Less known to the general public than its cousins Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, the “Tales of” saga has nevertheless won its letters of nobility in 1995 on Super Famicom. Sixteen canonical episodes later, players will discover Tales of Arise on September 10. A J-RPG that CNEWS was able to try out in preview. And it’s in an animated cell-shading production that Bandai Namco will launch us on Xbox Series, Xbox One, PS4, PS5 and PC. An epic that was to mark the 25th anniversary of the series last year, before being postponed to 2021 due to the health crisis. A time which allowed the development teams to refine this role-playing game which is in the great vein of its predecessors.
A TEAM OF SIX FIGHTERS
This new odyssey plunges us into the heart of a kingdom that has fallen under a dictatorial regime led by a neighboring planet for three centuries. A condition that revolts Alphen, a knight, and Shionne, a hunter. Coming from different worlds, they will unite to bring back a semblance of peace. And in this journey, they will not be alone since other warriors will lend them a hand like Rinwell, a powerful mage, as well as Law, the master of martial arts. Four heroes and heroines who all turn out to be playable. To this team, two powerful characters come to support: Kisara and Dohalim. Six fighters will therefore be managed by the player and the demo in which we were able to take part, controllers in hand, particularly highlighted the new combat system of this Tales of Arise.
A system based primarily on action. The player will direct one of the heroes there to chain combos and devastating attacks. At the same time, it will be possible to trigger joint attacks or special moves, when certain conditions are met. Finally, on our version, Kisara and Dohalim could alternately be called in as reinforcements.
WORTHY OF A TRUE ANIMATED
We then witness particularly dynamic games, like a Final Fantasy XV or a Final Fantasy VII Remake. Blows rain, magics explode, while our adventurers engage in a spectacular ballet on land and in the air, since a system of air attacks is also advanced. However, it is often necessary to take a step back, because in the heart of the action it is often difficult to distinguish what your acolytes are doing. Once mastered, everything is fun to play, but also to watch with many animated scenes to give these duels a more epic dimension, worthy of a Japanese animated series.
Because it is mainly the beauty of Tales of Arise that has surprised us the most. Bandai Namco uses here a new process to bring a rendering very close, even more polished than certain animated ones which one can see on television. Called “Atmospheric Shader”, this solution offers an impressive rendering especially for the look of the characters, whose facial animations are also particularly successful.
Tales of Arise then emerges a “shônen” aspect ( manga for teenagers ) giving an interesting charisma to its protagonists. At the same time, Bandai Namco has taken care of the soundtrack of its game with inspired symphonic scores, which support the grandiose sets that are revealed. The atmosphere is calm. On the dubbing side, players can opt for Japanese or English voices, all with French subtitles.
After having carried out a first quest intended to demonstrate its game mechanics and to admire its settings and characters, this demo of Tales of Arise was convincing to us. Its nervous combat system, sometimes messy but dynamic, does not tarnish the image of this title whose plastic turns out to be particularly sublime at first glance. It remains to discover its history which we hope will be treated from start to finish. As of June 18, we should learn more about it, since Bandai Namco will present its new role-playing game in more depth. One of the spearheads of the genre at the start of the school year.