After every part I’ve stated about Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes collection – from its area of interest presence, even among the many extra area of interest role-playing video games, to the trials and tribulations of being a fan – it’s time to debate one in all its extra “controversial” titles. Saying The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Chilly Metal 4 is “controversial” is a bit overblown in case you’re unfamiliar with the collection, however it makes extra sense when contemplating its scenario.
It not solely caps off the Erebonia saga, the longest-running arc within the collection however unites heroes from three arcs (4, if we’re being sincere). Estelle and Joshua from Trails within the Sky; Lloyd Bannings and the Particular Assist Part from Zero/Azure; the outdated Class 7 from Chilly Metal 1 and 2; and the brand new Class 7 of Chilly Metal 3 and 4. If you issue within the sheer variety of Thors Army Academy graduates and present college students, different Bracers, lecturers, royal members of the family, secret societies, hidden covens, and mercenary models, it will possibly get overwhelming.
“Chilly Metal 4 picks up a number of weeks later. I received’t go into many particulars to keep away from spoilers, however suffice it to say that Erebonia is in a foul means and able to go to conflict with Calvard.”
Trails within the Sky: The third managed this by specializing in Kevin Graham and Ries Argent, with the remainder of the solid serving as backup. It was a strong epilogue to a wonderful duo of RPGs, and even then, it didn’t have as intensive a solid as Chilly Metal 4. Trails of Chilly Metal 4 is the Avengers: Endgame to a build-up that began in Zero/Azure, which is beneficiant contemplating Ouroboros has had a task since Trails within the Sky FC.
Earlier than we get to the plot, like with Chilly Metal 3, the query stays: Is The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Chilly Metal 4 value enjoying on PS5 when the enhancements focus primarily on a better body fee and backbone with quicker load occasions? If you happen to’re a fan of the collection, the reply is sure. If you happen to’re diving in to see the tip of this saga – even when it’s to observe the thunderous conclusion of Trails of Chilly Metal 3 – then the reply can be sure, although it’s not good.
Chilly Metal 4 picks up a number of weeks later. I received’t go into many particulars to keep away from spoilers, however suffice it to say that Erebonia is in a foul means and able to go to conflict with Calvard. Previous Class 7 is in shambles, however after new Class 7 finds its bearings, it embarks on a journey to find its one true hope and struggle again.
Epilogue teasing different characters apart, the primary Act is fairly strong. Not solely does new Class 7 must reconnect, however show itself towards virtually insurmountable odds, each from the world and inside. Juna has to search out it in herself to function a rock for her allies, persevering with her development in Chilly Metal 3. Kurt is extra assured however nonetheless has a methods to go in talent, and does no matter he can to assist his buddies.
“Lastly, there’s the ending – once more, no spoilers, however some components really feel a bit off and wrapped up too conveniently. It additionally seems like there ought to have been an epilogue to assist tie up the various free strings.”
Altina is nearer to being human, however in flux so far as her feelings are involved. There are additionally some sturdy character moments for the likes of Ash and Musse, and because the group acquires clues, works along with the outdated Class 7 and seeks out their Department Campus mates, it’s a compelling journey rife with thriller.
When you make it previous the interlude, which is a cathartic second and feels just like the story will kick into excessive gear, Act 2 acts as a protracted plateau, as you’re concerned with rescuing different key characters. The stakes don’t really feel practically as vital (regardless of these characters being an enormous deal within the lore), and general, it borders on pointless padding at occasions. Luckily, issues decide up once more close to the conclusion and heading into Act 3, it seems like we’re – to make use of a cliché – within the endgame.
There are many different trials to look ahead to en path to the finale, with enjoyable dungeons and boss battles awaiting. If Act 2 had been shorter or resolved extra succinctly, it will have helped the pacing far more.
Lastly, there’s the ending – once more, no spoilers, however some components really feel a bit off and wrapped up too conveniently. It additionally seems like there ought to have been an epilogue to assist tie up the various free strings. Granted, Trails into Reverie supplied that, however it doesn’t really feel any much less bizarre in Chilly Metal 4. General, it’s a great ending – definitely not the perfect, and followers of Estelle, Joshua and Lloyd will little question be left wanting.
“The place Trails of Chilly Metal 4 falters at occasions with the plot, it makes up for it when it comes to sheer content material. Vantage Masters and fishing return as actions, and lots of aspect quests await.”
The general characterization and dialogue stay sturdy, with Chilly Metal 4 relying much less on the annoying “defeat a boss, solely to search out they’re completely wonderful afterwards” trope considerably. Some nice moments abound, backed by some nice voice performing as soon as once more (with a number of noticeable tough spots right here and there).
Nevertheless, the script tends to rely a bit an excessive amount of on the heroes caught in what could possibly be a hopeless place, solely to be rescued time and again. It’s not a deal-breaker and definitely received’t annoy as a lot as characters utilizing titles or unofficial names repeatedly, turning into all of the extra annoying when so many main heroes and villains collect collectively.
The place Trails of Chilly Metal 4 falters at occasions with the plot, it makes up for it when it comes to sheer content material. Vantage Masters and fishing return as actions, and lots of aspect quests await. Many see the solid resolving conflicts which have arisen by means of Erebonia, reconnecting with outdated buddies, and even listening to some acquainted tunes.
There are additionally Bonding Occasions, which might vary from heart-warming to awkward given the characters concerned. There are additionally extra mini-games, like Puyo Puyo-esque Pom! Pom! Occasion, which is playable on the go. The Horror Coaster additionally supplies a shoot ’em-up exercise, even when it’s solely obtainable a lot later. Misplaced Arts and Trial Chests from Chilly Metal 2 additionally return, the previous gated behind some robust non-obligatory boss fights, and the latter requiring particular celebration members to grant upgrades to Courageous Orders.
“As for the visuals, some scenes are spectacular with the sheer variety of characters current, however they’re about the identical high quality because the earlier recreation.”
Talking of which, Courageous Orders obtained quite a few stability modifications, and whereas not as overwhelmingly damaged as in Chilly Metal 3, some are nonetheless excellent and trivialize a great chunk of the content material (taking a look at you, White Ornament). Different new options embrace an elevated Battle Level cap, higher-level EX Orbs, and so on. Bosses may also use Courageous Orders to combine issues up, and a few of the mech battles are the saga’s finest but, offering a strong problem.
It doesn’t damage that the varied dungeons are additionally good – they’re simple when it comes to puzzles and layouts however paced comparatively properly and stuffed with issues to find. Beware, although – that is the biggest playable roster but, which might be considerably daunting the additional you get alongside (although it pays off in an enormous means on the finish).
The soundtrack is considerably of a step down from Chilly Metal 3. Composers Hayato Sonoda, Mitsuo Singa, Takahiro Unisuga and Yukihiro Jindo nonetheless ship some good tracks, whether or not it’s battle themes like “Burning Throb” or “Deep Carnival” or the opening theme. Nonetheless, it feels just like the weakest general providing within the collection, which, like Chilly Metal 3, perhaps extra of a testomony to how good the earlier video games are. If nothing else, it’s most likely the least well-rounded within the collection.
As for the visuals, some scenes are spectacular with the sheer variety of characters current, however they’re about the identical high quality because the earlier recreation. Contemplating the price range and general dimension of the event group, it’s considerably comprehensible however mood your expectations accordingly. Nonetheless, if the PS5 port improved on a number of different minor features, it will have been appreciated.
“Once I first accomplished the sport on PS4, I acknowledged its points, particularly within the plot and technical limitations. Outright ignoring the previous grew to become harder over time.”
Once I first accomplished the sport on PS4, I acknowledged its points, particularly within the plot and technical limitations. Outright ignoring the previous grew to become harder over time. They don’t break what’s a fairly good role-playing recreation and even the Erebonia saga, which stays one in all my favorites within the collection, however it’s important to marvel what may have been.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Chilly Metal 4 nonetheless provides a enjoyable battle system, many well-written characters, a hefty quantity of aspect content material and mini-games, a great (however not nice) soundtrack and an epic storyline that delivers in some ways whereas falling quick in others. As blended because the reception was again within the day, its many strengths are simpler to understand in spite of everything these years.
This recreation was reviewed on PlayStation 5.