Opinion

Dear Tales Of Series: Please Ditch the Mobile Games

By  | 

I have a small bone to pick with the Tales of … series. I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since, back in the days of Tales of Legendia and Tales of the Abyss, I was introduced to their engaging plots, charismatic characters, and addictive combat.

The releases, back then, were staggered between Japanese and western releases because the translations in English happened much later in the development of the Japanese version. Tales of… was popular for a part of the 2000’s but then dipped out when Xbox tried their hand at making a dent in the Japanese market with the exclusive rights to Tales of Vesperia.

While the game was acclaimed, it struggled like so many of its Japanese brethren because they were released on a system that wasn’t as popular as Nintendo and Sony’s consoles. This created a dip in Tales of … games coming out in the west, until Bandai Namco made a gamble and released Tales of Graces F on the PS3.

Suffice to say, it was successful and since then we’ve seen the gap between Japanese and English releases of Tales of… games slim down significantly. Most recently, Tales of Berseria was released in August 2016 in Japan and in January 2017 in western regions.

I admit that this has spoiled me. I won’t openly admit it, but now I have an expectation that shortly within the announcement of the next Tales of… game, there will be a subsequent announcement of the series making its way into other territories.

On top of this, I’ve almost gotten used to a new Tales of… game coming out every year or so. You need only look at the time frame in which Tales of… Graces F, Xillia, Xillia 2, Hearts R, Zestiria, and Berseria  were released to see the proof this.

While I’m not against waiting a while for another entry, I am getting a little worried about how things are going to work out for future entries.

As of right now, Berseria was the last console entry to be announced and it seems like there’s emphasis to put the series on mobile devices over consoles.

The new kid on the block is the second Tales of… game to make it to smart phones in the past year: Tales of the Rays.

The game itself doesn’t look bad. If anything, it looks like a welcome addition to the Tales of… family. But the problem is that it’s on smart phones. It’s free, but that also means that if I really want to get the most out of it, I’d either have to fork over some money or suck it up and grind my way through the slower parts.

Grinding is a staple part of many JRPG’s but even by traditional standards, the grinding done in a free-to-play JRPG is brutal, especially when you put it on a mobile device, which emphasizes instant gratification.

I’m in a different mindset when on a mobile device because of this it makes playing games like Tales of Ray problematic.

It may make me sound greedy, but I’m hungry for another console announcement and hope that Tales of Rays is just another mobile off shoot I can ignore.

Tales of Berseria set the bar pretty high. Not only was it the first entry in the series to feature a female leading protagonist, but it also saw the return to a darker narrative. Xillia and Xillia 2 flirted with this concept of the darker side of justice but it hasn’t been fully explored since Tales of Vesperia.

These darker departures always stand out in the series, which is normally comfortable sitting in its traditional story tropes.

We have yet to hear of another console entry since Berseria, and I admit that maybe I got a little too comfortable with the series releasing entries into the world on an mostly yearly basis.

However, the fact that I’m willing throw my hard-earned college student money (which means there’s very little of it) at the series can’t be ignored. If I must wait for another year or so for the next console game announcement then so be it.

But all bets are off if the next entry is yet another mobile device game.

 

Currently a grad student, professionally awkward person, writer, and all around total geek. His works are featured on PeculiarBeings.co, PopGeekly.com, and his personal blog lifeonthehighwire.wordpress.com.