Connect with us

Gaming

Tales Of Zestiria Review – When In Doubt, Armatize

blank

Published

on

Tales Of Zestiria

If there’s something that fans of the Tales Of series love in these games, it’s that they feel instantly familiar. Each of the main entries of the series comes with staples that have only been slightly altered since the original Tales of Phantasia, and long time fans of the series have learned not to expect radical changes in new entries. The latest Tales Of games released in the West, Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Hearts R, have maybe played it too safe and this is probably why the team tried to do things differently with the 20th Anniversary entry of the series, Tales Of Zestiria. The new game comes with a few features that finally make it feel like a true new entry of the series.

Tales Of Zestiria’s story is a return to the roots of the series, with a high fantasy setting heavily inspired by the Arthurian legend. The game stars Sorey, a young man who has lived all his life in the village of Elysia together with Seraphim, divine beings that can only be seen by humans possessing strong resonance. Sorey’s peaceful life is changed forever by the fateful meeting with a young knight called Alisha. Interacting with another human being is a new experience for Sorey and this meeting allows him to learn about the horrible state of the world, plagued by famine, war and hellions, creatures corrupted by malevolence, stimulating his curiosity. Following Alisha’s departure from Elysia, a mysterious fox man appears in the village area, attacking one of its residents while searching for the young knight. As a man who cannot run his back on those in need, Sorey sets out together with his Seraphim friend Mikleo to find Alisha and warn her of the danger she might face, a journey that will eventually lead Sorey to become the legendary Shepherd who will purify the world of malevolence.

TOZ 2 Fields

Tales Of Zestiria’s story is a fantasy story that doesn’t try to break any new ground. It starts very nicely but unfortunately falls flat later in the game, with the final sequences feeling rushed. The story has its ups and downs but it’s salvaged by the main characters who are all extremely enjoyable, from the kind-hearted  Sorey, to the more suspicious Seraphim Mikleo, to the charming Lady of the Lake Lailah and others. As in other Tales Of games, interactions between characters are excellent and made even better by Skits, short dialogues between characters that can be triggered on Save Points, Inns or when finding Discoveries, unique landmarks located all over the world.

With the story feeling familiar to fans of high-fantasy settings and role playing games in general, it’s the gameplay experience that elevates Tales Of Zestiria and makes it feel different than anything else the series has done. Gone are the days of dedicated battle arenas, as the Tales Of Zestiria battle system, called Fusionic Chain Linear Motion Battle System, allows players to fight all enemies, included bosses, right where they are encountered. This feature generally works well in open areas, not so well in dungeons due to camera issues. The day one patch addresses some of these camera issues but I haven’t noticed a huge improvement over the Japanese PlayStation 3 release.

ToZ 3 Battle System

The Fusionic Chain Linear Motion Battle System has been heavily inspired by the Tales Of Graces F battle system, with players having the ability to side-step to avoid enemy attacks. Side stepping at the right time allows players to quickly restore Spirit Chain, which is used to execute Martial Artes, Hidden Artes and Seraphic Artes for Seraphims. All the other features included in the Fusionic Chain Linear Motion Battle System are inspired by previous entries of the series, creating a unique mix that can feel a bit confusing in the beginning. Other than being used for Artes execution, the Spirit Chain bar also affects battle performance, forcing players to not go all out at once but to adapt to the situation. The Fusionic Chain Linear Motion Battle System also includes a new rock – paper – scissor system which allows players to use one artes type to interrupt another as well as the Blast Gauge, which is used to execute special moves such as Partner Blast, Blow Blast and Chain Blast, techniques that can be used to break the basic 4 chain limit for combos and string together more artes, and activate Armatization, a unique technique which allows human characters to combine with Seraphim to unleash powerful elemental artes. While Armatization is a very cool feature, it leads to some issues and limitations that some will find hard to overlook, such as balancing issues in later parts which force players to constantly be in Armatization to even just avoid dying with a single hit or being forced to only have two humans and two Seraphim in the battle party at the same time.

Tales Of Zestiria

The series’ skill system has also been revamped for Tales Of Zestiria, with mixed results. Special actions that can be performed in battle are called Battle Acts and can only be unlocked by performing actions such as guarding and correctly avoiding attacks a certain number of times. Skills that improve characters’ performance and stats are attached to weapons and armor pieces and are represented by different types of runes. By arranging these runes properly on a dedicated grid, players can unlock even more special skills which can increase the characters’ chain count, maximum Blast Gauge capacity, reduce Seraphic Artes cast times and more. This system is unfortunately way too complicated, requiring a lot of time and tedious grinding to make a difference. In a series that’s usually known for the ease of use of its gameplay mechanics, the Tales of Zestiria’s system is needlessly convoluted.

Another feature that sets Tales Of Zestiria apart from the rest of the series is exploration. The features some open field in place of a world map that players will have to traverse to reach towns and dungeons. These fields are unfortunately way too bland and empty so they’re not a huge step up from the Tales Of Xillia and Tales Of Xillia 2 fields. Dungeon design, on the other hand, has been slightly improved from the more recent home console releases, with the inclusion of very simple puzzles that require players to use the Seraphim special elemental Field Actions. We’re not back to the glory days of Tales Of Destiny, Eternia and Symphonia, but it’s a step in the right direction.

ToZ 6 Field Action

Having been developed as a PlayStation 3 game, Tales of Zestiria isn’t exactly a looker. The PlayStation 4 version of the game improves the graphics considerably with better lighting and textures and better performance locked at 30 FPS even in battle. The PlayStation 3 version not only looks noticeably worse but also suffers from performance issues during battles and exploration, issues that impact the experience considerably. The soundtrack is the usual Tales Of series soundtrack composed by Motoi Sakuraba, with some really memorable pieces from Go Shiina. English voice acting is also serviceable, with players being able to choose original Japanese voice acting if they don’t like the English dub.

It’s clear how the team tried to bring the series to new heights with Tales Of Zestiria but it’s also clear how they didn’t know where to go at times, leading to questionable design choices which end up damaging the experience a bit. Despite its design shortcomings, weak story and camera issues in closed areas, Tales Of Zestiria is still an enjoyable experience that all Japanese role playing games fans will surely enjoy: it’s not the best Tales Of game but it’s far from being the worst.

As a long time gamer, Francesco has survived more zombie invasions, meteor strikes, magic spells than he can count. He still keeps fighting today to bring hope into countless gaming worlds. Or destruction, depending on his mood. Writing about video games was only the natural step for such a dangerous life.

Gaming

The new game from Danganronpa’s developers is being published by Aniplex, a Sony company, but it won’t be coming out on PS5

blank

Published

on

blank

The upcoming game from the creators of the Danganronpa series has found a publisher in Sony subsidiary Aniplex. However, it’s worth noting that it won’t be initially released on the PS5. It is highly likely that The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy will be released on Sony’s system at a later date, just like Master Detective Archives: Rain Code in October. However, the development team is currently focusing on prioritizing the release of their latest title on the Nintendo Switch and PC.

Described as a strategy game, the title allows players to step into the shoes of teenager Takumi Sumino, who resides in the perpetually secure Tokyo Residential Complex. When monsters suddenly unleash chaos upon the town, Takumi finds himself thrust into the Last Defense Academy. His mission? To protect the school alongside 14 other students for a grueling 100 days.

As one would anticipate, alongside the strategic gameplay, it is crucial to foster strong relationships with your comrades. Moreover, the outcome of the game can vary greatly, with a staggering 100 possible endings contingent upon the choices you make. We will reach out to Aniplex to inquire about the possibility of a PS5 port. However, it is important to note that Aniplex operates independently from PlayStation, as it falls under the Sony Music umbrella.

Continue Reading

Gaming

The photo mode in Alan Wake 2 on PS5 doesn’t hold many surprises

blank

Published

on

blank

Most new games these days have some kind of photography feature, so it’s hard to remember a time before Photo Modes. Some developers don’t think it’s important for players to be able to take pictures right away, so the feature is added later. One great example of this is Alan Wake 2, which now has Photo Mode thanks to a new update that is now available.

If you look at the trailer above, you can see that you can really get creative with your photos by adding cool borders, overlays, and filters. We always like photo modes, where you can move different lights around in the scene. As the video shows, Remedy really lets you use your imagination with the different colors and lighting props.

 

Continue Reading

Gaming

Before the DLC comes out, the Big Elden Ring update adds new features and fixes the game’s balance

blank

Published

on

blank

There will be an update for Elden Ring next week that sounds pretty important. The patch will come out on June 20, right before Shadow of the Erdtree goes live on June 21. “New features” and “balance adjustments” are what FromSoftware says the update will have.

Luckily, the developer went on to give more information. We went ahead and put them all together in the patch notes below:

New parts of inventory:

  • Items that were just gained will have a “!” next to them
  • There is now a new tab called “Recent Items” that lets you look at items that you just got

What’s new in Summoning Pool?

  • Now, active summoning pools will follow you to NG+
  • The newly added Map Functions Menu now lets you turn on and off individual summoning pools
  • When you use the Small Golden Effigy, it will only choose active Summoning Pools

All new hairstyles:

  • The game now has five more hairstyles to choose from. You can choose them when you make your character, with the Clouded Mirror Stand, or with Rennala’s Rebirth feature.
    FromSoftware also says that the patch will have extra features that aren’t listed here. I hope they’re a pleasant surprise!

Would you like to see any of these changes made? Are you still excited about Shadow of the Erdtree? Get ready by reading the comments below.

Continue Reading

Trending