Over the weekend, I said something to a friend, which made my thinking process of “The Rise of Stories” clearer, which is the latest work in Namco’s 26-year-old role-playing series. I said that if it were a Final Fantasy game, it might get extremely high reviews and sell 10 million copies.
The statement is exaggerated, but usually, it has a sharp core of truth in its center. Technically speaking, “Story of the Rise” may not actually be the best in the series — it’s not my favorite — but it’s certainly one of the best and easiest Japanese RPGs in recent years — although The system that makes it friendly to novices is not too harsh, which means that veterans of the series can enjoy many things here. Basically, its tone is almost perfect.
In some ways, Arise is reminiscent of the golden age of Japanese RPG games, I mean the late Super NES life and the early PlayStation life. I say this because it happily uses metaphors that were common in that era but are now considered a bit tired, like an amnesia protagonist caught in the revolution. But it also reminds me of these games in other, more subtle ways. For example, despite starring in a bunch of typical anime beauties, it has surprising views on serious issues. Most of the game’s time is spent thinking about topics such as government oppression, slavery, and the cost of revolution. This reminds me of some golden ages of the genre.
Probably because of these major themes, Arise has a special difference in its narrative than other items-it focuses more on the larger picture than on the individual. Because of this, I found that the cast may be a bit underdeveloped compared to the standards of the series. Instead, the focus is on the tricks of a larger plot, letting you deal with the stories of five unique regions of the world, all of which are cleverly connected by the same overall theme.
How did you successfully ignite the fire of revolution? Well, it happens to be the same way that basically every JRPG progresses-through a series of escalating battles with monsters and villains. When you say “Japanese role-playing games”, people tend to think of classic turn-based games-but “Story of the Rise” is actually one of the first games in the genre to truly embrace action fighting, and is trying real-time The action was inspired by fighting games. At that time, “Final Fantasy” was content with variable speed but still a turn-based Active Time Battle system.
Arise still made some clever changes to open up the battles and make them feel more dynamic, mainly by allowing the player to more directly control the character’s movement. Many subtle changes and improvements add up to what I call the most powerful Tales combat system in years, and one of the best action RPG combat systems outside of Japan, including Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
You can only control one role at a time, but you can instantly exchange your team members and control roles as needed. The other team members are controlled by AI. Players can adjust through a series of simple programmatic commands. You can set certain combat actions by your allies according to specific combat conditions. There is a lot of depth here, because there are so many party members, and you can roll around in a large group of six, which means you can make interesting party combinations that provide you with very specific abilities.
I would actually say that managing your allies and building a team that can do what you want is the place for some of the most satisfying battle settings when you want it. However, to be fair, there is nothing more satisfying than releasing some of the more cinematic special actions in the game (called Artes in this series) and watching them light up the screen and enemies. They look spectacular.
In fact, the whole game is like this. Like the story, the visual effects seem to be more focused on the “big picture”, but this is not a bad thing. The character models are good—the expressive and evocative performance of these people—but the star of the show is the world itself. In every corner there is a beautiful new vision worth admiring. In every battle, you will trigger both beautiful and destructive art. The music from Motoi Sakuraba, the composer of the Tales series (he also created the Dark Souls game, by the way) is equally beautiful.
Basically, I like it. This is the best Tales game in a long time, and it is also the game that I have felt the most invested in a large budget Japanese RPG in a long time-except for Dragon Quest 11 and FF7 Remake, these large games have There are a lot of extra content emotional baggage that definitely helps me how to look at them. Tales of Arise has not benefited in the same way, because although I prefer Tales, I am nowhere near as series lovers-of course, it is completely disconnected from the rest of the series, just like tradition. In the end it was just a damn good game. People who like this genre should mark it as a must-play game, but deceased fans or people who have never really dabbled in this genre may find it attractive to them. It’s great.