Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tales Of The Heroes:Twin Brave

Gamespot Score:n/a

My Score:7.0

(+)Pros: - Tons of cameos from various "Tales" games, even more so than previous crossover titles, - Beating on tons of enemies at once feels satisfying, - Finishers and team finishers are a visual delight, - Plenty of scenarios, both serious and comical, will lead to quite some play time, - Special character pair ups and interactions are cool.

(-)Cons: - Shallow combat when you compare to the classic RPG "Tales" games, - Proves to be rather repetitive as there are little enemy types, boss varieties and maps, - Too easy.

Gameplay time:About 15-20 hours +

As promised my workload from school is really piling up so I can't really post much. "Tales Of The Heroes:Twin Brave" is a new take on the "Tales" crossover spin-off titles. Its completely different from the "Radiant Mythology" games in which in those games, they were full blown RPGs using the classic 3D "Tales" battle system, and had actual RPG elements that we all know in love. In here, this is a different kind of game, its like "Tales"'s version of "Dissidia". You take all the protagonists and well known sidekicks from all "Tales" games and throw them in one huge beat-em-up cluster f**k, and this is what you get. A beat-em-up game where your favorite "Tales" heroes are made from RPG heroes into button mashing warriors. So, how does this new take work out?

The story of "Tales" games was always something that I looked up to (then again I only played 2 legitimate "Tales" titles, "Eternia" and "Graces"), but in here....its lackluster when you compare it to other "Tales" stories. In "Tales Of the Heroes:Twin Brave" you can play as any of the heroes of previously released "Tales" games, and they all have their own special stories, but for some reason, most of them boil down to the same things. They either seek the eternal sword for its massive power, try to stop bad guys from obtaining the eternal sword, or try to save the world tree. Its the same for almost every scenario, although some try to spice it up for a bit (like everyone wanting to kill Luke for his stupidity, or Kohaku getting cursed for a huge part of Shing's scenario). In a way, its not bad, but not very interesting. Its cool for the first few scenarios you dive into, but it gets old.

Asbel and Cheria! Cheria is stupidly broken in this game though....

As a beat-em-up game, you should know that the game play is fairly simple. Before you dive into any level you are given a chance to equip your character with equipment (which boosts damage/defenses/give special effects) and skills (which you can equip up to two). Normal attacks will allow you to well, damage your enemies like in good "Dynasty Warrior" game, while skills just have you dishing out flashy (or in some cases, not so flashy) attacks that can wipe out or damage a group of enemies at once. Skills take up some mana, which take the form of crystals above your character's life bars, and you have to recharge them by attacking normally.

Though I must say, like any "Tales" game crossover spin-off, the best thing about this game, is the very fact that there are so many characters across so many series that are in the game. Ranging from the incredibly old school characters Cless and Chester, to the recent new ones, Jude and Milla. Even if you've never played the games where these characters originated from, you still feel like a bad ass just watching them or playing them. Of course it feels even better when you've actually played these games where they're from (f**k it, Reid & Farah and Cheria & Asbel are one of the last few pairs to get unlocked) . Using these characters in a beat-em-up game makes you feel good, especially if you use skills to beat up multiple waves of enemies at once, and you watch the enemy KO count increase drastically.

Yuri and Flynn dish out the pain in the name of  "Vesperia" fans!

Clearing these enemies in stages are fun, as you use skills and watch flashy animations play out, while the enemies fly far away, knocked out by your awesome power and let out their final words in the form of shouts and screams. These moments make you feel truly epic, and even more so when you face a boss, be it a "Tales" villain or heroes from other games, beating them feels good (though not exactly satisfying, you'll understand later). Finishers make you feel like a complete bad ass! As the character you use unleash their ultimate iconic special ability, shit goes down as enemies just start dieing all around them. Be it Reid's "Aurora wall", Asbel's "Stampede Strike" or Yuri's awesome "Zanko Roenjin"(I hope I spelled that right).

It feels EVEN MORE bad ass when you use it in conjunction with your partner. After you perform a finisher you and you have enough meter for your partner, you can call them in to follow up as well. Its cool as hell when you see your hero finish his/her super, then tags out for the partner and the partner uses THEIR finisher. To top it off, all characters in the game can be paired up with specific characters for different finisher combinations. Take a hero for example, like Yuri. He doesn't only get special interactions and a finisher combination with Flynn, he also gets one with Leon and Milla! Every character has their own combinations, making discovering these and watching them in action all the better.

Why the hell isn't Xillia out in English yet?

Unfortunately when you make an iconic franchise like "Tales" into a beat-em-up, you're going to get this alot. The combat is shallow, and while its fun, it doesn't take a genius to become pro at it. There are no in-depth combos, no chains, no nothing, its just regular attacks and skills. Another issue is that the game has too little enemy types, boss varieties and stages. Almost every scenario will have you visiting the same areas, filled with the same enemies and bosses. In fact there are only 3 villains in this game! All this combined with the fact that the game is EASY. Beating regular enemies is a breeze, and bosses are the SAME as regular enemies, only tankier, and they are able to enter Hi-ougi. In fact the only tough moments are the regular golem enemies (sometimes you run into them really early on and can be a pain), and the fight against inner Emil using regular Emil.

Though it can be fun, "Tales Of The Heroes:Twin Brave" is undoubtedly a shallow game compared to its main RPG core games. Beating up tons of enemies at once can be really satisfying, and unleashing finishers makes you feel like a complete bad ass, but otherwise there's not much to keep the game from having a high replay-ability. You'll most likely play through all the scenarios once each, and by the time you would be done. At least it lasts you for about 20 hours if you intend to keep it that way. 

Happy gaming.