The West is now so far behind with Trails games that it's actually starting to hurt. The latest game in Falcom's long-running JRPG series, Kuro no Kiseki, released for PlayStation 4 earlier this year in Japan — but there's been no definitive word on a Western launch. And now, Falcom has announced that a direct sequel — the wonderfully named Kuro no Kiseki II: Crimson Sin — is set to hit Japan in the latter half of 2022.
Again, it feels like Western fans are being left in the dust. Of course, this isn't really Falcom's fault. The developer doesn't have the resources to publish its own products overseas, and so it looks like publishers like NIS America to get the job done. However, as thankful as we are to NISA for getting Cold Steel III and Cold Steel IV out in a relatively timely manner, a clear backlog is starting to form.
Currently, NISA has four Trails titles scheduled for a Western release: Trails from Zero is due in Q3 2022, while Trails to Azure, Trails into Reverie, and The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails are all pencilled in for 2023. The way things are going, we might not be playing Kuro no Kiseki until 2024 — which, let's be honest, is taking the p*ss a bit.
Now, we know that localising Trails games can't be easy — they're all huge RPGs with mountains of text to get through — but it's easy to question whether NISA has its priorities straight. A hopeful part of us was thinking that most of 2022 has been left open because NISA could be planning to bring Kuro no Kiseki overseas before the rest — but it's starting to look unlikely.
Not all hope is lost, however. Falcom did recently say that it's aware of overseas demand for Kuro no Kiseki, and a planned PS5 version could give the company more reason to pursue localisation. As we head into 2022, we're just praying that we get some additional announcements over the next few months.