Are you looking for the amazing PC Game like Trails of Cold Steel III. Here is the review, How to Play, Trailer. Highly recommended to you. Trails, to me, is a PC-first franchise, even if the games are no longer developed with PC in mind. The reason being, not only is PC where the series got its start, but it’s where it has continued to thrive and had the longest life. Every currently released Trails game is on PC or announced to be in some form or another.
I’ve little doubt at this point that Hajimari no Kiseki will be someday as well when that eventually makes its way out of Japan. For a series like Trails, which many of us love dearly because of how vast and connected its story universe is, having one platform where they can all call home is a must. So, when Cold Steel III was announced for PC this past January, imagine my excitement. I said excitement—not surprising. When it comes to Cold Steel III on PC, there aren’t many surprises to be had. Not in the port’s announcement, nor with the port’s quality. Trails of Cold Steel III’s PC port is simply very good.
Thankfully it is because people were looking forward to it from the very day NIS America announced Cold Steel III. From day one, there were requests that the duty is handled by famed PC game developer Peter “Durante” Thoman, otherwise known as the man responsible for XSEED’s PC ports of Trails of Cold Steel I and II.
How To Play
Surely enough, that is exactly what happened, and Cold Steel III’s PC development was placed in the hands of Durante and his new company, PH3 Games. So, what are you getting when you buy Cold Steel III on PC? All the options you could want in a modern PC configuration and good performance levels on all scopes of hardware.
The few things to note here are that, for one, Cold Steel III is Falcom’s first game built from the ground up specifically for PlayStation 4. The hardware floor on this game is higher than the previous two and the ceiling lower. Cold Steel III is a more taxing game on PC hardware than its predecessors and with good reason. Next to note, is that while I am largely satisfied with the port’s optimization.
I would err on the side of caution when picking your visual settings. I know this isn’t uncommon with PC games, but one downside is that Trails of Cold Steel III’s performance can vary a bit wildly depending on the map you’re on in the game. Meaning, while the settings you pick may run the game perfectly during the opening section at Juno Naval Fortress or the tutorial dive in Einhel Keep… …you may run into problems on a map a bit more intensive. Such as the Isthmia Great Forest in Chapter 1.
Trails of Cold Steel III on PS4, while for the most part a technically competent game… …had several problem areas: maps that would absolutely kill performance, even or perhaps especially on PS4 Pro. Areas like that included Isthmia Great Forest. The dungeon at the end of Chapter 4… Heimdallr during the Summer Festival (especially the Sankt District) and the Esmelas Garden.
So, when getting this game on PC, I was less interested in sitting down for an immersive, full third playthrough… …and more so concerned with seeing these locations with my own eyes and getting to benchmark them with my hardware. The results were good. I know I’m in a minority here, but I play PC games on a 4K screen at 60 frames per second.
With my GTX 1080Ti, that was easy enough. The game runs at a virtual locked 60 for me with 4x multi-sample anti-aliasing and several other features on. Again, I know that I’m a fringe case, but if you’re looking to run the game at 1440 or 1080, you’re going to be fine. I’m confident you’ll find the game runs well even on aging hardware, so long as you take the time to optimize your settings.
Is it perfect? No, nothing ever is. Let’s get to nitpicks. One PS4 problem area turned out to be no better for me on PC: the festival Sankt District Perhaps it’s CPU bottlenecked or just the Phyre Engine, which Cold Steel is developed on, not liking that map–I don’t know. It’s just one map, so it’s not a big deal, but it was frustrating to not see it run any better on PC than PS4, regardless of how far I cranked the settings down. Next, I find ambient occlusion to not be helpful in this game.
Don’t turn it on. To me, it grossly affected shadows around the mouths of character models and made characters’ faces look…dirty. Just turn it off and save that GPU tax while not having to look at that. I’m also not a fan of this game’s button prompts. They’re the same prompts from Durante’s Cold Steel I and II ports, but they look really out of place in Cold Steel III.
PlayStation icons are especially jarring for how low their resolution is when they appear just about anywhere. This is a callout to PH3 games: It’s time to up your icon package for Cold Steel IV…and go back and fix CS3 while you’re at it. Speaking of fixes, there are a couple of localization fixes missing in the PC version.
As you may know, earlier this year, NISA put out version 1.02 for PlayStation 4, which included several script changes for the game. This was the kind of thing I called for in my review of the localization last fall, and the patch is great! …But a couple of fixes are missing on PC. HOWEVER, I’m not referring to the script itself—what we call the scenario. I repeat I’m NOT referring to retranslations and things like that—words that appear inside of the text boxes themselves.
Those corrections ARE in the PC version. What is missing, is a change made to a graphic and one that was made to audio. The first time you encounter McBurn and his nametag appears on the screen, it is supposed to say: McBurn, the Almighty Conflagration This used to say “McBurn, the Blazing Demon” in the original PS4 versions but was corrected in 1.02.
However, that correction is not in the PC version. Another one that hits closer to home has to do with Lloyd Bannings. Many of you don’t this, but in the 1.0 version of Cold Steel III, there were two instances where Lloyd was referred to as an “inspector” of the former Crossbell Police Department, instead of a “detective.” That was changed in 1.01 and the reason I know it is because I had an early review copy of the game. One of the lines that were changed is a VOICED line by Rean.
NISA edited the audio itself. It’s subtle, but if you listen closely, you can hear it. Don’t believe me? Here is the exact same line in the PC version. Inspector. There in the audio, not in the text. It’s a nitpick, but it does annoy me as someone who sees the PC versions of these games as the definitive versions.
If I’m right in assuming PH3 will be delivering us Cold Steel IV next year, which I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be, then hopefully that means making some lingering corrections to CS3 is still within the scope of their work with NISA. Finally, one last nitpick that bears mentioning is that this port does not come with additional English voice acting like Cold Steel I and II’s PC releases did.
To be fair to NISA, it’s not entirely accurate to say that Cold Steel III has less voice acting than I and II. Now that all three are on the PC, we can compare how many voice files each game has. Bear in mind, the voice files include audio other than dialog. I’m referring to things characters yell in the battle for example, so the following count isn’t perfect.
Take this as an indicator, rather than a strict number of how many voiced text boxes there are in each game. However, looking at the English voice file counts for the three games, they stack up as follows: Cold Steel I: 14,209 Cold Steel II: 15,816 Cold Steel III: 14,586 In other words, even without additional voice acting added to the game, Cold Steel III has more voice files than I, but less than II.
Then again, CS3 is the largest game of the three, so its understandable players would walk away feeling as though CS3 is more sparsely voice-acted than the first two games. Would I like to have more English voices on PC someday? Absolutely. Frankly, the fact that there are partially voiced scenes in the game—usually where Rean is silent but other characters are not—has always been jarring to me. However, this gripe ultimately isn’t with NISA, but with Falcom.
It should not take a western publisher going above and beyond to record more dialog than was already in Japanese in order to “fix” this problem. Is it going to change anytime soon? Pessimistically, I seriously doubt it, so I digress. To wrap this up, is Cold Steel III on PC good? Heck yes, it is. Should you get it?
Yeah, if your Steam or GOG library is where you most like to play Trails. The one little caveat I’ll add is, given that this game came out last year on PS4 and the Switch version is slated for this summer, Cold Steel III is still a $60 game, which makes it the most expensive game in the series. That’s a steep price tag, I know. Is the game worth that? In my opinion it is.
Cold Steel III is an adventure and a half on top of being a great port. That said, this is PC and we all like to save a buck or two where we can. The game has already gone on sale once on Steam, for 25% off, back during Golden Week. So, if you can wait, I’m sure you’ll get more opportunities And in the meantime, you can add the already confirmed PC port of Cold Steel IV to your wishlists. Or perhaps you’re also looking forward to the Switch port of CS3.
Let me know below if you’d like my test run that too because I’m seriously considering it. Don’t forget if you like what we do here on the channel to also like and subscribe—all that Youtuber goodness. Hitting the bell icon also notifies you of new videos. If you want to take the more direct route of support, you can also join the channel’s Patreon and get little perks like your name at the end of videos like this. That’s all for now. See you guys in the next one.
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This is one of the best game 2020.