Tales of Arise is like experiencing an interactive anime

Author: Silvio Mazzitelli ,
9 '15' '
Cover of Tales of Arise is like experiencing an interactive anime

The world of video games and that of Japanese anime have met several times over the years. In fact, there are many video games inspired by anime, such as those of Dragon Ball o One Piece, and vice versa there are also cases in which video games are transformed into anime, such as success for the Persona series. The titles that most closely resemble the artistic and narrative style of Japanese animated series in Japan are undoubtedly the RPGs. There are many examples to report even among the most famous cases such as the various Final Fantasy, or even the Dragon Quest saga, whose characters have always been designed by Akira Toriyama. Among these sagas, however, one of those that owes the most to the world of Japanese animation is the series of Tales of di Bandai Namco. It just recently came out Tales of Arise, a new chapter in the saga that promises a revolution compared to past chapters.

The Tales of è saga born in 1995 on the Super Nintendo, and since then it has undergone constant evolution closely linked to that of anime. In fact, many titles of the series were then transformed into real anime, while video games have always had a character design and the most important scenes in history made with the style of Japanese animated series. More than four years have passed since the release of the last chapter of the series, and after all this time Tales of Arise comes as a breath of fresh air due above all to an updated and more current graphic style, given that the previous chapters were now rather stagnant on the technical side. Will the renewed graphics sector and the anime style be enough to make a good game?


An anime to play

Let's start by history and: in the world of Tales of Arise there are two planets that are very close to each other Rena and Dahna. Three hundred years before the beginning of history, the most technologically advanced Rena conquered Dahna by reducing her population into slavery and dividing the world into five kingdoms ruled by five Renian lords. The population of Dahna is therefore enslaved to the technological and mystical power greater than the inhabitants of Rena, and they are forced to work to extract astral energy from the planet. The story begins with a slave wearing an iron mask, our protagonist, who finds himself involved in a rebellion movement of a group of Dahnians. They attack a prison from which they save Shionne a noble from Rena held captive and endowed with a curse whereby anyone who touches her is wounded.

We will soon discover that our masked protagonist does not remember anything of his past, until his mask is partially broken and he remembers his name, Alphen. Alphen's unexpected feature, however, is his total lack of a sense of pain. Thanks to this strange ability, Alphen is the only one who manages to extract the Flaming Sword kept sealed by Shionne, and thanks to this the two join forces to bring down the forces of Rena and free the population into slavery.

Tales of Arise protagonists

This is just the beginning of a story that as it progresses will expand between twists and the introduction of new characters, making the narrative plot more and more compelling and interesting. The main characters are six, all well characterized with their fears and motivations to move forward. In addition to Alphen and Shionne we will meet: Rinwell a young woman from Dahna who is able to use astral magic, being part of an ancient family of wizards; Law, a martial arts boy from Dahna who will initially work for the Rena government as a guard; Dohalim a noble from Rena who, unlike his compatriots, desires peace with Dahna; Kisara, captain of the armed forces of Dohalim, very strong in battle thanks to his huge shield.

The relationships between the members of the group are deepened above all through le skit, a unique feature of the Tales of series, previously made with characters made in anime style, while in Arise the game engine is used. In the skits the characters interact with each other, talking about both important plot topics and lighter and carefree moments such as comments on a dish cooked by Alphen or on Shionne's character. These moments are often interesting, above all because they make the characters and the relationship that is created between them better known.

Bandai Namco
Tales of Arise main group

History takes a lot from typical anime narrative style, in particular those of the shonen genre such as the aforementioned Dragon Ball, Naruto etc. Even the characters are characterized based on some archetypes typical of the Japanese animated series. Sometimes this following the sketches of the anime becomes a bit heavy and knows it has already been seen, but overall the story is excellent and also the evolution of the characters, which from simple stereotypes of the hero or the haughty girl evolve into something better and with a well-defined personality. A gem for fans of Japanese animation: the video of the opening theme and all subsequent ones that describe the most important events in history, are made by Ufotable, a studio that is still involved in making the anime of Demon Slayer, and we guarantee that even in this case the quality is high.


Spectacular fights

Although Tales of Arise aims to renew and rejuvenate several aspects compared to the past chapters, in essence its basic formula is rather classic. The title continues in a fairly linear way: you will arrive in a city, you will understand what the problem is, you will visit the dungeon on duty until the clash with the boss and then you will walk towards the wild lands full of monsters before arriving at the next city and starting the game again. tour. As a structure it is not to be criticized, especially if you like titles that place more emphasis on history rather than freedom of action, but some may be disappointed that this new Tales of would have expected a more radical change.


However, they are not lacking side quests and other activities such as minigames such as fishing or cooking to be done within the title. However, even these are not very advanced activities and the secondary quests will often be reduced to the classic situations in which it will be necessary to defeat monsters or find specific objects. Among the nicest secondary activities there will be the possibility to search for hidden owls all over the game world, in order to obtain interesting rewards once you return to the woods where the owl family is.

Bandai Namco
Tales of RPG series

The most interesting aspect of the game, however, is obviously the combat, largely renewed compared to the past. The combat system is simple and intuitive, but at the same time it also allows you to create combinations of complex attacks and techniques once mastered. In battle we will have a party of four, and the player will manage one character at a time by commanding him directly, while the others will be managed by artificial intelligence. However, you can pause the fight to give orders to the other characters, or set commands to follow such as heal wounded characters. If you want, you can also switch to using another character with a simple command.

Each of the six heroes has a unique fighting style that benefits him in certain situations: Alphen will be able to sacrifice life points to use the Flaming Sword and inflict greater damage; Shionne will be able to apply negative statuses to enemies, Kisara will be able to defend against enemy charges and so on. Each of them, in addition to the basic attacks, will have different special moves called Artes, which can be chained together until the BA points are available, which will recharge over time once used. Then there will be the possibility to call the companions for a special shot that can weaken some types of enemies, the very powerful couple attacks and the inevitable Mystic Artes, the most powerful moves of each character.


Bandai Namco
Combat system

The great thing about Tales of Arise combat is that it's smooth and always fun, as it offers tons of possibilities. Just think that each character has a completely different play style from the others, so when you are maybe bored of using one you can easily switch to another. The novelty introduced related to cures is interesting: in fact, here the refreshment spells will take life points from a sort of common fund of Healing Points, which once exhausted will make it impossible to heal the members of the party. The player will only be able to restore them by sleeping or using healing items that are rather expensive to buy, and therefore will be called upon to better manage this resource.

Like any good role-playing game there will then be a progression of the characters given by the levels, but going forward you can use the Skills panel to unlock both passive and active new skills, such as a damage boost or a new art to use in battle. In short, in the game, fighting is a lot of fun especially for the different enemies we will meet. Tales of Arise has lots of boss battles to deal with, and almost all of them will be extremely spectacular to fight and some even quite challenging, and you will need to find the most suitable strategy to get the better of some opponents. The same thing can also be said for the normal enemies that we will meet in the maps, even if in the long run there is a scarcity of types of opponents, which we will often find the same in the advanced stages of the adventure, but with a different color.

A renewed graphics

Bandai Namco
Combat system

Tales of Arise has the merit of completely renew the technical sector compared to its predecessors, making it more current. The title is full of brightly colored and very suggestive landscapes, and often it will be automatic to stop to admire what surrounds us. The character models are well made and the animations too, especially those in battle accompanied by very spectacular special effects when using some special moves. Graphically, therefore, even if we cannot consider it a completely new generation title, it is a huge step forward for the series of the Tales of and hopefully it will only get better from here on out.

On new generation consoles, such as on PS5 where we played the title, you can choose between two graphics modes: one that prefers the best resolution, and another that prefers fluidity guaranteeing 60FPS. This second is undoubtedly recommended because it makes the battles more fluid than the first, and the graphic quality is still high. The title features the dubbing in both English and Japanese and has been fully translated into Italian.

The verdict

Recommended product € 42.9 from The Amazon € 45.92 from Bandai Namco

With Tales of Arise, the Bandai Namco saga is only partially renewed, while still maintaining some typical structures of the past, such as a rather linear narrative formula already seen in the past. Despite this, the renewed graphics sector, an extremely fun and varied combat system, and a story that despite some small flaws is compelling and with well-characterized characters, make Tales of Arise is an excellent game that will delight all RPG fans typically Japanese.

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Tales of Arise is a typically Japanese RPG heavily inspired by anime, boasting an engaging storyline and a fast-paced, fun combat system.
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