Welcome back, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. I spent most of it playing Slime Rancher. Man, I’m such a sucker for cute games. Also, August is just too hot! I’m tired of this skin melting sunshine. Alas, here I am with a month or two more of sweating in a baking sun. Ugh, think I’ll stay inside the next month. They deliver groceries now anyway.
Anyway, it’s Monday, and as promised I’m sharing a new mobile game that I think is great!
There must be some of you who have heard of the Tales series of games. It’s one of the more popular Japanese RPGs, and the series has sold sixteen million games worldwide! The first one came out in 1995. That’s twenty-two years ago–the same year Toy Story came out! It was titled Tales of Phantasia. I hadn’t quite ripened into my gaming years just yet in 1995, but I did turn an interested eye to Tales of Vesperia back in 2008 and played many hours of the game. That had been the only Tales game I managed to play, until two weeks ago.
Overall, the Tales series is a Japanese role playing game. I see it as a classic (high) fantasy, complete with kingdoms and magic, knights and battling for good. There may be a little love, and there is definitely lots of battling monsters. Though, unlike a lot of classic fantasy RPGs, the Tales series does not use turn based gameplay. A big theme throughout each of the Tales games are issues with the coexistence of different races. Also, the main characters are always interested in justice it seems.
So, for the first time ever we have a full Tales game for our phones. What?! Yes. July 24th marked the North American and European release of Tales of the Rays. And you guys…it’s FREE. I could barely believe it when I spotted it in the App Store by pure accident. I thought that it must be some type of poorly made game–horrible graphics, major issues, and a short little game. After playing for a few minutes, my mouth was sort of flopping open. This is a real, full Tales game…free, for my phone.
Check out the trailer:
The story starts when falling meteors destroy Ix Nieves and Mileena Weiss’ island hometown. They survive, but soon discover a serious, grim threat to their world of Tir Na Nog. Now it’s off to battle to save the world!
You build a party of four and are in control of the first member of the crew. You can customize your characters a little with weapons, outfits, and accessories. The game is controlled by touch, in battle, you use the left side for moving your character around and the right side for attacking.
The game has something called Anima–which designates the origin of the character and is based on what game the character originated from. It affects the stats of the characters, and if the character’s Anima matches the quests prescribed Anima, then that character will receive a x2 multiplier to their stats. However, the main character’s Ix and Mileena will always receive a x1.5 multiplier no matter the quest’s Anima type.
The special attacks for Tales of the Rays are called Mirrage Artes and can be activated once the pink bar under the character’s blue HP bar, is fully charged. A red arrow will appear to alert you, and you can swipe up from the character’s icon to perform the special attack. There is also a yellow bar that signifies the character’s skilled attacking power. This will diminish as you used specialized attacks and once it’s completely deplenished, you’ll have to wait for the yellow bar to regenerate some before using skilled attacks again.
You can assign four weapons to a character and one Mirrage Artes. It’s best to use the weapons that are specific to the character so that they can use their skill move in battle.
Tales of the Rays also has something called summoning. You need at least twenty Mirrorgems (the currency of the game) to be able to summon weapons and Mirrage Artes. You don’t get to pick what you’ll be summoning, so its a surprise to see what you manage to get!
I haven’t played through the game yet, so this is just on first impressions. I’m not going to be shy, I’m impressed. This is exactly what I remember from the previous Tales game I played before. What really drives it home for me is it’s a phone game (for Android and iOS). I’m so used to simple games on the phone that I’m a bit flabbergasted by the depth and graphics of this one.
I don’t like the option to buy game money with real money. I’ve never been a fan of RPGs switching from monthly subscriptions to in game purchase options. It makes the experience different for different players, and things can become unbalanced. Though, I’m not too disgruntled about it in this game since it’s not an MMO.
I also wish that there was a little less loading time. I have a Nexus 5X, maybe you have a better phone than me and will have shorter loading times.
Lastly, it does fall a little flat after a while. I wish I felt more engrossed in the story.
Overall, would I recommend this? Absolutely, it’s a free phone game that can make for an excellent time waster. It’s truly a game from the Tales series so if you love–or even just like–the series, this is definitely a game for you. If you have yet to try a Tales game, this is the perfect introduction because it’s free!