Anime, Daily Rant, Tales Series, Video Games

Day 314: Tales of The Most Anime Games Ever

In my spare time (what little of it I give myself) I usually do one of two things. I either play a game or I watch anime. But every now and then, I like to do both. And while many games I’ve played feel like anime from top to bottom, like Persona and Catherine, none have done it better than the Tales series.

These games are ridiculous! It feels like the plots, character designs, worlds and combat systems were thrown in a blender with Masashi Kishimoto’s work, an average fighting game and the first five Final Fantasies. They are pretty to look at, convoluted and extensive in their plots, and a ton of fun to play.

There are a ton of these games, and I do mean a ton. Before diving into the deep end, I had no idea this series was so long lasting. To list off just a few, we have:

  • Tales of Symphonia (the one most people know)
  • Tales of Vesperia (which was recently remastered on modern consoles)
  • Tales of Zesteria
  • Tales of Berseria (my personal favorite and the latest new entry in the series)
  • Tales of Xilia (which has a direct sequel, a rarity in this series)

And many more with equally ridiculous titles. But as we all know: the more ridiculous title, the more likely the show is amazing. I mean, just look at Recovery of an MMO Junkie.

Which you should totally watch, by thr way. But that’s for another day.

It’s no secret that most RPGs are time commitments. If you intend to finish it, you’ll be sinking a ton of time into them. And the Tales games are no different.

These games are really fucking long. Even if you ignore all the side content (which would greatly reduce the quality of your experience, so I don’t recommend that) you will likely be playing these for fifty to a hundred hours. So if you intend to beat even one of these, I’d advise you clear your schedule and take your time.

These games are at their best when you take the time necessary to do side activities. Whether it’s the many (and dear god do I mean many) different Skits, small interactions between your party members that help build their characters and relationships (which are my favorite parts of these games), or the various side quests you pick up throughout your adventures, you should take the time to see as much as you can. Doing so will make it a lot easier to get endeared to the casts and worlds of each game.

And doing so is a must for a Tales game. Sure, you can play for the action RPG combat, but these games really shine with their characters. Most of them are simple anime archetypes, but they’re so well executed that it’s hard to care. Like Berseria’s witch Magilou, an apathetic, safistic goofball who knows more than she lets on. Or Vesperia’s Yuri Lowell, a common man with a heart of gold that’s just cold enough to do what needs to be done.

If you ask me, the Skits are the reason to play these games. Be they the characters reflecting on what they’ll need to do next or just the party bickering about the species of a beetle, these add so much character and charm that it’d be a crime to skip these! By the end of the game, I’m often more looking forward to the next Skit rather than the next story beat or boss fight.

Then there are the plots themselves, which are so ridulous and hard to follow that they could only ever be anime. Playing through these makes you feel like you’re watching a really long Shounen action series. Everything adds to this feeling, from the art style to the music.

I mean, come on, Berseria’s opening cutscene has a FLOW song playing over it! For those who don’t know, FLOW is a Japanese band whose songs are often used for anime OPs, including many of Naruto’s. So you know we’re in good hands.

It’s not often that a long RPG can satiate my endless hunger for anime nonsense. But these games are like a good Thanksgiving dinner: forgoing the turkey for a delicious ham and filling you up for days. After playing these, I doubt any other game will be able to fill that need for a ridiculous and fun plot with simple characters and lots of good times.

That is, until Kingdom Hearts 3. But a large part of me still doesn’t think that it’s ever going to come out, even though it’s a week away.

Come on Square, one last delay. For old times sake! We all know you want to!

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