The Nintendo Switch version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III will release in New Zealand and Australia on July 10. It’s already available in North America and Europe, where it released on 30 June, and in Japan, where it came out in March this year.
Trails of Cold Steel III continues the story that began in 2013 with The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel: an epic tale of civil war within the Erebonian Empire that explores the impact of such a war on every level of society. It’s a lengthy adventure all up—four games in total, each one running a good 60 hours, at least—but Trails of Cold Steel is the rare example of a series that really uses its running time to great effect.
Unfortunately, the first two games in the series aren’t available for Switch, which may be related to a change in publisher—XSEED published Cold Steel and Cold Steel II, before NIS America took over from Cold Steel III. While it’s best to start from the beginning if you can, Trails of Cold Steel III has a decent summary of the previous games, and does feel more like a fresh new arc in the story than Cold Steel II did. It’d still be great to see the previous games make it to Switch one day, but it’s not the end of the world if you have no option but to start with Cold Steel III.
The good news is that, if you do choose to jump into the Switch version, you’ll be able to continue the story there. Trails of Cold Steel IV—the final chapter of the saga—is coming to PlayStation 4 first in October, but there’s also a Switch version in the works for a 2021 release. Cold Steel IV lets you transfer save data from Cold Steel III, so it’s good to know that they’ll both be available on Switch eventually.
If you want to try Trails of Cold Steel III out first, there’s a free demo available on the Nintendo eShop. It’s a sizeable demo that’ll give you at least a few hours of playing time. Just know that, like the full game, it starts in media res—so if you find things a little difficult to follow, that’s deliberate.