Tales of Arise – Review

Fight your destiny to obtain freedom!!

Release Date
September 9, 2021
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Bandai Namco Entertainment
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Reviewed on
Review copy provided by
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Tales of Arise has created a new wave of experience in playing JRPG games and brought out a lot of great expectations for its fans and gamers worldwide. The game is the latest installment of the Tales series and is using a new game engine that has changed the perspective on the game. As a fan, I am deeply moved by the fact that the developers who were responsible for the game gave me such great content to play and review on.

Tales of Arise is set on the planet Dahna, where it has been invaded and conquered by its counterpart, the planet Rena. For 300 years, Rena has ruled over Dahna, pillaging the planet of its resources and stripping people of their dignity and freedom. The tale begins with two people, born in different worlds, each looking to change their fate and create a new future.

Personally, I believe that the story is very deep and inspiring to watch as the plot of the game gets deeper as you journey as Alphen, the main character of the story who is a Dahna slave that wears the iron mask & has no memories of his past and Shionne, a Renan woman with an unknown curse that prevents others from touching her or else they will be electrocuted. Not only the more allies will gather around you as journey through the different parts of Dahna and explore unfamiliar territories that will shake one’s imaginations.

Like I said before in my previous article on Tales of Arise Demo Impressions, the combat system utilizes a real action combat system and has a certain feeling similar to that of Scarlet Nexus but with a little more realism to it.

Each of the attacks is divided into three categories: Normal Attacks, Artes and Boost Attacks. The boost attacks, one of the newest features that were recently added to this game, let players use their allies’ abilities to either attack or defend against strong enemies.

Each ally has its unique ability and can easily be strengthened through quests and such. Not only that, I greatly enjoyed using finishing techniques, called Boost Strikes. Boost strikes are finishing moves that instantly kill enemies or deal greater damage to enemy bosses. Each boost strike can vary as usually, one combines their strength with their allies to perform various techniques and can also deal damage to enemies surrounding the target.

Leveling up in the game has been the same as past games. Players defeat enemies and gain EXP from them. However, EXP is not the only thing obtained through battle, but Skill Points as well. Skill Points (SP) are obtained through battle or completing side quests. When there is enough SP, players can use them in the Skill Panel option where players can unlock new attack combos, upgrade their arte gauge, and more.

The skill panel has several titles each with unlocking requirements that players will need to do throughout the game and is worth doing as they progress deeper in the game. Truth be told, when I was playing the game, I had to do a lot of side quests and camping in the game in order to gain some new skill sets in order to gain the upper hand against some very sturdy individuals.

For the past months, Tales of Arise has been teasing one of its newest features in the game known as camping. This feature allows players to interact with their allies, heal HP, recharge Cure Points (an arte gauge system that buffs and heals your party) as well as watching old and new skits. Not only that, but there is also the option to cook food for party members.

Cooking recipes can be obtained through quests or found in treasure chests. Meals are beneficial for a lot of things, and finding the ingredients is easy enough if you know where to look. What makes cooking beneficial is that characters can gain certain buffs and these buffs can help them greatly in fighting, leveling, and farming goods.

I highly recommend gaining buffs in the game, especially through cooking because you would never know how difficult it is to survive in Tales of Arise if the difficulty of the game is set to the hardest.

The quality of the game’s animation is very life-like as it utilizes a mix between 3D and 2D animation that fits well with the theme. The developers have stated that the game focuses on ‘Inheritance and Evolution’. Each of the characters has a certain characteristic and trait that suits them.

Additionally, their style of fighting creates a wonderful experience for players who want to mix things up. I personally loved the fact that the quality of the animation has not changed in both cutscenes and in battle. Plus, the more I watched the story, the more I started wanting to see if they can make an anime adaptation of the series itself.

With great content and high expectations, I noticed some unexpected problems or rather dislikes me and my fellow reviewers experienced in Tales of Arise. In combat, we noticed that there were many particles hindering us in fighting crowded enemies and the area around it was hard to move around. That there was a total miss for the developers and that needs some adjustment.

Another problem we noticed was that there was no cancel attack animation which made it hard for us to evade hard attacks from enemies. Quoting from my fellow reviewer, “Given how some artes are lengthy in execution and enemies are fast, animation canceling would have made the combat a bit more nuanced.”

Lastly, the voice-over and subtitles need improving as there were lines that were either delayed or misspelled and there might be more than a few who might get confused as to how the story goes, especially for those who love hearing the audio in its original Japanese dub.

The game is worth playing as the content was worth the wait. I enjoyed the 37 hours I’ve put into playing this game. In fact, I have even higher expectations for future Tales games in the coming years. I highly recommend gamers to play the demo first as you not only get free DLC from it but will also get a chance to know more about its new features and what to expect in the game.

Tales of Arise is truly a masterpiece and is worthy of a game that celebrates 25 years of Tales games and that means a lot to many JRPG fans worldwide.

Tales of Arise – Review
Score Definition
Almost perfect if not for the nitty-gritty. If it’s quite there but not enough to push the boundaries, it’s still an awesome game
Great story content
Animation quality at its finest
Waves of challenges worth fighting against
New features open new possibilities
Battle system perfected for JRPG fans
No attack cancellation makes it hard to evade incoming enemy attacks
Audio dubs and subtitles have grammatical errors
Combat area seems to be a bit crowded and needs to be expanded