Jump ToC Rankings (Issues 38 to 44, 2017)

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Under Your Radar: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The Pulse Towards Tomorrow by Kanako Kotera

It’s time for Under Your Radar! This time, we’ll be discussing The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Eiyū Densetsu: Sen no Kiseki in Japan). This is a timely one, because although I played it on Vita, the PC port launches today. It released in 2013 in Japan on PS3 and Vita, but the English release by XSEED was in 2015.

It’s the sixth game in Falcom’s Trails series, and the start of the Erebonia arc. Said arc has two more games, Trails of Cold Steel II and the upcoming Trails of Cold Steel III. The fourth and fifth Trails games take place simultaneously to this one, in the neighbouring city-state of Crossbell, and you get an in-game calendar that allows you to line up the events if you’ve played both arcs. At the time of this writing, it is one of the only three acceptable entry points for the series, alongside Trails in the Sky and the yet-unlocalized Trails to Zero.

You play as Class VII, a special sixth class (not a typo) created at Thors Military Academy in Trista, Erebonia by one of its princes. Unlike the other five classes, which are solely for nobles or solely for commoners, Class VII is a mixture. This is off-putting to some of them at first, because the Erebonian Empire has a very notable class structure. One of them is effectively a foreigner, even. The main character, Rean Schwarzer, is a baron’s son by adoption, being found abandoned in the mountains as a kid. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Rune Factory 4

Travelers of the Wind by Joe Rinoie and Saaya Mizuno (Japanese voices of the two player avatars)

It’s been way too long, but it’s now time for Under Your Radar! This time, we’ll be discussing Rune Factory 4, the final title by the developer Neverland, published by Marvelous worldwide (XSEED is just the name for their Western arm).

Rune Factory 4 is a 3DS game, and the sixth title in its series. It released in 2012 in Japan, 2013 in North America, and 2014 in Europe. Like the rest of the games in the series, it plays like a Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon type of game, with additional combat elements. Continue reading