[Vita] The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II Review

by Ceidz, Owner

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is a Japanese RPG, and the follow up to Trails of Cold Steel, which released last year, and which I LOVED. This second game follows the events of the first game, and boy is it good! Come read everything about it in this Trails of Cold Steel II review.

Despite the best efforts of military student Rean Schwarzer and his friends, forces much greater than they have swept the land of Erebonia into a full-blown civil war. After a terrible struggle, Rean awakens in the mountains near his hometown, uncertain what fate befell his classmates and comrades.

Trails of Cold Steel II Launch Trailer

As you can tell from its name, Trails of Cold Steel II is a direct sequel to Trails of Cold Steel. You’ll be following the same characters (Rean and the rest of Class VII), but there are more playable characters this time around. I’ll try to be as spoiler-free of this story-rich game here!

Following the final events of the first game, the classmates are spread throughout the country, and your first mission will be to get all of them back together. The Trails series (including the exceptional Trails in the Sky) is all about enjoying a lengthy adventure (typically spanning from 45 to 60 hours), so to give you an idea of how it goes, I completed the first chapter (without doing all of the available side-quests) in around 7 hours of gameplay!

In this game, we are mostly visiting the same world as before (Erebonia), so it’s expected that you’ll trek through some of the same areas and fight the same monsters. I didn’t mind this at all because the battle system is so enjoyable (more on this later). There ARE some new areas to visit, of course, and they are found between those we already know about. Also, since most areas are so vast, it’s easy to avoid enemy encounters (they are visible on the map), and rush to your destination once you’ve had enough fighting!

Trails of Cold Steel II Review

On the battle system: it’s a near-perfect and very rewarding turn-based battle system, almost identical to what we got for Trails of Cold Steel. Each character enters a command and then acts immediately or with a slight delay (the turn order is shown on the left side of the screen), so that you can always determine which action can have the best effect. Each character can be linked to another one, which leads to exclusive abilities learned between the two characters, and attack bonuses if the enemy gets unbalanced by a critical.

Using said exclusive abilities increases a meter which in turn can let you use very powerful attacks relatively often! After fighting for a little while linked to another character, an Overdrive mode bar will slowly fill, which will let you devastate the enemies for three consecutive uninterrupted turns… and each hit will be a critical! I love the battle system mechanics of Trails of Cold Steel II, and it even includes Mech battles at set story points!

When I first booted the game, I was already eager to use my Cold Steel I completed savegame to begin this new adventure, but I was rather disappointed by the modest bonus: I got a few Sepits (shards used to synthesize new skills), but only a few of them. I got more in my first hour of gameplay than the bonus I obtained. Also, my level was rolled back from 60 to 40, and all my money, Sepits pieces, skills, and equipment was gone. I’m aware that this was done to balance the game, but when I read that I could carry my save complete data, I thought it might be more generous. On the upside, registering your completed save allows for more customization of the conversation between characters with whom you built links during the first game.

Trails of Cold Steel II Review

Final Thoughts
Trails of Cold Steel II is an awesome game and is also a veeeeeery long game (which is always a great value for our hard earned money). The story is a political debate between the nations of this world, and its battle system keeps you busy.

With that being said, there is only one question left: “Can I jump into this one without having played Trails of Cold Steel?”. To this, I answer: yes, it’s possible. But given the many political ties between Erebonia, every city, and location of its world, you would be better off by starting with Trails of Cold Steel, which is available at a budget price on the PSN!

Cost: $39.99

PSN Game size: Vita – 3.0GB

You can purchase The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II right here.

This The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II Review is based on a Vita copy provided by XSEED GAMES.

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