AC Weigh-In: September 2018

Tales of Crestoria, world-building, battle ranks, and more are talked about in the September 2018 edition of AC Weigh-In~

For this edition of AC Weigh-In, we have:

DimensionSlip
News/Content Writer,
Back-End Support, 
AC Radio Co-Host

Flamzeron
News Writer
Caphi
News Writer,
Content Writer
Grace
Content Writer
8ro
News Writer, 
Mobile Reporter
Vel
News Writer, 
Content Writer
lessiehanamoray
Content Writer
Amy
Content Writer
Khayyaam
Social Media
Kiki
Social Media

What are your overall impressions of Tales of Crestoria so far?

DimensionSlip
I think it's an interesting change of pace! While not a story or style I've come to expect from the series, I think it's good kind of different and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go with it! I also dig the character designs and love the fact that they're having Daigo Okumura design more party members now.
Flamzeron
I was impressed for a little bit, but once we got more information on the game, my interest went away. Visually, I think the game looks good and the premise so far seems somewhat unique, although a little cliche. My main problem is the combat system being turn-based. I don't like turn-based combat, especially not in the Tales series. I've always been an action RPG kind of guy and what made the Tales series so appealing to me was that it blended action combat with a traditional JRPG structure. Although I don't hate turn-based combat (there are in fact a few ones I like) and while the Tales series has had turn-based combat once before, it's just not my cup of tea.
Caphi

Crestoria is not for "us." It's for drawing smartphone gamers into the Tales IP. Everything from the social-media inspired setting to the simplified (as far as we can tell?) gameplay to the presence of summoning is geared towards that. Going by Tagawa's stated strategy, they're probably prepared for most Crestoria players to play the next standalone phone game(s) and never convert to motherships. Maybe even for only the most dedicated core Tales fans to try Crestoria.

To reiterate the Famitsu article, because there's too many teeth being gnashed about this: Crestoria is not a shift in focus, a resource drain, or the future of Tales. It's a new parallel branch and an expansion effort. Tomizawa's console department is hard at work by all appearances.

As for the game itself? The setting and characters seem very interesting, but it's a very early stage to say anything concrete.

Grace
I think Tales of Crestoria is interesting since it's a mobile game that doesn't involve collecting characters or leveling up. It's an unusual escort title that has promise since it functions like a mothership title. If it gets a western release, I'll definitely play it.
8ro

I'm excited. I don't mind it being a mobile title at all~

It seems the game will have a turn-based combat, so that's interesting... and different. I'm curious to see that battle system in more depth!

Vel
Very positive. Even if the presented story synopsis isn't anything revolutionary, I'm looking forward to see how the entire Vison Orbs judgmental philosophy will affect the plot, and how the characters are going to stand against it. Also the heroes are a bunch of colorful personalities that I am looking forward to meet. Modernized music and presentation from Kamikaze and Yasutaka in the promotional video was exciting, and I hope it'll be a part of the game as well.
lessiehanamoray
I'm still pretty much wait and see. It's hard to get too hyped about something I don't expect to ever be able to play, but I'm hoping for the best.
Amy
It looks better than I initially thought it would be. I like the story's premise and the character designs. The story and what we've seen of the combat system are pretty different from other Tales games, so it could be interesting. I'm disappointed that it's a mobile gacha game though because I'd be really surprised if a game like that got localized after Tales of the Rays...
Khayyaam
Not super impressed. While the premise was genuinely interesting, most of the character designs they revealed feel like they're just retreads of old Tales characters. I also don't really like that it's turn based. So far, the game just doesn't really feel like the Tales I know and love.
Kiki
The character designs (+VAs) and story concept have 100% succeeded in hyping me up for this game for sure. I've watched the initial trailers more times than I care to admit, oops. Though somewhat weary about the the non-LMBS in favor for a turn-based one, I'm excited to see where Crestoria goes nonetheless.

Which Tales game's world-building was the most memorable for you?

DimensionSlip
Definitely Abyss! I love how the game does a great job of putting you in Luke's sheltered shoes, then takes you through all the world-building mumbo-jumbo as you go on throughout the story. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I really appreciated that part of the story. The concepts weave in nicely too as you add more and more to your knowledge of various world-building aspects, and provide an excellent framework in which everything is built on--up to an including the game's ending.
Flamzeron
In my experience, the Tales games have deal with two different worlds, literal or metaphorical, have done worldbuilding very well. I might be a bit biased, but Tales of Eternia's setting was well crafted. I felt like I each city and town had their own culture and lore, all of it showcased in a way that makes the world more inviting. Although I played it with little translation assistance, Tales of Rebirth's world felt very dark and the themes that were being portrayed in the world were global enough for me to understand and appreciate.
Caphi

Technically? Desolation, if any memory is a good memory.

Otherwise, Eternia. There was a lot of weird stuff (especially around Meredy), but the game draws stark differences between its two worlds both physical and cultural and ties them deftly to its resonant themes of duality and harmony. Between that and being allowed to treasure hunt not only the skies but the ocean floor, the game is extremely rich, especially for a Playstation game. Symphonia and Xillia would later take a lot of notes from it.

Grace
Honestly, I have to say Tales of Xillia 2. The modern setting was quite unusual for an RPG setting that usually takes place in a fantasy setting similar to medieval or steam punk. I think it's so novel that makes it very eye-catching for me. I would like to see another Tales game with a similar setting in the future.
8ro

Abyss. Fonons are super interesting for me, and the whole idea surrounding the Score is just my type of thing. <3

Boy, I feel like they put a lot of effort and love on that one's writing for sure.

Vel

Tales of The Abyss. Learning about the world building lore kept me in books and on forums for months, discussing every matter that came up.

Tales of Zestiria/Berseria. I'm huge fan of Arthurian myths, so dissecting the story and world of both games was something I naturally took a deep dive in.

lessiehanamoray
Zestiria really stood out to me because I originally played it in Japanese. I had to experience the world primarily through gameplay and visuals since my Japanese isn't very good, especially reading the kanji. In general, the way they handled the Seraphim in combat is what really hooked me. Normal humans won't attack your Seraphim party members and when they die they just retreat to recover. I thought it really helped get across the idea that these are spirits, not humans.
Amy
Tales of Symphonia is most memorable for me because it gradually eases you into all the details of the world and feels like you're discovering it alongside the characters.
Khayyaam
I would have to say Tales of The Abyss. I like that the world is built on fantasy science and physics: everything is made of sound instead of matter, the years on Auldrant are 765 days, in general there's a lot of background info you can gleam from sidequests, NPCs and even just the libraries in the game. And it's not pointless either because a lot of it ends up being mentioned in the plot to explain what's going on. I didn't even understand the ending until I played it again and completed the Contamination Effect sidequests. I'm just super impressed that they managed to make an entirely fictional world down to the physics of the world itself.
Kiki
This is a toughie, but I'm going to have to go with Rieze Maxia, particularly when juxtaposed with Elympios. I could go on and on about the established history (no spoilers!), cultural aspects (Nia Khera ♡), geographical/topographical elements (the spirit climes in particular come to mind as a delightful touch), etc., but overall its ethereal qualities just felt very representative of the Tales series for me.

When you first pick up a Tales game, what difficulty do you set the battle rank to? What was the highest difficulty you ever set it to in a subsequent playthrough?

DimensionSlip
I usually stick with Hard. The hardest I've tried was Unknown on Abyss, and it was a trip.
Flamzeron
I typically keep the difficulty at Normal. While I love the combat system, I generally play the Tales games for the story and am not looking for a major challenge, although there are some rare exceptions. The funniest instance would have been for my first time playing Tales of Destiny 2 on the PS2. It was my first time importing a PS2 game from Japan, not to mention the first time I had imported any game from Japan in a long time. While going through the options menu, I suspect that I may have accidentally switched the difficulty to what was called "Second," though it is basically Hard. I was so shocked to find how difficult the game was! On the other hand, I have also set my difficulty to Easy, due to the game being too hard for me. Tales of Rebirth and Tales of Zestiria are examples of this, though for the latter I tried my hardest to push through on Normal. I did pretty good overall, but once I hit the DLC content, it was like the game didn't like me anymore, haha!
Caphi
I've gone to Chaos in Berseria, but everyone's gone to Chaos in Berseria. I couldn't hack Chaos in Destiny, but it bribes you enough that I tried sticking it out in Evil.
Grace
I'm a wuss, so I play on Normal mode. The highest I've ever played was on Moderate on Tales of Zestiria...but then I realize that the bosses were way too hard on moderate.
8ro
The highest one. Because I want the game to throw in my face the fact that I'm bad at it. Hah.
Vel
As I'm used to blocking and timing sidesteps, I never had problems with playing Hard and higher difficulties in the recent titles. The older entries... that depends. I don't think I ever went below Normal.
lessiehanamoray
Anymore I tend to start out on moderate, or get to it once I've got all the core mechanics for that particular game. New Game Plus is almost always on Chaos.
Amy
I usually set it to Normal, unless I'm playing with friends or family who insist on Hard. Personally, I prefer to play through the story first before I challenge myself with gameplay. On subsequent playthroughs though, it's usually set to Hard or Very Hard.
Khayyaam
I actually default to Hard Mode. Part of it is because it's just the type of player I am, where I like challenge, and also because I play all the games co-op so I have an advantage in that sense anyway. The highest difficulty I've gone up to is Chaos in Graces F, though that wasn't even on a second playthrough! I bumped up the difficulties as I unlocked them just for fun and because I felt like that game was easier than most Tales titles.
Kiki

I always start with the default difficulty. Sometimes I'll bump it up in subsequent playthroughs depending on my need for EXP and Grade.

... I know, I'm a weakling.

What is your favorite opening in the franchise?

DimensionSlip
If I had to pick just one, I think it's got to be Berseria's (Burn by Flow). I just love the energy and feeling in that one. Other notable favorites of mine are Abyss's obviously, Xillia 2's, and The Rays's second opening.
Flamzeron
Hands down, my favorite is Tales of Destiny's opening. The theme song, "Yume de Aru Youni" by DEEN is an amazing track and got me hooked on the band ever since. The lead singers vocals are wonderful and I like the rock and pop mix. The full version of the song is a bit slower, so I prefer the opening size version. A lot of the Escort title openings are good, but in terms of another main Tales game, my second favorite would be Berseria's opening, "Burn" by FLOW.
Caphi
The old (pre-Abyss) era of Tales was slow, wistful songs, rather than the J-rock and J-pop we know today. I have a weakness for that first decade, and the king is Every Little Thing's sweet, plaintive eulogy Good Night.
Grace
It's a tie between Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Zestiria. Both the songs and the animations are fluid.
8ro

It's so hard to decide... For now I should go with Destiny 2's.

'cause I don't need a fancy car. ♪ *wink wink*

Vel

Tales of Innocence's.

The first time when I heard KOKIA's "Follow the Nightingale" I got goosebumps all over. I still do.

lessiehanamoray
White Light for Zestiria. It really revs me up for an adventure.
Amy
I really like the openings of Berseria, Xillia, and Innocence (not R). They're all really catchy and the animation fits the music perfectly.
Khayyaam
Karma, from Tales of The Abyss. It's the one opening where I feel compelled to watch it all the way through every time I open the game. And of course, this makes a certain moment near the end of the game hit that much harder for me.
Kiki
Tales of Destiny, hands down. Gorgeous animation to match a heart touching song, I love it so much. A close second would be Tales of Xillia 2.

Any suggestions for next month, or anything that you want to respond to? Feel free to share them in the comments below~

Image Credits:

PanbanRichard
About PanbanRichard 142 Articles
PanbanRichard has been a Tales fan since playing Tales of Symphonia in 2005, and owns a version of every Mothership game in the series since then. As a member of team AC since November 2006, he still appreciates how far the site has grown throughout the years.