“The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II – Relentless Edition” Review

Trails of Cold Steel II opens up the series in a big way, letting you use characters you only dreamed about when playing the first game.

Did you just play Trails of Cold Steel for the first time and can’t get over how it ended? Fortunately for you, you only had to wait three months.  The definitive (or rather, Relentless) version of the sequel is finally here.

What Is It?

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II – Relentless Edition is a direct sequel to The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel and literally picks up right where its predecessor left off.  To be even more specific, this Relentless Edition is the follow up to the Decisive Edition of the game that came out on the PS4 less than three months ago, so we wouldn’t even be surprised if you didn’t even finish the first game for the first time yet… because it’s really long, and such is the case with this sequel.  One has to even wonder why Xseed didn’t just put them both in one package, because the first game ended with one of the most messed up cliffhangers in recent memory.

The Trails series has always been well written, and the fact that the Xseed localization team did such a bang up job warrants paying these people again.

That aside, if you’re looking for a full review of Trails of Cold Steel, you’re best off reading our review of the original PS3 release here as this review will primarily go through what’s different about this version of the game, why you should care, and whether or not this Relentless Edition of the game is worth your time and money.

Why Should I Care?

Every improvement that I talked about in my review of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Decisive Edition has made its way to the Relentless Edition, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as this is pretty much Falcom and Xseed’s method to catch people up for when Trails of Cold Steel III finally comes to the PS4 this fall (though it’ll be published by another company entirely).  So everything from the Turbo Mode, to the significantly increased voiced lines, to even the Japanese audio track rear their heads in the Relentless Edition, and while that’s all fine and dandy, the game also retains some of blemishes the three-month-old predecessor had as well.

While the game does take advantage of what the PS4 Pro can do, at its core, Cold Steel II is still a PS3 game.  As a result, it all looks dated.  The character models are blocky, the animations can get choppy, and a lot of environmental models just don’t look up to par especially when compared to the likes of Dragon Quest XI or Kingdom Hearts III.

As you might’ve expected, Trails of Cold Steel II features mech fights, but they aren’t nearly as intimidating as you’d think.

Another question people have for some reason is whether or not it’s okay for a newcomer to the series to start out with this one.  The answer is a flat no.  As made evident earlier in this review, the game is a direct sequel that picks up immediately after the cliffhanger from the previous game.  Yes, there’s a bit of a prologue of sorts and written entries you can read about to freshen up your knowledge of what’s already happened in this world, but experiencing things always paints a better picture than reading them, so if you’re considering the series, you should definitely start at the beginning.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

There’s literally three reasons why you’re considering this game.  One–you played the first game and want to finish the story.  Two–you just wanted to experience it again on the PlayStation 4 with all its updated features.  Or three–you wanted to vote with your wallet and continue to show support for Falcom’s games so that more of them can come to the west, like Trails of Cold Steel III will later this year.  All of these reasons are good reasons to get it.  Cold Steel II is nothing short of fantastic, and the Relentless Edition makes everything about it better.  Just don’t try to be the person that plays this one first and expect to understand or appreciate anything.

Title:
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Relentless Edition
Platform:
PlayStation 4
Publisher:
Xseed Games
Developer:
Nihon Falcom
Genre:
JRPG
Release Date:
June 4, 2019
ESRB Rating:
T
Editor's Note:
A review code was provided by the publisher.

Did you just play Trails of Cold Steel for the first time and can’t get over how it ended? Fortunately for you, you only had to wait three months.  The definitive (or rather, Relentless) version of the sequel is finally…

Trails of Cold Steel II opens up the series in a big way, letting you use characters you only dreamed about when playing the first game.

Did you just play Trails of Cold Steel for the first time and can’t get over how it ended? Fortunately for you, you only had to wait three months.  The definitive (or rather, Relentless) version of the sequel is finally here.

What Is It?

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II – Relentless Edition is a direct sequel to The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel and literally picks up right where its predecessor left off.  To be even more specific, this Relentless Edition is the follow up to the Decisive Edition of the game that came out on the PS4 less than three months ago, so we wouldn’t even be surprised if you didn’t even finish the first game for the first time yet… because it’s really long, and such is the case with this sequel.  One has to even wonder why Xseed didn’t just put them both in one package, because the first game ended with one of the most messed up cliffhangers in recent memory.

The Trails series has always been well written, and the fact that the Xseed localization team did such a bang up job warrants paying these people again.

That aside, if you’re looking for a full review of Trails of Cold Steel, you’re best off reading our review of the original PS3 release here as this review will primarily go through what’s different about this version of the game, why you should care, and whether or not this Relentless Edition of the game is worth your time and money.

Why Should I Care?

Every improvement that I talked about in my review of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Decisive Edition has made its way to the Relentless Edition, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as this is pretty much Falcom and Xseed’s method to catch people up for when Trails of Cold Steel III finally comes to the PS4 this fall (though it’ll be published by another company entirely).  So everything from the Turbo Mode, to the significantly increased voiced lines, to even the Japanese audio track rear their heads in the Relentless Edition, and while that’s all fine and dandy, the game also retains some of blemishes the three-month-old predecessor had as well.

While the game does take advantage of what the PS4 Pro can do, at its core, Cold Steel II is still a PS3 game.  As a result, it all looks dated.  The character models are blocky, the animations can get choppy, and a lot of environmental models just don’t look up to par especially when compared to the likes of Dragon Quest XI or Kingdom Hearts III.

As you might’ve expected, Trails of Cold Steel II features mech fights, but they aren’t nearly as intimidating as you’d think.

Another question people have for some reason is whether or not it’s okay for a newcomer to the series to start out with this one.  The answer is a flat no.  As made evident earlier in this review, the game is a direct sequel that picks up immediately after the cliffhanger from the previous game.  Yes, there’s a bit of a prologue of sorts and written entries you can read about to freshen up your knowledge of what’s already happened in this world, but experiencing things always paints a better picture than reading them, so if you’re considering the series, you should definitely start at the beginning.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

There’s literally three reasons why you’re considering this game.  One–you played the first game and want to finish the story.  Two–you just wanted to experience it again on the PlayStation 4 with all its updated features.  Or three–you wanted to vote with your wallet and continue to show support for Falcom’s games so that more of them can come to the west, like Trails of Cold Steel III will later this year.  All of these reasons are good reasons to get it.  Cold Steel II is nothing short of fantastic, and the Relentless Edition makes everything about it better.  Just don’t try to be the person that plays this one first and expect to understand or appreciate anything.

Date published: 06/03/2019
4 / 5 stars


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