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15 hours ago
In topic Do my decisions matter?
Not a problem. It's not my video, though. I just thought I'd link the one I found. It's definitely a pretty cool/funny scene. xD
Nov 15 @ 11:43pm
In topic Do my decisions matter?
Originally posted by Neko Koneco:
Originally posted by Ghaleon:
If you choose every 'bad' answer in the entire game, a certain someone 3shots the final boss for you in a cutscene because you are too incompetant to.

Is there a recording of this alternative ending?

Tehcnically you need to skip every side-quest in the game as well as getting almost every important choice wrong to get this scene. The video obviously contains spoilers for the final boss of this game as does the thumbnail for it, so I'll just provide the link to a video of the scene: Here you go.
Apologies for the long post.

The Trails Saga is an ongoing 8+ game series that tells an overarching story that spans all of these games. All these games take place on the same continent and take place within the same time frame of a few years of each other, so there is definitely a continuity.

That being said, the games are divided into "arcs" where they star mostly different main casts and are set in mostly different nations. The first game or games in an "arc" are relatively stand-alone in that they do not rely too much on knowledge of past games as they are mostly there to introduce the new main cast and country.

Trails of Cold Steel is the 6th game in the Trails Saga, however, due to it being the first game in a new arc, you can still play this and understand the story of this game just fine.

It's ideal to play through the Sky Trilogy first, but you can still play this one even if you haven't. This game mostly just has minor references to the past games. Although it does spoil one important character reveal in Trails in the Sky Second Chapter.

And while this game's story does not rely on knowlegde from past games, later games in this series do. Cold Steel II will be even less friendly about references and spoilers, as there are much more of them n that game. And Cold Steel III will expect you to have played all the games in the Trails Saga up to that point.

That being said, you can play this game and then play through the Sky Trilogy to pass the time waiting for Cold Steel II's PC port, which is on track to be released just next year.

I think it depends on how much you remember from Trails in the Sky First Chapter. If you never played FC and started with Cold Steel you wouldn't feel spoiled on anything, although you would know there was stuff you were missing out on. But depending on how much you remember from your FC playthrough, you may feel spoiled on the character reveal which is casually shown in the beginning of this game.

Personally, I'd recommend finishing at least the first 2 Sky games before playing this entry, since you said you were starting to enjoy the First Chapter and to avoid spoilers, but that's just me. You can still play this entry and enjoy is just fine without having to play the Sky trilogy first.

Basically: Trails in the Sky First Chapter -> Sky Second Chapter -> Sky the 3rd -> Trails of Cold Steel I -> Cold Steel II is the most ideal play order for the games we have available to us, but: Cold Steel I -> Sky Trilogy -> Cold Steel II works just fine, too.

Originally posted by oguz.gungor96:
if you start with trails then come to cold steel

A little nitpick, but both the Sky and Cold Steel Arcs are 'Trails'. Just to prevent confusion, the 'Cold Steel' games are just as much 'Trails' as the 'Sky' games are. It's not like the Sky games are Trails and the Cold Steel games are something else. They are all part of the same ongoing saga.
Originally posted by oguz.gungor96:
well I am not counting trails in the sky games because they are the first phase aka the gospel plan.

Ah, okay. I see what you mean, my bad. You said arc instead of phase so I misunderstood. You are right then. 6 games, it seems, for the second phase of the Orpheus Final Plan.
Originally posted by oguz.gungor96:
For an arc to take at least 4 games and 2 crossbell games behind it to finish.

And the 3 Sky games. I've watched Omgfloofy's streams of Cold Steel III since she translates all the important stuff as she plays, and Cold Steel III, more or less, assumes you've played all the games before it. It will blatantly spoil pretty much the entire plot of all the previous games (minus the 3rd. Although the game still assumes you've played it.). CS III casually spoils one of the biggest twists of the Crossbell Arc and also spoils a huge chunk of FC and SC.

Originally posted by oguz.gungor96:
The second phase of the orpheus plan sure is grand.

Well, to be fair, it was said in Sky the 3rd that the Phantasmal Blaze Plan would utterly drawf the Gospel Plan in both quality and scale.

Originally posted by oguz.gungor96:
I trust falcom will deliver in the end but right now with how grand it is , I really do hope the trails story ends on a positive note (with all this built up you know and we still have AT LEAST Calvard Republic saga which they kinda built up in trails 3 not sure on whether cold steel has hints towards it yet). HOWEVER EVEN IF it doesnt deliver honestly by themselves the trilogies , duoligies and what ever cold steel will turn out to be are really good by themselves so at worst I will end up with games I really really like.

Heres to hoping falcom continues to deliver!

As Erpy said, I'm pretty sure we don't have anything to worry about regarding the future of the franchise (in Japan at least).

Originally posted by oguz.gungor96:
ugh poor poor XSEED. I really do feel for those guys. At least I know they that they will do their best to deliver. Honestly at this point I can't have anyone BUT THEM working on these games.

I agree. Here's hoping XSEED are the only ones allowed to localize the Trails Saga.

Originally posted by Erpy:
With western audiences being 4 games behind again in 10 months time,

While it's obviously best not to get our hopes up, we don't know for sure that this will happen. XSEED could have been translating a new Trails game since Sky the 3rd and for all we know, will release it before September 2018. Making us "only" 3 games behind at that point, lol. (I wouldn't be the least bit sad if that happened, though, since it'd mean more Trails from them.)
Nov 15 @ 3:43pm
In topic New Game+ - Worth?
Apologies for the long post.

Before answer your question, I would llike to suggest something that will most likely interest you if you haven't heard about it before. Since you are most interested in story content, and if you haven't already read it, I would highly recommend ready this Drama CD[]. The story of this CD was originally intended to be a chapter in the game that takes place in Ymir. If you remember, Rean states at the start of the Final Chapter that he would have to tell the tale of what happened there "some other time".

That particular part of the story was cut due to time restraints, but it was important enough for them to want to include it into the story in some way, thus the Drama CD. The events of the Drama CD are referenced in Cold Steel II so it is worth a read through. Otherwise you might end up a tiny bit confused when some characters mention the events of the Drama CD in CS II.

XSEED, deeming it important enough to buy and translate the scripts of, have provided an official translation of the 2 Drama CDs for the Cold Steel games (There is one Drama CD for Cold Steel, and another for Cold Steel II) on their Cold Steel II website for free for anyone to read. The site itself (excluding the CS II Drama CD) doesn't contain any important spoilers for CS II if you've already seen the trailer, however some people like going in completely blind without seeing anything about the game or even watching the trailer. The link I've provided below links straight to the first Drama CD. As long as you don't browse the site you are in no danger of being spoiled. Just make sure you don’t read the second Drama CD until you've played CS II.

There is one other thing I need to mention as well. And that is the Trails in the Sky Trilogy. Since you said you are interested in story content and it seems, seeing as you made this thread, that you are considering another playthrough of this game, I would also highly recommend playing through the Trails in the Sky Trilogy before Trails of Cold Steel II's PC port comes out (CS II's PC port is on track for a 2018 release as of now, in case you didn't know). The Trails in the Sky Trilogy take place 2 years prior to this game and to the south of the Empire in the small kingdom of Liberl. Liberl was mentioned a few times in this game and there were a few references to the events and people in those games as well.

The Trails Saga is an ongoing 8+ game series that tells an overarching story that spans all of these games. All these games take place on the same continent and take place within the same time frame of a few years of each other.

The games are divided into "arcs" where they star mostly different main casts and are set in mostly different nations. The first game or games in an "arc" are relatively stand-alone in that they do not rely too much on knowledge of past games as they are mostly there to introduce the new main cast and country.

And while this game's story does not rely on knowlegde from past games, later games in this series do. Cold Steel II will be even less friendly about references and spoilers, as there are much more of them in that game. And Cold Steel III will expect you to have played all the games in the Trails Saga up to that point.

The main reason I would recommend playing the Sky Trilogy (the only other games localized at this time) before CS II comes out is due to CS II containing more references to those games than CS I did, and because CS II contains a some spoilers for the Sky games. A couple of them pretty big. CS I also spoils an important character reveal for Trails in the Sky Second Chapter.

All that being said, you don't necessarily have to play the Sky Trilogy before CS II to enjoy the game. You should be able to understand the main story of that game fine without the previous games (aside from Cold Steel I which obviously has to be played before Cold Steel II). I just figured it was a good idea to let you know, in case you didn't already.

Now as for whether or not I think New Game + is worth it:

In my opinion: Yes, this game is worth a new game plus playthrough. But for me, I've always personally felt that these games were intended to be played more than once. In a second playthrough you can notice all the forshadowing, pick up on details you didn't notice the first time, and understand what some characters are really saying that you wouldn't have known on a first playthrough. And in Cold Steel II (and, from what I've heard, Trails to Azure) the new game plus does have important story content that is definitely canon as well.

There is one large incentive to playing new game plus, and that is for the unlimited bonding points. So if there is a character you wanted to do the final bonding event with, but couldn't due to not having a high enough link level with them or not doing enough of their events, you can now do so.

While you said you didn't care much for the carry over for CS II, there is a couple story related things that carry over. One of the things that carry over is the choice you made bonding-wise. You will be able to have a little more dialogue with the person you chose in CS I in CS II.

Another thing you'll be able to use the NG+ for is to try and do all quests and talk to all npcs every time their text updates, since all the npcs have their own stories going on throughout the game that will update after every story beat. I believe there is also npc dialogue changes to some of the npcs if you helped them out in the first game. I know this was the case in Trails in the Sky Second Chapter when you carried over your save data from First Chapter, but I can't remember off the top of my head any differences in CS II to the npcs based off your actions in CS I, so I can't be sure. Playing through this game after playing through the Sky Trilogy, should you choose to do so, will also change how you see a lot of events in this game.

All that being said, most of this can be seen on just a second playthrough rather than a new game plus playthrough and not all of the things I've mentioned may interest you enough to justify a NG+ playthrough. So while in my opinion, it is worth a NG+ playthrough, you, yourself, may not find it worth it.

So in short: If you are only interested in spending your time on raw story content, then I would not recommend a New Game Plus playthrough. However, I would recommend reading the Drama CD and playing through the Trails in the Sky Trilogy, as these will offer you at least 100+ hours of raw story content. It's also a good time to do play through them, since you can play them while waiting for Cold Steel II to come out in 2018 (most likely early 2018). If you are interested in wanting to learn more about the Sky Trilogy, allow me to provide you a link to an FAQ I made here on Steam for the first game in the trilogy: Trails in the Sky FC (First Chapter). Here is the FAQ for Sky FC.

I don't know whether or not my post sufficiently answered your question, but I hope this post proved helpful to you in some way and I hope you enjoy Trails of Cold Steel II once it's released. :)
What ZWabbit, Stabbey, and Erpy said. Cold Steel 3 is not the end of this Arc nor the end of the Trails Saga. The fourth Cold Steel game (official title for it has not been announced yet) will be released before the end of September 2018 in Japan.
Nov 14 @ 1:57am
In topic How do I change actions?
Once you start casting an art you can't cancel it. You have to tactically choose how to spend your turns. Keeping an eye on turn bonuses is also pretty important. You have to manage the turn order and the delay you get from taking an action and for casting an art.
Nov 12 @ 4:08am
In topic Do my decisions matter?
Some of the chocies you make matter, while others just change a few lines with the scene otherwise playing out the same way. You would only have gotten different dialogue for that particular scene, if I'm remembering correctly.

If you make a right choice in certain situations it can earn you extra BP and slightly change the way a scene plays out. Making the wrong one can lose you that BP and give you a slightly different outcome.

The choices really only matter if you are trying to get the most BP that you can. Otherwise they just change some of the dialogue. Don't know how far you are into the game (I'm assuming you just started the Prologue?), but for an early example that happens before the Prologue offically starts: (Pre-Prologue Spoilers) When you go to rescue the kids in the tower, you have the option to charge towards their voices or to run in sync with Joshua. If you ran with Joshua it nets you some extra BP and increases the amount of enemies you take out before starting the fight, making the fight easier. If you charged ahead you would lose out on the bonus BP and would have more enemies to deal with in that battle.
Originally posted by Valyrian:
In the case of Cold Steel, I'm not sure how the later two count as "edgy or dark".

Well I don't really think 'edgy' is the most accurate description for the later two. I do think 'dark' is though. (Cold Steel Chapter 4 Spoilers) Rean has shown a dark looking 'power' of some kind when he fought to protect Elise in the Old Schoolhouse. Fie has a past of being a Jaeger, and has said she didn't have a family any more, which can be considered a 'dark' backstory. In Fie's case another reason would be that she is a 'speedy' character. Her Master Quartz is pretty much that.

Originally posted by Valyrian:
Cold Steel 1 ending spoilers: Perhaps Crow's time slot refers to his patient waiting for his plan to execute?

I actually forgot about (Cold Steel BIG Ending Spoilers) Crow having time Slots, but they definitely fit him as well. Just see his S-craft, both as 'C' and as Crow. They definitel have a 'darkness' to them.

One other thing that all these characters have in common though, is that they all have secrets they are keeping.
Originally posted by butterbattle22:
Doesn't Millium have two mirage slots in her orbment? I've started reading mirage quartz affinity as a Falcom hint to the tune of "everything about this character is a lie."

In fact, I think about how characters' colors relate them in general. Sometimes, I'll even start to speculate on what color an NPC would be if I could play them.

The colors do reflect the characters. This is intentional as both a design choice for color matching and a lore related one, as it is explained in FC that each tactical orbment is unique to each person. It also ties in to ARCUS users needing to be compatable with their tactical orbments in this game.

I'm not sure I've ever heard about Mirage having that meaning. It's not impossible that they have some sort of 'deceiving' theme to them, but it could also just be because Mirage is a white/silver color and Millium is known as White Rabbit/has a silver puppet.

What I have heard, however, is that Time is generally reserved for 'edgy' or 'dark' characters, like (Trails in the Sky Entire Trilogy Spoilers) Joshua and Kevin or in this game's case (Cold Steel Chapter 4 Spoilers) Rean and Fie.
Originally posted by Rumina:
We'll see I guess, I'll wait for a more official announcement.

It is official. This was announced at their EOY financial report.

Originally posted by Nel-Radin:
mmm... I just hope it won't end in a mecha RPG... I don't like mechas much but I tolerate them with cold steel cause I like the franchise. but if it goes to 4...

'Mechs' have been in the series since FC.
Originally posted by Erpy:
Millium is a X) emoticon that was given sentience and a flying robot. :P

Don't you make me have to do a giant write up about how awesome a character Millium is. You know I'll do it! xD
Originally posted by butterbattle22:
Yeah, and it was bad enough that I was pretty worried for a while there. I mean, someone at Carpe Fulgur tried to commit suicide while localizing SC, right?

Kind of. SpaceDrakeCF did try to commit suicide while working on SC, but SC wasn't the direct cause. If I remember correctly, he had apparently been struggling with some problems since before he started working on SC, he just didn't tell anyone, including XSEED.

Otherwise yeah, the 4+ year wait between FC and SC was a tough time, haha.
Originally posted by Rumina:
Originally posted by ztdz800:
Cold steel 4 has alredy been annaounced


Gonna need a source on that.

Well, uh, pretty much what Supreme Officer said. It's risky to look up when there's a lot of spoilers about.

It's not called Cold Steel 4, however. We have a pretty good idea of what it will be called, but since the game's title hasn't officially been announced yet, I'm sticking with calling it 'the fourth Cold Steel'.

There actually IS a spoiler free source I can give you though. An Endless History Twitter Post. Endless History is the most trustworthy and accurate source for all Falcom news. It's run by Omgfloofy herself. It's also the most spoiler free source.

There are more risky sources (risky in that you might find spoilers in their comments). These being this Gematsu Article[] or Gu4n's Twitter Post.
Originally posted by Lobo_Spinz:
Did not expect this response! Thanks so much! You helped easy my descision. I look forward to both titles!

You're welcome! I hope you end up enjoying them both. :)

EDIT: My grammar. I can't believe I didn't make any spelling mistakes in my long post, only to mess up the first word in my 10 word reply. xD
Originally posted by The Lightning Dog:
Did not realize the original post was deleted, my apologies to anyone who got spoiled too. Can't delete the other quote cause it's not mine, though.

Not to worry, I only quoted the non-spoilery part of his post so that he would know I was asking him and not someone else to spoilers tag his character choices.
Haha, I was gonna respond to this sooner, but I just spent 5 hours writing a response in the other thread. xD

Funnily enough, butterbattle22 pretty much said a bunch of what I wanted to say. My reply will probably be much shorter now. xD

EDIT: Nope! My reply was still insanely long. LOL Sorry about that. I didn't even get to some of the points I wanted to adress, haha.

Back to original post:

Originally posted by lelouch985:
And are you we can choose our waifus? I am not entirely sure but many rumors in the Japanese community saying Rean eventually ends up with Alisa in TOC2 -3.

You can choose who Rean has romantic feelings for. This carries over into CS II. For CS III, you can still choose. That being said, I never really saw the bonding events in these games as 'romantic', aside a couple of the final ones. As far as I know, the only characters you can have a blatantly romantic relationship with in CS III is: Alisa, Laura, and Emma.

I give a more detailed answer on this in my previous answer in this thread.

Despite the fact that you do have the option to choose, Alisa is the canon love interest. If you were to not carry over your Save Data to Cold Steel II, it would default to Alisa being chosen on the Final Bonding Event of this game. Though you can still choose other people in CS II regardless of who you chose for your Final Bonding Event.

Originally posted by lelouch985:
my frustration mostly goes to the poll in Japanese sites instead of Alisa herself, if I state it accurately. I just don't understand how she gets the top spot and easily surpasses all other characters including Laura and Towa. If I elaborate vote result, Alisa's vote difference has the highest difference compare to the other characters.

I imagine it's because Alisa is the canon and most chosen romantic partner for Rean. She character also develops more than some of the other characters. You are only on Chapter 5 right now, there is still one more chapter where she gets a little more development.

Originally posted by lelouch985:
And I actually don't dislike agate at all, seeing he has a more severe past than Alisa.

I always liked Agate, but some people didn't like him until he developed as a character. Agate is just one character that can be compared in this way. Another is Machias. Machias started out being a very loud person who seemed to just hate everyone who was a noble without any reason for it.

In Chapter 2 we find out he's learned that not all nobles are bad and not all commoners are good. He no longer seemingly hates on people for seemingly no reason

In Chapter 4 we learn his reasons for this and how he came to accept the above statement as true. Of course his past doesn't make his actions right. As he himself said, he knew were his hate was really coming from. He, from that point on, doesn't really hate anyone. He's still a hothead who gets into arguments with Jusis and can't stand arrogant nobles who act as though they are above everyone else, but that's just who he is, personality-wise. At this point he has developed from how he was originally, from a dislikable guy, to an intelligent, yet goofy, hothead who gets into humorous arguments.

I would argue that Alisa goes through a similar development, although you haven't seen all of it yet. She starts out accidentally walking into Rean, and then apologizing for it. Later in the Old Schoolhouse, that 'incident' occurs and she overreacts to Rean trying to help, and accidentaly gets himself into a poor situation. The situations and Alisa's reaction are poor, but she admits she was in the wrong after the fact and they make up. After that she doesn't really treat anyone poorly until you get to Chapter 3 and you meet Chairman Irina. You don't really know why Alisa doesn't get along with her at this point so you don't really side with her. And as Jusis points out, at least her mother cares enough about her to check up on her.

Of course then we learn about what happened with the Railway Guns and her grandfather and things make a bit more sense. Rean and her both get a good moment here.

Originally posted by lelouch985:
I mean compare to other heroines, Alisa has done nothing for Rean so far. In chapter 3, we see Rean comforting and helping Alisa about her family to move through but in chapter 4, her attitude was still a ♥♥♥♥♥ to Rean at the chase. When clearly Rean was having problems about his family. Maybe I expect too much for a heroine but at the end, there was no support to Rean. The only one ever did helped and comfort Rean was Towa. That's why I like her the most. I wasn't really frustrated of Alisa but the results of the poll to be
certain :/

I know exactly what scene you are talking about here, and boy do I have a story to tell you about my experience with it. When Rean and Elise originally had that talk and Alisa and the others got mad at him, I felt the same way you did. I didn't understand why they were so mad at him when he was in a pretty understandable situation. During subsequent playthroughs, however, I found myself more and more understanding what was really going on in that situation. I feel like this is somthing that people will struggle to understand without really understanding the characters at this point. It makes sense why it would take a second playthrough to figure it out.

In this scene we see the first real moments of Rean actively selling himself short. He doesn't see himself as worthy of his families love for him. When asked about whether he plans to bow out of succeeding his father as the next Baron Schwarzer he flat out says that he does. This in-and-of itself doesn't sound that bad, he even explains his reason for it. But then we hear the real reason come out of his mouth. He wants to 'not be a burden' for his family, and 'pay them back' for all they've done for him. He not only doesn't understand that his family isn't doing any of this so they could be payed back or because they are obligated to, he also doesn't even understand how his father feels, his mother feels, or his sister feels. He practically disrespects them with his ignorance.

This is the same thing that happened in Celdic with Laura. Again, on my first playthrough, I didn't understand why Laura was mad at Rean for stating that he was 'a dropout who's never even been able to never progress past beginner level'. When he aplogizes to her in the next scene, he even says what he was doing: making light of the way of the sword and being disrespectful. I guess I wasn't payig attention at the time or just missed that line.

Anyway, we see why his sister was so crushed by his attitude that she broke down in tears. And we see him do nothing as she runs away crying. If he didn't go after her, she would probably continue to think that her brother didn't care about her or his family, since he kept rejecting them in such a seemingly disrespectful way. That is also why, when Alisa and his friends were eavesdropping, they were so angry at them. They, including Alisa, cared about Rean and wanted to help him when he was just going to let things get worse. It's not that they didn't care about his feelings, it's that he didn't seem to care about anyone else's and they needed to force him to go after his sister. That's why when you talk to Alisa in the Academy Field after that, she gets mad when he apologizes for Elise being a headache, and why Fie and Laura call him out on his seemingly lack of feelings for his family and his more selfish motivations for wanting to bow out of that kind of life.

I mean, he was basically planning on joining the military and and never live with his family again, he even said he had no intentions of becoming the head of his family and Elise even said it sounded like he was planning on severing ties with them.

Basically what I'm saying is, I totally understand how you feel, not liking Alisa's reaction and not understanding why they aren't supporting Rean, because I felt the same way as you. I still do, to some degree, but I also see why they reacted how they did to him. I went from not liking Jusis' comment about Rean having a slap or two coming his way, to understanding it.

That entire scene went from one of my least favorites in the game to one of my most favorites. It's so subtley done and makes the player feel how Rean does, it makes it hard to understand that his friends reacted harshly because they care, and that he was in the wrong. It took multiple playthroughs before I figured that out, which, at least for me, makes me consider that one of the best done scenes in the game. It subtely and masterfully made you see things from rean's point of view and made it hard to understand their's which drove home how Rean views himself and how he struggles to accept that his family and friends care about him.

The more I watch that scene the more I consider it a masterpiece. I've kind of rambled on a bit here, and I won't discuss anything past this point since you are still in Chapter 5, but I totally understand why you don't like Alisa and why you didn't like her reactions in that scene, and I'm not saying you're wrong for disliking it, I'm just saying I don't agree that she's a bad character or too mean. I think she recieves a good amount of development and I think she cares.

Anyway, I had more to say, but I've rambled way too much as it is, haha. I also don't think there's much room left to fit stuff in this post. I hope this post was helpful in some way, and I hope you enjoy the future chapters more than the previous ones. :)
Nov 10 @ 1:59am
In topic Small Story Question
I'm not entirely sure on this, but I don't think there is any story significance to it. I think it was just meant be a gesture, but I'm not sure. If I had to guess what it was, it might be considered a story spoiler. I don't remember how much of a potential spoiler this is, if it even is one (it might just be me misremembering), but maybe (potential spoiler) he was 'beckoning' Sin to him. Since he seemed to want Tidus to go to Spira when he threw him into Sin at the start of the game.

If you don't want to read that, you could always come back to this post after beating the game if you still have the same question.

Again, I don't know how much of a spoiler it is, it could be nothing, but you're probably better off waiting for someone with a better memory than me who has played the game recently to answer your question. Sorry for the unhelpfulness, but this is the best I can do, haha.
Apologies on the long post and for the somewhat late reply. I actually started writing this 8 minutes after your initial post on the Cold Steel boards, so about 5 hours ago! xD

If all you want is the recommendation and don't want to read all this, feel free to skip to the end of this post. At the second-to-last paragraph at the bottom will be my recommendation.

Allow me to say that you made a good choice with both of those games. Both Final Fantasy X HD and Trails of Cold Steel are great RPGs and are well worth playing. Both FFX and Cold Steel being pretty similar in some ways as well. I'll be posting this in both of your threads so that each community can have the chance to learn about a game they might not have heard of before and might be willing to try out.

Also, since you bought both games already, it seems like a good bet you will decide to play both; I will try to tell you a little bit about each game that may help you to choose which one to play first, but I will also be wording this post in a way that will potentially help those who've never played one of these games to want to play them, so aplogies if my post sounds, at times, as if it's trying to sell you on a game you've already bought.

Allow me to start with FFX: Final Fantasy X is definitely a game you will want to play. It's a great entry for one who hasn't played an FF game before. Final Fantasy X has a relatively stand-alone story, compared to Trails at the very least. You can play Final Fntasy X and be satisfied with its story at the end. That being said there is a sequel to it which is called Final Fntasy X-2. If you bought FFX HD, you most likely also have FFX-2 HD as well as they are usually bundled together.

FFX-2 is not mandatory to play, however. Nor do you have to play it to enjoy the first game, although beating FFX is mandatory before you can play X-2; X-2's story relies on you having played the first game. I, myself, have not beaten FFX-2 yet, despite having beaten FFX twice. While the quality of the the sequel in comparison to the first game is often brought into question, I'm afraid I won't be able to offer any insight in that as I haven't beaten X-2 at this time. I only brought up X-2 so that you would know of its existence in case you didn't and so that you will know that you will not need to play it after beating the first game.

Now, to get back to FFX: Final Fantasy X contains a fully-fleshed out story and good lore that accompanies the world known as "Spira". The game features an engaging and relatively fast-paced story, and introduces memorable characters right from the start. Along with a turn-based battle system, which features a bar on the side of the screen indicating turn order, and random encounters, FFX will take you about 40-60 hours to beat if you play mostly for story. It can take up to 100 if you plan on taking on most of the optional bosses and if you do a lot of the side-quests.

The game is very friendly to newcomers of the Final Fantasy Series. You will often see it recommended as a good starting point for those looking to get into the series. The game has a pretty well balanced difficulty, in my opinion. The combat system is simple, but can be very strategic at times. It can range from having easy random battles that allow you to learn the combay system, to some tough late-game bosses that will test your know-how! There are also some optonal bosses and sidequests that can be near frustratingly difficult -- but very rewarding, to complete.

Final Fantasy X is a more linear game than the entries that came before it. This is also the first time a Final Fantasy game went full 3D and included voice acting. Opinions can vary with older fans due to this rather noticable shift in presentation. It's definitely an older game, however, being released in 2001. The HD Remaster specifically has both: a lot of improvements to an older game and a few lingering problems that are the consequence of it being old.

Which leads into last thing that I feel should be addressed, which is the specifics of the HD Remaster itself. Let me first say, however, that it has been too long since I've played the original to remember all the differences between it and the remaster, so I can't promise this to be 100% accurate or inclusive to all the additional features that are provided by FFX: HD Remaster. I'm also basing this mostly off the PS4 version. You could probably get a more accurate response on this from the FFX: HD Steam Community.

FFX: HD comes with:

  • Extra bosses and upgrades to previous bosses that can add some extra challange to these optional fights.

  • The option to use a rearranged soundtrack for the game. The orignal is often considered better due to it fitting the context of the scenes better and due to the rearrangement of some of the songs being less impactful. The rearranged songs are often said to be far crisper sounding than the original and, since regardless of the actualy quality of the songs and arrangements, your enjoyment of music is more subjective. Meaning that even if one song or arrangement is objectively better than another, you may still prefer it over the other.

  • The game features Higher-Resolution graphical enhancements. Meaning the game, for the most part, looks better than it ever has before. There is, however, one small drawback with this. That being the fact that this is a remaster of a PS2 game from 2001. The remaster does not necesarily improve every graphic comparably. Some of the better looking graphics may clash with some of the less updated ones. One of the most noticable being the facial expression looking a bit odd at times, with the animations seemingly appearing awkward at others. Though the game overall does look much better than when it was originally released.

  • This version of the game should have all the additional features from the International version of the game: Expert Sphere Grid, "Ribbon" auto-ability, and some added cinematics. This is only what I have heard, though. I cannot gaurantee that everything from the International version is in the remaster.

With all that being said, I feel that the HD Remaster is the definitive version of Final Fantasy X and is worth a playthrough from anyone who hasn't already played it.

With Final Fantasy X out of the way, I can now try to tell you about The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. This is going to be harder and less straightfroward to explain than FFX, since this is an entirely different series and is less stand alone, as this is something of a "part 1".

To be honest, I am currently in the middle of creating a guide to the series, which will explain what this series is and how to go about getting into this franchise. I really wish it was done right now; it would make this a lot easier, haha. Once the guide is finished, however, I will try to update this post with a link to it in this paragraph.

I don't really know really know where to begin to explain this game, so I guess I'll start with the basics: This is a story-heavy, character-driven, turn-based party RPG. It is a slow-paced game with large amounts of text and has a strong focus on worldbuilding and storytelling.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is also a traditional story-based RPG made by Nihon Falcom and translated by XSEED Games. It is the 6th game in the ongoing Trails Saga and the 1st of the Cold Steel Arc.

While this may seem somewhat lazy, I really think the best way to explain this game would be to link you to an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread that I made here on Steam for the express purpose of describing this game and series and answering what will undoubtedly be your most pressing questions regarding it. The thread is called: Everything you need to know about this game. *SPOILER FREE* (Just click the words and it will take you to the thread. You could also just check the General Discussion Boards for the game where it is pinned).

I'd feel a little bad if I simply left you with a link to a (very long) post when I just gave a detailed description of FFX just above in this very post, so I will try to give you a more condensed description of this game and hope it will suffice.

Let me first say, however, that, in case my name didn't already give it away, the series that this game comprises is my favorite game franchise of all time. I will do my best to be as objective as possible, though, in regards to both this game and Final Fantasy X.

Now, to tell you about this game, I will start with the same thing I started FFX with: mentioning its sequel. Trails of Cold Steel II is indeed the direct sequel to Cold Steel I. Unlike with FFX, however, CS II is absolutely required to get more of the story. To put it simply: you will want to play Cold Steel II upon beating the first one.

That being said, you will not necassarily be left 'wanting' completely. There are 3 games that take place not only in the same world as this game -- but on the very same continent! Those games being: 'The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky', 'Trails in the Sky SC' (Second Chapter), and 'Trails in the Sky the 3rd'. These games take place 2 years before Cold Steel and are the first games in the "Trails Saga", while Trails of Cold Steel is the sixth. What this means is that after beating Cold Steel, if you like the game of course, you can play through the Sky Trilogy. If you want to know more about these games, here is a link to the FAQ I made for the first Trails in the Sky game: Everything you need you know about this game. *SPOILER FREE*.

To get back to Cold Steel: Trails of Cold Steel contains a fully-fleshed out and immersive world with deeply engraved lore. The Trails games all take place on the continent "Zemuria", but this game also happens to take place in a nation known as the "Erebonian Empire". The game has a slow-paced story that builds up throughout the game. The game also immediately introduces a large and diverse cast of characters. These characters will develop slowly over time.

Similarly to FFX, Trails of Cold Steel is also more linear than other RPGs which allows it to focus more on telling its story. Also similarly to FFX, this game has a turn-based combat featuring a bar on the side of the screen indicating whose turn is next. In contrast to FFX, however, this game does not have random battles, but enemies on the map that will take you into a battle screen upon contact with them. This game will take you close to 80-100 hours to complete the game mainly focusing on the story, also in contrast to FFX's 40-60 hours. The game can be even longer if you experience all the optional content this game offers as well.

The optional content in this game varies greatly from that of FFX's. While in FFX, you had optional bosses and side-quests, this game has a more unique form of optional content, one that is noteworthy for this series. That being the constantly updating NPC dialogue.

NPCs in this series constantly change what they say as the story advances, meaning that almost every single NPC has their own name and story going on throughout the game. Especially in "Trista", which serves as something of a 'hub town' for you in this game, where you are able to watch NPCs stories evolve before your eyes as the story does. This even continues on into the next game. As your own characters develop, so too, do the NPCs.

This doesn't mean that there aren't optional bosses and side-quests in this game, just that they are much less prominent. You can even find hidden quests, which can only be discovered through talking to certain NPCs at certain times.

As for the combat and difficulty: I would say this game is generally easier than FFX on the avarage. That being said, this game has a difficulty setting which FFX does not have to my knowledge, meaning you can set the difficulty as 'Easy', 'Normal', 'Hard', or 'Nightmare' at the start of your playthrough. The combat in this game is more advanced and indepth than the one in FFX, although this game was made much later than FFX was. It can also be more strategic, but, because of all the numerous combat mechanics, this game can be made easier than FFX by taking advantage of certain various combat mechanics and strategies.

One other thing that should be mentioned regarding this game is that it is also a port like FFX and, as such, has more features than its orignal console release, including updated graphics.

XSEED has contracted Peter Thoman, better known as Durante, to handle this port. If you don't know who Durante is: Peter "Durante" Thoman is infamous for taking PC ports that are of a low or average quality and improving them substantially. He is best known for essentially 'fixing' the Dark Souls PC port.

Some of the things exclusive to this port are various enhancements like:

  • A feature-rich launcher that provides a clear and concise explanation of what every tweakable feature does, 400 save slots laid out in a grid pattern, four options related to the quality of dynamic shadows including: shadow resolution, casting, distance, and filtering, the game's setting also fully support 30 FPS and 60 FPS and there is an option for unlimited FPS, Adjustable Field of View (FOV), anti-aliasing options affect everything, unlimited draw distance, which completely eliminates any form of pop-in, and only 2 second long loading times--at most!

And the two biggest PC exclusive features are:

  • An increase of 50% extra voiced lines, taking the previously 10,000 voiced lines to 15,000!

  • The introduction Turbo Mode to the series, which gives the option to speed up portions of the game, including battles, to your liking.

This version of the game is easily the most definitive version.

With all this being said, I feel it is best to mention the similarities and differences between these two games and franchises, the expectations that you should have for each, and what it will be like going from one game to the other.

  • With FFX you should expect a relatively faster paced and stand alone story, more immediately interesting characters whose development is complete after one game, a more 'exotic' world with more 'unique' plot points to its story.

  • With Cold Steel you should expect a much slower paced story that will require playing other games in the series to get the whole story, characters that may start off uninteresting or even intentionally unlikable until they develop over the course of multiple hours and even games.

  • With Final Fantasy you can get 40-60 hours worth of story and gameplay for each entry, and because they are independent of each other, you can play them at any time whenever you feel like it.

  • With Trails you are getting closer to 60-80 hours worth of story and gamplay content with each entry. These games are not stand alone and will at one point or another require you to play all the games in the series.

  • FFX has a slower paced combat system, but a faster paced story. The game's music is nostalgic and has many memorable tracks.

  • Cold Steel has a faster paced combat system, but a slower paced story. The game's music fits each scene's context perfectly and has plenty of stand-out tracks.

Whichever game you choose to play first, going from one of these games to the other may be hard as they are both similar in some ways, and yet very different in other ways. You may find Cold Steel to be 'slow' or 'boring' with a 'harder to get into' story after playing FFX, or you may find FFX to be 'less believably written' with a 'less immersive' world and 'harder to get into' gameplay. In either case, you will probably find them both to have great music, great stories, albeit differently paced, and hard to adapt to controls as both games have certain mechanics that essentially do the same thing, but are used with different buttons.

To sum it up though, if I had to recommend someone to start with one of these games first, I would have to say: Unless you are ready to invest in a huge time commitment or are prepared to immerse yourself in a huge story epic, I would start with Final Fantasy X.

I hope that this post was descriptive enough to help you come to a decision as to which game you will play first. I would like to reiterate that you can't go wrong with either game, and I hope that whichever game you choose to play first, and whenever you choose to play the other, you fully enjoy them both.

Happy gaming! :)
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