The arrival of an English translation for each Legend of Heroes game is something of a wait vs reward game. On the one hand we got this title after the East had already gotten their hands on its sequel, Cold Steel IV, but the game and indeed the series as a whole is of such quality that any Legend of Heroes title getting a Western release is a thing to appreciate.
If any game has been a long time coming it’s Kingdom Hearts III, which has seen its life as a series extended through a variety of handheld entries that have been as vitally important to its plot as the main series’ numbered entries. Kingdom Hearts III is the cumulation of not a trilogy, but over 10 games in the current plot thread that all need to be paid off in this instalment. But does Kingdom Hearts stick the landing?
The mighty Dragon Quest series releases infrequently when compared to other franchises, but when a new game does appear they are usually something special within the RPG community. Dragon Quest XI comes triumphantly back to consoles on the heels of Dragon Quest X’s lack of western release on last gen systems and after the successful handheld entry that was Dragon Quest IX on Nintendo DS. Having missed out on playing X, the new game can’t help but make a solid impression as the west’s first HD Dragon Quest offering.
Level-5 may be a big name in the gaming industry these days, but once upon a time they were just another nobody set to release a launch title for the PlayStation 2. Whilst Dark Cloud is certainly showing its rough edges in this day and age (and has undoubtedly been bettered) it’s still interesting to see the scope this studio invested in their first outing.
Whilst the original Suikoden side-story ‘Suikogaiden Volume 1’ was very much a sampler of the world, companion piece and introduction to its leading man, Volume 2 is a much more fleshed out visual novel experience that delves deeper into the player character’s personal story and manages to tie in both elements of Suikoden II and III in a manner that bridges both games beautifully.
It’s a well-known fact that there can never be too much Suikoden. Shortly after the release of ‘Suikoden II’, Konami seemed to realise that consumers felt this way too and promptly released a pair of visual novels that were set around the events of that larger game and built on plot elements that would pay dividends when ‘Suikoden III’ rolled around.
The official sequel game to Record of Agarest War turns in the old engine and builds a whole new game from scratch. One that whilst claiming to be a Tactical RPG has more in common with a conventional Turn Based system.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel turned out to be one of the PlayStation 3’s late-great games and certainly one of the best JRPGs to have seen release in recent memory. Its cliff-hanger ending left players clamouring for more however, and with the long translation times for games in this series the wait has been sheer torture.
On the surface, The Huntsman looks like a shameless advertising scheme for the release of the film ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ a sequel to ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and a dark take on the popular fairy tale. We’ve seen companies such as BioWare turn these advertising stunts into legitimately entertaining slices of RPG goodness in the past however, can Desert Owl Games manage the same?
Released digitally onto PlayStation Network for PS3 and Vita here in the UK, Trails of Cold Steel is the start of a third trilogy in a series that’s had a spotty release schedule for western audiences but is finally starting to get the love it deserves through Steam and Sony’s various systems.