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Favourite Tales of Game??

bobjr

You ask too many questions
Staff member
Moderator
Too bad only Europe gets the special Hootle version of Arise.
 

GrizzlyB

Confused and Dazed
Yuri leaves initially because he was chasing after the aque core blastia thief pretending to be Rita, and this more or less leads him to help Estelle out, whose shelterness left her very desperate for aid and was very lucky that the one man she asked for help was related to Flynn (and her telling this to Yuri adds another reason for Yuri to go out into the world to ensure Flynn is safe, even though he denies it at times). This little wish leads to Yuri's dislike for the empire uncover a much darker plot that he tries to keep Flynn away from and enjoying Estelle's company, and Estelle learning that her shelterness had a very ulterior motive that ended up taking the curious Rita for the ride because Estelle can use artes without needing the bodhi blastia she carries around for show and Rita wished to learn why that was like that.

Karol is pretty much the utility member because of his indirect knowledge he got from all the guilds that threw him out. The whole journey is his personal character growth, though it doesn't do much for the story itself other than one act of badassery.

Judith tags along because of Estelle's secret putting the world in peril and confusing her when Ba'ul was drawn to her instead of the Hermes Blastia that Judith has been destroying around as the Dragon Freak, which makes her wonder if she should continue doing what she's been tasked to do by higher powers and in the way helps her grow in her hasty decisions without telling the group.

Raven has a HELL number of reasons to be with the group that I wouldn't be able to summarize because he happened to have a lot going for that got much more expanded in the Empty Mask manga.

Repede is the team pet but that's it.

Patty is sadly the one without much because she herself recovers from her amnesia halfway through the story but purposely puts her issues for another time because the group is too busy saving the world to mind her issues until she has to confront them near the end and she's mostly there for cutscenes to add a little more of flavor. Despite the fact she has ties with the big bad, Alexei doesn't even acknowledge her presence at all.

Flynn, well, the poor guy suffered oh-so much because Yuri wasn't around to reel him in, just as Yuri suffered from not having Flynn around during his darkest moments.

I wouldn't say the characters are hollow other than Repede and maybe Karol and Patty.

...The real problem is Part 3, though. It basically becomes the Estelle & Rita Show because those two are the ones doing the hard work, with some Yuri, Karol, and Patty bits by the base.
I just mean, as far as the characters joining the journey, I think most of them are plot-shaped contrivances. In Yuri's case, he's dissatisfied with the empire and how the lower quarter is treated, but he's still been farting around there for years, and at the first opportunity to leave, he's willing to chase a thief halfway around the world. It just seems like a such a slight impetus, and if that were really all it took, he shoulda been gone years ago. In Estelle's case, she's worried about Flynn, yes, but why does she have to chase him across creation just to tell him in person? Not to mention that subplot barely goes anywhere. Karol's issue, I think, is that he just sort of sticks to the group without any particular reason, even before he's fired from the Hunting Blades. I like his arc overall, but it is kind of high concept, where most of his motivation comes from the intrinsic idea that guilds are good, and he needs to be in one. I think my issue with Rita is that she doesn't give any reason why she wants to come with the group. She noticed that about Estelle, yes, but she kind of just unilaterally declares that she's going with them, even though Yuri still isn't fully convinced she's not the thief. Raven has multiple reasons to stick with them, of course. But the issue is that they LET him, even though they're openly displeased and/or distrustful. (Admittedly, I don't know what the Empty Mask manga is, either.) I still think Judith is flimsy -- though she'll say much later that she noticed that about Estelle in Heliord, it's not like she approached the group before she met Yuri face-to-face, so it's still not apparent to me why she didn't just continue doing what she was doing instead. Heck, the group basically nabs her when they're fleeing Dahngrest, even though they barely know her.

I do think a lot of this goes away in act 2, when they form the guild, but it just seems to me like they had trouble actually getting to that point. Kinda goes hand-in-hand with the common complaint of the first section of the game feeling like an extremely drawn-out prologue. Still, I think it feels a lot like they're just forcing each member into the party ASAP, and figuring out their role later. It's commonplace in older JRPGs for sure, and born out of practicality (like I said, it WAS pretty annoying to have Patty pop in and out several times), but it's noticeable, and something I think most stories try to avoid if they can.

And I like Repede. I feel like a lot of games, and especially the more recent Tales, err on the side of having a smaller cast so that they can give each member a more fleshed-out story. Repede ducks out of needing a big story arc because he's a dog, but gameplay-wise, he fills a pretty unique niche, and is different to play as. So, he lets you have more characters and diversifies the gameplay, without the need for the creators to develop and integrate a whole new character into the story.
Too bad only Europe gets the special Hootle version of Arise.
I wonder if it's $200 there, too? I've bought the last few special editions, but I had to pass on this one. Presumably, so did a lot of other people, because it looks like it's still available to pre-order.
 

bobjr

You ask too many questions
Staff member
Moderator
I have only bought like 2 Special Versions of a game ever, but Hootle would convince me.
 

AuraChannelerChris

"Tis an honor to be recognized."
I just mean, as far as the characters joining the journey, I think most of them are plot-shaped contrivances. In Yuri's case, he's dissatisfied with the empire and how the lower quarter is treated, but he's still been farting around there for years, and at the first opportunity to leave, he's willing to chase a thief halfway around the world. It just seems like a such a slight impetus, and if that were really all it took, he shoulda been gone years ago.
But there wasn't a good reason, because otherwise he liked living in the lower quarter to keep it safe and running due to the knights barely doing anything for the poor. The moment his home was threatened with a flood, he had to chase the thief in order to help his home. Yuri's whole character is that, while he's not a fan of the empire, he is very nice to people in need of help, especially his friends he considers family.
In Estelle's case, she's worried about Flynn, yes, but why does she have to chase him across creation just to tell him in person? Not to mention that subplot barely goes anywhere.
She was being blocked by authorities and his whereabouts were unknown. It doesn't help he really likes moving around and doesn't remain in one place alone, hence why she wanted to do it herself.
Karol's issue, I think, is that he just sort of sticks to the group without any particular reason, even before he's fired from the Hunting Blades. I like his arc overall, but it is kind of high concept, where most of his motivation comes from the intrinsic idea that guilds are good, and he needs to be in one.
At least he learned the guilds he was with were very stuck-up with people with massive personal issues.
I think my issue with Rita is that she doesn't give any reason why she wants to come with the group. She noticed that about Estelle, yes, but she kind of just unilaterally declares that she's going with them, even though Yuri still isn't fully convinced she's not the thief.
This causes Rita to grow as a person, because otherwise she'd be the freak who thinks blastia are people.
Raven has multiple reasons to stick with them, of course. But the issue is that they LET him, even though they're openly displeased and/or distrustful. (Admittedly, I don't know what the Empty Mask manga is, either.)
He stubbornly sticks with them by orders from the Don, though things are far more complicated than that that the manga reveals.
I still think Judith is flimsy -- though she'll say much later that she noticed that about Estelle in Heliord, it's not like she approached the group before she met Yuri face-to-face, so it's still not apparent to me why she didn't just continue doing what she was doing instead. Heck, the group basically nabs her when they're fleeing Dahngrest, even though they barely know her.
Judith is meant to be socially awkward with people, even if she comes across as a tease. When Yuri indirectly roped himself into her assault on Ghasfarost, she kind of saw a chance to let him let her stick with them since Estelle was among them.
I do think a lot of this goes away in act 2.
Act 2 is the best part of the game, though.
 

AuraChannelerChris

"Tis an honor to be recognized."
The ugly Rappig is called Saphir.

Yup, that sounded like Christine Marie Cabanos, not Cristina Vee (and I just realized their names sound very similar).
 

bobjr

You ask too many questions
Staff member
Moderator
Based on a new interview they apparently say the game's length is around Berseria's, which sounds good to me - I'd rather a 40 hour game that's mostly free of fluff than an 80 hour game that overstays its welcome.
 

GrizzlyB

Confused and Dazed
So, I did end up replaying Berseria. I thought I'd finish it too long before Arise's release and leave a gap between them, but I decided to try and fill in the equipment book, and MAN does that take forever. So, I'm not quite done yet with that and the platinum. "Fortunately", Best Buy apparently doesn't understand the purpose of a pre-order (insert the Seinfeld bit about being able to take reservations, but not being able to hold them), so I won't have that until tomorrow morning "at the latest"... which sounds like a pleasant lie, but we'll see. So I might finish my Berseria run yet. I'm blaming Best Buy for now, but I wonder if Namco isn't having issues, since most of their pre-order options were digital-only, with like $40 of frivilous DLC included, and I'm seeing other people not getting their physical copies that they pre-ordered (but isn't that always the case?).

Anyway, on Berseria, it was more up-and-down than I'd remembered it. It's got one of the best stories of any Tales, for sure, and a lot better than most video games in general. I liked the way they attached NPC characters to the party (like Dyle and the pirate crew), who kind of stuck with them throughout all of the game's developments, and I noticed that they used a lot of mandatory skits to fill out between cutscenes, which goes a ways in avoiding the barebones feeling Zestiria had, for example. So I hope Arise is keeping these positive story elements.

On the other hand, while the combat isn't bad, it's probably my least favorite going back to Legendia. Velvet is way overpowered, even on Chaos, and even with the other characters, it's pretty easy to manipulate the many combat mechanics once you know what they are (though there was a considerable difficulty spike in the back half of the optional dungeon, at least for me. So it is possible to balance it). And even without a good understanding, I feel it's noticeably button-mashy, where you'll often have more success attacking with random impunity over trying to deliberately build combos.

And I wish they hadn't gotten rid of the discoveries. They were fun little bits of world-building hidden behind optional collectibles. The scout ship was okay (I like mechanics like that), but I strongly preferred Zestiria's skills. And while Berseria's equipment system is miles ahead of Zestiria's awful one, I'm still not a fan -- the random skills can really swing an equipment's effectiveness, and you have essentially no control over them, and enhancing is so prohibitively expensive that you can't realistically do much of it until you finish the optional dungeon to get double dismantle materials, and maybe even NG+ to mitigate the enormous gald requirements.

Anyway, I really want to be playing Arise right now, BUT I CAN'T SO I'M PISSED AT SOMEBODY AND I DON'T KNOW WHO. No spoils plz
 

GrizzlyB

Confused and Dazed
So, I platinumed Arise. How do y'all feel about it? I thought the gameplay was decent, yet distinctly different from other Tales (way more different than the Graces transition was), but I also felt Tales' RPG/fighting blend was unique, whereas you can find action RPGs like this aplenty elsewhere, so it's overall a disappointing move for me. The story... woof. It's funny that the game largely ditched the anime aesthetic, but went with maybe the most anime-cliched story I've ever seen (ditching several Tales staples in the process). Safe to say I think it's the worst story out of all the Tales I've played, including the awful sequel stories in Dawn of the New World and Xillia 2. A big disappointment after Berseria was so strong, story-wise. I also really liked the CP and cooking systems -- one thing that's really gone out of vogue in RPGs is needing inns to heal, especially in Tales (Zestiria made an attempt, but Berseria for example had absolutely zero need for them), so I like the effort to reincorporate them, as well as adding some story/bonding elements to the campsites... though I definitely could have done without the flashing DLC advertisements on all of them.

So, some ups, but a lot of downs, is how I come down on Arise. It seems to be pretty well-received so far, but I think it's my least favorite of all the mothership titles I've played, and is down there with the sequel games in overall quality. It feels way more like a Kingdom Hearts game than a Tales game to me.
 

Hydrohs

安らかに眠ります、岩田さん。
Staff member
Super Mod
I pretty much agree with you, though I wouldn't say the story was the worst of all the Tales I've played, it wasn't outstanding and the ending was pretty forced in my opinion.

But I like the characters, I thought they played off each other well. I liked the weapon forging system, much better than the last couple games and yeah the inns and cooking was a nice addition. The battle system was fun even though I'm still god awful at it, very flashy. Big complaint is that the targeting system is messed up, and there's absolutely no way (that I could ever figure out) to control what your AI companions target.
 
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PoDiRancher

Well-Known Member
Symphonia. I've played a few others, but none really clicked with me like Symphonia did. It's a great game, especially for its time.
 
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