REVIEW : Tales of Arise (PS5)
Tales of is a saga that, in its 25 years of history, has made us enjoy a multitude of quality JRPGs with a very marked and particular style that, until now, has worked wonderfully. Its keys usually reside in some hilarious combat systems in real-time, casts of charismatic characters and a great development throughout the adventure, and a careful anime aesthetic. Of course, having so many installments, there are better and worse, but it is a series that has rarely gone down from notable, which has made it a sure value for fans of the genre.
The story they tell us is full of clichés, and you will not miss the amnesiac protagonist, the mysterious girl with powers with whom the hero ends up contracting a powerful bond, the evil empire with a gigantic army and very advanced technology that seeks to conquer and destroy everything, and so on. The script never manages to surprise me by the predictability of its twists, how it handles the most important revelations are somewhat unbalanced, and the depth or charisma of the villains is non-existent.
The design of the scenarios is quite linear. Still, they usually contain a good number of detours, secrets and hidden chests that invite you to investigate in-depth, something that is now a little more fun thanks to the verticality that the places that we will visit have gained and the possibility of jumping and swimming, although do not expect anything too revolutionary or elaborate in this sense. Unfortunately, we have missed the presence of puzzles a lot, something that would have been great in their dungeons, where we will only dedicate ourselves to advancing through corridors in which the main path is always very clear. At the same time, we fight and loot resources and treasures.
The best matches
But, without a doubt, the highlight of Tales of Arise is its combat system: simply impeccable. As we said before, the confrontations occur in real-time, although they do not take place on the same map that we explore, so they will transfer us to a battlefield when we initiate contact with any of the enemies we see during our travels.
The basis of the combats is very simple: a button to perform basic combos, another to jump, an additional one to dodge and defend, and three extras to assign techniques and spells that consume portions of a meter that regenerates at full speed, although as we advance in the story, we will unlock a second palette in which we can place three more.
Starting from this base, the study has created some hilarious and tremendously spectacular battles that are completely far from the button mashing that the series usually suffers from, since they will force us to perform combos with a certain head to maximize our damage, to read the patterns correctly attack of the enemies, to learn to dodge at the precise moment to be able to execute counterattacks and to use the appropriate elements in each occasion. The pace at which everything unfolds is quite high, and the display of graphic effects turns even the most basic fight into a great show, not to mention how satisfying everything is at the controls and how well they respond to the controls.
Finally, we cannot forget the Healing Points, a very good idea with which the number of times we can use arts to heal, resurrect or eliminate altered states is limited. Think of it as a global mana bar for the entire group consumed with each healing spell we perform and that we can only regenerate while resting or with objects. The interesting thing about common healing points for all of our characters is that it makes them considerably more limited than usual. That is, if we receive a lot of damage, we will end up melting them before we can finish a dungeon or during a boss, so the defense and the correct management of our economy to buy enough items that allow us to stay alive become a piece key to our strategy.
Continuing with his successes, it should be noted how brilliantly differentiated all the characters are, completely changing our way of playing depending on who we control since they all have unique styles and characteristics. In addition, we can pause the action at any time to give specific orders, reorganize our group, change the hero we manage or select different behavior settings for the allied AI. However, we have already warned you that this is quite clumsy. Dodging is not. He handles it too well, which can lead to very frustrating situations where our group does nothing to avoid the most obvious and devastating attacks.
A lovely JRPG
We have very good news regarding its graphic section, as the technological leap in quality compared to Tales of Berseria is gigantic. You can see that the budget for this delivery has been much higher than that of most of its predecessors, something that is very evident in its spectacular modeling and animations, in the scale that has been given to the world, in the number of effects that It gets to put on screen and in the brilliant video sequences generated with the engine itself, things that its overwhelming art direction also helps with a simply perfect character design and that exudes personality on all four sides.
The sound is not far behind either, thanks to a prodigious soundtrack composed by Motoi Sakuraba, who has wanted to give a very epic tone to the compositions with lots of choirs and a greater orchestral presence, obtaining fantastic results that have sometimes reminded us of his I work with the Dark Souls series. The effects are also quality, and the voices come to us with great performances in both English and Japanese.