Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Aug 202021

Wednesday was not only the day of Pokémon Presents, but also the day the Tales of Arise demo became available.

I downloaded it, and while I didn’t dig into it as much as some fans have, I played through it and enjoyed it quite a bit.

First of all, Tales of Arise is beautiful. I’ve seen debates about Tales switching away from an anime art style to a realistic style, but that’s not really how I’d describe Arise. It strikes me more like a painting, but whatever the art style is called, I love the way the world looks.

The camera is pulled in a little too close for my taste, but I got used to that as I played.

Exploration was one of the high points of the demo for me. There’s nothing I love more than running around a beautiful environment grabbing items, so the vegetables to collect at gathering spots for cooking made me happy. Being able to jump into the water and swim to new spots was great, too.

There’s a lot going on in the combat, and I didn’t quite get the knack for it yet. However, I’m sure that’ll be easier in the full game, when elements are introduced more gradually.

Then there are camps. At camps, you can rest and cook a meal to provide the party with benefits. Cooking as Alphen also gave me one of the funniest skits in the demo.

Skits are told in the comic-like style we discussed previously, and I enjoyed them, although it still feels odd to me. Not being able to see all of the characters’ faces/reactions when a pane focuses on a specific character might be why it doesn’t feel right.

Still, they were fun enough. More importantly, they gave me an idea of the character dynamics, and we could have some pretty entertaining interactions with this cast.

(Characters trying to interpret Dohalim’s way of speaking stood out to me the most. Also, it seems Hootle doesn’t talk, so he could be a non-annoying mascot after all!)

The demo provides very little story context (and for people criticizing the unvoiced “cutscenes,” I’m almost certain those exist only for the demo), but I don’t mind that, since that lets the demo give you a full party without risking spoilers. Overall, I enjoyed the Tales of Arise demo and it left me even more excited for the full release!

Did you play the demo for Tales of Arise? What did you think of it?

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