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Armagon

General Trails thread (Trails of Cold Steel 4 (PS4) out now).

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I don't know if the sale is still going on, but Trails of Cold Steel was part of Steam's sale list (last checked a couple of days ago).

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So, I got spoiled about Cold Steel 4 by an asshat on Facebook showing a spoilery picture on a news page (that normally avoids spoilers), so...

(about its characters, CLICK IT BY YOUR OWN RISK)

Spoiler

holy shit, Estelle, Joshua and Renne are back. I can't express how happy I am for seeing Renne again after her redemption and adoption by the Bright family. I just fear that the trio will ditch 80% of Cold Steel's original cast in relevance and steal the limelight completely, lol.

Now just introduce Agate and Kevin and the original Sky cast will curbstomp through everything.

Man, I need to continue playing CS2. If only I wasn't so stupid with orbment setups and indecisive about which characters to use (I just want to use them all, since I enjoy them). If only I could think about orbment setups for every character without my brain freezing.

Edited by Rapier

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Sen 4 leaks are going all over the place I highly advise you use tags on twitter to block that or block Kiseki people you follow, because they're getting more excitable by the leak/reveal.

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I never posted here before but who has played Sen III? Because Sen IV is so much hype.
Oh wait, has anyone played the Crossbell arc? It's recommended before Sen III.

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2 minutes ago, KeA said:

I never posted here before but who has played Sen III? Because Sen IV is so much hype.
Oh wait, has anyone played the Crossbell arc? It's recommended before Sen III.

I know because you always tell me, also how goes the speed run practice of Sen 3?

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Just now, Jedi said:

I know because you always tell me, also how goes the speed run practice of Sen 3?

WELL I have to spread the word!!

It's... going. I might be around the halfway point maybe? Maybe not. Chapter 3 out of 5.

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1 minute ago, KeA said:

WELL I have to spread the word!!

It's... going. I might be around the halfway point maybe? Maybe not. Chapter 3 out of 5.

Crossbell before Sen 3 yes, which I'll be getting to sometime in the near future.

I have a long wait anyways.

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29 minutes ago, Jedi said:

Crossbell before Sen 3 yes, which I'll be getting to sometime in the near future.

I have a long wait anyways.

I'll let you know when. They'll also do Ao translation too.

TRUE. Well... maybe...

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19 hours ago, Jedi said:

Sen 4 leaks are going all over the place I highly advise you use tags on twitter to block that or block Kiseki people you follow, because they're getting more excitable by the leak/reveal.

It was weird because someone who I have on Facebook commented about Trails on a news page, only for someone to post a spoilery picture right below him. I'd never find that news Facebook page or the other comment if it didn't just pop into my Facebook feed randomly.

--

Also, there's an Ao translation that, while literal sometimes, seems to be working well. I'll finish CS2 before playing Ao and Zero, though.

They're taking too long to talk about a CS3 localization. At least confirming it exists and that it'll be XSEED handling it would make me feel way better.

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So this thread is alive, i guess. Makes sense though since CS4 is out in two months. I did finish CS1 and Zero and while i posted my thoughts on them in the General JRPG thread, i guess i'll post them here as well

On 7/9/2018 at 6:19 PM, Armagon said:

Trails to Zero

  Reveal hidden contents

What i liked

  • You can actually attack monster on the field now, allowing for easier advantages and even the new Chain Attack option.
  • While Crossbell may be small (you literally visit all the major areas in the first chapter), it's a solid setting.
  • The story is good and the characters are all great and aside from the game's villains (which i'll get to later), i can't really say i disliked anybody.
  • Music is fantastic as usual, and the OP is my second favorite in the series.
  • There's more voice acting overall and although it's Japanese (this game was never localized for some reason), i appreciate it. It made me more invested in the story. The Sky trilogy only had voice acting for certain lines during battle, which wasn't bad, but i appreciate the more voice acting that Zero introduced.

What i didn't like

  • The villains........aren't that great. Honestly, if there's one criticism i have of the Trails series, is that a lot of the time, i don't actually care about the villains. In this game, it's the mafia and later, the high priest of a demonic cult. The mafia were just that. Mafia. Nothing interesting about them. And the high priest was just a worse Wiessman, the villain of Trails in the Sky SC. And my opinion of Wiessman already isn't that great. But in the case of the high priest (i'm not referring to him by name to avoid spoilers), he did.....absolutely nothing. There wasn't even foreshadowing to hint at that he's the real bad guy.
  • Is it me or do Arts actually suck in this game? Unlike the Sky trilogy and the first two Cold Steel games, i barely got a use out of Arts in this game. Which sucks because during the second phase of the final boss, he becomes immune to physical attacks (except for S-Crafts) so you have to hit him with Arts.
  • Some of the character portraits look off. For the new characters, it was fine, but for returning characters such as Estelle and Joshua, i much preferred the more cleaner, smoother portraits that they had in the Sky trilogy.

Final thoughts

  • It's a great game. I appreciated the improvements made to the combat but i still feel that the villains could use more work. 

Trails of Cold Steel

  Reveal hidden contents

What i liked

  • So before going into this game, i had heard that Rean, the main protagonist, isn't that great. And after playing, i can say.......i don't really get it. I mean, he's no Estelle and he definitely had a few perfect being moments but i genuinely felt that he's a good character. The voice acting also helps. A lot. I like him more than Lloyd, the protagonist of the Crossbell games, at the very least. Not that Lloyd was bad at all.
  • On the subject of other characters, i liked them a lot too. Most of them. In terms of the main cast, there's one character i didn't really care for that much and i'll get into that later. I didn't hate her or anything though. In terms of my favorite characters though, i'd say my favorites are Rean, Alisa, Machias, Emma, and Crow.
  • I much prefer the way Arts are handled in this game compared to the previous games. Instead of having to insert a certain combination of Quartz to get Arts, now you can get Arts simply by inserting the respective Quartz. For example, if you want the Dark Matter Art, just insert the Quartz by the same name. Because of that, managing Arts is much easier.
  • The music is fantastic, as usual.
  • The Nord Highlands probably has my favorite area theme in the game. The actual area itself, well....

What i didn't like

  • Going off of what i just said, while i enjoyed the area's music, the Nord Highlands.....were really damn empty. And you're on a horse when moving across it so you have very minimal chances of encountering monster. That was probably my least favorite area in the game.
  • In terms of the main cast, Laura is my least favorite character. I don't hate her or anything but i just didn't really care.
  • Locking S-Crafts behind the story is really odd. Emma is the worst offender, as her S-Craft doesn't unlock until Chapter 6. No other game did this, aside from Trails in the Sky the 3rd, where Ries' S-Craft didn't unlock until the end of Ch.1 and Josette's wasn't unlocked until you completed the required Sun Door, which is really easy to find.
  • Wasn't really a fan of how they restricted your exploration. You can't freely go to places, even after you've been to them. Instead, you're just locked into the confines of Trista, or wherever the current chapter's field study has you go. Because of that, the otherwise excellent worldbuilding kinda suffered.
  • Once again, the villains aren't that great. As fun as it was to see Blublanc again, i couldn't really care about the villains. Except for one and he maintains his main villain role in Cold Steel II. But in the context of this game, that's a spoiler.
  • Aside from the final floor, exploring the Old Schoolhouse every chapter got boring fast.
  • Why do you not get money for completing quests? You only get AP out of it, which does nothing except maybe a reward every few times you rank up. 

Overall thoughts

It's a good game that has some.....strange flaws in it when compared to the rest of the series. Still recommend it though, provided you've already played through the Sky trilogy.

 

 

6 hours ago, KeA said:

Oh wait, has anyone played the Crossbell arc? It's recommended before Sen III.

I just recently stared Azure though i don't know when i'll finish it since i'm playing 5 other RPGs at the same time (one of them being CS2 and i'm almost done with that one)

9 minutes ago, Rapier said:

They're taking too long to talk about a CS3 localization. At least confirming it exists and that it'll be XSEED handling it would make me feel way better.

I'm actually starting to get worried that we won't be getting a CS3 localization, at least for a while. In two months, it'll be a year since the game released in Japan and i recently found out that CS3 didn't do so well in terms of sales. Knowing how niche the series is overseas, Falcom might just decide that it's not worth it to localize the game at the moment, which would suck. Worst case scenario is where we get another Sky 3rd scenario where it gets localized 10 years after it's Japanese release.

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23 minutes ago, Armagon said:

I'm actually starting to get worried that we won't be getting a CS3 localization, at least for a while. In two months, it'll be a year since the game released in Japan and i recently found out that CS3 didn't do so well in terms of sales. Knowing how niche the series is overseas, Falcom might just decide that it's not worth it to localize the game at the moment, which would suck. Worst case scenario is where we get another Sky 3rd scenario where it gets localized 10 years after it's Japanese release.

Welcome to the localization hell wait. It's happened before and a year a nothing compared to what the early fanbase had to deal with.

87,000 is still pretty solid it was also the best selling game the week of it's release over there, the lack of a Vita version is likely what didn't push it up to the 150,000 or so of CS2.

If we get Sen 1 & 2 Kai before a 3 Localization i'll be a little amused though.

Edited by Jedi

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1 hour ago, Jedi said:

Welcome to the localization hell wait. It's happened before and a year a nothing compared to what the early fanbase had to deal with.

87,000 is still pretty solid it was also the best selling game the week of it's release over there, the lack of a Vita version is likely what didn't push it up to the 150,000 or so of CS2.

If we get Sen 1 & 2 Kai before a 3 Localization i'll be a little amused though.

Speaking of which, Jedi, what will the Kai versions include? I mean, we pretty much already have an overhaul on the PC versions, so are they going to improve the graphics, add more dialogue or...?

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13 hours ago, Rapier said:

Speaking of which, Jedi, what will the Kai versions include? I mean, we pretty much already have an overhaul on the PC versions, so are they going to improve the graphics, add more dialogue or...?

Kai versions are pretty much just prettied up for the PS4. 

Only reason i'd get them would be to support Falcom more, because the PC versions are better.

Edited by Jedi

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7 hours ago, Magical CC said:

CS2 was a big dissapointment in the term of story, character and pace. Not sure if CS3 is any better.

I see people who openly dislike CS1-2 say that CS3 was worth it, but I don't really know why because I don't want to be spoiled

I didn't find CS as bad as people say, to be honest. I think its issues come from having loads and loads of characters who compete with each other for screen and character development time (which in the end made them simpler and underdevelopped), too much dragging with school stuff, and giving little importance to the places they visit (other than maybe the Highlands). I still like the characters and the story, I just think they could've been better executed than the final result we got.

CS is similar to FC in that it builds the world and characters first before we get to the center of conflict, and that would be pretty fun by itself in my opinion (FC is my favorite game just because of that)... except CS barely builds its characters and the world around them.

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1 hour ago, Rapier said:

CS is similar to FC in that it builds the world and characters first before we get to the center of conflict, and that would be pretty fun by itself in my opinion (FC is my favorite game just because of that)... except CS barely builds its characters and the world around them.

CS does a decent job of world-building.  But it comes on the heels of Sky, which did an excellent job of it.

Characters in CS IMO are too flat.  It's better than most, but again, its competition in the west is Sky.

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14 hours ago, Magical CC said:

CS2 was a big dissapointment in the term of story, character and pace. Not sure if CS3 is any better.

I'd say CS3 does better than CS2 though I'm not that fluent or anything.

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37 minutes ago, KeA said:

I'd say CS3 does better than CS2 though I'm not that fluent or anything.

Considering how much you've replayed CS3 is up there with how much you've replayed Crossbell and 3rd and maybe some of your old CS2 runs. I think that says how much you adore it haha

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16 hours ago, Magical CC said:

CS2 was a big dissapointment in the term of story, character and pace. Not sure if CS3 is any better.

The only disappointing thing about CS2 in my opinion was the pacing. Felt that the main conflict ended too fast in my opinion, followed by a fun but kinda long epilouge (which i haven't beaten yet because the epilogue final boss is Lv.150 and my main team is around Lv.135 so i need to grind a bit). I was expecting to be able to visit western Erebonia. Oh well, maybe in CS3, whenever us westerners get it.

8 hours ago, Rapier said:

I think its issues come from having loads and loads of characters who compete with each other for screen and character development time 

I don't think they competed for screen and character development time that much. Yeah, CS has the biggest cast in terms of playable characters but just like in Sky FC, the party was switched up in every chapter, so you got to spend an equal amount of time with everyone (mostly). I will agree that some characters get more time than others but i don't think the competition was an issue. Well no, the only real competition was in the bonding events. You only have so many bonding points in each playthrough so it's impossible to learn about everyone in a single playthrough. I think it could be fixed if they had allowed you to see everyone's bonding event but you only get the link bonuses for the first three characters you talk to in each free day. Especially since you would get bonding events for characters that never join your party (Towa) or characters that join your party for one segment of a chapter (Sara), so i tended to ignore those since i wouldn't really benefit from them gameplay-wise.

Edited by Armagon

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17 hours ago, eclipse said:

CS does a decent job of world-building.  But it comes on the heels of Sky, which did an excellent job of it.

Characters in CS IMO are too flat.  It's better than most, but again, its competition in the west is Sky.

Compare any of the places you visit in CS to the places you visit in FC. On the later, you actually start to care about the city's situation and its characters, and you get involved with its problems in a more personal level. On the former, you're just there for a very brief time to do a few quests, and save for the Highlands, there's nothing there for you to care about personally.

CS's worldbuilding is pretty much its library, and more than half of it comes from Sky and Crossbell's lore.

10 hours ago, Armagon said:

I don't think they competed for screen and character development time that much. Yeah, CS has the biggest cast in terms of playable characters but just like in Sky FC, the party was switched up in every chapter, so you got to spend an equal amount of time with everyone (mostly). I will agree that some characters get more time than others but i don't think the competition was an issue. Well no, the only real competition was in the bonding events. You only have so many bonding points in each playthrough so it's impossible to learn about everyone in a single playthrough. I think it could be fixed if they had allowed you to see everyone's bonding event but you only get the link bonuses for the first three characters you talk to in each free day. Especially since you would get bonding events for characters that never join your party (Towa) or characters that join your party for one segment of a chapter (Sara), so i tended to ignore those since i wouldn't really benefit from them gameplay-wise.

The problem is that there are loads of characters and just not enough time to focus on all of them and flesh them out. What CS tried to do to mitigate that issue was separate them on groups then pick one character to work on, but even then we saw little of them, who usually got some development there and then were cast aside to allow others their moment to shine.

Note that I'm not even speaking about the other characters who aren't even with you for most of the game, such as Towa, Crow, the mechanic guy whose name I forgot, and Angelica.

tl;dr, giving loads of characters 15 minutes in the limelight then making them semi-irrelevant again isn't enough.

Also, you can play with infinite bonding points, but only after you clear the game, and I honestly wouldn't want to go through everything again too soon.

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Rose*Star here is one of the best people in the fandom, please do her survey.

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Done with my civic service to the fandom.

It made me miss Trails even more. I really need to stop being lazy and go play CS2 already.

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12 hours ago, Jedi said:

Rose*Star here is one of the best people in the fandom, please do her survey.

Much as I'd like to oblige, I don't like signing in to Google to do these things.

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So, I'm trying to get a friend of mine into Sky, but he only has a PSVita and the Sky trilogy isn't available for digital purchase there. Is there a way to obtain it digitally on a PSVita?

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