In a world torn by war and political skirmishes, accept the burden of the Shepherd and fight human darkness to protect your world from Malevolence and reunite humans and Seraphim.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (116 reviews) - 78% of the 116 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,585 reviews) - 89% of the 2,585 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 19, 2015

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About This Game

Hold on to what you strive for!

In a world torn by war between two powerful nations fighting for rule and supremacy, accept the burden of the Sheperd and fight human darkness to protect your world from Malevolence and reunite humans and Seraphim.
Together with Lailah, the Lady of the Lake who guards the Sacred Blade, and his best friend Mikleo, the cast will discover soon enough a powerful force is rising in the shadow.

Key Features:

  • Tumble into Sorey's epic journey set in a Medieval fantasy world with beautiful animations realized by the famous animation studio ufotable.
  • Discover diversified and huge environements throughout your adventure with the help of Seraphim
  • Advanced Battle System with fusions between Sorey and Seraphim. the battle scenes are now seamlessly integrated into the environements with no more load screens or transition

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+, 2.6GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 4830 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Gamepad support
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 (x64) / Windows 8 (x64) / Windows 10 (x64)
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-530, 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 940, 3.0GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti / AMD Radeon HD 7850 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Gamepad support
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (116 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,585 reviews)
Recently Posted
[ABMS]AladeeN
( 7.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
enjoying so much..
though battle can be confusing at first time.

cons:
-30fps caps
-stuttering at somepoint.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Qiqi
( 36.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
It's my first 'Tales of' games series i've ever played...
and seems every 'Tales of' fan says that this one is a pretty letdown..
So.. I Bought it on sale. And its my first. That could mean it'll only get better(?)
I Pretty much enjoy it till now.
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Kanransha
( 6.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Good gameplay love it XD
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Currently_Unavailable
( 65.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
If you're looking for a Tales experience, this game delievers it. The quality is something to be expected from a series that has so many entries. A negative I would point out however would be the characters. They were a bit too good or evil, but this, of course, is my opinion.
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Aya Shameimaru
( 73.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
At a glance, one would rejoice at the idea that it's a Tales game on Steam. However, it isn't all sunshines and rainbows, as veterans of the franchise are likely to disagree with some of the gameplay changes moving on from previous games. When looking at the game at its own, Zestiria proves to be a solid entry point for those new to the franchise, which is especially important when considering that this is the first Tales game on the PC platform.

PC Specifics
With the game in its current state, I would argue that even without the Tales of Zestiria fix, the PC version is the best one out there. While it is far more stable than the initial PS3 version, the game was developed with no cross-gen support in mind. As a result, the game is locked at 30 FPS when played as is (IMHO, this could've been a 60FPS game on the PS4). Additionally, the graphics menu is pretty barebones as you can see in this below screenshot. On the bright side though, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe has confirmed that the game does in fact support 4K.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=713838756

Due to the nature of the Tales series, I haven't even bothered to look at keyboard and mouse due to the series being designed with the DualShock controller in mind. (Can someone confirm if DirectInput controllers work with this game?)

And finally, performance. This part of the PC Specifics section requires the ToZFix for me to look at properly, and I would go as to say that when locked to 60, the game is lightweight enough for mid-range gamers to run this game at 1440p with little issue. However, I cannot confirm what it takes to play it on 2160p60 due to the limitations of AMD's VSR (Virtual Super Resolution).

Story
This section of the review is a (possibly indefinite) work in progress, as I will be doing a second playthrough to refresh my memory of Zestiria. Additionally, I will also be playing Xillia in short bursts to get a better comparison of how ToZ holds up.

Given the nature of the Tales franchise, it is nigh impossible to explain the premise of the story in a spoiler free manner, though what I will say is that prior to Tales of Zestiria, the franchise itself would almost always avoid the classic "good vs evil" story when it comes to storytelling. The best example I can think of would be the intentions behind Tales of Symphonia's world regeneration prophecy. In Zestiria's case, players familiar with other games in the franchise will be left disappointed, as the in-universe legend of the Shepherd is pretty much played straight. However, it wouldn't be fair to say that the game doesn't have its moments, as some of characters you see will spice up an otherwise familiar narrative. (i.e: One of the mid-game adversaries, while clearly corrupted by malevolence is under the belief that she is doing the right thing)

As for the main character, a complaint I would often hear about Sorey is his apparent lack of flaws, seeing that he has an intimate familiarity with ancient ruins, is often held in high regard by the world around him and from what I remember, that definitely seems like the case (Currently playing the game a second time to jog my memory)

Gameplay
Being a Japanese RPG, the meat of the game will often come from the battle system. While the world map acts more like a traditional Japanese RPG where monster encounters are dotted on the map, the actual battles will play out more like an action RPG, using Bandai Namco's Linear Motion Battle System. In regards to this, your movement tied to the enemy you are targeting, often moving either towards or away from the enemy (since 2005, you are also able to move freely when holding down a dedicated button). In Zestiria's case, Sorey will also be able fuse with the seraphim party members to gain access to stronger, albeit more costly abilities. In general, the action-oriented battles is why I would often view the Tales series on a higher pedestal than the far better known Final Fantasy franchise, though I will admit that in Zestiria's case, the combat is not without flaws.

Personally, I don't quite get the rationale of the the rear-facing camera, as previous Tales games would often go for a side-to-side view even with a 3D plane. While this will likely not affect newer players, veterans might get thrown off. However, this is the most inconsequential problem when you later realize how stupid the AI can be, with your party members often getting themselves killed in several opportunities (especially so when you fight bosses). Another thing that I personally dislike on a more subjective note is the Spirit Chain system. While I understand that the devs don't want you to spam the default attack button, previous games didn't need such a mechanic to better vary your attack patterns.

Another problem I have is the game's usage of the world map for its battle system. Because a lot of the attacks in the Tales series were made with a flat plane in mind, the world map can hinder the attacks of both you and your enemy. Additionally, the camera will sometimes collide with the world and cause additional problems. Regarding my experience during my first playthrough however, these moments were few and far enough for these problems to not detract from the overall experience. With that said however, I think i would've preferred a battle system more like Xillia's (so as for those problems to not even happen in the first place)

Outside of the battle system, you will also stumble upon a large amount of content outside the main story that will encourage the player to backtrack around the game. I know not how long the main story is, but there are enough distractions in between to give the player something to provide the 72 hours of gameplay it took me to actually beat the game. Speaking of backtracking, one nitpick I have is that discovered treasure chests are not marked on your map upon discovery. The alternative would be to purchase the Attachments DLC, but I should not need to resort to this option if the "dee ell see" is something i can actually get through normal gameplay. I would prefer if the game had tools to make backtracking much less of an annoyance.

Overall

Yes, I can see where fans of the series are going at when they call Tales of Zestiria the worst game in the series, though I will admit that this doesn't stop the game from being fun as all hell and I would go as far as to say that it's worth my pre-order at the time of its release. On its own, it's a good entry point for PC gamers to enjoy what the the Tales franchise has to offer and I feel that as a history piece in the grander scheme of things, we can thank Bandai Namco Studios for when Japanese game developers hold themselves accountable on the PC side of things.
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AJWolf
( 10.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
I've already played this game on PS4 and liked it so much I picked it up on Steam too. The port is really good and the graphics look great. I haven't played any other Tales games, but after playing this game I'm eager to try some others.

Characters and story are really rich. Hilarious character interactions and a very deep story. It is absolutely worth picking up this game JUST for the characters. They are really well written and laugh out loud funny, but also have moments of real emotion that could well move you to tears. Every character has a deep backstory that makes you curious for more details, and makes connecting with the characters simple.

Mikleo and Sorey's relationship is especially awesome. :)

Start of the game is a bit slow, takes a little while to get into and combat is limited until you assemble your "team". Deep combat system seems simplistic at first, but opens up the longer you play. Clearing dungeons can get a bit tedious near the end of the game if you're powering through, but there are ways to avoid combat and that can speed you along the story quickly. There is a good mix of "simple" bosses and "frustratingly hard" bosses, as well a several different levels of difficulty that allows you to adjust your experience to suit your needs.

Some people have noted the large amount of DLCs. There is only one that has gameplay, the rest are costume packs. The game comes with the God Eater costume pack and TONS of costume items as gameplay rewards, so there's no "need" to purchase most of the DLCs. If you like a set of the DLC costumes, grab them, but don't let the amount of DLCs detract you from the game.
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Bakerbarian
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
I love the Tales games, but this rendition IS UNPLAYABLE due to horrendous audio. When someone speaks, all i hear is SKSHHHHHT static buzz. Music works, but speech and other SFX are static. This needs to be seriously corrected if they insist on charging for the game.
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Section9.b4t0u
( 53.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Great "Tales of..." title - not the best one though but if you just want more of the series you'll get what you expect - I had a good time playin' it ^^
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OminousClouds
( 14.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
First time playing a Tales game, and I must say that i'm about a third ways through the game and the story has just grabbed me by the balls and took me for a ride ;). It seems to be like a mix of the Final Fantasy games and maybe a little dash of Zelda. Can't seem to stop playing(as i mentioned before the story is so good!). If you're looking for a good JRPG with a great story and good combat and endless skill combinations, get this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Penafi Klimaks
( 436.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Came for Alisha, stay for Rose

I heard a lot of bad things about the equipment (fusing and bonus skill) but to me this thing is either rewarding once you gitgud or sucks because you never gitgud. The camera is a bit wonky at times

For now I just want the camera enable zoom in: in the fashion page, world map, myb battle (because damn son I cant get enough of Rose's Armatus)

There's also enough times for me to enjoy moments with Edna and the skit.. is the skit

If anyhting this game need more: Edna, Edna, Rose, Edna, and Edna
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
53 of 57 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
63.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 6
"Zestiria" is a mixed bag. Ultimately, it's a fine piece of work - yet it's very much a "Your Mileage May Vary" sort of experience.

In terms of the macro game (the way the whole experience builds to the conclusion), this title works beautifully. The difficulty curve is a steady slope that leads to the final, epic encounters in an entirely natural way. Getting around in the world and unlocking new areas makes perfect sense in-game. Every place you visit has some sort of recognizable, unique flavor. To be brutally frank, if the overall experience had been married to Square-Enix art, "Zestiria" would have been a great "Final Fantasy XIII."

The individual bits are where the good/ not as good balance comes in.

The combat system is basically fun, but only in smallish doses. There's supposed to be a lot of "finagly" stuff you can do, but in the end, you'll probably just find one particular, repetitive, button-mashing routine that works 95% of the time. It actually can get rather dull, and in my case, I went through a bout of falling asleep during fights. I'd nod off for a few seconds, and then reawaken to Sorey (the main character) running at nothing in particular.

The "grade" system is particularly odd. It does indeed offer an explanation of itself, yet it still remains opaque. There were battles that felt like they went very smoothly, yet awarded very little grade, and encounters that seemed a bit more fraught, but yielded high grade.

The equipment skill-sheet...thing is a nifty idea, but it ends up being overwrought, fiddly, unnecessary, and ultimately ignorable. Much is made of the equipment-fusing system, especially in light of skills, whereas the reality is that actually optimizing your results appears to mostly be a waste of time.

There's a pretty darn good story, along with lots of excellent worldbuilding, yet the pacing seems to bog down in spots. The endgame is a major example of this, where there are 2 - 3 times where you think the whole thing is going to conclude, and - nope! More walking! Here's another puzzle-dungeon! (It would have been better if, at that point, the battles were more interesting and you still had a chance for some real character progression, but that wasn't the case.) There's a point where fighting legendary creatures for high-level equipment actually manages to become completely pointless.

And the ending is a bit of a weak payoff for a 60+ hour project that encompasses world-shattering events and truly interesting characters. The dramatis personae in this game are THE strongest point, and I was disappointed in not getting a better sense of how they ended up.

But please don't get me wrong if you're seeing this as a negative review! "Zestiria" is worth the price of admission. The flaws can be easily forgiven, because the gestalt experience is very strong. The basics were gotten right; Everything else is commentary on details.
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50 of 73 people (68%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
43.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
I can't recommend this game to anyone save the most die-hard of Tales fans. Probably my least favorite entry in the series for something like 15 years. Haven't been a fan of the pay-gated costumes for some time now, but that offense is especially horrid in this one. It was bad in the xillia games too, but those games have a lot going for them. The combat is a step it the wrong direction entirely. It's slower than previous entries, and more restrictive as well. The fusion mechanic is poorly implemented, as you're much too weak without it, and much too powerfull with it. Not only that, but it severly limits your combat options. This game is a horrible grind. levels mean very little, and instead you get stronger mostly via equipment and skills, which by itself is a good idea, I think. Unfortunately, it's another poorly implemented idea. Plot is worse than usual, even by tales fare, but at least the skits are pretty fun. Twists are easy to see for miles.

If you haven't played the other tales games, I recommend literally any of them that have come out since symphonia over this. Just skip it and hope Berseria is good.
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51 of 77 people (66%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
53.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
As someone with over 600 hours in Tales of the Abyss and 800 on Vesperia, I like to think of myself as a "Tales of" fan. I've seen playthroughs of Xillia/2 & Graces. I really like most of the characters the Tales of series has presented throughout its many stories.

Some of those games do have "cliche" stories, but the saving grace for them all are the characters, the many side quests get you involved with them and their quirks, as you see them develop their individual personalities. By the end of the game, these characters feel fully fleshed out and you care for them. This, did not happen in Zestiria for me, at all.

Now when it comes to Zestiria, the story is so boring an uninspiring I could just not care less about it. But I kept playing because I know "Tales of" and I kept thinking something big is bound to happen, some character is likely to be hiding a big twist for the story..well, that never happened.

The characters, oh boy, I can't believe it myself but there is literally only one character I like in this game and that is simply because she's my "type" (Edna) as I love sarcastic/ironic characters. I could not care less about any of the rest of the cast, they are so boring and bland, lacking that special something that all other Tales Of characters have.

The camera during combat is awful, yes you can work around this problem by "luring" enemies into open room before engaging in combat, however, most of the dungeons have long thin corridors where monsters spawn randomly, making them hard to avoid.

The gear, what where they thinking? I know they tried to innovate by trying something different, well, it did not work, gearing the characters is so annoying, having to take into accound all the special effects in each piece of gear instead of going the tradition way. Hell, they even made it so that character levels mean pretty much nothing at all.

Another change they were super eager about was the new "Open world". That was such a bad idea, open world doesnt automatically make a game "better", this is clearly seen in Zestiria, the maps are huge, literally huge, the problem is, theres nothing on them at all save for a few monsters and some random chests.

I bought this game the day it came out, and I havent finished it yet, thats how much I care about this cast and this story. The game felt like a chore, I was not having fun while playing as I did in pretty much every previous Tales of games.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
65.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
Short version:
Overall the weakest Tales game out of the 4 that I've played (Symphonia, Abyss, Vesperia, Zestiria) but still a decent game and RPG on its own merit. I recommend waiting for a 50% off or better sale before picking it up.

Longer version:
I wanted to like this game a lot, being a Tales game and all, but it fell flat compared to its predecessors. This review will be spoiler free.

Characters: None of the characters are particularly interesting. Sorey is your typical positive and upbeat "I want to save the world and fulfill my duty no matter the cost" hero, Mikleo is his supportive best friend, Lailiah is a silly but knowledgeable girl that was around during important events prior to the game but wont reveal everything she knows, and so on. All of the characters feel like generic archetypes and I never felt a sense of attachment to any of them.

Story: Much like the characters the story comes off as generic and uninteresting. It's the typical save the world from the greatest evil plot. Sorey takes up the mantle of the "shepherd", a human that has formed a pact with a powerful seraph (spirits that normal humans can not see) and has the power to purify malevolence. His primary goal is to defeat "The lord of calamity", the big baddy responsible spreading corruption and malevolence throughout the world. The story develops slowly over the course of 45-50 hours of gameplay. There aren't many plot twists or surprises and none of them are game changers to the overall story.

Combat: Combat plays out like your typical Tales game but with a few new implementations to keep it fresh. This was my first experience with the overhead style battles that the newer Tales games have used. Overall I like it a lot, although Vesperia still keeps the crown for best Tales battle system in my eyes. The most critical aspect of battles in Zestiria is using attacks of the element that your foe is weak against. Doing so grants a damage multiplier to every hit that follows in your combo, even those that your foe does not a have a weakness to. Conversely, striking an enemy with an attack that they are resistant to will grant them a damage reduction multiplier until either you stop the combo or strike them with an element they are weak to. This makes your party composition choices very important, as you have 4 seraph that each favor a certain element but only 2 can be on the field at once (one to accompany each human character for a total of 4 active party members). Luckily you can rotate your seraph in and out freely during battle with the push of a button although the actual action takes a couple of seconds to execute. Sorey (and your other human companion later on) also have the ability to combine with any of the seraphs during battle to create a single, more powerful fusion of the two entities that specializes in the element of the seraph that was used.

Overworld and Towns: The overworld and town maps are large and expansive, a bit to large at times. Sometimes you'll find yourself hiking across a giant field that is fairly barren save for some treasures and a few random enemies scattered about. Or you may find yourself running from one end of a large city to the other just to trigger a plot point or explore a side quest. You'll find yourself getting bored of taking long runs from place to place without much to see or do in between. You get the ability to travel between save points not to far into the game which helps alleviate the issue somewhat but not entirely. It also costs you gald which you might not be willing to spend.

Dungeons: Dungeons typically have multiple paths to explore but are generally simple and straightforward in design. Puzzles are few and are very simple. For me this was a welcome change from the older Tales games as solving puzzles and trying to find my way through convoluted dungeons was my least favorite part of those games. If you, however, are someone that enjoys the puzzle solving/exploration aspect you will not be impressed by what Zestiria's world has to offer you.

Skill and equipment customization: Tales of Zestiria boasts a very in depth equipment customization system that involves fusing equipment of the same name with each other. A single piece of equipment can have up to 4 skills that provide minor benefits attached to it. Combining and having the right skills equipped at the same time will grant further, more powerful bonuses. Careful planning and a lot of grinding is required when trying to create the perfect pieces of equipment with all of the right skills that you wanted. It can seem confusing and intimidating at first, as the in game tutorial doesn't do an adequate job of explaining it, so I would recommend looking to an online guide for help instead. Note that going into depth with this system is entirely optional on lower difficulties. You will only begin struggle if you are playing on hard or higher if you fail to plan out your equipment and skills.

Graphics and Performance: The game looks good, nothing spectacular or next gen but it gets the job done. It is the typical anime style that you would expect from a Tales game. I have experienced some performance issues on the PC version. The game audio crackles horribly if your speakers are set to anything above 48,000hz. The game also crashes on exit every time, which is just an annoyance. There is also the dreaded at 30fps lock. Fortunately, there is an easy to use fan patch that fixes these issues and offers additional settings to tweak. Although you can use a keyboard I highly recommend a Xbox or PS controller as the interface was clearly designed with a controller in mind.

Summary: As far as Tales games go, this one feels like a letdown, but it isn't a bad game. The bland characters and story, poor design choices, and a nearly mandatory fan patch for the PC version hold it back. The combat is solid, however, and the equipment and skill customization offer a lot of depth for those that want to use it but can be ignored for those who don't. If you NEED a good story to enjoy a game then you'll definitely want to pass on this one. For everyone else that is interested, I can say I overall recommend Tales of Zestiria, but wait for sale. It isn't worth a full price purchase.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
46.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
I can recommend this game based solely on the amount of content and customization....

The story is lacking in detail and sustenance...

I really did enjoy the humor in the game, and you start to relate to the different characters somewhat...

but at the end of the day the story really kills this game... That and I felt like the battles were way too easy. There was never a point where I felt like a battle was a challenge, more like annoyance than anything.

I feel like this could have potentially been 1 of the best games of all time if they had just polished it and gave it a better story. But I guess if I spoke Japanese and knew more about the cultural signifigance of the game I would be able to appreciate it more.

Bottom line:

The game isn't bad, but it isn't 49.99 good either. So maybe if you get it on sale pick it up, but at full price I would probably avoid it unless you really enjoy the Tales games. If you prefer a good rpg and you haven't experienced FF9, pick that 1 up instead and thank me later ;) It's not going to be as satisfying graphically of course, but literally every other aspect kills this game... I should have just bought FF9 lol
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
Get this on sale if you're a Tales fan. There's a lot to do and explore but the experience isn't very rewarding.

The story in a nutshell is rather predictable. The characters (and their voice performances) are fairly flat. The characters are kind of annoying and they don't experience much character development over the course of the game. It takes quite a while for things to actually "happen" so you're going to spend a lot of time just running around and killing things.

I have some issues with the gameplay as well. Technically, the battle camera is extremely annoying, especially when playing with a 2nd player. They got rid of the battle "arenas" and instead encounters occur in the actual maps, so you wind up with a lot of very awkward battles. This is especially bad if they happen near doorways or in smaller spaces, the camera gets stuck on the environment and then you can't really see what's going on. There are other problems like the 30 FPS cap, but some of those are fixed in a community patch.

I don't really like the "fusion" mechanic or the layout of the artes. My favourite thing about the Tales games is being able to play through the story with friends controlling members of the party ... in Zestiria, you're really limited to only having one other player. That player also can't really play when there is only one human on the team.

I'm enjoying the game but I'm a huge fan of the Tales series. This is among my least favourite.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
153.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
For all the fans of the tales-series, I really recommend that game. If you like to read and watch a lot of scenes besides the fighting, you may like it.

Pros
- long story
- really nice customization for the characters
- the system of kumulation with items and extra benefits with items is complex
- 6 different difficult levels
- nice artworks at some points
- fast save in pausemenu

Cons
- sometimes long ways to run
- chaos level can be rough
- Mikleo is ugly :(

In the end its definetly worth to play if you enjoy the style of jrpg`s.

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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
73.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
At a glance, one would rejoice at the idea that it's a Tales game on Steam. However, it isn't all sunshines and rainbows, as veterans of the franchise are likely to disagree with some of the gameplay changes moving on from previous games. When looking at the game at its own, Zestiria proves to be a solid entry point for those new to the franchise, which is especially important when considering that this is the first Tales game on the PC platform.

PC Specifics
With the game in its current state, I would argue that even without the Tales of Zestiria fix, the PC version is the best one out there. While it is far more stable than the initial PS3 version, the game was developed with no cross-gen support in mind. As a result, the game is locked at 30 FPS when played as is (IMHO, this could've been a 60FPS game on the PS4). Additionally, the graphics menu is pretty barebones as you can see in this below screenshot. On the bright side though, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe has confirmed that the game does in fact support 4K.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=713838756

Due to the nature of the Tales series, I haven't even bothered to look at keyboard and mouse due to the series being designed with the DualShock controller in mind. (Can someone confirm if DirectInput controllers work with this game?)

And finally, performance. This part of the PC Specifics section requires the ToZFix for me to look at properly, and I would go as to say that when locked to 60, the game is lightweight enough for mid-range gamers to run this game at 1440p with little issue. However, I cannot confirm what it takes to play it on 2160p60 due to the limitations of AMD's VSR (Virtual Super Resolution).

Story
This section of the review is a (possibly indefinite) work in progress, as I will be doing a second playthrough to refresh my memory of Zestiria. Additionally, I will also be playing Xillia in short bursts to get a better comparison of how ToZ holds up.

Given the nature of the Tales franchise, it is nigh impossible to explain the premise of the story in a spoiler free manner, though what I will say is that prior to Tales of Zestiria, the franchise itself would almost always avoid the classic "good vs evil" story when it comes to storytelling. The best example I can think of would be the intentions behind Tales of Symphonia's world regeneration prophecy. In Zestiria's case, players familiar with other games in the franchise will be left disappointed, as the in-universe legend of the Shepherd is pretty much played straight. However, it wouldn't be fair to say that the game doesn't have its moments, as some of characters you see will spice up an otherwise familiar narrative. (i.e: One of the mid-game adversaries, while clearly corrupted by malevolence is under the belief that she is doing the right thing)

As for the main character, a complaint I would often hear about Sorey is his apparent lack of flaws, seeing that he has an intimate familiarity with ancient ruins, is often held in high regard by the world around him and from what I remember, that definitely seems like the case (Currently playing the game a second time to jog my memory)

Gameplay
Being a Japanese RPG, the meat of the game will often come from the battle system. While the world map acts more like a traditional Japanese RPG where monster encounters are dotted on the map, the actual battles will play out more like an action RPG, using Bandai Namco's Linear Motion Battle System. In regards to this, your movement tied to the enemy you are targeting, often moving either towards or away from the enemy (since 2005, you are also able to move freely when holding down a dedicated button). In Zestiria's case, Sorey will also be able fuse with the seraphim party members to gain access to stronger, albeit more costly abilities. In general, the action-oriented battles is why I would often view the Tales series on a higher pedestal than the far better known Final Fantasy franchise, though I will admit that in Zestiria's case, the combat is not without flaws.

Personally, I don't quite get the rationale of the the rear-facing camera, as previous Tales games would often go for a side-to-side view even with a 3D plane. While this will likely not affect newer players, veterans might get thrown off. However, this is the most inconsequential problem when you later realize how stupid the AI can be, with your party members often getting themselves killed in several opportunities (especially so when you fight bosses). Another thing that I personally dislike on a more subjective note is the Spirit Chain system. While I understand that the devs don't want you to spam the default attack button, previous games didn't need such a mechanic to better vary your attack patterns.

Another problem I have is the game's usage of the world map for its battle system. Because a lot of the attacks in the Tales series were made with a flat plane in mind, the world map can hinder the attacks of both you and your enemy. Additionally, the camera will sometimes collide with the world and cause additional problems. Regarding my experience during my first playthrough however, these moments were few and far enough for these problems to not detract from the overall experience. With that said however, I think i would've preferred a battle system more like Xillia's (so as for those problems to not even happen in the first place)

Outside of the battle system, you will also stumble upon a large amount of content outside the main story that will encourage the player to backtrack around the game. I know not how long the main story is, but there are enough distractions in between to give the player something to provide the 72 hours of gameplay it took me to actually beat the game. Speaking of backtracking, one nitpick I have is that discovered treasure chests are not marked on your map upon discovery. The alternative would be to purchase the Attachments DLC, but I should not need to resort to this option if the "dee ell see" is something i can actually get through normal gameplay. I would prefer if the game had tools to make backtracking much less of an annoyance.

Overall

Yes, I can see where fans of the series are going at when they call Tales of Zestiria the worst game in the series, though I will admit that this doesn't stop the game from being fun as all hell and I would go as far as to say that it's worth my pre-order at the time of its release. On its own, it's a good entry point for PC gamers to enjoy what the the Tales franchise has to offer and I feel that as a history piece in the grander scheme of things, we can thank Bandai Namco Studios for when Japanese game developers hold themselves accountable on the PC side of things.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
85.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Difficult to start but it gets easier
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
44.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Pros:
  • Awesome world design
  • Good character design
  • Interesting story concept
  • New and cool combat mechanic
  • Skits are cute and some have good humor
  • The game is about 40-50 hours long (including all side quests)
  • Great soundtrack
  • Zaveid

Cons:
  • Story and characters start very strong but slowly taper off until you lose interest entirely
  • Dungeons are very linear and get progressively easier and more boring
  • Combat is mostly just fusing and then spamming one ability until all the enemies die
  • Farming for NG+ is worse than in past games
  • Equipment skills are frustrating and weird
  • Final boss fight is pretty bland and mostly a gimmick fight (although it is a well done gimmick fight)
  • You can't take off Zaveid's ugly hat

I did enjoy this game, but I cannot recommend it. I have followed the Tales of series for years and I will continue to do so. I hope the next games are better.

Buy this if you love the Tales of series unconditionally. If you haven't played a Tales of game before, Tales of Symphonia is on Steam now, so give that a try instead!
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