Trails of Cold Steel III is a fine sequel, although the game often seems to struggling beneath the weight of its growing cast of characters and intersecting stories. As a continuation, it’s a game strictly for existing fans, who’ll get a lot out of it even if they haven’t consumed every last tidbit of Trails content.
Though the stakes still feel too low at times, the game is focused examining the effect the war has on regular citizens, so being removed from the action at times makes sense. Trails of Cold Steel II ultimately tells a more complete and compelling story than the first game.
Even for returning fans, this is just a retread of the same plot of Mask of Deception, a short tale that doesn’t leave much left but the grind of optional missions. Sure, there’s some fun to be had in taking out armies with a colossal sparrow, but it’s something that might be more palatable at a lower price point.
The lineup of locations are the strongest in the series and I adored the depiction of the Disney worlds as vast playgrounds where you can explore, battle and take selfies to your heart's content. Kingdom Hearts III exhibits quality from every expensive edge, with a presentation that matches Disney’s animated output and a phenomenal score by Square-Enix’s composers.
Tightly designed to a fault, the game's rigid structure works well to present eight different perspectives. From the way each of the characters' unique skills make exploration and combat engaging to the wonderful rhythm of the thoughtful turn-based battles, there are enough excellent ideas in Octopath Traveler that help to overlook some glaring flaws.