We revisit the conflict between Dhana and Rena in this new contact with Tales of Arise. This time around, we started a game from the beginning to discover some features not revealed to date.
My first encounter with Tales of Arise served to verify several of the most special characteristics of this new installment. The most important, which shows that Bandai namco is treating this game as a before and after within the Tales of saga. The visual presentation of the game is very attractive for new players, with well recreated scenarios and very successful animations; more engaging and dynamic fights and a story that aims to be one of the best in the franchise.
But still there were questions to be asked. This new contact, starting the adventure from the beginning, there is no doubt that it has solved a good part of them. It is strange because, after the abundant trailers we have had of Tales of Arise, to introduce Alphen, who practically all fans have already seen his face, as a man with no hidden past behind a iron Mask, enough mystery remains. And Alphen will throw a good part of the first bars with this mask, hiding his face.
It serves us at least, to verify that yes, indeed, the trope of amnesia is present as a way to later give us a surprise about who is our mysterious protagonist, who will start as a slave in one of the most sinister and arid regions of Dhana . But things are improving quickly; first, when we meet Shionne, who seems to have things clearer; and that if he does not reveal all his intentions, it is because he does not want to. The conflict will not take long to escalate to discover how do we get that strange fiery sword and what are the objectives of each protagonist.
I already mentioned it in the previous article: the story of Alphen and Shionne aims to be very evocative, with presumably romantic overtones and a great connection between protagonists. After all, Alphen is a man who cannot feel pain, and Shione a woman who hurts everyone who touches her. It is almost a kind of fairy tale worthy of the Lady Falcon, but in reverse, since here her curses interpenetrate. It would not have taken Arise to be so expository as for one of the characters to highlight this symbiosis between characters, but it is easy to forgive when the game does other things so well.
For starters, a welcome surprise: aside from the anime cutscenes and game engine cutscenes, a ton of extra scenes that are told in visual novel format; a series of animated vignettes reminiscent of a kind of manga in motion and very well posed. From what it seems, and in the absence of an official confirmation, it is possible that they are the famous skits by Tales of. Why do I say it is possible? Because they have always used 2D illustrations, while Arise uses the 3D models themselves in a similar way to the recent Scarlet Nexus. It will be the community who decides if they like the new or the old formula more, but, although in these cases the balance is always tipped to the traditional bet and 2D drawing, give these new scenes a chance, since 3D allows create more reactions in the characters and be more varied. In any case, they are much more abundant, appearing both in the main story, at the push of a button while we explore, and in the camps when resting.
In case you have not read me in the analysis of Scarlet Nexus, I repeat it: very in favor of this type of sequences, although they are more static. The video game and especially the RPG is a very complicated narrative beast to tame. Using exclusively cinematics is something that few games can afford, and those that do have to cut out less relevant scenes, but help to further develop the characters. This is the function that skits have always had within the saga and that the visual novel style greatly favors, due to the saving of resources: to help expand the story with traditional moments, delving into the manias, fears, nonsense and insecurities of the characters. It is to me that when instead of a weapon simply disappearing from the hands of its bearer, they try to explain how there is a vacuum technology that one people have and another does not and, as a result, reflect on how technology It is amoral, because you conquer me. And I think that recreating all this, which are still details, with the detailed animations that a cinematic requires is something that is still immeasurable.
Arise conquers you with an overwhelming character designAlso, it matters less when Arise conquers you with Such an overwhelming character design. Even the less relevant secondary looks good, but Shionne’s presentation is a scandal. Cel-shading is showing off lately and there’s no question that Bandai Namco is taking much of the blame. Good treatment of the fabrics also helps, not only in the design of the suits, but also in the achievements of their folds and frayed fabrics. And then, of course, the scenarios that thanks to the Unreal Engine 4 have been substantially improved. Even in the first area we explored, the arid region of Calaglia, Much less spectacular than the one I had seen in the previous test, the game is still attractive thanks to those vivid colors and almost watercolor textures.
That not everything is good, I know. The game still features somewhat archaic mechanics. It has the odd map that could have a more intricate design, too many loading times to enter the smallest of rooms (with its corresponding fade to black), and a dependency on navigation that urges using the minimap too much. And even so, he supplements it with charisma, a desire to know more and, of course, battles that will gradually take off until they discover their full potential.
Because, compared to the advanced game I played, you can tell that the beginning is going to cut down a lot of the combat options, like all JRPG. We will start with a lot of basic attack, a lot of repetitive action and it will be when we begin to unlock powerful arts, the power of the fire sword and the new calling skills to our team members, When everything will start to flow There are still some obtuse points that, for those who have not approached a game in the series before, can confuse; But, broadly speaking, this is a Tales of for both veterans and new players.
Tales of Arise is going to establish itself as a good JRPGThere is still much to discover, but we leave it for the final version of this Arise that has me more and more trapped each time. The moments in the camp manage to enhance the feeling of travel and move away from being a mere resting point, not only thanks to the ability to Cook and improve defense or attack states, for example; but to give rise to situations where to share stories by the fire and get to know the members of the group more. The missions and secondary conversations, in addition, although they do not seem to seek anything revolutionary, at least they do seek to address the situation between these two planets, delving into the consequences of Rena’s invasion of Dhana during the last 300 years.
September is definitely going to be one of the busiest months of the year, but we’d do well to flag Tales of Arise in the red. From what I have already seen, it is going to establish itself as a good JRPG, but I think it also has the opportunity to rise even more, if it manages to treat its subjects well and the relationship between Alphen and Shionne. We will find out soon.