The Tales franchise brings in another contender to their list of RPGs as Tales of Zestiria arrives on the scene. While the Tales series is known for recurring elements and character archetypes (installment after installment), there is a sense of beauty in each new title wherein gamers from all over are being drawn to purchasing and playing the videogame. The creators of the Tales titles know that they can keep their long list of fans captivated by just tweaking their storylines and gameplay by just a bit with the addition of new characters. The battle system of Zestiria, on the other hands, warrants the attention of any Tales fan.
Tales of Zestiria Brings a Lot of the Old, Mixed it With New Things, and Keeps a Good Balance in Between
The story of Tales of Zestiria is different from other Tales games as it has otherwordly beginnings. The main protagonist, Sorey, and his adoptive brother, Mikleo, is quite reminiscent to the angelic characters found at the start of Dragon Quest IX. The latter character is part of the seraphim which is a race of angelic monk-like beings who oversee Glenwood (the world of Zestiria). The former, on the other hand, is an orphaned human raised by the seraphim.
Sorey has never experienced life outside the safety and isolation of his village. This brought about the chain of events that would lead him to be motivated to return to the lands inhabited by the humans. Many of these lands have already been corrupted by an evil presence, bluntly known as the Malevolence. Brother side-by-side, they discover his sheltered upbringing and strong moral code grants him to be an ideal candidate of the role of savior throughout Glenwood, which is reverently known as the Shepherd.
Like any other Tales game, The Tales of Zestiria is expected to find a predictable assortment of contrasting and complementary personalities. The exploration of the game is unsurprising as it really feels like that of a JRPG. If you’re not in a dungeon or in town, the structure of the game is as cliché as it comes. What’s good about the Tales games, including that of Zestiria, is that what could be a half-hour visit to a nearby town will turn into a three hour conquest of side quests. These are a welcoming break for all of the dungeons that you have to go through.
The battle system for Tales of Zestiria provides homage to other Tales titles while adding a welcoming mix of its own. This brings players to rely on their skill and dexterity as gamers rather than relying completely on two button playstyles to win battles. Sadly, Zestiria will most likely only appeal to the fans of the franchise and people who are not familiar with the Tales titles may find themselves becoming board after a few hours of gameplay.