Tales of Arise

Tales of Arise

released on Sep 10, 2021

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Tales of Arise

released on Sep 10, 2021

Our tale begins with two people, born on different worlds, each looking to change their fate and create a new future. Featuring a new cast of characters, updated combat, and classic Tales of gameplay mechanics, experience the next chapter in the world-famous Tale of series, Tales of Arise.

The Next Chapter
Experience the next chapter in the Tales of series, brought to life in stunning HD powered by Unreal Engine 4

Dynamic Action
Dynamic Action RPG featuring an updated battle system that retains classic Tales of gameplay

A New Tale Awaits
Rich story featuring a vibrant world and new cast of characters

Stunning Visuals
High quality animation created by Ufotable

Reviews View More

This game is so fucked thank god slavery isn't real

a no from me. tales of is that 7/10 series i often love like a 10/10 but this game is a 7/10 i dislike like a 4/10. it sparks no joy. like berseria good ideas, but unlike berseria the execution is embarrassing, though the combat is the best in the series. idk. sad abt this but can't stomach rn.

One of the weaker Tales games, unfortunately, but still worth playing.

I actually didn't really like this game at the start. The characters are really bland, and the story is pretty awful. What saves it is the battle system, which never really got old for me, and definitely started to shine toward the end and in the postgame. The music is also pretty good, and the art direction is first class.

What really threw me was that the tone of the game was just super serious for so long, and that the story would just repeat the same beats over and over and over again. It felt like the writers thought they were making incredibly profound points, when in reality everything they were trying to say was super obvious, and by the time you hear the characters say it the fourth time in a different way, it really turns you off.

I also didn't like that the majority of the skits, which normally bring some lightheartedness to Tales games and serve to strengthen the character bonds, just served to further expand on the already mediocre story in this game. Thankfully, the characters did begin to actually seem like they liked being around each other around the midpoint of the game, and that's around where I started to like them (for the most part).

Still, this is probably my least favorite cast of characters in a Tales game, and definitely my least favorite story. Why 3.5 stars, then, instead of a lower score? Well, the battle system is really fun, and the postgame content is fun as well.

I just hope the next Tales game does more with the cast of characters and the story. Oh - and it would help if they would proofread their script. There were so many typos in the subtitles (and even sections where they didn't match up at all to the dialogue) that I lost count.

Also, there's no grade system, and almost all the great bonuses that used to be tied behind it, like the ability to carry 99 items (!) and EXP/SP boosts, are now DLC that you have to buy. Ugh. I guess I get it, but it's still really disappointing, especially the item capacity bit.

Offering a complete overhaul in presentation and gameplay yet remaining faithful to its roots and core themes, Tales returns to the world with a bang.

My spoiler free review:

Story was a positive for me. There are some typical anime tropes and cliches but that's part of Tales identity at this point. I liked Alphen as a main character and Shionne was definitely an interesting foil to him. The writing can get hamfisted and rushed at times but I think it does a serviceable job. The whole premise was interesting to me and it really ramped up in the last third of the game. The ending and pay off was worth it for me and I couldn't have asked for more. The sci-fi lean is well appreciated given that most of the tales usually lean into high fantasy and I'd love for a modern Tales game to go more futuristic or dystopian.

Presentation was great. The locales and the modern shine really made it feel like an actual current gen game unlike all the other modern Tales from the PS3 era which basically all felt like a glorified upscaled PS3 game. There was several points in the game where I just stopped to observe the world around me and take screenshots, the dev team really nailed the aesthetic. The character action cutscenes were cool and while I don't have the same disdain as other people for the ufotable animated cutscenes, the fact that we got so many really shows the increased budget of the game and it shows. The game finally feels modern.

The cast was one of my favourites. I liked the Berseria cast a lot too but for different reasons. I felt the cast here felt organic and the fact that there wasn't a dedicated joke character was refreshing. There was no annoying mascot and they didn't make the mage character the awkward bumbling super smart character was also great because I really liked Rinwell and her arc. Once you get the whole party together, they really bounce off of each other in fun ways.
I loved the party screen and how it updates to reflect the current progress and conflict in the game. It's simple but it was satisfying.

The simplified equipment, title cooking and weapon systems is welcome after the mess that Berseria was. I hope they can add a little more complexity in the future because weapons usually ended up being pick the highest stat but at least you didn't have to manage learning passives from equipment and weapons. I also hope they keep the accessory system because there is RNG but there is also room for customization that can be eliminated through player agency. Making the perfect accessory was satisfying.

A lot of the combat I did enjoy. The team finishers were great and really added a flair to normal battles that made it enjoyable. The changed TP system also lets you spam artes and spells to your heart's content without getting punished and it really makes normal battles feel much better.

I personally enjoyed the fast start to the Tales games and the amount of filler in this game seemed much less compared to other games. I'd rather have a leaner experience with less filler than a bloated one. There was only a couple of times in the story did it feel like real filler.

Big fan of the resource split of spells/healing spells. It adds an aspect of resource management and makes exploration and dungeons feel more dangerous.
Camp fires and fast travel points were great. Really made exploring the world easier and the interactions between Alphen and the rest of the crew were nice.
Avoidable mystic artes. I was tired of the bullshit of unavoidable and unstoppable enemy mystic artes that could do anywhere from 70% to 100% of your health.

Bosses. There's a good template here but they really need to look hard at what they want to emulate and the direction they want to go. Fighting big bosses and monsters felt more akin to an action RPG or monster hunter instead of feeling like a Tales games. You have to be a lot more pro-active in dodging and avoid locking yourself into long animations or you'll get punished and that just causes you to spam the spam short artes and skills over and over. Cores should be easier to break and the stun should last longer from them so there is some room for combo potential. Either that or allow the bosses to get stagger for an x amount of time so you can juggle combo them. They could even reduce the damage during a stagger or introduce combo scaling like a fighting game, they just need to do something because a lot of people do not enjoy the massive monsters that barely flinch from your attacks. Bosses need to be more than overlimit spam in the last half of their health bar.

Needs more customization and improvement of AI tactics. There needs to be a way to make your characters actively buff and there needs to be a way for you to force your AI party members to attack the same target as you. The AI just needs more presets on how to act because there is several times where Shionne or Rinwell will run into melee range of a boss and just eat every attack. A quick way to switch strategies or direct the AI.

I'd like more post game stuff personally even if the main story is a little shorter. I love exploring the world and how characters and places changed based on what happened in the main story.

While the title system is an improvement, it's still too obtuse for my liking. How much is increased weak damage, how much is increased BG gauage, how much is increased AG recovery. Give some hard numbers so the choices feel meaningful. You could even hide them behind an advanced tooltips option but I'd just like to know how much more I'm getting.

Introduce more of the systems earlier, specifically chaining and the arte ball. It's not going to kill anyone that wants to grind earlier or wants more artes earlier to have it available and it's not overly complicated.
Victory screens are gone but I'd like them to add more post-battle chatter. In general more lines for team finishers would also be appreciated, more variety in voicelines would help for people not getting annoyed at hearing the same things over and over.

Despite playing the entire game on Hard, never did I feel pressured to grind for long amounts of time to try to compensate for the increased difficulty. Given battles were longer and I went through lot of orange gels and life bottles to do so, but money was never an issue because I was actively selling monster mats and doing side quests to increase my gald. Given that I almost took every fight that I saw and chained battles whenever I could which could also explain my lack of needing to grind, I think I ran away less than 10 times. I was probably underleveled for the whole game until the post game and it never felt unwinnable. I only had to grind for a bit to get the achievement for being level 100 and filling out all the title trees.

Though I enjoyed the fast start, the Renan lords needed more character development and screentime. It doesn't hit as hard when you've only seen the main villains for 1-2 cutscenes and then suddenly you have to fight them. I think just a little more fleshing out their backstory and motivations would have made defeating them even better.

The enemy variety is bad. Boars, wolves, birds and berserkers. I'm not sure how many reskinned wolves I have to fight before it's too much but the lack of variety really hurt the otherwise competent combat system. Not to mention the big monsters are even worse, normal battles last 30 seconds to a minute but the bigger mobs can last well past two minutes and it's just an HP sponge. They need to really up the rewards on huge monsters to incentivize fighting them.
Field records should really have an easy way to search for materials for monster mats and ores. It was just guesswork for ore and scrolling through monster lists to find the correct thing I wanted

More fun skits please and less exposition skits after every cutscene.

I loved some of the overworld and town music but the battle themes didn't cut it for me. The sound mixing was extremely off in some of the cutscenes with instruments drowning out voiced dialogue.

I think the treatment of the women in the game could still be better. I think they really did a good job on Rinwell, but Kisara's outfit is still eye rolling (and reminds me of Velvet in Beseria) and it's disappointing they went for the cheap humour for the hot spring skits at the expense of all the women characters. I think they still lean too hard into the damsel in distress tropes and I wish it wasn't always a guy rushing to the rescue of a woman in dire need of comfort or help because of her troubled childhood or past.

I'd recommend it to any jRPG fan that doesn't mind anime cliches or stories. It's brought Tales into the modern era and I hope they can build upon it from here.

I’m very conflicted on this game. I absolutely loved parts of it, and rolled my eyes at others. Alphen is a fantastic main character, except when he gets all gaga over Shionne. She’s been a pain in the ass all game and he’s just being a boy puppy. Rinwell is incredibly racist, except then, she’s not. And then she is. And then not. I get conflicted feelings, but yeeeeeesh. Kisara is disgustingly likable. I loved her, more Kisara.

The story was super engaging, and then it went on. And on. And on. You think it’s over and SURPRISE it’s got another 10 hours. I however did like the themes of it, even if it got a little flowery at the end. And the skits were a major downgrade. I didn’t mind the presentation, but the content was mostly “hey, remember that thing we just saw in a cutscene? Let’s recap it or talk about it a little more.” I like my skits funny and irreverent.

The gameplay was pretty fun. I actually didn’t find it too engaging until I switched to Shionne, but then had a blast. You do earn a lot of cool abilities, but you see everything the game has to offer after 15 hours. The last 10-20 hours are the same enemies just with green skin instead of brown skin or purple spikes instead of red spikes, using the same abilities you’ve been using for 10 hours.

One unequivocally positive aspect of the game are the visuals. My goodness, is this a beautiful game. Downright striking.

Overall, it’s a gorgeous game that overstays its welcome. If it had been 8 hours shorter I would’ve been a very happy camper.