June 20, 2013

I should be less “ashamed” of my Tales Series love

Posted in video games tagged , , , at 10:08 am by riulyn

I don’t know how obvious it is from this blog, but I proudly tout my love for Suikoden games and Xeno games. However, I don’t really talk Tales of and usually it’s me bashing the music, since well most of the music isn’t that great in comparison to other games.

There really should be no reason for this. I love Tales games. I have played most of the games that have come out in the U.S. and I am super excited about Tales of Xillia. Yes, I am only recently playing Tales of Graces f but it was the first game I popped into that PS3, and I still have to finish Legendia and play Dawn of the New World. I rarely replay games, but I’ve played Tales of Phantasia twice and got significantly into a second replay of Tales of Eternia before something happened to that save. I replayed Tales of the Abyss as part of a gaming marathon/challenge and loved it again. I’m looking into buying Tales of Vesperia for the PS3, and Tales of Innocence and Tales of Hearts for the Vita.

However, I had a friend a few months ago who was wondering about Tales of the Abyss 3D as she has a 3DS and I was hesitant to recommend it to her. Well there were multiple reasons, one of them being a more general “she doesn’t really like menus”, but the other was…well, it’s probably too cheesy and the anime tropes are strong and… You know what? I love the characters because of their trope-ness. They still get nice character growth, banter all the time, and the universe is actually pretty interesting. And she likes anime, so the anime-ness shouldn’t have been an issue to worry about.

I guess there’s been enough talk on the Internet that bashes the Tales series in general for their silly stories and it is true that I play more for the battle system than for the story. But sometimes I bury my Tales love more than my Star Ocean or Lufia love, and I wouldn’t say Star Ocean or Lufia games have better stories or characters.

I mean, Tales is solidly my third favorite series (after Suikoden and Xeno-, of course). I don’t have enough experience with some major JRPG series (Shadow Hearts, Breath of Fire, Arc the Lad, Shining, Fire Emblem, Tactics Ogre, Wild Arms, Atelier, Ar Tonelico,  the list goes on) to say it would be my third favorite series of all time but it has many things I like in a game and reliably so. While there’s always the dumb but somehow adorable hero character, the badass magical girl, usually a smart-ass who is also badass, and a crazy person, I enjoy most of their iterations. I mean, it’d be hard to pick a Top 5 Tales characters (so far for me), and not because I can’t find ones I like enough.

Top 5 Tales characters (at this moment) – Yuri (ToV), Pascal (ToGf), Guy (TotA), Hubert (ToGf), Jade (TotA)

Honorable mentions – a huge list 😀

I guess, as someone who got into gaming through RPGs and still play them for the stories, admitting that I love a RPG series whose stories aren’t life-changing or completely unique  is like saying I don’t really have refined tastes when it comes to stories. The thing is, that has always been true with me and I can now readily admit that about my reading habits. I need to start admitting that about my gaming habits too! 🙂

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