We had the chance to encounter Tales of Arise back in June last year, and we have to admit that Bandai Namco’s next-gen J-RPG had an impact on us with its attractive plastic and clever combat system. If the already well-groomed sextet of fighters worked miracles, this time we could discover the first hours of the adventure, the story of the ultimate immersion in this universe between two plants that still holds many surprises. Good … how bad.
The editor had already paved the way for several months: Tales of Arise takes place in a decidedly asymmetrical world in which the Renans, winners of a preventive war of invasion three centuries ago, granted the residents of Dahna the right to slavery. What could be worse than being robbed of your freedom and the fruits of your labor, you will tell me? Alphen knows the answer: Our hero in the iron mask is the victim of a very evil curse in his time and cannot feel any pain. Between two unpaid working days he sees his family die one after the other and has to take the blow.
Fortunately, Alphen remains despite a whole J-RPG hero and therefore wants to be amnesiac to discover the underside of this colonial universe at the pace of progress. The prospect is not a cliché either, as they take it upon themselves to speak alone to explain their situation, a decidedly old-gen tropism if there is one. But as in the best stories, it is the unexpected arrival of a young lady who is absolutely not in need that gives her the hoped-for departure.
Thanks to the presence of Shionne, a Dahnan who automatically electrifies those who try to touch her. Neither one nor two, now Alphen is the only workhorse that can approach him, and her touch immediately evokes a force that fills all boxes of typical Japanese production, as a fire sword protrudes from his chest and connects a spherical core. We’re not even past hour.i the atmosphere and the theme make you want to discover the peculiarities of this new adventure, a shame to see how the rhythm becomes so superfluous through an endless sequence of dialogues, cutscenes and game phases that it quickly becomes very frustrating. After a long dialogue, take control, take a few steps and have to put the joystick down for a few minutes, this is a model we never want to see go away.
So here’s the perfect opportunity to make these two a complementary duo in combat, a blessing the developers cleverly use: Alphen takes care of the corps, Shionne takes care of the ranged combat. Ah, didn’t we tell you? She can also materialize the envy of her weapon. Practical because she no longer has to wear it during the (many) cutscenes at the beginning of the game. The introduction obliges the mechanics to come in a trickle this time and allow one to digest the many possibilities the game has to offer by accumulating basic attacks, artes on the front buttons and other evasive maneuvers based on the correct trigger that will ensure one against what feels good when done at the right time. The clearly visible CP indicator reminds you that you shouldn’t fire everything, as the latter only charges during the rest in the hostel or around the campfire and therefore certain strategic decisions have to be made directly, the same attack repeated indicator nausea
After a few hours of planning comes the cross-influenced boost, which triggers a combined and high-class attack with the partner of your choice that multiplies the damage we have been waiting for him all the more. You will understand: The possibilities are diverse and complement each other, especially since Tales of Arise has already promised us a coherent team with different capacities and we can hope to refine its technique again and again during the hundreds of disputes that have to be contested.
Fortunately, the game often leaves the choice to go its own way, balancing exploration and leveling yourself, a welcome freedom that even allows you to encounter some Zeugles, much more hairy creatures that you get thanks to their weakness Sometimes undo can highlight and a little bit of success. The release of teleportation points also allows for a quick retreat and once again smooths the progress, thereby avoiding unnecessary round trips, especially since the first missions have to systematically return to the camp before leaving. If only there weren’t those damn cutscenes that keep breaking the rhythm …
The visual aspect of Tales of Arise has already intrigued us, and it’s not this second test run that leads us to re-evaluate our judgment: the game benefits from an inspiring artistic direction and is powered by an engine that allows it to it doesn’t suffer from any jerking, at least on a pc. So yes, we can see the developers cheating by trying to hide certain elements with flames or dust, and the clipping is still quite noticeable, it doesn’t prevent: the adventure is visually delightful and the atmosphere where the dgage immersion is heavily involved. The progress is made all the more pleasant as the game seems to have left the old conventions of the genre aside and you can now run, jump, climb, and frolic in complete freedom. But above all, what a joy to enjoy such a divine soundtrack: From intimate moments to warlike attacks with lots of backing vocals and percussions, Tales of Arise once again confirms that his music also lives from finesse and remarkable precision . Quick, the sequel!
WE ARE EXPECTING IT … ALWAYS CALM
After a few hours of play, it is clear that Tales of Arise can pick up and carry on the torch of a series that tries to break away from many conventions. Very successful in its combat mechanics, its freer progress than ever before, its inspiring artistic direction and music that rolls on the floor with happiness, the adventure suffers in its beginnings from great rhythm problems that break a very nice dynamic. If Tales of Arise manages to better balance gameplay and narrative, members will need to carefully monitor the release, which is slated for September 10th on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series.