That's the way I played them and they give you enough information about the previous games that you know what's going on.
I completed Cold Steel IV on PS4 last night. I did try playing it on Switch but it doesn't run at all well on that system. By far the longest games in the series for me taking 95 hours to complete. I ignored everything related to the Vantage Masteers and Pom! Pom! Party minigames and as with every other games in the series managed to miss a few chests so I didn't get the trophy. It did start to drag a little at the end and the number of characters could get overwhelming at times but it was nice to play a series where the characters age in each installment again, I can only think of the Ezio Assasins Creed trilogy as the last time that happened in a game series I have played.
My romance choice for Rean is the same as it was in every game
I've got Zero and Azue and Reverie are preordered but I'm going to try play through the Sky duology on PSP first.