I know this is rather late in coming, but I’d like to wish a happy 15th birthday to the Tales franchise. For 15 years, Namco Bandai’s JRPG franchise has produced some solid hits that I’ve taken a shine to. To me, they’re the proper, quintessential JRPG. What makes this franchise stand out, and makes them so successful?
In every Tales game, the story unfolds as you play, and relies heavily on a solid narrative. While some people may dismiss this as repetitive, I enjoy getting into all the stories. A particular favorite of mine was Vesperia’s, which covered morality and the duality of laws. They weren’t afraid to comment on the duality of society and the laws that govern the masses. Symphonia’s story covered discrimination. Every tales game has a story to tell, and the pacing is proper, well thought out, and meaningful. You grow with the characters. Also, the pace is broken with light-hearted fun moments, which make the games that much more memorable.
I mentioned the characters in my previous paragraph. They’re all likable, and the character interaction is one of the strongest points of the franchise. Through the skits and the story, you get to really know the characters, and learn about their likes and dislikes. You often times share some hilarious moments. Like this one.
I love the character designs as well.
It’s wonderful. From the anime opening sequences, to random battles, the music in EVERY Tales game is brilliant. The openings are a treat, and they’re usually performed by top-tier artists in Japan. Like…
Bump of Chicken
Unlike Final Fantasy, the battles in Tales games unfold in real time, and you’re allowed free movement of your character. Magic is implemented as well, and does take time to cast, adding a sense of strategy to battles. No two battles are alike, and the awesome music makes things that much more enjoyable. I’ve been known to grind things out fighting, so having a fun battle system is a must for me.
So what’s my favorite Tales game…?
Man, if I had to choose? I’d probably go with Vesperia. I played the hell out of that game on my XBOX 360, and it was the only game I actually put in there. I think it’s still in there, even now. Now if only they’d give us the Ps3 version I’d be a happy camper. Symphonia is a close second, followed by Graces in 3rd. Abyss comes in 4th. That shit got me deep. Especially this song.