Tales of Zestiria (PlayStation 4) Second Opinion Review

By Az Elias 11.12.2017 3

Review for Tales of Zestiria on PlayStation 4

Tales of Berseria has since come and gone, and improved on many aspects of previous Tales games, including 2015's Tales of Zestiria. A tale of one man who takes up the mantle of the "Shepherd," destined to rid the world of darkness, is it worth joining Sorey on his adventure, or better to stay at home sucking lemons? Cubed3 has already given a couple of views at time of release (PS4 and PC), but anyone who missed out might consider one more opinion.

Clichés are pretty standard fare for plots in Tales games, and even JRPGs as a whole, really, but it's no stretch to say that it applies doubly so for Bandai Namco's long-running series. The opening segments start off pretty silly, with main character Sorey and his friend searching for the mystery of some age-old ruins next to their hometown. These guys have lived here years, and the ruins are a few seconds' walk from there. How on earth we're supposed to believe they've never found the hidden undergrounds before is beyond belief.

Regardless, the story develops into Sorey becoming the aforementioned Shepherd and journeying to drive the evil mists of darkness from the lands. It's a bit slow to get going, but the first half of the game is definitely the better half. The voice acting is a decent step up from past entries, but once it is realised that the story isn't going anywhere, things get pretty dull. Tales games often like to throw all sorts of twists into the mix, but there's none of that in Zestiria. It really is an overly long quest of Sorey trying to destroy that wickedness spreading over the world, and not much else. There's nothing to strive for because everything is so predictable.

The overworld suffers from being quite possibly the blandest in the series. Various ruins pique the interest and try to offer a little sidequesting on top of things, but the rewards aren't worth it. In an odd twist, the later portion of the game sees the party going on some awful collectathon quest and needing to seek out what looked to be optional areas previously. Just when you want to see the story out and hope that there's something else under the plain narrative, this is thrown onto you. Grinding is even made extra frustrating with how long it takes to level up.

Screenshot for Tales of Zestiria on PlayStation 4

The change to do away with transitioning battle scenes has its pros and cons. It means battles activate immediately, but the price is what seem to be extra wide and boring dungeons that have been designed with being battle arenas in mind. Sadly still, there are definitely tight rooms where the camera just cannot pan out properly and makes for some terrible viewpoints as you fight the right control stick to try and find your character and the enemies you want to attack.

If you can work with the dodgy camera, however, the combat is probably the best part of Zestiria, despite since being topped by Berseria, with Graces also being superior. Menus and setting up the equipment to boost gear can be annoying, but once in the battlefield, being able to combine with other characters for massively increased stats and power is definitely the highlight, and the special moves always look especially cool.

A destination marker helps things when looking for the next objective in the story, although, strangely, it does not appear until you're in the exact correct section of the goal. If you are in a section of the map that requires a transition into the target destination, the hint marker just won't appear, meaning you can actually end up wandering around aimlessly before you land in the correct zone. On the plus side, the load times are great, and being able to warp between save points from different areas and regions is a big boon; however, the fact it is so expensive can be quite off-putting to make use of this feature. The game also forces you to go on long treks that lock you out of warping, just so it can force cutscenes onto you.

Screenshot for Tales of Zestiria on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The Tales series has always been a mixed bag on many fronts, but it is the narrative that really lets Tales of Zestiria down. Possibly the dullest in the franchise to date, including in its overworld and dungeon designs, and all the problems that come on top of that, anyone still on the fence about this would do wise to save their time to play another entry in the franchise, or just a more interesting JRPG in general.

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

tight rooms where the camera just cannot pan out properly and makes for some terrible viewpoints

Same as with Xeno 2's villages where the camera goes nuts in close quarters. Really frustrating.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Our member of the week

I doubt the story here is duller than that of Tales of the Tempest though Smilie.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Ooh, not sure. Doesn't give me any desire to find out tho :p

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