Of all the long running JRPG franchises out there, the hardest nut to crack has always been Namco’s Tales series; I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly why I really dislike it.
Could it be the serviceable anime art style, pretty but lifeless and hollow, lacking the character oozing from Akira Toriyama’s work in Dragon Quest or Ghibli’s established style in Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch? Could it be that each game stretches 40 hours of content into 60 or 80 hours of gameplay and never really breaks from the most annoying cliches of the genre?
Or could it be Tales‘ well established action style combat system? It makes for flashy and exciting trailers, but random battle after random battle really takes a toll on what’s really the driving force that separates these games from the crowd.
The latest trailer shows off the battle happy characters whaling away at their unfortunate enemies with unending combos. Seriously, the enemies take hundreds of hits before finally croaking, and HP numbers drop from their bodies so quickly that they don’t even have time to bleed.
What makes a decent RPG in this day and age is quick, effective, and thought provoking combat. A battle in Persona 3 pops up, you know the elements to use, you cast them, your allies fall in line, and POOF…its all over quicker than it began. Boss battles are allowed to play out a bit slower, but if every random battle takes up to five minutes to complete, the game would go on forever. That’s what killed Final Fantasy XIII, and that’s what drags these Tales games out for such unnecessarily long playthroughs.
Or is it just me, but is seeing these goofs go to town on a defenseless deer at the 0:30 mark just hilarious?
Tales of Xillia 2 will be release for the PlayStation 3 this November in Japan, and localization in Western countries depends on international sales of the first Tales of Xillia when it gets released stateside next year.