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Tales Series Games

I'm not sure what happened with me and these "Tales of..." games by Bandai. I used to love them, in fact a couple of my favorite older games were from this series (Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss). But, I've had two more recent games from the series sitting in my Steam library, and just haven't been able to get into them. Tales of Zestiria is just so unbelievably dull, it felt like a chore to play it. Tales of Berseria is much more critically acclaimed, and I do think the combat is better, but I couldn't get into this one either.

I wonder if it's because there are so many great action RPGs out nowadays, like Dragon's Dogma, Final Fantasy XV, Skyrim, etc. Back in the day, that genre mostly consisted of Tales games, Star Ocean, and the ol' Secret of Mana game. So, competition is more fierce now, and the bar is raised. I also think part of it is that I don't really like the cartoony anime look (tiny nose, huge eyes, etc). I definitely prefer more human-looking characters, like you see in Dragon's Dogma. You can still pull off a stylish hybrid look without making characters balloon-headed freaks; just look at FFXV.

Another aspect may be the unecessarily fantastical stories; it's nice to have something a bit more grounded, even if there is magic and whatnot in the game world. A good example is from Tales of Berseria; at the beginning, the bad guy kills the protagonist's brother. The villain has a sword, and is going to sacrifice him. Instead of just stabbing him, the brother floats into the air with a bunch of patterns and nonsense, and the bad guy stabs into a portal which then hits the floating guy. The whole thing seemed pointless. Ha ha, maybe I'm just getting old or something.

I just checked my play time for each of these Tales games, which I bought mostly due to nostalgia and nice discounts. Tales of Zestiria, which I probably won't play again, is at 99 minutes. Tales of Berseria, which I may try again just because of promising combat, is at 73 minutes. It's hard to justify playing even the better one though, because I still haven't finished Final Fantasy XV, which is a much better game. And, Pillars of Eternity 2 is coming soon.

Since I finally figured out how to link YouTube videos via shortcode within the forums, here's an example of the latest Tales game's combat. It's fun, but just doesn't satisfy like Dragon's Dogma and other more grounded action RPGs

I really shouldn't buy any more "Tales of..." games, because I'm pretty much always a bit underwhelmed. The combat is solid, but the story and character design extinguishes my interest pretty quickly in these games. I buy these games, play them for a couple hours, then never play again.

But. But. But. According to one of the many E3 leaks this week, the next Tales game looks intriguing! Still sort of an anime style, which isn't my cup of tea, but the graphics finally look current-generation.

Leaked images can be found here: https://www.resetera.com/threads/new-tales-of-game-apparently-leaked-including-screenshots-tales-of-arise-ps4-x1-pc.121658/