Tales of Arise DEALS
Tales of Arise is a project that carries on its shoulders the heavy responsibility of erasing the memory of recent productions related to Tales of series. A role-playing game with real-time combat that during the generation between PS3 and PS4 has been carried forward through a technical framework not up to par with its noble lineage.
Although the last few chapters offered gameplay in line with expectations and a cast of protagonists all in all memorable, they paid the price of production times and budget constraints that affected their more properly technical profile, debasing some of the good work expressed on the artistic front. On the other hand, it is fair to remember that all the episodes that arrived on PlayStation 4 were nothing more than porting video games initially proposed to the Japanese PlayStation 3.
The weariness of the series had made itself felt when immediately after the launch of Tales of Zestiriathe historical creator of the series, Hideo Baba, left the offices of Bandai Namco and ended up temporarily entrusting the fate of the franchise to the more than competent Yasuhiro Fukaya. This key face allowed the birth of the recent (and much appreciated) Tales of Berseria.
The story of Tales of Arise revolves around the epic of Alphen and Shionne, two protagonists who, despite coming from different and contrasting worlds, conclude that the only way to carry on their battle against the system is to join forces.
Immersed in a fantasy world full of mysteries and dominated by injustices, the two are soon joined and finally joined by a colorful group of adventurers who share their ideas, despite coming from very different backgrounds who find a way to be dissected in detail during their path.
While integrating most of the themes and cliches of the narrative genre of this production line, it manages to provide much food for thought on topics that initially seem to be introduced only as aesthetic tinsel, for an adventure with a merely epic inspiration.
The conflict between the civilizations of Dahna and Rena stages unexpected situations, always bringing different themes to the discussion table and proposed in an extremely intriguing way. The values of the protagonists, on the other hand, are often re-discussed in the face of the experiences they end up living, and these bear on the skin the signs of events that can only change them. The idea of slavery initially painted in the most basic way possible through labor camps and imprisonment is then reworked from different points of view, even extremely curious ones.
Is it better to survive without affecting the status quo or to risk one’s own life and that of others in an attempt to spark the revolution? What if, on the other hand, we realize that we are slaves to an ideal? How far is it possible to go to achieve it? How much are you willing to sacrifice in the process? Is it possible to bridge the gap between civilizations that have conflicted for centuries with decisive action? And what will be the future of a revolted society?
These are reflections to which it is possible to answer only with the continuation of the adventure and to which the protagonists themselves often find divergent answers. In reality, in the shadow of a classic story with clear, exquisitely adolescent power fantasy hues, and in which it is easy to recognize all the typical stereotypes of the Japanese animation so dear to the series, some hidden details and elements allow us to glimpse almost unexpected traits of maturity.
In some ways, it could be said that the tone of the story of Tales of Arise is generally more mature than the recent installments in the series. Still, the reality is that it manages to maintain a good balance between the main narrative and lighter interludes. And to make an effort in terms of screenplay even more appreciable, the rhythm of the narration helps, which for once does most of its task without being marred by dead times or weaker minor narrative arcs.
There is so much to discover in the Tales of Arise universe, including collectibles, unlockable aesthetic elements, ingredients to collect, and chests to find. Still, of course, we could not talk about an episode of Tales of without mentioning the combat system, a true flower flagship of the Bandai Namco saga.
In Arise, players who encounter enemies visible on the map are transported to an arena and are asked to become familiar with several completely new mechanics for the series. On the one hand, healing techniques have been extremely limited, delegating their use to the exhaustion of an indicator in common to all the characters or the healing mentioned above.
On the other hand, the offensive techniques include not only a certain degree of familiarity and quick reflexes but also a strategic use of the unique abilities of the protagonists, all of which can be easily “exchanged” at any time between the heroes on the bench and the four engaged in combat.
This is a revolution never seen before in the series, but one that harks back somehow to the mechanics that rewarded the most virtuous players in the battles of Tales of Graces for PlayStation 3. It is possible to lash out at enemies with a limited number of offensive attacks entrusted to the right backbone, while the adjacent trigger is responsible for evasive maneuvers. It is possible to jump and jump into aerial combos from the beginning of the adventure, but most of the most useful techniques for combos (the classic “arts” of the series) can only be learned later.
Chaining a series of battles at short distances, or simply raising the difficulty level from the options menu, also allows you to bet on your skill to be rewarded with a greater number of experience points and rare materials to be used to develop new weapons and accessories.
The skill points received at the end of the fight, on the other hand, can be invested in skill trees that can be expanded through “titles.” These are unlocked by continuing the adventure and completing secondary missions (well indicated on the screen) or by dedicating yourself to extra activities such as cooking and fishing.
Unlocking them all, and with them, the related combat techniques turn out to be an additional secondary mission, which without requiring the use of guides, still makes it very clear to the player how to move and what to do to continue evolving your party. in the run-up to the coveted level 100 (and attached trophy).
Tales of has never been so beautiful and satisfying to look at, beyond the always appreciable animated sequences created by the studio. Ufotable animation ( Demon Slayer, Fate / Zero ). Despite some easily noticeable technical flaws, such as the notorious phenomenon of pop-up graphics and NPCs already reported in the playable demo made available on the PlayStation and Xbox stores, the world of Dahna and its inhabitants move in detailed and fascinating environments.
The decision to entrust character design and art direction to a single person (previously, different people who did it) allowed the latest Bandai Namco effort to enjoy greater stylistic coherence between characters and settings, including the many NPCs who live in that world.
Tales of Arise is a JRPG filled with content, side activities, unlockable costumes, and assorted extras. There is so much to do and get lost in, even after the adventure is complete when the game surprises with further challenges and a New Game+ to be stripped off (with welcome returns attached).
If the Tales of series has always intrigued you, this is the time to dive headlong into it, no matter what game platform you have available. If this is the new course of the Bandai Namco series, we can only look to the future with some optimism.
Tales of Arise
An unmissable title for fans of the series and an excellent starting point for newbies: Tales of Arise is a JRPG that combines tradition and modernity, offering interesting insights even to the most mature players.
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