Tales of Arise Review – The Highest Budget Tales RPG in Years

Tales of Arise is the new Tales of game that everyone’s talking about. It’s Bando Namco Studios’ latest entry and it’s the highest budget Tales RPG we’ve seen so far. Let’s see what the newest entry in the Tales series has to offers in this Tales of Arise review!

Tales of Arise review
Image credit: BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

Common Questions

First things first, let’s get the most asked Tales of Arise questions out of the way right now.

When’s Tales of Arise coming out?

The next Tales game arrives sooner than you might think! Tales of Arise’s official release date is September 10th, 2021.

Is Tales of Arise free?

No, Tales of Arise isn’t free, it’s a triple-A release. Although the game has a free demo on  PS4, PS5, or Xbox One/X/S. Anyone that wants to try out Arise’s flashy combat and anime esthetic in a demo can only do so via consoles. A PC demo hasn’t been announced yet.

Is Tales of Arise a sequel?

No, it’s an entry point for new fans that haven’t played any of the previous Tales titles. While those games are amazing on their own, you don’t need to play them to fully experience Tales of Arise as a standalone game.

Now, let’s get into it by going over the game’s graphics, its new game engine, its surprisingly dark story, and its flashy combat.

Tales of Arise review
Image credit: BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

Tales of Arise and its Visual Presentation

Right from the start, you see all you need in an anime-style ARPG. There’s a ton of cool swords, thigh-high socks, over-the-top team attacks, and school uniforms presented with a slick art style that is quite different from previous Tales games.

The colors are bubbling and vibrant, everything from the environment to your flashy attacks looks absolutely extraordinary. Perhaps it’s all thanks to the Unreal Engine 4 that the studio utilized to make Tales of Arise instead of Bando Namco’s standard in-house engine that was used for the previous Tales games.

Since you get to use all kinds of insane attacks pretty early on the game brags with its stunning visual effects that all flow quite well with one another. On the other hand, the amount of grandiose visual effects can hamper the combat in some cases. Since everyone spewing fire and lasers all the time, you may miss an attack indicator from a boss and get hit by its attack. You won’t die in one hit but you’ll definitely feel the damage if multiple hits land.

Tales of Arise review
Image credit: BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

The boss fights are out of this world by the way. Now I know what everyone wants to know right now. Who made the Tales of Arise anime cutscenes? It’s Ufotable, the people behind the Demon Slayer, God Eater, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Tales of Zestiria the X, and other visually stunning anime. Their talents elevate Tale of Arise’s already impressive visual presentation to a godly level in those cutscenes.

Check out the Tales of Arise trailer down below to see the game in all its glory:

Tales of Arise and its Gameplay

When I first started playing Tales of Arise for this review I didn’t expect much from the combat. Standard JRPG/ARPG shenanigans, some combos, and a lot of button mashing. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have a ton of those as well. However, there’s a lot of complexions that are thrown at you immediately.

The Tales series isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary with its combat by itself. But Tales of Arise gives you a lot of things to think about when you’re pummeling fantasy monsters. Every character has its Mystic Arte attacks. Everyone can string together combos and others can feed into your combo to do a spectacular Boost Attack. You have to think about a lot of things while you’re mashing all those buttons and it’s satisfying and slightly challenging at times while feeling insanely rewarding once you land a Mystic Arte mega attack.

But Alphen is the hero of Tales of Arise so we mostly play as him. He has the Flaming Edge. Alphen uses Flaming Edge to siphon his HP in order to deliver insane amounts of damage. It’s not a terribly complex system but you need to balance your HP bar constantly so it doesn’t dip below a certain point. As I mentioned above, you can get lost in the concoction of flashy abilities and end up dead if too many enemies hit you at once and you don’t dodge.

Tales of Arise review
Image credit: BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

Your party features characters that have an array of abilities as well. The AI isn’t too shabby and the game has a system that lets players customize their party and give instructions. For example, heal the main character only if his HP falls below 30% and that sort of stuff.

Tales of Arise and its Story

Again, Tales of Arise doesn’t feature any groundbreaking storytelling. As this Tales of Arise review is spoiler-free, I won’t go into details but I’ll vaguely touch upon some story beats.

As expected, this game is full of anime troupes. There’s Shionne that’s “gifted” with an exceptional ability that she thinks is a curse. Then there’s  Law that’s trying to punch everyone while being incredibly arrogant and annoying. Alphen is the “chosen one” but this troupe isn’t all that prevalent in this Tales game. Yet the cliches aren’t that annoying since they’re backed up by solid writing. Each character fulfills a cliche role but they also have depth so they aren’t bothersome.

Tales of Arise review
Image credit: BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

The chemistry between the characters is another astounding surprise, and even the main storyline goes into some grim territory that was completely unexpected. Slavery, exploration, survival, there’s a ton of heavy themes in the first half of the game. Later on, the game drifts into some standard JRPG waters but it remains enjoyable and engaging. I would have loved it if they focused more on the darker parts of the story, but I’ll take what I can get for a Bando Namco game.

Final Verdict – Should you buy Tales of Arise?

In my opinion, Tales of Arise is the best the Tales series has to offer. A complex but intuitive combat system that’s insanely flashy and satisfying, fun and well-written characters, and an unusual storyline that doesn’t involve ALL the anime cliches.

The final verdict of this Tales of Arise review is a wholehearted recommendation. If you like RPGs in general, especially if you’re a Tales of Arise fan, this game is going to be an amazing experience that you don’t want to miss out on! Right now we have three versions of the game available on HRK Game:

Tales Of Arise Standard Edition

The normal edition of the game on Steam.

Tales of Arise: Deluxe Edition

This edition comes with:

  • Tales of Arise full game download
  • Premium Travel Pack
    • Artifacts, items
  • Adventurer’s Pack
  • Premium Item Pack
    • Artifacts, items, food, gald
  • Premium Costume Pack:
    • 8 Costumes and 6 Accessories

Tales of Arise: Ultimate Edition

The Ultimate edition comes with:

  • Premium Travel Pack
    • Artifacts, items
  • Adventurer’s Pack
  • Collaboration Costume Pack
  • 18 additional costumes

Let me know if you’ve played Tales of Arise on PC and what you thought of the game in the comments section below!

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