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The Tales games are beginning to surpass Final Fantasy as my fave RPG series
This game is one of several entries into the series of games known as the Tales series. A group of games that are RPGs and feature some of the same quirks such as action based combat, little skits that play out between the characters and an anime look to them. This one adds a couple of new features that make combat a bit different, but overall it has the feel of a Tales game. Though, this one did not surpass my favorite Tales game, Abyss. This one was on par with Symphonia and Vespiria, however. I generally give the Tales games a nine score though, so there really is not all that much separating them. Why a nine you ask? Well, the combat is not really my favorite format for a role playing game as I prefer turn based and miss that format terribly. There just are not many turn based role playing games being released as they are either like the Tales series and action based or that god awful hybrid where it is not quite action based and not quite turn based. The type that first really showed up in those online role playing games. I prefer turn mainly because I like that strategies one can do and the fact that so often in role playing games like this one, it is just so hard to use an item or get characters to do what you want and all too often, the strategy that works best is just free swinging. Still, what makes the Tales series fun are the story and the characters and in that regard they never disappoint.
The story has a couple of friends Sorey and Mikleo exploring ruins from the start. They find a girl present within the ruins and it is then that you learn that Mikleo is not a human, but something called a Seraphim. Kind of like an angel. Sorey lives in a town full of these beings as they are the ones who raised him. He soon learns that outside his village there is a dark force at play and he soon departs to learn what he can do. He soon takes up the mantle of Shepard, a person who can communicate with Seraphim and purify those who become corrupted by malevolence. He soon meets more Seraphim and begins a quest to rid the world of malevolence, but he quickly runs afoul of a being called Heldarf who is behind the age of chaos that the world is now plunged in!
The game play is typical for a tales game, though this one seems rather small in scope compared to say, Abyss where you traversed oceans and a strange underground world during your quest. Here, there is no world map so it is an interconnected world and while it looks good, it is rather small in size. Xenoblade used a world such as this too, and that game dwarfs this one big time! Still, it is fun and the combat a little different as the Seraphim can fuse with the main character and later a girl named Rose to really pack a wallop! Oftentimes, I would simply fuse with Mikleo and take out the entire board of enemies with his bow!
So why is this series starting to supplant FF? Well, Final Fantasy still has like four games I rank a perfect 10 rating, which the Tales series has yet to do. However, the last FF I did that for was like part X which was released in the U.S. in like 2001! Since then, they have not even put out a game I have given an 8 too, with the exception of part X-2 which was pretty good, but just a nostalgia thing. FF has given us a whopping two unnecessary online RPG games, I say unnecessary because I don't think they should have been part of the series and should be called FF online. They have also given us the bloated and bland FF XII which may as well have been another online game because it plays like one without the stupid names like, Rock564 or something and part XIII which was all graphics and little substance and astonishingly two sequels to it, though none were really wanted. During this same time there have been a whole lot of Tales games, each with a unique story to tell like Final Fantasy used to do. Now they are stuck using the same kingdom and terminology in every game it seems. So, thankfully the Tales series of games has filled the void of not having a good FF game every year like we did from 1997 to 2001 with the only year without one being 1998 and then they gave us Xenogears!
So, this was another great Tales game that I played on the PS4, though it also was released on the PS3. The next game has already been announced and it is going to be pretty much just a PS4 game so I am interested to see how that one plays out. I still also need to play Tales of Graces F, Tales of Xillia and Xillia 2 so perhaps one of them is better than my current favorite, Abyss. This one just needed a little more work as the world seemed so small compared to other games that use the connected world and not the world map. Still, it had great characters and was a blast to play. Another excellent Tale to experience!
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