Last time, we met up with all of Rean's pals again. In Act 2, we get to take his friends along for an airship ride! As always, please enjoy and keep in mind that spoilers are ahead.
The freedom of flight
Act 2 begins with Prince Olivert lending us his massive airship: the Courageous! Gameplay-wise, this means that you can look at the world map and select where you want to travel to next. As you progress, you gain access to more areas. It's awesome to have the freedom to travel wherever you wish. Revisiting the continent's memorable areas in order to complete missions, discover the odd hidden gem, and fill out your monster catalog is great fun. That being said, I wish you could control the Courageous. I miss JRPGs like Final Fantasy VII where you can actually explore the world map as opposed to just selecting areas from a menu. In the end, I can't complain too much because having this freedom is definitely a step up from the mostly linear progression prior to Act 2.
Act 2: the first half
Upon gaining access to the Courageous, Towa put on her shiny new captain's hat and took charge of the vessel. Soon into exploring, we found out that Fiona (Elliot's sister) has been kidnapped by Kreuzen's Provincial Army. After finding her and fighting some monsters, Major Neithardt helped us dispatch a couple more. Of course, we rescued Fiona in the process. Later, Angelica let us know that Irina Reinford (Alisa's mom) is in trouble and told us where she was. So, we sneaked our way in to Roer where we met with Angelica. After infiltrating the city and nearby mines, we found ourselves aboard a train where we got a glimpse of Irina yet couldn't help her. However, thanks to Sharon intervening, we successfully rescued her but our mission wasn't over yet. We took control of the building from Heidel Rogner then Angelica fought her father in battle. Talk about epic! Finally, Rean faced off against Vulcan in a surprise mech boss fight.
As usual, some fun things happened alongside the drama within the first half of Act 2. Watching Instructor Sara drinking her face off was pretty funny. As I've already mentioned, Sharon showed up yet again. You can always count on her for some surprising appearances at just the right time. A battle that I thought was pretty cool was the boss fight in the chairman's office with Heidel Rogner's war machine. It was certainly tough, but I eventually defeated it. Anyway, Instructor Sara fought Rean to teach him a life lesson... or maybe that was the booze talking. Last but not least, Fie found a cat which I thought was pretty cute.
Mech battles overstay their welcome
This is my third play journal for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II. In the first, I expressed how I'm looking forward to more mech battles and I was impressed that they delivered in Act 1. However, now that these mech battles are more commonplace, I'm starting to find them kind of boring. Don't get me wrong, the combat is awesome and it keeps evolving. The aspect that makes them tedious is the fact that enemies have far too much HP and the battles seem to go on forever. I doubt this is due to my current abilities as there aren't that many factors when it comes to these mechs. Either way you look at it, chipping away at enemies with enormous health meters is rarely enjoyable. I hope these improve later on in the adventure or I get a super-powerful weapon.
Even with tedious mech battles, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II keeps getting better. Stay tuned for another installment in this article series once I complete Act 2 and look forward to my full review as soon as I finish the whole thing!