Composer: Motoi Sakuraba
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Developers: BANDAI NAMCO, BANDAI NAMCO Studios
Publishers: BANDAI NAMCO, Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
In the world of videogames, when a game or franchise gets updated in one way or another, it can be a time to rejoice or criticize. Sometimes liberties are taken where the original nostalgic gameplay is no longer there, like what happened with the Sonic The Hedgehog 3D games (except Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, which are classics).
Other times, they are done right like when there’s an HD remaster (Final Fantasy X), bonus content or versions (Kingdom Hearts Final Mix). The newest entry to the Tales Of JRPG series isn’t a previous game, but a brand new one that is going graphically where the other entries haven’t before. To me, this is the nicest and most detailed looking Tales game yet. Even though the demo only took me around an hour to complete, the experience was enjoyable and took me by surprise.
I haven’t streamed on Twitch in quite a while, so I decided to go through the entire demo while my family was asleep and I had some quiet time. It went well and a few people jumped on to give tips or say hi, which is always great! Once the game started, I expected to get hit with the typical 30 minute introduction to the world, characters and overarching story. Well, that didn’t happen, so once you choose one of six characters to play as the game starts right away in a grassy area full of enemies.
Choosing a character only makes a difference when you finish the demo, as you get a different short scene of some backstory. It helps for replay value but I won’t be playing through this one five more times, so I will wait till I get the demo.
The battles were a little easy, but that’s because I didn’t increase the difficulty which you can do before you begin. You can either attack, use special moves, or unleash at a certain moment a strike which is a dual attack with two characters. I liked how modern the graphics were, as this is a vast improvement to prior Tales Of games. There are character skits that show the party talking about various topics, some funny, others serious, or some just to get to know them more or develop relationships. That’s one of my favorite aspects of these games, because you get to know the characters so well it’s as if you met them in real life.
The environment was detailed as well as the characters were, and the voice overs sounded professional and well done. Shionne reminded me of Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII but maybe she changes later on, while the male hero Alphen had a cool attitude that I liked. Both complimented each other, but I haven’t seen enough of the other characters to give my opinion.
If you enjoy JRPGs or want to try them, I recommend this one as it doesn’t seem too in depth to confuse newcomers. The Tales Of series is similar to Final Fantasy, where they are each their own unique story unless they are direct sequels (Xillia 1 + 2, Tales Of Symphonia).
Give the demo a try and let me know in the comments what you thought!