The long running Tales franchise has been on almost every platform imaginable to date, and with each iteration there have been numerous improvement to both gameplay and storytelling, however there has been one missed opportunity with this franchise until October 19 2015, and that is that there was not a PC version of any of the Tales of games. Tales is finally on the PC and it is glorious. The newest game in the Franchise; Tales of Zestiria, has been ported to the PC via the digital video game distribution client steam. It’s not perfect, as that would require it to run at 60fps, and not require any tweaking to get the graphics just right, but it shines in all the ways that matter.
This version of the game is locked to 30fps, and the Vsync settings do not prevent screen tearing. It is possible to use the application settings in your graphics card control manager to fix the screen tearing, but until there is a patch the game will be only playable at 30fps. For those that are graphics enthusiast you might be happy to know that the game does support 4K, HD textures and a greater draw distance than it’s console counterparts. Graphical nitpicking aside the game-play shines.
Tales of Zestiria takes place on a fictional continent named Glenwood. Glenwood is divided between two warring countries: the Hyland Kingdom, which is ruled by a constitutional monarchy, and the Rolance Empire. The game revolves around Sorey, who wishes to return peace to the land, setting out on a quest to become a Shepherd, gain the power to calm the Hellion and defeat their mysterious leader, and save both humanity and the Seraphim. He also wishes to bring about a new “legendary time” when humanity and the Seraphim lived in harmony.
So far I’ve only managed to scratch the surface of this new tales game, and already I can tell that it’s going to be an amazing experience. The Voice acting is great, the Graphics are stunning, the setting is awe inspiring and so is the music. It also supports Xbox One, Xbox 360 and keyboard input options. (I used an Xbox One controller for this First impression)
All my praises aside this is not a game for everyone.
It should be noted that this is a game for JRPG fans. Those that don’t like reading a lot of dialog, and doing the required backtracking that is associated with this genre should be weary, because Tales of Zestiria is full of both. Even for a veteran JRPG fan like myself there is a lot that I have not grasped yet. After you gain control of your character you are presented with tutorials after almost every battle, or cut-scene. Sometimes they are presented in succession. Which I think holds up the progress a bit, but I can understand why they are so frequent during the early goings. You see the game is filled with so many mechanics and system that without all the tutorials one wouldn’t be able to truly experience all of it’s glory as the developers have intended.
Casual gamers that want to know the story can play the game on easy which sets everything in battle to auto, allowing for the player to basically glide through the game as if viewing a movie, but I do not suggest that option unless necessary, because one of the things that makes this franchise so good is the interactive real time battle system. It is fully customization, allowing for any type of play style and just like with each of its predecessors, Zestiria’s battle system improves on the games that came before it.
Yes the game has a few flaws but none of them affect the overall package that developer Bandai Namco have to offer. Tales of Zestiria is one of the games that I think any true JRPG fan should already have in their steam library. It’s currently selling for $50 USD so if you have the cash to spare why not grab yourself a copy, you won’t regret it.
if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.