Sports Encyclopedia (Juna) - purchased from Carnegie Book and Game store in Leeves (Increases Strength by 10)
  • Elegant Scrunchie (Claire) - Exchanged for 1 Holy Chain at Neinvalli in Leeves (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
May 14: Morning/Afternoon

Bonding Events (3 Bond Points to spend)

  • Juna
  • Altina
  • Ash
  • Laura
  • Millium (Character Note updated); event also includes Claire
May 14: Evening

Bonding Events (1 Bond Point to spend)

  • Kurt
  • Elliot (Character Note updated)
May 20: Anytime

Gift Items

  • Blue Glass Wind Chime (Elliot) - Purchased from a stall in East Street in Crossbell (Increases ATS and ADF by 10)
  • Orbal Dryer (Towa) - Purchased from Orbal Store Genten in Crossbell's Central Square.
  • Orca Floatie (Altina) - Purchased from Southwark in Times Department Store, located in Crossbell's Central Square (Increases ATS by 10)
  • Camellia Lipstick (Laura) - purchased from Lucca's in Times Department Store, located in Crossbell's Central Square (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)
May 21: Morning/Afternoon

Bond Events

There aren't any normal bond events in Crossbell per se, but there are two things to keep in mind on May 21.

  • Don't forget to head down the elevator corridor in Orchis Tower for a scene that raises your Alfin/Elise bond rating.
  • Check the terminal in the SSS building for a scene with Sharon that increases her bond rating.

Chapter 3 Bond Events and Gifts List

June 10: Anytime

Gift Items

  • Orchid Hairpin (Musse) - purchased from Nyo-Sui-An Imports in Leeves (Increases ADF by 10)
  • Leather Blue Book Cover (Kurt) - purchased from Carnegie Games and Books in Leeves (Increases ATS by 10)
  • Green Star Pendant (Fie) - purchased from the Branch Campus Cooperative Store in Leeves (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)
June 11: Morning/Afternoon

Bond Events (3 Bond Points to spend)

  • Juna (Character Note updated)
  • Kurt
  • Musse
  • Alisa (Character Note updated), event includes Sharon
  • Machias

Alfin/Elise Bond Meter Increase

Speak to Rosine in the Leeves Chapel on this day to undertake the quest "Temporary Sunday School Teacher," which will increase your bond level with Elise.

June 12: Evening

Bond Events (2 Bond Points to spend)

  • Altina
  • Ash
  • Towa
  • Fie
June 17: Morning (Ordis)

Gift Items

  • Phoenix Tea (Alfin) - Purchased from Kendall Imports in Kleist Mall, located in Ordis' Business Area.
  • Compact Juicer (Juna) - Purchased at the Reinford (RF) Store in Kleist Mall, located in Ordis' Business Area (Increases HP by 100)
  • Aroma Tonic (Ash) - Purchased from Hereford in the Riviera Court portion of Ordis (Increases Strength by 10)
  • Rose Perfume (Sharon) - Purchased from the florist shop Glycine in Ordis' North Street (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
  • Heart Trilogy (Alisa) - Purchased from the Strauss Orbal Factory in Ordis' North Street (Increases ATS and ADF by 10)
June 17: Afternoon (Raquel)

Gift Items

  • Amber Soap (Elise) - Purchased from Ikaros Mart in Raquel
  • Classic Mill (Machias) - Exchange for Arabiki Sausage at McEnroe Pawn Store in Raquel (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)

Chapter 4 Bond Events and Gift List

If you couldn't tell already by this point in the game, stuff's starting to get serious, so your schedule is slightly atypical.

July 4: Evening

Bond Events (3 Bond Points to spend)

  • Juna
  • Kurt
  • Altina
  • Musse
  • Ash
July 8: Evening

Gift Items

  • Noble Ribbon (Celine — yes, the cat) - Purchased from Lapin Boutique in Leeves.
  • Fairyland Iris (Atina) - Purchased from Carnegie Book and Game in Leeves (Increases HP by 100)
  • Silver Cuff Link (Kurt) - Exchanged for 1 Silver Chain and 1 Cool Necklace from Neinvalli in Leeves.
  • Colored Braid (Towa) - Purchased from Nyo-Sui-An Imports in Leeves
July 9: Morning/Afternoon

Bond Events (4 Bond Points to spend)

  • Juna
  • Altina (Character Note updated)
  • Ash (Character Note updated)
  • Towa
  • Jusis
  • Gaius
July 9: Evening

Bond Events (2 Bond Points to spend)

  • Kurt
  • Musse
  • Emma (Character Note updated)
  • Sara
July 15: Morning (Heimdallr)

Gift Items

  • Stein Rose '96 (Sara) - purchased from Weston House in Plaza Bifrost, located on Vainqueur Street (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
  • Aurora Barrette (Juna) - Purchased from Lepanto and Co. in Plaza Bifrost, located on Vainqueur Street (Increases Defense by 10)
  • Red Leather Key Case (Ash) - Purchased from Lumierre Orbal Factory on Vainqueur Street (Increases HP by 150
  • Edel Casquette (Emma) - Purchased from Le Sage Boutique on Vainqueur Street.
  • Ebony Pin (Gaius) - Purchased from Herschel's on Westa Street (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
  • Starry Night Minuet (Musse) - Purchased from Rieveldt and Co. in the Reica Area (Increases ATS by 15)
  • Riding Gloves (Jusis) - Purchased from the Betting Window at the Racecourse Square (Increases Strength and ATS by 15)

July 17: Summer Festival Bonding Events

The Summer Festival on July 17 is the last point in the game Rean is able to spend time with friends and classmates. Everyone is available on this day.

It's also where you can access a character's Final Bond Event, if, as mentioned above, you've:

  • Maxed their bond/friendship meter

AND

  • Used one Festival ticket on that character

You start out with 5 Bond Points on July 17, but you can earn up to an extra 4 Bond Points if you complete the optional quests available on that day.

Only one of these isn't listed for you outright, Melody of the Past. It's a Branch Campus request that you'll access by speaking to President Morgan at Rieveldt and Co.

Cold Steel 3 Romance Options

Some of these Final Bond Events turn romantic as well.

Cold Steel 3's romance options are limited to just Alisa, Laura, and Emma, and there's an option during their Final Bond Events to choose a romantic response or to keep everything friendly.

How this plays out when you transfer completed data to Cold Steel 4 is, as yet, unknown since the game isn't out in the West yet.

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Check out our other Trials of Cold Steel 3 guides, such as the locations for every recipe and how to get all Vantage Masters cards.

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 Review — Forward, Relentlessly https://www.gameskinny.com/ag4bm/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-3-review-forward-relentlessly https://www.gameskinny.com/ag4bm/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-3-review-forward-relentlessly Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:36:11 -0400 Josh Broadwell

With his last breath, a particular character near the end of Trails of Cold Steel 2 encourages his former classmates to move forward, relentlessly, if they hope to achieve their goals and see peace reign in Erebonia once more.

It's a moment and sentiment that aptly summarizes the game's follow-up. Trails of Cold Steel 3 pushes the entire series forward in narrative, scope, and mechanics, improving on previous titles' foibles to deliver a JRPG masterpiece.

Note: small story spoilers for Trails of Cold Steel 2 follow. 

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 Review — Forward, Relentlessly

The game starts a year and a half after Cold Steel 2 ends. The civil war might be over, but the Erebonian Empire is in a state of flux. Chancellor Giliath Osborne moves towards achieving his goals — though precious few people know what those are — completely reshaping the empire, its government, and its social structure in the process.

Dissent ferments under the surface thanks to his actions. However, there are many more actors on the stage than the Blood and Iron Chancellor. They are all equally determined to leave their mark on the world.

Amid this vortex of unrest is Rean Schwarzer, hailed as the champion of the civil war, navigating between his duties as a government agent and an instructor at the newly established Thors Military Academy Branch Campus.

Though it takes place partly at a military academy (again), you quickly learn this isn't just another school story.

Cold Steel 3 is the point where plot threads from the Trails in the Sky games and the unlocalized Trails to Zero and Trails of Azure start to come together at last. These narrative pieces combine into a lens that gives a more in-depth look into the true nature of the Erebonian Empire, one that goes beyond politics and military machinations. Though those are undoubtedly important, it delves into the darker side the first two games only hinted at.

It's a vast game, but the way major plot points and characters are handled means you’re pulled in from the start. There’s never a dull moment, with some significant and unexpected events taking place as early as midway through the first chapter.

I'm roughly past the halfway point, but thanks to accidentally spoiling the major plot points a while ago, I can say everything combines seamlessly to culminate in an explosive finale. Cold Steel 3 does a superb job of building on everything that came before, but even standing alone, the entire experience is utterly compelling and masterfully delivered throughout.

No story can hold its own without quality characters, and fortunately, Cold Steel 3 has those in spades. The new Class VII is immediately likable and exciting, benefiting from you getting some characterization and backstory right away. Not only is Class VII instantly engaging, but the entire Branch Campus is full of distinct personalities, personalities who also get interwoven in the story much more than the old Thors students did.

However, that two-game long buildup does pay off well for Old Class VII. As they gradually reunite with Rean throughout the story, you'll see each of them, including Rean, has a noticeably more-defined personality.

Improvements All-Around

The V.O. performances are better than ever as well, especially for Rean and Old Class VII. Voice work in the first two Cold Steel games wasn't bad by any means, but it definitely seems like all the actors have made the characters their own, which fits perfectly with Old Class VII's confidence in their new paths as well.

It's worth noting the localization is very good throughout. For the most part, you wouldn't really know the translation and localization were handled by a different publisher this time around. It's that seamless. If anything, the script seems a bit livelier than the previous Cold Steel games, though that could just be the source material, too.

There are some typos and a few other issues, perhaps more than one might hope for. But these are outside the main storyline. They don't amount to much more than a missing letter or word here and there, with a few exceptions.

Sometimes, the flow is a bit rough, and one or two NPC comments require a few seconds to work out, but it should also be said these are nothing as problematic as the original Ys VIII translation. NISA is set to fix these with a Day-One patch anyway. 

On the visual side of things, Erebonia looks better than ever. Being built natively for the PS4 gives the presentation a huge boost, which, even though it's not taking full advantage of the system's capabilities, is still a significant change for a Falcom game. Colors are brighter, the gameplay is silky smooth with hardly any loading times (a huge blessing for those coming from the Vita games), and character models are much more detailed than before.

These improved character models lend themselves to a greater range of expression during dialogue, too. The days of that gorgeous 2D artwork accompanying dialogue boxes in Falcom games are well and truly gone. Still, the flexibility of expression and better fidelity in modeling makes the digital models pretty darn close to the 2D artwork.

The presentation is helped along by an outstanding soundtrack as well, one that's a step up in sophistication from previous titles. If you check it out on Spotify, you'll notice it's divided into four albums. That's because almost every track used is brand-new for this game, ranging from the sweeping and evocative to lighthearted and bubbly as needed.

Granted, there's no specific stand-out track like Azure's "Omen" or Cold Steel's "Atrocious Raid." But at the expense of one track that tells you "Ah yes, the shit is indeed hitting the fan," you get a full-bodied, tonally and thematically unified work throughout the entire game.

The Eighth in the Third Arc in the What Now?

With all those layers and nods to other games, you're probably wondering whether Trails of Cold Steel 3 is a good starting point for the series. You might be surprised to hear that, despite relying in part on the plots of all the other story arcs, the answer is "yes," with just a couple of caveats.

Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo has mentioned in multiple interviews that, by the time development of the Cold Steel series began, the team realized the backstory and density might make it rather tricky for newcomers to get into the series. So, the Cold Steel games were meant to both continue the series and welcome those who'd never touched a Trails game before.

While the plots and other characters are undoubtedly crucial to what's going on in the series, Cold Steel 3 in particular, the majority of it isn't presented as if you should know it already. What's happened outside the first two Cold Steel games isn't really known by the core cast anyway. This creates a narrative where you learn about pivotal events and people as Rean-and-co. do, giving you enough information to understand what's going on without expecting you to play all the other games first.

The other thing that lets Cold Steel 3 do this is the way the Cold Steel arc's narrative is structured, to begin with. The first two games don't really emphasize the major plot elements, focusing on Erebonian politics instead. Cold Steel 3 builds on those political happenings but ties them to new and more significant plot points.

Of course, this means you'd do well to at least have played the first two Cold Steel games, so you have a clearer understanding of who everyone is and what went down. If you're curious about this specific entry or really want to experience it without spending the time to play the first two, though, that's still possible.

Like its predecessor, Cold Steel 3 includes a generous backstory section in the start menu, where you can either catch up on what happened before and who was involved or learn about it for the first time.

There's also the game's official website, which NISA has turned into a veritable encyclopedia of information. Between those two things, you might still feel adrift at times, but you could still certainly enjoy the game as your first one.

Field Triiiip!

The story and all its trappings unfold in a way similar to other entries in the series. Each chapter segment brings with it a variety of tasks to complete, including required and optional tasks, and you'll start at the Thors Branch Campus.

Campus tasks range from training in Einhel Keep, which benefits from being a much more interesting place than the Old Schoolhouse to helping out the folks of Leeves, and offering some assistance either to your fellow instructors or your students.

The entire branch campus goes on Field Exercises every chapter as well. These might sound like the quintessential school activities, but they're actually full-blown military exercises. The Branch Campus investigates various, potentially deadly, disturbances in the western empire and the province of Crossbell while the imperial army is busy fending off an invasion in the east.

So they're sort of like field trips from hell in that respect. Fortunately, you meet a ton of interesting people along the way.

Tasks during these exercises are similar but with a twist. You'll help out the citizens of whatever area you're in at the time, but with some crucial quests mixed in with the optional ones.

Completing quests always rewards you with money, items, or both. Doing so also increases your Academy Points. As your Academy rank goes up, you get unique, often useful, items as rewards. Plus, along with unlocking a trophy for maxing your AP, the data carries over into the next game with some extra bonuses.

On top of those optional and crucial quests are the objectives the government wants Class VII to fulfill. These typically entail gathering information, exploring a specific location, and uncovering just a bit more about what's going on in that location and Erebonia in general.

As always, each segment has at least one missable sidequest that isn't on your to-do list, but this time around, they get quest markers anyway. They're still easy to miss unless you check your map constantly, though, so it doesn't take away from that feeling of discovery when you stumble on a hidden quest.

Even still, it's worth wandering around and speaking to the NPCs you meet. Vibrant NPCs with their own unique stories that change as the game progresses is one of the series' hallmarks, and Cold Steel 3 is no different.

Whether it's gaining a new perspective on an important plot event or watching NPC relationships grow and develop, Erebonia feels even more alive and dynamic thanks to these extra touches.

CS3 introduces two additional sidequest types, too, one where you're tasked with finding radio material for the Leeves branch of Radio Trista, and the other where you take landscape photos for a former Thors classmate turned journalist.

There's also the in-game card game, Vantage Masters, a replacement for Blade from the first two games that lets you challenge certain characters and party members to strategic card battles just for the fun of it.

In short, it's a massive world, with a wide variety of things to do and see.

Previous games in the series sometimes struggled with balancing optional quests and activities with the main plot, but Cold Steel 3 handles them in a way that feels better balanced and more streamlined. That's in part thanks to an improved fast travel system that lets you navigate to specific parts of the highway or a side area, making monster quests — and the almost inevitable trek back to town to buy necessities — so much faster and easier.

The quest structure works in the game's favor, as well. Most of your sidequests are assigned early on in an area, and they help you navigate that new area. By the time events really start to kick-off, the quest volume drops, so you don't have four or more quests hanging over you while you choose between them and the main story. 

Overcoming Barriers

The combat system has also received an overhaul. It's still based on the same concepts and systems as the first two Cold Steel games, but it's faster, smoother, and more strategic.

The old ring menu system is gone, replaced by a Persona 5-inspired layout with actions mapped to face buttons and directional arrows. It's a pretty simple change, but it has a surprisingly noticeable effect on how smooth the action feels.

Divine Knight battles are much more involved and entertaining than in Cold Steel 2, and with the ubiquity of Panzer Soldats, other characters piloting their giant mechs regularly join you.

The PlayStation 4's capabilities also seem to have affected the game's smooth combat. Movements are faster and less blocky, animations for arts and crafts unfold quickly, and the overall tempo just seems faster. If it's still too slow, there's even a Turbo feature you can activate to make it move even quicker, added in just for the English release.

There are some other big, new highlights for the combat system as well. Enemies now have a Break meter that gradually depletes as you attack them, with specific crafts causing more considerable Break damage. Once an enemy's Break gauge reaches zero, it's immobilized for a turn. 

Brave Orders are another new feature, one that gives added purpose to the Bravery Points (BP) you get from unbalancing foes. Each character has at least one Brave Order they can activate for a set number of BP, with effects ranging from increasing defense, reflecting attacks, or multiplying Break damage to shortening action delay and cutting received damage in half.

If you're playing on normal, it's incredibly easy and satisfying to break the game using Break and Brave Orders. If you're playing on hard, these features are vital for making it through. Fortunately, the difficulty is adjustable at any time, except Nightmare mode, so you're free to experiment as you see fit.

Finally is the addition of a second Master Quartz slot, which opens up character build customization even more than before.

Determining when to use BP for an Order or a rush attack, whether to prioritize Breaking or defense, and figuring out what Quartz combinations suit the situation or your playstyle make this the most involved and engaging combat system in the series to date.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 Review — The Verdict

Pros:
  • Deeply layered story, tightly knit, and full of surprises
  • Massive and engaging world
  • So much to do — or not, if you don't want to
  • Brilliant characters and characterization
  • Improved combat system
  • Numerous quality of life enhancements over previous entries
  • Fantastic soundtrack
  • Best visuals in the series to date
  • Surprisingly accessible for newcomers
Cons:
  • A few slow areas
  • Doesn't take full advantage of the PS4's capabilities

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 is a shining example of how to improve on a winning formula. Practically everything is improved compared to previous releases, from combat and narrative pacing to voice acting and visuals.

The story might be dense, but it's one of the most intricate and finely crafted in gaming and fantasy. That's due in part to building so well on what came before. Yet it still manages to welcome newcomers if you're willing to do a bit of reading to catch up.

All in all, if you're an RPG fan or are just curious what the fuss is all about, you owe it to yourself to give Cold Steel 3 a try.

[Note: A copy of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 was provided by NISA for the purpose of this review.]

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Gets Release Date, New E3 Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/pfsj4/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-iii-gets-release-date-new-e3-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/pfsj4/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-iii-gets-release-date-new-e3-trailer Mon, 10 Jun 2019 20:55:14 -0400 Josh Broadwell

In preparation for its upcoming E3 showcase, Nippon Ichi Software America announced the release date for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III alongside another new trailer, which can be seen above. Note that the trailer contains some spoilers for those who haven't yet completed Trails of Cold Steel II.

Trails of Cold Steel III's North American release date is September 24. It'll release a few days later on September 27 in Europe and then on October 4 in Australia and New Zealand; it's worth noting the release gap is much smaller for international fans of the series than it was for the first two games.

There's no word on whether Trails of Cold Steel III will be ported to the PC; as of now, it's still a PlayStation 4 exclusive title.

This entry in the series picks up a year and a half after Trails of Cold Steel II ended. The Erebonia Civil War is over, but there's another, bigger war on the horizon with the country's habitual enemy, the Calvard Republic, along with the Society of Ouroboros' grander scheme for the country.

This time around, protagonist Rean Schwarzer becomes a professor at a new branch of Thors Military Academy. That means there's a new Class VII, which NISA has been slowly introducing over the past two weeks, though Rean will meet up with Old Class VII periodically throughout the game.

Players can explore more of the Erebonian Empire than ever before, including — for the first time — the western half of the country, plus parts of the newly annexed Crossbell State.

Those who are wondering what a Crossbell is needn't worry too much. The game will include an interactive opening sequence to get everyone up to speed on what's going on, and the game's official site has a wealth of information for that purpose too. Our series introduction is a good place to get all the basics as well.

Another big feature is the combat system, which includes entirely new components like the Brave Order system that provides buffs for party members.

Trails of Cold Steel III is available for pre-order now in two forms. The Early Enrollment Edition comes with the game, the "Branch Campus Student Directory" art book, and a selection of the game's soundtrack. It's available from GameStop, Amazon, and Best Buy for $59.99.

There's also the special Thors Academy Edition, which includes:

  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III for PS4
  • Intelligence Division Files Hardcover Art Book
  • Symphony of Class VII
  • Einhel Keep Collector's Box
  • SteelBook
  • 5 Postcards
  • Mishy Plushie

It's available for $99.99 exclusively from the NISA online store.

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