Tales of Arise | Preview

Tales of Arise | Preview

Tales of Arise is the new chapter of the famous JRPG saga that now has sixteen chapters in its ranks released in the past twenty-five years. A series that, like more famous exponents in the West such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, has always been a staple for the genre, expanding over the course of over two decades through spin-offs of various kinds and the inevitable mobile productions, much loved. in Japan.

Tales of Arise, however, does not simply want to play the role of the new chapter of an undoubtedly long-lived series, as much as it wants to break with a past made up of technical backwardness that does not marry with the demands of the current audience. The last chapter, Tales of Berseria, was in fact released in 2016 only in Japan and was characterized by the peculiarity of being released for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. A decision that, net of the excellent qualities of the title, clearly showed how much the series needed an almost total technical restyle, if it wanted to maintain the objectives it has always set itself.

The Tales series, in fact, has always proposed dynamic JRPGs, with fights in real time, with a distinctly Japanese artistic sector and characterized by the peculiarity of wanting to be interactive anime. A series of objectives that do not go well with a subdued technical sector compared to what is currently offered on the market. For this reason Tales Of Arise is proposed as a turning point for the series. A chapter designed to do justice to the offer proposed by Bandai Namco through a production that, in addition to being technically in step with the times, is also localized in practically all languages ​​in order to be enjoyed by fans from all over the globe.

Tales of Arise was announced in 2019 but, by virtue of the desire to make it as current as possible, the recent pandemic and the arrival of the new generation consoles last autumn, Bandai Namco has decided to postpone the exit to refine the technical sector. An additional period of time that allowed developers to optimize Tales of Arise for next-generation consoles, where the game will support 60fps and 4K resolution through a dedicated performance mode. We have had the opportunity to try a small extract in recent days, just to test the renewed technical sector, the combat system and the localization in Italian.

The demo of Tales of Arise we tried was actually very short: a very small area of ​​the vast game map in which to test the combat system first on some standard enemies and finally on a boss. The visual impact was undoubtedly remarkable with cell-shaded graphics rich in detail and which constantly returned the feeling of moving within a Japanese anime.

The decidedly summary animations during the dialogues with the various NPCs who populated the area are less interesting. Seeing a few movements accompanying the numerous lines of dialogue clashes with the plethora of animated elements that populate the maps, but this is a minor detail that we assume is the result of a stylistic heritage that has always distinguished the genre.

On the other hand, the Italian localization was excellent and, in the short test we carried out, it turned out to be free of imperfections or too marked licenses. What surprised us, however, was the fluidity of the entire game system of Tales of Arise which, despite having tested it in streaming, proved to be stable and without drops of any kind. We are undoubtedly curious to see if it will remain so for the duration of the adventure.

Turning instead to the highlight of our test of Tales of Arise, we can only be satisfied with the combat system set up by Bandai Namco. Fast, dynamic, frenetic and with a very strong strategic component that fits perfectly with the canons of the series. The party is made up of six characters, all controllable during battles and all with a large range of skills. Going in order, each character will have a basic attack (associated with the bumper on the right) with which he can ring simple combos to continue inflicting damage while the skills will load. The front buttons will work to manage three of the many skills available for each character, each of which will have an aerial variant that can be performed in jump.

If this already gives life to a full-bodied combo system, you can also call combined attacks with each of the party members (simply by pressing one of the two triggers and selecting the chosen teammate) as well as allowing these last to support us with one of their skills during the clashes. Finally we find a manual target system that allows you to focus the attacks of the various characters on a specific enemy or on a part of the body of the largest creatures.

All these mechanics combined together proved to be satisfying and colorful, even if we noticed a slight inaccuracy in the system for exchanging the characters that can be controlled by the player, as well as an excessive cumbersome in using objects in situations more excited. Undoubtedly, however, the system works and has fun, revealing itself to be strategic and frenetic at the right point.

In our test of Tale of Arise we were able to face the various creatures that lined the main roads in total freedom, also discovering how limestone these the latter allows you to avoid random encounters with enemies, leaving the farming phases totally in the hands of the player. Where, however, the combat system has really shown its full potential is in the boss fight that we were able to face. A creature with several weak points to focus on in order to launch the right offensives with the correct characters trying to often switch from one party member to another to take advantage of attacks on medium and short distance, in addition to the different abilities, to be able to overwhelm quickly the fate of the battle in our favor.

Unfortunately our proof of Tale of Arise stopped at what we told you. A short sequence to observe the game world, a handful of dialogues and a series of fights, to tell the truth quite simple with the exception of the boss fight, with which to test the changes to the combat system. A small appetizer that, however, made us want to eat the whole meal, hoping that the quality levels show up to now they will remain so even in the final version of the game which, we remind you, is due out on 10 September 2021.

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