The best Tales game yet?
It’s been a while since I played a game in the Tales series, so I was a bit lost when it came to Zestiria but quickly got to grips with it thanks to a rather open story that doesn’t require knowing a lot about past entries. The story follows the character Sorey who lives among the Seraphim (a human-like race that are invisible to standard humans) before his adventure kicks off against an evil force known as Malevolence and must seek the help of both humans and Seraphim on his journey.
Zestiria has a real-time battle system like in other Tales games, but it is more refined here with the ability to side dash as well as new fusion technique combo opportunities, the combat is also faster paced than before. I’m usually lost when it comes to JRPG’s, with the odd exception like Final Fantasy 7/8 and Lost Odyssey but I felt the combat in this to be really accessible even for me. One complaint I do have is that it isn’t quite as open as before, there’s definitely less to explore than the last Tales game I played.
Despite that, it’s still a solid RPG. There’s absolutely no denying that, it’s incredibly polished and even though I didn’t connect to the characters as much as I would have liked, the story is still highly enjoyable from start to finish. The locations and dungeon design will divide opinion, but I personally liked what they did…even if it doesn’t always hit all the right marks, it does just enough to satisfy.
The visual style is typical of the series, that’s for sure. I was lucky enough to be playing the PS4 version which looks incredibly crisp and detailed, I didn’t see any framerate drops and the character models are superb. Voice-acting can be selected as Japanese or English as you would expect and is about of the same quality as in past titles, so it all depends on taste and choice. Music on the other hand is undeniably outstanding.
Tales of Zestiria is without a doubt the best Tales game in a while, I was glad to finally get back into the series and it’s made me want to get back into the past entries. Some might think they played it a bit safe story-wise and in terms of exploring, but it is a solid RPG from beginning to end and that’s all that counts. Long may the Tales series continue.