Tales of Arise on the PlayStation 5
On the planet Dahna, reverence has always been given to Rena, the planet in the sky, as a land of the righteous and divine. Stories handed down for generations became truth and masked reality for the people of Dahna. For 300 years, Rena has ruled over Dahna, pillaging the planet of its resources and stripping people of their dignity and freedom.
Our tale begins with two people, born on different worlds, each looking to change their fate and create a new future. Featuring a new cast of characters, updated combat, and classic Tales of gameplay mechanics, experience the next chapter in the world-famous Tale of series, Tales of Arise.
This game was released last year. When I saw the trailer, I immediately knew, I wanted to play it. This game is in the same vein as Tales of Symphonia (I believe I played this one back on the GameCube), Tales of Vesperia (I think I played this one on the PS2 but I currently own it on the Nintendo Switch), and Tles of Berseria (this one I've never played). Arise is a standalone game, there's really no need to play the previous ones. It's kinda like the Final Fantasy's they really don't tie in.
It is a JRPG and like most JRPGs, the narrative is pretty linear, which to me, that's fine. The game focuses on two primary protagonists; Shionne, a woman with a mysterious past, and Iron Mask, a man who has no memory and also wears an iron mask that he can’t remove.
I am only about 3 to 4 hours in, give or take, so call it an early impression if you will, but the bottom line is, I am having a blast. I have to be honest coming from a game like Ghost of Tsushima, that looks as realistic as it can, it is a little shocking to play something cartoony. That being said, the art it's pretty awesome. The animated cutscenes make you feel like you are watching a Japanese animated show. The voice acting I would say it's pretty well done, and solid. Some of the conversations are in in-game animation sequences, or in comic-book-like panels with voices, or in your typical conversation-bubbles with no voice.
Something that I am truly a fan of in this game, is the combat system. When you encounter enemies during exploration, you'll be spirited off to a combat screen, like every RPG about there. During combat, you can move freely and execute normal and special attacks called Artes, which you assign to controller buttons, pretty simple. It does introduce some complexity to the combat at some point early in the game but nothing too crazy. The combat's super-fun and fluid.
Like most RPGs, you also have a skill-tree-like thing where you can redeem experience points for more art or combat skills. SO far, it hasn't gotten super-crazy complicated, again, I am very early in the game, so who knows. But so far, it's been easy to navigate and understand, it is pretty straightforward.
One thing I've got to mention too is the opening song, I am a fan. Again, it makes you feel like you’re sitting down, about to watch your favorite Anime show.
"HIBANA" by Kankaku Piero - Love it!
If you're are a fan of adventure JRPGs or RPGs in general, and you're looking for a fun and festive game to play, I would definitely recommend Tales of Arise. Oh! And there is a demo available in case you'd want to test the waters first. I think I got it on sale at the Amazons there for less than 40 USD. I believe it is still on sale at the PlayStation Store but not for long. And there are 3 different versions too LOL. I got the regular and purchased some DLC for like $5.00 for star items and costumes.
That's how they get me, with shiny costumes. 😜