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Tales Of Arise Makes A Great First Entry For Series Newcomers

Tales of Arise is the latest entry in the long-running JRPG franchise. Although the Tales games have never been as popular as Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, the series has delivered consistently good action-RPGs for 25 years. Now that the game has been released and has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews, newcomers may be interested in checking it out. Thankfully, Tales of Arise works as a perfect introduction to the series.

Aesthetically, the game looks beautiful. It's a major step up in graphics from the previous mainline entry, Tales of Berseria, but it still retains the anime-inspired look of classic Tales games. In many ways, Tales of Arise is a true advancement of the series, improving and expanding on familiar mechanics from past entries while still feeling like an actual Tales game. It's not so much a reinvention à la Final Fantasy but more like the refinement and evolution found in Dragon Quest.

Related: Tales of Arise Review: A Gorgeous & Inviting JRPG

As many reviews have pointed out, Tales of Arise is a great blend of old and new concepts. And it's not just the graphics that have seen major improvements. The series' action-oriented combat is faster than ever. Familiar series mechanics like Artes are still present, while customizable combat tactics and even an auto-battle option can make leveling up easier than ever. The AI in Tales of Arise is also unbelievably consistent, especially for anyone playing on a lower difficulty.

The difficulty modes in Tales of Arise are yet another way the game is more easily accessible for newcomers. While some other entries have had this feature as well, beginners nervous about tackling a new game in a long-running series may feel somewhat relieved to find that the game's Story difficulty is a great starting place for newcomers. It may be overly easy for longtime fans, but it's an ideal way to start the game for anyone who's new to the series and needs to take their time learning the intricacies of combat, weapon forging, and accessory enhancement.

The characters are another standout part of Tales of Arise. Skits are once again present, allowing players to view optional scenes that shed more light on characters' backgrounds and add more of an "adventuring with friends" feel to the game. Mini-games, including hunting for owls in Tales of Arise for new cosmetics, add extra layers to gameplay as well. Of course, most of these mini-games and Skits are completely optional, meaning they don't have to be viewed or completed. In fact, for people who may be hesitant about committing to a 100+ hour JRPG, Tales of Arise is fairly short. By simply playing through the game in Story mode, it can likely be beaten in around the 30-hour mark - again, making it more accessible to first-timers.

This is really where Tales of Arise succeeds. People can do as much (or as little) as they wish outside of the main narrative. And while skipping Skits may cause some of the nuances of the game and characters to be lost, keeping them optional is great. By taking systems from 25 years' worth of JRPGs, Tales of Arise has given longtime fans a possibly new favorite entry - all while offering newcomers an enticing place to start.

Next: Every Classic JRPG Series That Needs A Revival

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