This is Fine – EXP Share Post #5

Did I come up with this topic to talk about something that I’ve wanted to talk about in a while but didn’t have an excuse to at the time? Short answer, yes. The point of entertainment is to entertain you. Rather that be a good book, tv show, movie, or video game, entertainment wouldn’t be successful if it did not entertain you. Entertainment can be achieved by being a well produced work of art, funny, thought provoking, or just generally make you feel good. Then there are the time where something can be so good that it is painful. I’m talking about those events that glue you to your seat since you have to know what happens next. What the hell is going on!? I don’t know, but this is an event that I’m going to remember for a while.

*Spoilers for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. Read at own risk (or if you just don’t care).

So there is this little game called The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. It is a long as hell JRPG game that spans 4 games (10 games in total if you follow the overarching storyline). I knew nothing about this series until I found a copy of it in the store one day, and decided to give it a go. You play as the chad Rean Schwarzer as he goes through the daily life of military school as a member of Class Seven, a class that has a mix of commoners and nobles as an “experiment” to shake up the social status of the nation. It is your typical story of learning the struggles of the commoners and the nobility with the members of Class 7 learning to cast aside their issues with one another and the world around them. I’m not here to give a synopsis of the entire story, but it is a really good one that I really enjoyed.

Anyhow, at the end of the game, Rean and his classmates are enjoying the success of yesterday’s Summer Festival. Out of nowhere, they hear that the chancellor of the nation has been shot in the heart by a terrorist, who happens to be one of their classmates, C. This act invokes a civil war between the nobility and resistance force. This shakes things at the military school, since now they will have to involve themselves in an actual war. Things would be fine, but then the school gets attacked by the nobilities forces. What’s more, C is now a piloting a freaking Gundam that was nowhere in the series. Being the chad he is, Rean also summons his Megazoid (I’m sorry for those who don’t get these references) and the two battle it out in the games first and only mech battle. Why they decided to have this at the end of the game? Don’t know, but it was badass. The battle ends with C overpowering Rean since he is not accumstomed to his new partner Valimar. Rean’s classmates come to his rescue and pled beg him to flee while they hold him off. Rean refuses, but Valimar doesn’t care and sends him and Rean flying off. All Rean can do is watch and scream as his friends hold their own as they take on C. Then the screen goes black. Cue the music and roll the credits.

This left me shocked. How are you going to introduce a new mech battle mechanic at the end of the game and then leave on a cliffhanger like that? My words don’t justify the scene enough, since this was the first dark turn that the game throws at you. I remember putting the controller down and reflecting as the sick J-pop played in the background. If you want to see the ending for yourself, I linked it down below (skip to 7:18 if you don’t want to watch the whole fight).

Credit to Racast’s YouTube Channel

So naturally, I started playing the second game immediately. Nothing too outrageous happens in the second game, but it does drop a lot of bombshells throughout the plot and a significant plot twist that sets up the next game. For a while, no game had hit me hard with an emotional end like. I highly recommend this series since it does a great job with all of its characters and knows how to keep the player invested in the story. I knew things were going to be okay at the end, but I would have hated to be the poor people who had to wait for the second game to release. From that point, I would top this as one of my top 10 anime betrayals.

Thank you for reading,


My Entries For The Great JRPG Character Face Off!

Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) are an all-time favorite genre of mine. I didn’t discover my love of the series until my teenage days. My love for reading and storytelling captured my interest in the genre and has kept me satisfied to this day. The most prominent games that come to my mind are Tales of Symphonia, Final Fantasy VI, and Trails of Cold Steel. While I could go one about each individual game, this post is focused on the characters from this genre. 

The dynamic duo of Pix1001 and Winst0lf has asked the community on who are our top 5 favorite characters from any JRPG. To take a look at their choices, you can find Pix1001’s here and Winst0lf’s here. If you would like to participate as well, feel free to write a post about it, or let Pix1001 and Winst0If know via social media or in the comments.

With that out of the way, let us get to the difficult part; selecting characters. Choosing from all of the JRPG games that I have played, I had to ask myself why did I like this character to begin with. It became more difficult to define my reason why I liked them based on their character, personality, and significance to the story. There is a good chance that I missed someone while thinking things over, but I am satisfied with my choices. So without further delay, here we go (by the way, none of these are ranked in any particular order).

  1. Elliot Craig

At first glance, there is nothing really special about Elliot. It is strange that this fragile good boy is enrolled in a military academy, but has no intention to harm anyone. Being the son of a famous lieutenant-general also doesn’t help his awkward predicament. So why do I like him among his fellow classmates? Two reasons.

One, he is the best white mage that I have ever played as. The Master Quartz that he is given at the beginning sets him up for greatness as his healing arts have greater potency and cost less. If his quart is leveled up all the way, he can easily fully heal someone with a single Tear (beginning healing art). His crafts can also heal and buff characters and normally cover a good area to include everyone in one go. Finally, in the heat of the moment, his S-Craft ability, Remedy Oratorium, lets you not only revive everyone, but fully restore them, replenish CP, and gives them regan for 2 turns.

Second reason, he is a man of music. As a fellow musician myself, I appreciate his philosophy of healing the world through song. Not everyone his stature can find the strength and courage to meet danger head-on, but Elliot doesn’t let his weakness bother him in order to protect his friends. His mission in life is to heal the world through music and I greatly appreciate that.

  1. Magilou

Mazhigigika Miludin do Din Nolurun Dou (or Magilou for short) is a funny and annoying character. While her character can be seen as a comic relief to balance the team out, she also carries a dark, unfortunate side to her. She’s not afraid to stare death or Velvet in the face, because she is that confident/cocky in her abilities. What made her really stand out for me was her gameplay in battle.

At first I was hesitant to use her because she felt slow. That was until I learned how to play her and discovered that she is a bane to all spellcasters. Magilou has the ability to siphon her opponents’ magic while they are casting, and then use it to unleash powerful spells of her own. I immediately jumped on the Magilou train afterwards and would immediately switch to her if I noticed any pesky spellcasters out there. Plus, she has a belt made out of books. How badass is that!

  1. Dhaos

Dhaos was one of the first antagonists to make me feel two things at the same time; fear and sympathy. He is introduced in the very first scene of Tales of Phantasia dominating over his opponents. He is only defeated when he is sent back in time and imprisoned on arrival. About two hours in, he is freed from his tomb and proceeds to one shot everyone around him; including his lackeys and your best friend. You are then left to wonder how you will defeat someone who can just travel through time when defeated, can only be harmed by magic (in a world with no magic), and can kamehameha his way through people.

Then you learn about him. Originally from the planet Derris-Kharlan, Dhaos is a benevolent prince that goes on a mission to save his planet after a war destroys their Mana Tree. Using their life to teleport Dhaos to the planet Aselia, Dhaos tries to plead with the king of Midgards to cease their development of magitechnology to prevent what happened on his planet. Used as a martyr by the king’s closest advisor, Dhaos is seen as a demon who will destroy Midgards. With little choice and power, he makes a contract with the demons of Daemonium to force Midgards to stop their research and the firing of the Mana Canon. His efforts are in vain however, as the canon is fired and kills Aselia’s Mana Tree in the process. With no way to germinate a new Mana Seed, Dhaos loses his mind as he feels he failed both worlds. He then starts killing humans so that no further catastrophe can happen. This is just an abridged version, as the full story makes his story more tragic.

Dhaos’ character shows that anyone can reach a breaking point. Everything that he sacrificed seemed pointless at the end when he gave up trying to resolve things peacefully. It makes the opening statement of the game even more haunting; reminding that if there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.

  1. Zidane

The last entry was dark, so let’s try to lighten things up! Zidane is a lovable playboy thief with a monkey tail. His charisma and willingness to help anyone makes him more of a burden than helpful. Nevertheless, he is seen as trustworthy on a number of occasions and will go out of his way to see his promises through. His character never cracks until he discovers his origins. He goes from friendly and optimistic to harsh and distant. He loses himself for a while, but his friends get him out of it and he goes back to being the protector he is. Without the help from his friends, he could have forgotten who he was and find the resolve to stay true to himself. I admire that and hope that I have his strength when/if the time comes.

  1. Towa Herschel

Towa is best girl and must be protected at all time! No scratch that. This confident and capable women don’t need no knight in shining armor to get what she needs done. The amount of work that she juggles while attending Thors Military Academy would make anyone exhausted. Due to how badass she is, she casually lead an airship full of military students during a civil war like it was f***ing nothing. Towa shows that strength can come in many different sizes and it is one’s commitment that can accomplish anything. She is a normal human being with no special powers, but has one of the biggest hearts I know.

So those are my choices. Who are your favorite JRPG characters? Feel free to share your favorites with Pix1001 and Winst0If!

I Don’t Like To Binge, But I Can’t Stop Right Now!

So, stuck at home with nothing to do but work, house work, school work, and slowly losing sanity. This is a perfect time to get a lot of gaming done! Nothing helps decompress after a hard days work with a little gaming for 10 hours straight. While I normally get the sweet release from consciousness around the three hour mark, I have been glued to my couch the past few days. A great change of pace that I hope to keep up.

This post kinda ties with one of my previous post where I talked about my reasons for not finishing games. Bingeing is the act of indulging in an activity. Common types of bingeing are eating or watching T.V. As I get older, I find it increasingly harder for me to sit and do one activity for too long. I spend however long I need doing something, and then I move on to the next thing to make the most of my day. There are, however, times where something captivates me so much, that I can’t pull myself away. By now, you can probably guess what game I’ve been playing from dawn to dusk.

Butt Island

It is NOT Animal Crossing! For a few days it was, but the honeymoon phase is slowly fading out. I am still enjoying my time with the game, but I’m currently at a blank as how I want to continue to develop my island. Until then, I still play everyday to gather material and check the shops.

What has captivated me recently came via a tweet from Game Informer on April 1.

Was this a joke? Don’t joke with me like that! The Legend of Heroes series became one of my new favorite franchises in the past year. The first one took me a while to finish just because the story, writing, characters, and world is very fascinating. Top that off with a cliffhanger of an ending that made me immediately start the second game. I was not prepared at all for what this game was going to throw at me. I honestly did not think we would be getting the last installment in this story so soon. It was amazing to see the third one being localized and I guess the series now has a good reception in the West.

I will eventually write why this series has become one of my all time favorites down the road. After finishing the second game, I plan on going back and play the Trails in the Sky trilogy since it connects to the rest of the story in Cold Steel. This may take me months since I can’t help but to do almost everything in these titles. Once the Sky trilogy is complete, I will resume Cold Steel and see this saga to the end. Now let us just hope the Crossbell games make it over to the West so that we can experience the whole story. And then…you know…the game that combines all three stories into one conclusive tale (this is a long series @_@).

That is it for me. Just a short post to say that I am another casualty of binge gaming.

Thanks for reading,


January 2020 Gaming Report

I kicked off the new year with a refreshed mindset and focused goals. 2019 saw me at my lowest point mentally and it affected my habits greatly. But, with the help of this blog and reducing unnecessary work and stress off of me, I feel like my goals are more realistic.

I was very surprised with how much I was able to accomplish this month. As usual, I kept my tradition alive by finishing a game on the first of January to kick off the new year. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel easily became one of my new favorite games and introduced me to a whole new series that I’m interested in playing through. You can read my full thoughts about the game in my review I wrote. On top of that, I finished not one, but two other games this month! That may not sound impressing, but for me that is something I have not been able to do in over a year. I hope that this is a sign a good things to come!

Along with Trails of Cold Steel, I finished Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, a questionable, yet understanding direction for the fighting series, and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney; a game that blew my mind with each twist and turn. I plan on writing reviews for each game, but they probably won’t be finished by the time this post goes out. If you are reading this from the future (hello from the past!), links to both reviews will be here (Dissidia) and here (Apollo Justice).

New Additions

I really wasn’t planning on purchasing many games this month. Now that my focus is focusing more on finishing games on my backlog, my desire to buy games I find in stores or online sales have been less enticing. Did that stop me from buying anything though? No.

I decided to try out Puyo Puyo Champions since I enjoyed playing Puyo Puyo Tetris. In my opinion Puyo Tetris is the better game, but if you want to learn how to play Puyo Puyo and keep Tetris out of it, this is an enjoyable game. It normally goes for about $10 USD online, but I got it one sale for $5 USD. While browsing the store to spend some Christmas money, I found a copy of Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight. I normally would not be interested in a game like this, but I watched my wife obtain the platinum trophy for Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight in two days and I want to one up her by platinum P3: DM in just one day. One day when I have a few days off I will attempt it.

Other than that, I purchased some games to assist me with the blog and complete some collections. I picked up Tony Hawk’s Underground to capture some images for a future story that I want to talk about. Along with that, I picked up Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 since it was only $9 USD and I have no self control. Both are really good games, so I have no regret purchasing them.

Uno for the Switch I picked up on a whim. I was watching videos of people playing it and it was on sale for $5 USD. I have won several games, but I don’t count it as a game I worked to finish since (in my books) just winning one game counts as beating the game.

The last two pickups were Final Fantasy Tactics and Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology. I own Tactics on the PSP, but for some reason it never captivated me like everyone else. I want to go back to it, but picked up the original PS version to add to my collection. Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is the only escort Tales game that was released in the west. Adding it to my collection means I can finally say that (kinda) own every Tales game released in the states.

Plans For Next Month

I don’t have an idea what my plans are for February are yet. There are no new releases that I am looking forward to new month, so I can concentrate on my backlog more. I want to continue playing Nier: Automata and I think I can finish it by then. My Monster Hunter burnout is over, so I want to go back and finish Generations Ultimate at my leisure. Other than that, I will keep hammering away at Trails of Cold Steel II since I am also currently hooked on that as well. I’ve also been watching my wife recently trying to platinum Kingdom Hearts 3, and it makes me want to do some achievement hunting. Next update I will include the number of achievements that I earned during the month.

Numbers and Charts

And here are the numbers:

January 2020
Games Finished: 4
Games Added: 7
Finish Total: 190/672

Favorite Game Played: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
Most Played Console: A toss up between Switch and PS4

Current Games in Process:
The Legend of Heroes: Trials of Cold Steel II
Nier: Automata
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Thanks for reading!


The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Where Has This Series Been?

There are many Japanese Role Playing Game (JRPG) franchises that I have come to love over the years. Series like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei, and Tales Of have become mine and others’ favorite series over the years. There are other JRPGs that have a following, but are not as big that gets the majority excited. That was me one winter night when I happened to stumble upon the collector’s edition of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (it had a cool looking box). I had heard of The Legend of Heroes series before when I bought Trails in the Sky on Steam (I have yet to touch it), but I knew nothing of the series. So one day I decided to give Trails of Cold Steel a try and I instantly got hooked.

Prologue – Getting off the Train

Trails of Cold Steel is part of a trilogy of games in the Kiseki series. Each title in the series is divided into different parts that tell the complete story in that arc. Trails in the Sky had three games, the Crossbell series had two games, and Cold Steel has four. Taking place in the Erebonia Empire on the Zemuria Continent, we follow the story of our silent but sometimes not silent protagonist, Rean Schwarzer. The story opens up with a flash forward to an attack at a fortress which serves as the games tutorial. From here the basics of combat are shown off, which is a good thing since your next encounter does not happen for a while after this. After the flash forward, we see Rean arriving in a town called Trista; home of the military school he will be attending, Thors Military Academy.

We are then introduced to his classmates who make up their class known as Class VII. Each classmate specializes in a different weapon and skills. We have Alisa who specializes with the bow and love interests. Elliot who is good boy musician and uses an orbal staff. Laura with her mighty greatsword and mightier damage output. Jusis who I could not figure out how to make work well but has a sword. Machias who deals damage with his shotgun and heal people with as well. Fie who wields dagger pistols and is the grandmother of your high school coach who said could outrun everyone. Emma who is seriously a **** come on, and Gauis, the one everyone sadly forgets. You get other characters later in the story, but I will not reveal because spoilers.

Collector’s Edition that came with game and pin. Sadly no artbook.

Polish until it shines!

Where this game shines is in its combat. While each character has their own stats that fit their needs, you can mix and match some of the spells and abilities they can perform. This is due to the Master Quartz system that can change up a character’s spells, stats, and abilities. Each master quartz has its own attributes and can change its buff and benefits as it levels up. Even better, these quartz can be switched between characters to make anyone fit a certain need. There are obviously stats and abilities you want to give certain characters, but I like the aspect of changing characters to meet your playstyle. Along with the Master Quartz, you have standard quartz that give individual spells, abilities, and stat boost that can be attached to anyone. The standard quartz are what makes the customization more interesting as you can play off the Master Quartz to give characters devastating abilities. For once in a game, it felt like if you kept up what quartz are equipped to each character, challenges become easier to tackle.

Other great things about the combat are combat links. Combat links are extremely helpful in all fights and can make them go by super quick. Each character has a support level with each other, and it determines how the bonds between them are. Bonds can go as high as level 5 and each level opens passive abilities that can be performed with those two linked together. Most characters will have the ability to perform a follow-up or finishing blow attack, while some will automatically heal the person they are linked with if they get hurt. Some abilities cannot be triggered unless you exploit enemy weaknesses. There are four main weapon types: slash, bash, pierce, and thrust. Each enemy has a greater weakness to one or more of each weapon type. If you manage to unbalance them, your link partner will be able to perform a follow-up attack. Each follow-up attack will earn you one bravery point that can be stored to perform a rush attack (3 bravery points) or a burst attack (5 bravery points). This gives players a reward for exploiting enemy weaknesses.

Outside of combat, the characters and world are well written and rewards players for talking to everyone and exploring everything. This can make the run of the game feel longer than most, but everyone is interesting and you get to see how people change from the beginning of the school year up to halfway through the year. It is also important to talk to everyone so that you don’t miss out on events that affect your overall performance rating at the end of each chapter. Within the main cast of characters and important side characters, you get a journal to fill out information about each that open up their lives a bit more so that you can understand them a bit more. This part of the game feels like a Persona game where you are trying to grow strong bonds between all of your social link confidants. Interacting with your classmates this way nets more experience for their social link versus enemy encounters.

Real dialogue from a real game

All things that shine cast a shadow

While I enjoyed everything that Trails of Cold Steel offered, there were some things that bothered me a little bit. Each area that you visit for the monthly field study can only be accessed at that time. If you fail to find anything that you may need or buy anything from the shops, you will be unable to get those items again. While combat is enjoyable and can go by pretty fast, the exposition can go on forever and will confuse you if you are not paying attention. It wasn’t until the endgame when I was finally able to put the pieces together and remember why everyone hated each other to begin with. I also had a problem with Rean deciding when he wanted to have a voice or not. I am unsure if the developers wanted Rean to have a voice or not, but he does during important cutscenes. It is also very weird when everyone is talking and then you just get text box sounds from him.

I mentioned earlier that the game rewards you for talking to people and exploring. If you are trying to go for the highest school rating, A0, then you need to explore and talk to every single person to make sure that you are not overlooking something. What makes it kinda frustrating is that there are no indications that you need to go to this area and talk to this person unless you are paying attention to what people are saying. I felt like I missed out on a lot of side stories on my first playthrough, but as the name suggest you can completely ignore them it you are not going for the high rank.


All in all, I encourage JRPG fans to give this series a try. I tried to avoid any character development or story plots because they are best if you experience them for yourself. If you enjoy a good story with amazing gameplay, I can not highly recommend this game enough. As for which version to play that is up to your preference. The PS3 version has a cross save feature with the Vita version, so you are able to play on handheld or console. The PS4 and PC version have turbo mode where getting through the game goes by much faster; handy if you are on New Game+. Depending on which version you finish will give you a bonus when you play the second game. Trust me, you will want to play the second game after this. If you are not a fan of long conversations, or if you are looking for more exploration and action, then this may not be a title that you will enjoy as much.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel




PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
PlayStation Vita

Varies (Easy to Nightmare)

What I Liked:
+ Battle System
+ Customization Options
+ Interesting Characters
+ Developed World
+ Great Story (so many twists!)

What I Disliked:
– Dialogue can get too long
– Hidden Objectives
– Inconsistent voice acting
– Having to immediately play the second game to get all my answers!

Personal Rating: