JRPG fans rejoiced when it was announced that Tales of Zestiria would release not only on PS3, but PS4 in the west simultaneously on October 20th, 2015. I was able to sit down and talk with one of the developers at Bandai Namco, and walked away impressed from the new title in the Tales series.
The story of Tales of Zestiria centers around a boy named Sorey who lives deep in the hills and mountains away from the large kingdoms and wars. Sorey is known as a Shepherd- a human capable of seeing heavenly beings called the Seraphim’s. As a Shepherd, Sorey is able to enter into battle with the Hellions who bring about disaster over the lands of Glenwood, feeding on the negative emotions of humans. Sorey’s mission is to bring back a time when Seraphim and humans can live in harmony without war or discrimination, a world free of the Hellion and a new age reminiscent of the “Legendary Time”.
Tales of Zestiria continues to innovate the popular linear motion battle system, enabling players to fight with separate battle screens, leaving battles within the same area as exploration, giving a nice, smooth transition for players. Artes return from previous games, split into two categories: Melee and magic based attacks. When enough points are collected during the fights across the world, Sorey can transform into his Seraphim form, allowing him special attacks that can wipe the battlefield of the Hellions. Characters are also allowed to fuse together to create a hybrid form using Armitization, allowing for summons against bosses.
The demo allowed the players to explore an open-field with a variety of monsters sprawling across the land, allowing for a full sense of what to expect in the combat for the game. I was allowed to play the PS3 version as the PS4 version wasn’t ready to show off yet. The cel-shaded environments brought a colorful balance to the world against a backdrop of devil-like creatures roaming by castles and large boulders.
Battles were quick and precise, allowing for quick executions of attacks using the left-stick and four buttons on the PlayStation controller. Once the SC points became full, Sorey transformed into a being with bright golden wings, bringing down a large special attack that leveled the field with explosions and bright light. Players can switch party members throughout the game, allowing a mix of Artes during combat that allows for each battle to be unique.
A significant improvement over Tales of Xilia 2, Tales of Zestiria will delight fans of the series with its rich original story and characters, while streamlining the combat system for players. For updates on Tales of Zestiria and E3, follow our Facebook and Twitter pages.