News Tales of Arise (Namco Bandai) - releasing on September 10 , 2021

Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
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Finally reach the front door of the final boss. Well, people, it's time to... fish! And side quests!
 
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Valdien

✵ Chaos! ✵
Mar 26, 2020
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Sydney
Well, this is stupid. I just finished the first two training grounds for all the characters in ToA, and Shionne's AI never jumps or uses air artes. Learned 5 artes back to back. How the hell do you create a party AI system with such a huge oversight? It's bad enough as is on Hard, but this is just lol.
 
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Anteater

Giant Pikamee Fan
Sep 20, 2018
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Truth be told, I haven't changed my strategy at all the entire game, I don't know what they do and there's too much happening on screen for me, I'm playing on normal so it's not bad as long as I do my part right (not dying).
 
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Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
2,130
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Slowly making progress. Man the dungeons really start to get long quick. I never have enough CP it seems.
You can quit the dungeon through fast travel. ;)

I think many dungeons in this game are designed for players to abuse this function, as they are always divided into multi-sections so you can get back to the main route easily if you have completely done one section before fast travelling.
 

The_Inquisitor

MetaMember
Sep 23, 2021
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You can quit the dungeon through fast travel. ;)

I think many dungeons in this game are designed for players to abuse this function, as they are always divided into multi-sections so you can get back to the main route easily if you have completely done one section before fast travelling.
I mean I do. But some dungeons aren't as generous with fast travel and require decent backtracking. I get this is better than previous tales games (I have played most of series) but with cost of items still midway through game it kind of disincentives you from burning items and continuing through.
And of course this dungeon doesn't allow warp back after beating boss so im back tracking 😆
 
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Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
2,130
5,959
113
I mean I do. But some dungeons aren't as generous with fast travel and require decent backtracking. I get this is better than previous tales games (I have played most of series) but with cost of items still midway through game it kind of disincentives you from burning items and continuing through.
And of course this dungeon doesn't allow warp back after beating boss so im back tracking 😆
Well, it's the only dungeon that did this. Not sure why honestly...
 

Anteater

Giant Pikamee Fan
Sep 20, 2018
954
1,524
93
Everyone should use this if they haven't already, I think a recent update fixed the skits resolution, on top of other things like disabling CA, increasing NPC draw distance, etc. Game looks really amazing without all the chromatic aberration shit.

Arise-SDK

I haven't really spent money on healing items so I'm good with money so far, dungeons usually give you gels here and there. It's usually boss fights I need to spam items when Shionne dies, lol

but I think that part of the game could be done better, I like having to conserve my cure points and items but there should be more camps around just for cooking, food effect usually run out often mid dungeon and some don't last very long so I never use them.
 
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The_Inquisitor

MetaMember
Sep 23, 2021
19
25
13
Everyone should use this if they haven't already, I think a recent update fixed the skits resolution, on top of other things like disabling CA, increasing NPC draw distance, etc. Game looks really amazing without all the chromatic aberration shit.

Arise-SDK

I haven't really spent money on healing items so I'm good with money so far, dungeons usually give you gels here and there. It's usually boss fights I need to spam items when Shionne dies, lol

but I think that part of the game could be done better, I like having to conserve my cure points and items but there should be more camps around just for cooking, food effect usually run out often mid dungeon and some don't last very long so I never use them.
the issue is later in game some of blocked off areas take 40+ CP points to unlock. 1-2 of those in a row are enough to make further progress unsustainable.
 

Anteater

Giant Pikamee Fan
Sep 20, 2018
954
1,524
93
I don't know how far am I, but just beat Vholran, had to warp out to buy items, Shionne and party members kept dying :(
 
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Anteater

Giant Pikamee Fan
Sep 20, 2018
954
1,524
93
Finished it, they really lost me with the story towards the end, I just skip/skim through a lot of the skits/cutscenes, lol. Gameplay was fun though, it's probably my favorite in terms of gameplay, but some enemies were a bit spongy, or it could be my equipments/artes, I never paid attention to elements and just stuck with whatever I have.
 
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The_Inquisitor

MetaMember
Sep 23, 2021
19
25
13
As a fairly big takes fan id have to say I found this game fairly disappointing. I really wish it had ended about 2/3 through.
 

Valdien

✵ Chaos! ✵
Mar 26, 2020
1,035
2,080
113
Sydney
Well, after pouring 70+hrs, I've finally finished the game. This includes all the sidequests & post-game content. Played the game on Hard mode, and the artifact that increases damage dealt by 100% (also received) is most definitely a must for end game & high-level optional bosses. Without it, bosses will feel spongy. I also spent a decent amount of time with pretty much all the characters except for Shionne, since she's the only full-fledged healer in the party, and I couldn't be bothered playing a healer, so I left that up to the AI. :p Also, my ramblings/impressions below are mostly about the game's combat. Stuff regarding the other elements of the game such as story, writing & characters have been covered by other folks here at Meta.

I'm somewhat glad that the series finally transitioned into a fully 3D space (no LMBS) during battles with a dedicated jump button no less. Trying to play characters that were heavy users of airborne attacks like Judith was always janky and had a very high skill floor, which no doubt turned away a lot of players from experimenting; but at the same time, I feel that the combat in Arise lacks the depth & strategic elements that previous two Tales of games had. It may not appear so at first, especially since all the characters are easy to pick up and play. Bosses cannot be staggered or stun-locked (hyper armor), so trying to do long combo chains on them is no longer possible. I didn't mind this change during the early stages of the game, however, from the mid to late stages of the game, I felt that the approach to boss fights was the same. The lack of depth & strategic elements became apparent very quickly, and not being to combo bosses left me wanting more from the game's combat. And the small number of enemy varieties made the issue worse for me. ToA's combat is no longer similar to a fighting game, nearly all the tech from previous games have been removed. If the team's goal was to appease a casual fanbase and bring in newcomers, then they've no doubt succeeded on that front, based on the sales and reviews thus far.

Some more personal gripes that I have with the core combat system in Arise:

The Mystic Arte implementation in the game isn't very good. Extremely basic and unrewarding to use. No more dual MAs that Berseria had introduced, or stats/status effects/equipment that boosted MA damage. Not to mention some other annoyances associated with it. If an AI character executes a Mystic Arte on a target/enemy, then your combo chain is interrupted. This also applies to the player-controlled character, too The targeted enemy is then put in the middle of the area with a break status. In some crowded fights, I even noticed that the positioning for the party members were reset. There's also a slight delay before you can move/attack again. Your only choice as a player is to turn off MA's for AI-controlled characters to avoid this. How is this even good design? It's annoying and frustrating.

The over-limit system absolutely sucks, too. You fill up this "oh so magical bar that you cannot see" by dodging or taking hits. The only giveaway is a blue aura just before it occurs. On Hard mode, you'll be dying in 2 hits easily, and since the AI is god awful at dodging, the only way for them to enter an over-limit state is by taking hits... oh, but that's not all. Once a character enters an over-limit state, a small flourishing animation is played out, where both the AI/player-controlled character lose control of input but are still vulnerable to damage. I've died numerous times to this bullshit and there's absolutely nothing I could do to avoid damage since inputs don't register.

Long Animations & Cancel Timings: Based on my experience, the only way to cancel out of attacks is by using a boost strike of the character you're controlling or waiting until the very end of an attack animation. Some attacks have extremely long animations, particularly Law who has quite a few multi-hit artes. Not being able to cancel out of them is extremely annoying and you end up favouring quick-hitting artes on higher difficulties considering bosses cannot be staggered. There are just way too many flashy animations that in no way make the combat any better. There are some Air Artes that you cancel out of by inputting the same or a different air Arte, but this too is very limited.

By extension, the terrible AI & the limited option available to adjust AI strategies is also another problem that I'd say affects the core combat in the later stages of the game, particularly on higher difficulties. I mentioned earlier here in this thread that Shionne's AI will never use Air Artes or even jump. That of itself alone is a huge oversight. Plus, there is no way to adjust individuals strategies for characters aside from turning Artes on/off and for some limited choices in the strategy option. It feels barebones. There aren't even any basic strategies such as "Prioritize Enemy Weakness" or "Target a Different Enemy" to choose from. Setting the AI to "Do Nothing" so that all they do is dodge is not a solution to the problem, either. I find it baffling that ToA decided to go backward here. The stuff that I've mentioned has been part of the previous games, and the team decided to outright ignore nearly all of it. Hell, Zestiria has a better AI tactic system than this, and you didn't even have to pause the game to adjust some of the AI strategies!

Honestly, I could talk even more about how broken the AI system is in this game, but that will make this post longer than it really needs to be. For example, the "Keep Away" strategy is either completely broken, mis-translated, or is actually working as intended which doesn't make any sense. You'd assume that it means the AI controlled characters will attack the enemy from a distance? Nope, that's not the case. I tested this with only having healing artes on Shionne activated, and long range artes on everyone else, but the AI still goes up to the enemy butthole to cast their artes or perform basic attacks. Kisara will have her shield up all the time, and Law will simply dodge attacks. The only time these two aforementioned characters will attack is when the enemy has been downed. Once it's back up, they fall back to NOT attacking.

Apologies for the lengthy post, but I've been extremely conflicted about ToA, especially as a passionate Tales of fan. It does some things right (including QoL improvements) but they dropped the ball on many other things, such as the redundant dialogue, boring characters & skits (one of the highlights of the series for me), and a very weak story near the end of the game. I feel like the team spent way too much time making sure the game looked as good as it could be and ended up neglecting other aspects of the game. There's no doubt that it's the best-looking Tales of game to date, and the hard work they put into creating the environments is evident from start to finish. There's excellent use of particles too, might I add. (even though it affects clarity during certain humanoid boss fights).

I struggle to find any in-depth review regarding the game's combat. All I hear is praise. Am I crazy or just too nit-picky? The issues mentioned above certainly ruined my enjoyment of the game.

Anyway, as an overall package, Tales of the Abyss still remains my favourite. IMO, there still hasn't been a character as awesome as Jade in the series since. Totally not biased. :lampblob:
 

The_Inquisitor

MetaMember
Sep 23, 2021
19
25
13
Well, after pouring 70+hrs, I've finally finished the game. This includes all the sidequests & post-game content. Played the game on Hard mode, and the artifact that increases damage dealt by 100% (also received) is most definitely a must for end game & high-level optional bosses. Without it, bosses will feel spongy. I also spent a decent amount of time with pretty much all the characters except for Shionne, since she's the only full-fledged healer in the party, and I couldn't be bothered playing a healer, so I left that up to the AI. :p Also, my ramblings/impressions below are mostly about the game's combat. Stuff regarding the other elements of the game such as story, writing & characters have been covered by other folks here at Meta.

I'm somewhat glad that the series finally transitioned into a fully 3D space (no LMBS) during battles with a dedicated jump button no less. Trying to play characters that were heavy users of airborne attacks like Judith was always janky and had a very high skill floor, which no doubt turned away a lot of players from experimenting; but at the same time, I feel that the combat in Arise lacks the depth & strategic elements that previous two Tales of games had. It may not appear so at first, especially since all the characters are easy to pick up and play. Bosses cannot be staggered or stun-locked (hyper armor), so trying to do long combo chains on them is no longer possible. I didn't mind this change during the early stages of the game, however, from the mid to late stages of the game, I felt that the approach to boss fights was the same. The lack of depth & strategic elements became apparent very quickly, and not being to combo bosses left me wanting more from the game's combat. And the small number of enemy varieties made the issue worse for me. ToA's combat is no longer similar to a fighting game, nearly all the tech from previous games have been removed. If the team's goal was to appease a casual fanbase and bring in newcomers, then they've no doubt succeeded on that front, based on the sales and reviews thus far.

Some more personal gripes that I have with the core combat system in Arise:

The Mystic Arte implementation in the game isn't very good. Extremely basic and unrewarding to use. No more dual MAs that Berseria had introduced, or stats/status effects/equipment that boosted MA damage. Not to mention some other annoyances associated with it. If an AI character executes a Mystic Arte on a target/enemy, then your combo chain is interrupted. This also applies to the player-controlled character, too The targeted enemy is then put in the middle of the area with a break status. In some crowded fights, I even noticed that the positioning for the party members were reset. There's also a slight delay before you can move/attack again. Your only choice as a player is to turn off MA's for AI-controlled characters to avoid this. How is this even good design? It's annoying and frustrating.

The over-limit system absolutely sucks, too. You fill up this "oh so magical bar that you cannot see" by dodging or taking hits. The only giveaway is a blue aura just before it occurs. On Hard mode, you'll be dying in 2 hits easily, and since the AI is god awful at dodging, the only way for them to enter an over-limit state is by taking hits... oh, but that's not all. Once a character enters an over-limit state, a small flourishing animation is played out, where both the AI/player-controlled character lose control of input but are still vulnerable to damage. I've died numerous times to this bullshit and there's absolutely nothing I could do to avoid damage since inputs don't register.

Long Animations & Cancel Timings: Based on my experience, the only way to cancel out of attacks is by using a boost strike of the character you're controlling or waiting until the very end of an attack animation. Some attacks have extremely long animations, particularly Law who has quite a few multi-hit artes. Not being able to cancel out of them is extremely annoying and you end up favouring quick-hitting artes on higher difficulties considering bosses cannot be staggered. There are just way too many flashy animations that in no way make the combat any better. There are some Air Artes that you cancel out of by inputting the same or a different air Arte, but this too is very limited.

By extension, the terrible AI & the limited option available to adjust AI strategies is also another problem that I'd say affects the core combat in the later stages of the game, particularly on higher difficulties. I mentioned earlier here in this thread that Shionne's AI will never use Air Artes or even jump. That of itself alone is a huge oversight. Plus, there is no way to adjust individuals strategies for characters aside from turning Artes on/off and for some limited choices in the strategy option. It feels barebones. There aren't even any basic strategies such as "Prioritize Enemy Weakness" or "Target a Different Enemy" to choose from. Setting the AI to "Do Nothing" so that all they do is dodge is not a solution to the problem, either. I find it baffling that ToA decided to go backward here. The stuff that I've mentioned has been part of the previous games, and the team decided to outright ignore nearly all of it. Hell, Zestiria has a better AI tactic system than this, and you didn't even have to pause the game to adjust some of the AI strategies!

Honestly, I could talk even more about how broken the AI system is in this game, but that will make this post longer than it really needs to be. For example, the "Keep Away" strategy is either completely broken, mis-translated, or is actually working as intended which doesn't make any sense. You'd assume that it means the AI controlled characters will attack the enemy from a distance? Nope, that's not the case. I tested this with only having healing artes on Shionne activated, and long range artes on everyone else, but the AI still goes up to the enemy butthole to cast their artes or perform basic attacks. Kisara will have her shield up all the time, and Law will simply dodge attacks. The only time these two aforementioned characters will attack is when the enemy has been downed. Once it's back up, they fall back to NOT attacking.

Apologies for the lengthy post, but I've been extremely conflicted about ToA, especially as a passionate Tales of fan. It does some things right (including QoL improvements) but they dropped the ball on many other things, such as the redundant dialogue, boring characters & skits (one of the highlights of the series for me), and a very weak story near the end of the game. I feel like the team spent way too much time making sure the game looked as good as it could be and ended up neglecting other aspects of the game. There's no doubt that it's the best-looking Tales of game to date, and the hard work they put into creating the environments is evident from start to finish. There's excellent use of particles too, might I add. (even though it affects clarity during certain humanoid boss fights).

I struggle to find any in-depth review regarding the game's combat. All I hear is praise. Am I crazy or just too nit-picky? The issues mentioned above certainly ruined my enjoyment of the game.

Anyway, as an overall package, Tales of the Abyss still remains my favourite. IMO, there still hasn't been a character as awesome as Jade in the series since. Totally not biased. :lampblob:
nah I think combat falls apart about 1/2 through. It doesn’t help AI doesn’t handle the combat systems well. That probably is what ends up contributing to bosses feeling like sponges.