Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Tales of Arise is the next instalment of the “Tales of” series developed by Bandai Namco. This Action JRPG is unique in the series as it’s the first one to be released on Xbox as well as other platforms. I have played roughly 30 hours of this game on the Xbox Series X so far and here I will Break down my thoughts on the separate aspects of this game. This will be broken down to: Main Menu, Difficulty, Gameplay, Audio/visual and overall impression of the game itself. I will not be touching on the storytelling as everyone looks for very different things in what they want in a story and I don’t want to run the risk of accidentally spoiling key aspects of the game for people.
When you start up the game the first thing you see is an amazing anime cutscene that shows various aspects of the game, and is basically just an anime opening. This particular cutscene for me at least got me quite excited for the game ahead as it showed off the abilities of a lot of the characters that you will be playing with.
The Main menu itself is pretty standard, it’s got great background music and a flaming sword background. But the options are basically, new game, load game, voice selection, license. So nothing really stands out about the main menu except for the opening cutscene.
When you select a New Game however there are quite a few options given to you surrounding things like subtitles, camera control, difficulty, markets, vibration settings, etc.
So basically everything standard that you would expect from
Tales of Arise gives the player several difficulty options to choose from, these are:
Story - This is basically the easiest difficulty for those that just want to experience the environment and the story telling without really being challenged in the game.
Normal - This is the standard difficulty, it’s a bit challenging but through playing you’ll manage to overcome the obstacles ahead.
Moderate - This difficulty is for those that find normal mode to be too easy, and as a reward for the harder difficulty you will receive extra combat points by playing in this difficulty
Hard - This difficulty is the hardest that the game has to offer where enemies will basically hit like a truck, and will require quite a bit of skill to complete, i wouldn’t recommend this difficulty for a first time playthrough, but if you love the challenge this difficulty will not disappoint.
Tales of Arise is an Action role-playing game with various mechanics that go within it. When just travelling around the world you get a third person view, you can jump, run, talk to the NPCs in the area, all pretty standard stuff, and the side quests you’re given are the classic JRPG side quests where it’s get this item or kill this monster. Not necessarily a bad thing but this aspect of the game doesn’t really innovate from past JRPG’s title.
The Battle system is fast and fluent, and has a big focus on evasion and counter attacking, which takes its inspiration from the battle system from Tales of Graces, a previous Tales of game released on the PS3. There is also the addition of “Boost Strike” attacks which are basically high powered combo attacks between party members, personally i like the way the battle system is, however I dislike that they removed the multiplayer aspect from this game that had been present in the past entries in the franchise.
There are several other gameplay features that get added further into the game however i don’t want to give away too much as the point of a review is to decide if you’d be interested in playing it.
Tales of Arise is optimized for the Series X at 4k resolution and 60fps. I haven’t noticed any kind of framerate drop, the previous title in the franchise “Tales of Berseria” ran at 1080p which whilst i loved that game, Tales of Arise have definitely improved this aspect from the previous titles.
Everything about this game audibly feels high quality. The amazing soundtrack, the voice acting matches with all the characters well, the Monsters all sound great, and the environmental sound effects as well feel like you are playing a high quality game.
Visually the anime cutscenes are one of the best aspects of the “Tales of” Franchise, but outside of that, when you’re just walking around the world i’d say that visually it’s alright, The character designs personally I thought were really cool, and during combat, everything looks crisp and smooth and that you’re attacks are making an impact.
Tales of Arise is an amazing entry into the franchise, and the way that the “Tales of” series have handled anime cutscenes throughout its history has always been a big plus for me and this game has not disappointed on that front. I would recommend that everyone gives this title a go if it’s an option for them because it’s an incredibly fun and satisfying game to play. Compared to other titles in the series, I think this game has greatly improved on nearly all aspects from the previous entries.
The one aspect that I believe was handled better by others was the characters in Tales of Berseria which I found to be a bit more interesting and unique in their design. But overall this was a Fantastic game that I will continue playing for many more hours.
There is one major con as well, and that’s the fact that when this game was released with 25 separate dlc purchases, including in game currency, costumes that could have been in the main game and background music even I personally believe is super greedy of the developers which also makes me worry about the future of this franchise if they’re going to continue down this path, but hopefully it was just a one off thing and future tales of games will actually have the whole game included.
So definitely buy this game, I'm sure any fan of JRG’s will be a fan of this game, and it’s very welcoming to new and veteran gamers alike.
And there you have it, my Tales of Arise review. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. And if you have any questions about other aspects of this game that I haven’t touched on then they can be answered in the comment section as well
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