Hello readers! I am back with YET ANOTHER JRPG review – that’s right! I am fully back on my bullhickey and writing about (fanboying over) JRPGs with the newest entry in the Tales of Franchise: Tales of Arise
I am a long time fan of the Tales of series, I have bought every game since the Gamecube as well as all the various remasters and special editions that have come since – my favourite of these being the Collectors edition of the Tales of Symphonia remaster that came out way back when on the PS3.
So it was with the greatest of pleasures that I was asked to review the newest title in the series: Tales of Arise.
Now, being the fan that I am I should preface this review by saying that I had it on preorder ever since the reveal trailer dropped and did not consume any other media surrounding this title because I knew I was going to get it and wanted to go in blind, which I am so glad I did because every story beat hit perfectly and made me feel good.
Which brings me nicely to my first point, the story. MAN OH MAN I am so well invested in this story. You take control of a classic “amnesiac JRPG protagonist” known only as Iron Mask. You have been a slave as long as you can remember (1 year) but everything goes wrong one day when you accidentally fall in with a group of rebels as well as a “Renan”, the race of invaders who have been keeping you and your people as slaves. I wont dive much more into the story from here because some of the story points that come very thick and fast filled me with so much hype that made me fall in love with JRPG’s all over again.
The voice acting for all these story scenes is absolutely fantastic with Ray Chase bringing some of his best work at voicing the protagonist, what got me in the gratitude this time around is that I haven’t yet found anyone’s voice really grating – which is an issue that I have with a LOT of JRPG games of the past – please stop with the really high pitched characters JRPGs just stop.
The classic Tales combat makes a triumphant return in Tales of Arise – in that it’s more action RPG than it is menu based JRPG – whilst you will encounter all the usual enemy types in the field, you are never tasked with just selecting Attack in turns. In place of menus you will hit R1 to use basic attacks whilst the Face buttons are used to cast Iron Mask and friends various abilities. On top of this you can use the D-PAD on occasion to call in your teammates to fire off big attacks that can down enemies for critical hits.
Alongside all this you will wield the “Blazing Sword” throughout the game, in combat this means that you can charge the majority of your abilities up in order to sacrifice some health and cast a huge fire based attack on an area of enemies – this really adds to the risk vs reward of all combat encounters and adds a hell of a lot of fun.
The game is kind of what you would expect from a visual standpoint now, allies are all spikey haired JRPGs character types we know and love from the genre but the overall world is stunning to look at. There is an icy mountainous area around about 5 hours into the game that is just beautiful and I spent so much time in this area trying not to leave and staring at the world.
I know a lot of readers here are not necessarily into JRPG’s but that a lot of you found lots to love with recent Final Fantasy titles, so if you have even a small amount of love of this type of game it becomes very very easy to recommend Tales of Arise to even the most casual JRPG fan.
I have had an absolute blast with Tales of Arise. With revamped combat, excellent voice acting and a fantastic story I have found very little wrong with this game – so with this in mind I award Tales of Arise a