Main image
9th September
2021
written by Splash

Title: Tales of Arise テイルズ オブ アライズ
Platform: PC
Genre: Action RPG
Language: Japanese
Company: Bandai Namco
Summary: Took 5 years since Berseria to get to this.
Arise 100% in 70 hours, uhh I thought Xillia was the easiest to 100% but I’d say this wasn’t even half the effort D: Tales??
Story: uhhhhh I guess the main couple romance was fine for once. The story itself was mostly predictable, especially if you’ve played just about any other Tales game. Pffft. At least it was easier to consume for me than Zesty/Bers world where I tuned out about the concept of Seraphs right from the get-go. That was just not for me.
Characters: Dohalim stans unite. I played him about 70% of the time, Rinwell 29%, everyone else 1%. Alphen’s a cool guy, but I hated having him active in the party with all his self-damaging artes, so I benched him for pretty much the entire second half of the game. It was fun seeing him at 1HP at the end of battles even though he wasn’t in the active party.
Law was pretty funny with his “I think I will Overlimit every battle” hijinks, and Kisara was a close second at it.

I see a lot of people talking about “Rinwell racism this and that” “I hate ___ because of this and that” but I honestly don’t care to make the time about that kind of talk so I won’t go into it. It’s all just effing fiction in the end and what actually matters is what you do elsewhere with the knowledge you have.
Graphics: Obviously top-notch. I do miss a lot of the monster staples that are in the other game, mostly the Ota (I end up calling them Poliwags because I always forget their actual name lol), Axebeaks, etc. Was happy to see the Sword Dancer when it finally showed up (it’s definitely not nearly as hard as it is in other games though). Bosses becoming normal enemies later felt really lazy on dev’s part.

Also, the excessive special effects? Negative points for that. Another reason I can’t call this the best game in terms of graphics, and another reason why I can’t see myself playing this longer than I really need to for completion. Go easier on our eyes please, gdi. Really hope other future Tales doesn’t end up like this.

Skit system is definitely the most different… I miss the anime portraits. At least the 3d models for these characters for the most part look better than their anime renditions anyway??? Which just goes to show how ufotable animation just didn’t do it for me lol.
(I can’t wait for their Tales of the Rays versions though, where they’ll have proper anime cut-ins, victory poses, etc. Hnggg)
Sound: Motoi Sakuraba things. I could feel that the earlier tracks seemed to have more effort put into them than the later half, as the tracks gradually devolved into generic epic blah.

I had to laugh every time they played the remastered Vesperia track for almost every mid-boss type of fight, and I definitely heard the theme at least a good few dozen times during my 70 hours… as if the game was telling you every time that Tales hasn’t had a better boss fight theme since then… which I would agree with.
Gameplay: If I’m being SUPER honest with myself, I did enjoy the gameplay for the most part. When I really think about it, it’s just a sidegrade from Graces F for me. Main downsides:

-Not being able to stagger bosses or giant enemies in general, and thus not being able to juggle them mid-air and things like that, makes combo’ing mostly moot. I end up just spamming element weaknesses to get through fights with DPS, then dodging when necessary. blahblah that’s like any other action game.
-The Boost Attack system which felt really spammy–combined with point above, I felt like I was playing yet another action mobage with trigger buttons all the time
-No coop

Despite this, mages in this game are one of the best renditions in Tales, with CTR (cast time reduction), being able to walk while casting, Rinwell’s magic stockpiling capabilities, Rinwell having an aerial game if you wanted to do it, things like that.

I guess some people really hate having only a dodge mechanic and limited “guard” options? As dodging requires you to actually look at what’s going on and react in time–which sucks with the excessive special effects going on. Either way, being rewarded for perfect guard/dodge has always been fine with me… That’s about all I have to say about it for now.

Challenge-wise, the “hardest” part of the game for me was beating Ultimate Group training ground challenge in under 5 minutes… Had a bunch of various bad luck and got 5:05 multiple times, before I finally ended on a whopping 4:22 record. lol. The under 5 minutes condition isn’t even required for the Achievement, but I wanted to do it because I can. *edit* Later seeing there’s an Artifact that doubles damage given/received would’ve made this a LOT easier to do, but oh wells, can be done without.

Also, this is probably the first Tales game I beat on Hard right from the get-go (technically, started on Moderate but then bumped it up to Hard when it was starting to get too easy), whereas in other Tales game I would need to save it for NG+ because the grinds and suffering to make it through on that difficulty for a first playthrough weren’t worth my time. DLC is to thank for that, as I did use 2x CP, SP boosts and junk like that to save the grinding time. With boosts like that, I didn’t even need to touch the level-up boosts they provided. Also didn’t touch DLC herbs.

I laugh that training ground herbs are 1-hr time-gated. It’s actually a fair time-gate if you really cared about the herbs that much… I only started doing them post-game anyway, so I did them maybe 4 or 5 times each?
Replay Value: Uhhh I 100%’ed achievements in 70 hours, a bunch of QoL stuff that’s usually done in a NG+ or post-game is DLC locked… there’s barely any reason to do a NG+ in general… For casuals, this is mostly a good thing, because how many people are really gonna bother with a second playthrough? At the same time, it kills the longevity and overall value of the game. There isn’t even much of an ex-dungeon system to motivate anyone to play beyond the 100%, just for fun.
Overall: 8. If I really wanted to put all my Tales biases in I would say 8.5 but NO I WON’T… I CAN’T really rate this higher considering how QoL grade shop features that would be in other Tales games (ex: Exp multiplier, 99 items instead of 15), and certain character titles–and thus Artes/skill passives, are locked behind overpriced DLC. It’s a really scummy paywall for content that should be in the main game and HAS been in the main game for every other Tales. I can’t in the right mind tell anyone to support that kind of marketing.

It’s a solid Tales game in the end, but it’s not THE best Tales game in any aspect I look at it (even in graphics, as I actually do prefer the anime portrait skits that other games had and that’s a HUGE part of the experience).

Bottom line is, if you haven’t yet already, please play the other Tales games first like Vesperia Definitive Edition. You’ll ACTUALLY get everything from a single base purchase, and I would totally be interested in getting DEs of other games ported to other consoles, particularly Graces F and Xillia/2. This is what I recommended to a RL friend and would easily recommend to any other friend as well.

Well-done remakes of other games are welcome too Bamco ;O

Some tweets:
swimming with the pigs
Story done in Moderate/Hard in 60 hrs, doing most of the sidequests along the way
100% achievements in about 70 hrs

PC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.