Best Role-Playing Game of 2021: The Story of Rise

Every long-running series has its turning point, an era that requires revitalization and forward thinking. “Story of the Rise” is an opportunity for Bandai Namco to achieve meaningful changes and enter the new console generation soaring. The developer did not let go of the opportunity, met the challenge and broke franchise sales records in the process. Tales of Arise took interesting risks and made innovative improvements, resulting in a fantastic RPG full of cute characters, fierce battles and useful exploration.

In its 26 years of operation, the Tales series has always had an enthusiastic fan base, but Tales of Arise helped expand the influence of the series and improved its established formula, making it one of the best works in years. While retaining the essence of the series, Bandai Namco brings a new visual style, more strategic battles, and mature stories of belligerent countries. The latter is particularly noticeable in solving socio-political issues such as racism, authoritarianism, and mental illness.

The protagonists Alphen and Shionne helped develop the great influence of the narrative. As opposites, they challenge each other to learn and grow by showing their different views on different worlds and social status. The undeniable chemistry and pleasant jokes of the two also added some relief to the sometimes bleak journey, and it was a bright spot to watch how the two came together to make things better.

However, if there is no fascinating combat system, Arise will not have the same effect. The fast-paced, combination-driven action of the series is still there and good, but the extra depth and variety makes everything different. Boost attack (lethal single action) and boost strike (team terminator) make things gorgeous and interesting, while aerial attacks and last-second dodge provide valuable rewards, such as temporary damage boosts. However, the best part is how each party member has different controls and has his own unique privileges. When you need to change the rhythm, it will be fun to find your preferred role or switch to another role. Boss battles are also unforgettable things, because they force you to focus and deal with the challenges of entities larger than life. Even small things, such as unlocking and upgrading statistics and skills through the progress system, will keep things fresh and exciting.

Tales of Arise is a complete RPG package. Even its world is full of exciting things to do, such as side missions and activities. Cooking and fishing are fun ways to pass the time, but exploring the land and finding upgrade materials, and even optional bosses means there is always something to see and discover. The beautiful scenery of the entire land adds to the sense of immersion. Tales of Arise has taken a huge step towards franchising and is the true leader of this year’s RPG genre. | Our review