Trails of Cold Steel III is the third instalment in the Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel series.
It also follows on from the events of the past game, thus it does contain spoilers for those who are thinking of purchasing this title and have yet to play the other games.
In this one you once again take the role of Rean Schwarzer as he has now become Instructor of a new group of students. The game also takes place in new locations and a totally different Campus.
There are many changes within this game compared to the previous games, not only does the game feature completely new areas, it also features brand new mini games and a completely new cast of characters to get used to too.
Alongside those new features, the combat system has also been changed too. Well slightly, thankfully it still plays out a lot like the combat system in the past games the only real difference is the ability to use moves such as ‘Orders’ which can either strengthen your party and/or increase their movement too.
The Orders are a vital mechanic to turning a battle to your favour and are easy to activate thanks to the character Link Abilities, which are a rather familiar mechanic for those having played the past games.
Whilst the story is still rather strong and for the most part the new characters seem to be okay too, we had very few gripes with the new cast. However, as these type of games are rather long and span over 100+ hours worth of gameplay to play through and having played the past few games, with all of that in mind we deep down just didn’t really enjoy getting used to the new cast of characters.
The new cast seemed to replace the old ones and kind of made them redundant and having played the other games we had become very attached and familiar with them and was not too keen on having to see more screen time of the new cast and minor cameos of the old ones. It just felt unnecessary, though in a way we understood why it happened as the game is mainly about Rean and how he has grown, it just felt rather difficult to come to terms with.
The game also felt very repetitive too, of course if you have played the past games you will know that they can be very linear and know that there isn’t much room to run around and explore.
However, this one felt very repetitive and I don’t think the linear style gameplay helped at all. It just felt like your forever doing the same thing over and over. The story in this one didn’t seem to be as strong as the past games neither. It focused too much on Rean getting used to his new team and there where very few scenes that we felt where interesting and caused us to feel a great deal of enthusiasm.
It is still an amazing game and despite the somewhat minor roles that the past characters unfortunately play, they thankfully are still there and can provide some help every now and then.
As has already been said the game focuses way too much on the new cast, which we liked but still deep down would of rather seen more screen time of the older characters instead.
For the most part everything that makes Trails of Cold Steel a good series is still in there and the new mechanics are easy to get used to.
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