Tales of Arise: we tried the new chapter of the well-known series of JRPG Bandai Namco

Tales of Arise: we tried the new chapter of the well-known series of JRPG Bandai Namco

Tales of Arise

Almost every big fan of JRPG knows the Tales of series, even if it is a brand quite outside the circle of "blockbusters made in Japan". More than fair: the saga counts among its chapters some truly excellent titles and for years it has represented a very interesting experimentation in the genre, thanks to a gameplay action that has been able to develop from year to year, sometimes reaching not indifferent peaks. br>
The element in which the Tales have never managed to make a significant step, unfortunately, has always been the technical one. Where older chapters defended themselves worthily when compared to the competition, the frequency of the more recent ones has led the graphic sector of the series to run aground dangerously, disfiguring in front of super productions perhaps even less inspired in all other aspects. Now, however, we could be facing the first real evolutionary leap of the saga in this sense, because Tales of Arise is truly splendid when compared to its predecessors, and has nothing to envy to much more noble titles.

Be careful though: after trying Tales of Arise for an hour we can confirm that it is appropriate to expect many improvements from Arise. Expecting a complete revolution, however, may not be a good idea.

Transition take me away

One of the first things, for example, that many expected from this new Tales, was the disappearance of transitions in battle. In fact, the first trailers seemed to indicate a videogame without arenas, or in any case equipped with the technology necessary to apply the limits of a battlefield directly to the world map. Perhaps the idea flashed in the heads of the developers, but in the end they opted for a return to the origins and, even if the monsters are visible in the map (which is not new in the series, mind you), when you approach them you are almost immediately transported to a circular three-dimensional arena as in the other chapters.

The arena seems more extensive than other Tales, yet curiously disappeared - at least in the demo we tested - the possibility of gaining advantages in battle by hitting enemies while exploring (or even starting at a disadvantage if touched by monsters suddenly). It is not a mechanic that we will particularly miss, for heaven's sake, only that its total absence is nothing short of curious.

Tales of Arise: Rinwell is a much more powerful sorceress than she gives to see Ours demo started in Elde Menancia, a verdant area of ​​the game world crammed with monsters. The final goal was to reach the capital, Viscint, on the main road, with doors unfortunately barred due to a large monster nearby. We then got to grips with anyone who was nearby, to familiarize ourselves with the game system and with the new characters, since the version we tested made available not only the four fighters already revealed, but also two new entries. : an armored and shield-wielding warrior named Kisara and a very agile healer named Dohalim.

Tales of Arise: two new characters, Kisara and Dohalim For the record: in battle, the basic mechanics are always the classic ones of the Tales. It is possible to perform variable combos with basic attacks and directional stick, whose primary functionality is to recharge action points that can then be used for the execution of the Artes, or the special powers of each character. The Artes can be activated in a classic way, by selecting them from a menu and pausing the fight, but there is also the possibility of assigning them to quick commands (for some strange reason in the demo limited to only three slots), and to use them in the in the middle of combos without wasting time.

The importance of technique

Here, however, the uniqueness begins, because Tales of Arise seems to push the accelerator even more on the action element, increasing the maneuvers and significantly making the combat spectacular. The basic attacks of the characters are in fact extremely fast, as well as their movements, and the dodges if performed at the last moment activate a slowing of the time that can be used to reposition or perform an immediate counterattack.

Not enough, each character is apparently equipped with unique skills, which significantly modify the gameplay when you decide to put yourself in control of him. The protagonist, Alphen, can, for example, load all of his Artes and use a powerful fiery sword to maximize damage, but doing so costs him life points and therefore forces to have a healer in a team who can counterbalance the risks. Shionne, on the other hand, can throw elemental grenades and detonate them early, to obtain enhanced effects on enemies; Rinwell can memorize spells by loading them and using them in series, and so on.

Tales of Arise: Alphen's flaming sword is not there for beauty It's a great combat system, exhilarating and beautiful to look at when you start ringing advanced maneuvers. Moreover, it is possible to use combined maneuvers with the various characters, and even call the two warriors left out of the main team to the field for attacks, for support maneuvers.

These combined assaults are called Boost Strikes and occur more frequently if enemies are weakened and the combo counter is particularly high, favoring even more a constant offensive approach. They even have unique effects (that of Dolahim, to say, limits the movement of enemies), so there is a strategic component in their use too and there is no need to abuse them at random.

Tales of Arise: the spectacularity is not lacking Speaking of this, it was difficult to analyze the difficulty of the game, as it was probably calibrated to offer a complete experience linked to the battles, but different from the progression of the complete work. If nothing else, however, during the fight with the mantis boss we had to regulate ourselves, making good use of the skills of the healers in order not to perish, and constantly repositioning ourselves to avoid the monster's charges and counterattack. In addition, there is a mechanic linked to the weak points of the most dangerous enemies, which can be exploited to weaken or stun them, even if the fixed central targeting makes it quite difficult to hit the desired point with the right maneuvers (even on rather large monstrosities).

Tales of Arise: Alphen and Shionne The real gem, however, remains the technical sector. The game maintains the mixed style between anime and oil painting that has always distinguished the saga, but this time the level of detail is enormously greater, and in particular the main characters are stylistically splendid. The maps, then, are rich in vegetation and offer a great glance. Consider that the impact is such as to make Arise look like a real triple A production with all the production values ​​of the case, and it is therefore a shame to still notice things like undubbed dialogues, or dry limitations to exploration in the various locations, but so much ' is. In general, however, we are undoubtedly facing one of the most curated and beautiful titles to see in the series.

There is no doubt that the productive values ​​underlying Tales of Arise are enormous when compared to the previous chapters , so it's a bit annoying to still see an almost morbid attachment to the limitations typical of the series in certain respects. That said, the combat system is fast-paced, spectacular, and deep, and the game graphically is head and shoulders above everything that preceded it. If the narrative has the right value, and the campaign is well structured, we could have the best exponent of the series on our hands, and that's not an understatement. Let's hope for the best.


Very remarkable and spectacular combat system Graphically enormous progress compared to its predecessors DOUBTS Narrative and campaign still to be evaluated Maybe a little too attached to its roots Have you noticed errors?

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