The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
|The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II|
|Series||The Legend of Heroes|
|Release||PlayStation 3, PS Vita|
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Nihon Falcom. The game is an entry in The Legend of Heroes series, and serves as a direct sequel to Trails of Cold Steel. It was published by the company for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 in Japan in 2014, and was later localized into English and published by Xseed Games in 2016 in North America. A port by Xseed for Microsoft Windows was released in February 2018, while a remastered version for the PlayStation 4 was released in Japan in April 2018, and worldwide the following year. A sequel, Trails of Cold Steel III, was released in 2017.
The game plays very similarly to the original Trails of Cold Steel game, playing as a traditional JRPG with turn-based battles. The game is not, however, tied to the school schedule structure of the original, with the game now centered around traveling the world rather than attending classes. If the player has a completed game save file from completing the prior game, it has an effect on the game of Cold Steel II, with certain events and dialogues playing out different based on choices and relationships built in the prior game.
The game is a direct sequel to the original Trails of Cold Steel, picking up one month after ending of that game, with Rean having escaped with the Divine Knight, Valimar. He makes it to his hometown of Ymir with the assistance of bracer Toval, where Princess Alfin had also escaped to, but is later kidnapped along with Rean's sister Elise by members of the Noble Alliance. Students from Thors Military Academy, including those from Class VII, had been scattered across the country, so Rean attempts to get everyone back together again to put an end to the civil war.
Cold Steel II uses the PhyreEngine game engine, and was released in Japan on September 25, 2014. The game was localized into English by Xseed Games. Work on translating the game began on February 2015, containing around 1.45 million characters to be translated. Translating alone took around a year, with it being about 95% complete in January 2016. Xseed also added approximately 11,000 lines of English dialogue for its English release. The game was released in North America on September 6, 2016, and in Europe on November 11, 2016. A port for Microsoft Windows was released on February 14, 2018, and features various enhancements from the original version, such as support for 4k resolution, various other graphical enchantments, and additional English voice acting. A remastered version for the PlayStation 4, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II: Kai, was released in Japan on April 26, 2018, and in North America and Europe in early 2019.
Reception and sales
The game received "generally favorable" reception, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Chris Shrive of Hardcore Gamer strongly praised the game for being "a modern JRPG masterpiece" with "the perfect blend of the classic JRPG formula mixed with contemporary features" concluding that "the emphasis on story telling and immense cast of memorable characters make the large time commitment worthwhile." Kimberly Wallace of Game Informer was similarly positive about the game's story and characters, but complained of the game's dull dungeons design. Despite the shortcomings, she still felt that the game "takes the cast and story in such interesting directions and provides so much to do that it’s hard to put down...[the game] makes me care so much about the characters and the world that it becomes easier to look past its flaws." Darren McPhail of RPGSite was similarly positive about the game, stating "For fans of the previous Legend of Heroes games and especially the first Trails of Cold Steel, picking up Trails of Cold Steel 2 is a no-brainer easy recommendation. While this sequel is unevenly paced and lacks shocking plot twists until the conclusion, the Trails of Cold Steel games are some of the best of the genre and well worth a look for most hardcore RPG fans." All three reviewers agreed that, while it was possible to enjoy the game's story as a stand-alone experience, the story was better for people who had played the original Trails of Cold Steel first, due to the game's direct ties to one another.
In Japan, the game sold 86,283 physical retail copies on the PlayStation Vita and 65,498 retail copies on the PlayStation 3 within its debut release week. Within that week, the Vita version placed second among all software sales in Japan, while the PS3 version placed fifth. Famitsu gave both versions of the game a review score of 31/40. The PlayStation 4 version sold 11,345 copies during its first week on sale in Japan, placing it at number ten on the all format sales chart. 
- 英雄伝説 閃の軌跡II (Eiyū Densetsu: Sen no Kiseki Tsū) in Japanese
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- "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1346". Gematsu. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
- "Continuing To Impress And Surprise - The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Vita - www.GameInformer.com". www.GameInformer.com.
- "RPGSite > Review > The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II".
- "Trails in the Flash II Sold Nearly The Same Amount As Its Predecessor". Siliconera. October 3, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- 2014-10-01, Media Create Sales: 9/22/14 – 9/28/14 Archived 2015-01-31 at the Wayback Machine., Gematsu
- Romano, Sal (May 23, 2018). "Media Create Sales: 5/14/18 – 5/20/18". Gematsu. Retrieved May 25, 2018.