Trails of Cold Steel III is a top-notch JRPG and now that it's available for Switch, I got the Thors Academy Edition so let's check it out.
I absolutely love The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel series and this 3rd entry is the best yet. However, I won't discuss the actual game much here because, well, I already reviewed it last year for PlayStation 4. I will get into the differences on Switch a bit later, though. Anyway, as I played it again recently, I was immediately reminded just how delightful of a game it is. Considering many games nowadays try to offer realistic cinematic experiences, deal with heavy subject matter, and feature insane amounts of violence; I couldn't help but fall in love with Trails of Cold Steel III all over again. From its epic battles to its engaging story all the way to its adorable character-based scenes where it's lovely to simply watch the familiar cast of characters have a picnic together; this JRPG proves that you can create a sense of wonder without a Hollywood budget. If you'd like to read more about it, be sure to visit my full review.The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Review
Seeing as I originally played Trails of Cold Steel III on PS4, I expected a bit of a downgrade while enjoying it on Switch. With that being said, the graphical difference is surprisingly marginal as it looks absolutely fantastic. Not only that, there's awesome performance while playing it undocked, too. The fact that it looks so great and it's portable makes playing it on Switch the best option even though there are no trophies. When will you implement an achievement system, Nintendo?! Overall, I'm very impressed with how it runs.
Before I discuss the physical extras, I'm happy to say that the Extracurricular Edition of the game is included in the Thors Academy Edition box. This comes with a Branch Campus Student Directory mini art book and a cool animated lenticular card that lets you watch Rean's classmates join him as you tilt it up and down. Oh, and it has reversible cover art which looks awesome on both sides.
Standard Cosmetic Bundle DLC
Another cool extra packed in the Thors Academy Edition is a DLC card which grants you access to the Self-Assertion Panels set, Cute Hair Extension Set, Cool Hair Extension Set, Raccoon Set, Snow Leopard Set, Bunny Set, Rainbow Hair Set, Angel Set, Devil Set, Ashen Knight Set, and 4 ARCUS Cover Sets. So, enjoy dressing your party up in all sorts of nifty customization gear!
What's in the box?
Okay, time for the physical extras. Everything comes in a cardboard cube Einhel Keep box which looks awesome on a shelf. First, there's an almost 10" Mishy plushie from Symbiote Studios which looks exactly like the in-game mascot. Next, you get a 20 track OST CD in the form of Symphony of Class VII that clocks in at over 61 minutes. If you want to store the game card in an even cooler case, there's a sleek embossed SteelBook case included to give you yet another option and if you enjoy browsing character art then you'll love the hard cover Thors Branch Campus Dossier art book which contains over 100 pages of character art and info as well as loads of bonus artwork and enemy designs. Finally, there are 6 glossy postcards that feature various in-game towns and they all look fantastic.
I could keep talking about this awesome special edition but pictures are better so here are 12 photos that I took of what's included:
- Closed Einhel Keep box
- Open Einhel Keep box
- Sealed Mishy plushie, postcards, OST, and art book
- SteelBook case, Extracurricular Edition case, and DLC card
- SteelBook case interior and Extracurricular Edition back
- Extracurricular Edition interior, mini art book, Switch game card, and animated lenticular card
- Symphony of Class VII tracklisting and CD
- Symphony of Class VII CD in case
- 6 postcards
- Postcard back
- Mishy plushie
- Sample page from Thors Branch Campus Dossier art book
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is one of the best JRPGs ever made and this Thors Academy Edition is a wonderful treat for fans of the franchise so if you enjoy adventuring with Rean then you'll treasure this very special package.
- + An amazing JRPG with great characters
- + Includes a ton of fantastic goodies; both physically and digitally
- + Runs superbly well on Switch
- - Core experience is still weighed down a bit by repetitive dungeons
- - Doesn't introduce much since the 2nd game