Tales of Zestiria (テイルズ オブ ゼスティリア Teiruzu Obu Zesutiria) is a Japanese role-playing game. It is the fifteenth main entry in the Tales series, developed by Bandai Namco Studios and tri-Crescendo, and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. As with previous entries in the Tales series, the game uses a variation of the action-based Linear Motion Battle System, with additional elements including a navigable open world, and the ability for certain characters to fuse into a single entity in battle to deliver powerful attacks. January 22, 2015 is the Japanese release while October 16, 2015 is the Western release in PS3 and PS4 along with PC version four days later.
On the continent of Glenwood, there are two main powers, namely the Kingdom of Hyland and the Rolance, fighting for rule and supremacy. There are multiple religious beliefs in Glenwood, but the people all have their beliefs in the seraphim, believing in their existence despite not having seen them themselves. This is because there are people who appear from time to time and can communicate with the seraphim. These people are able to borrow the seraphim's power and are called Shepherds.
A long time passed, and deep within a forest called the Aroundight Forest lies something that resembles a utopia, where humans and the seraphim can live together. Here, other humans cannot enter, and malevolence that has been spreading throughout the world does not affect the place. The story begins when Sorey, a young man forbidden to go outside of his village deep within the forest, meets Princess Alisha Diphda, who serves her country as a knight, in an ancient ruin, when it collapses. This young man is accompanied by Mikleo, a seraph and Sorey's childhood friend.
From left to right on the left picture: Edna, Lailah, Sorey, Dezel, Rose and Mikleo. Note that normal humans can't see the Seraphim with some exceptions (as seen in Sergei's vision in right picture). [Source]Remember Kakumeiki Valvrave? Yup, their Japanese voice actor of the male rivals yet friends return to voice the first two playable characters in the game. Unlike previous Tales games, almost all of the civilian names have given names only like Final Fantasy X series. This is based on their first join to the party so enjoy! (Character images goes from here)
Sorey (スレイ Surei)
Seiyuu: Ryuhei Kimura (Japanese), Robbie Daymond (English)
A human raised by the Seraphim. Because of his upbringing, he possesses high levels of resonance, allowing him to interact with the Seraphim. Due to becoming a Shepherd after entering into a pact with Lailah, Sorey holds the power to calm the Hellion. In battle, he wields a sword and is capable of Armitization. If you look correctly, his outfit resembles some of previous Tales character's clothes, with most distinctive feature is Shepherd's garb which resembles Anise Tatlin from Tales of the Abyss.
Mikleo (ミクリオ Mikurio)
Seiyuu: Ryota Osaka (Japanese), Michael Johnston (English)
A Seraph aligned with the element of Water, and Sorey's childhood friend. He acts as a contrast to Sorey, being cool and considerate, but because of this he has a strong bond of friendship with him. Mikleo fights with a long fighting staff and Water-based seraphic artes. Dislikes dogs as he's phobia to it.
Alisha Diphda (アリーシャ・ディフダ Arīsha Difuda)
Seiyuu: Ai Kayano (Japanese), Alexis Tipton (English)
A princess knight to the Hyland Kingdom but treated poorly by the royal family due to her mother's low status. While initially unable to see and interact with the Seraphim as Sorey can, she enters a pact with him to become a "Squire", a servant of the Shepherd with limited magic and the ability to see the Seraphim. Due to conflicting loyalties and patriotism, she leaves the party early in the story after the conflict finished in Marlind, and after long time her ability to see Seraphim are disabled until her rejoin during the second war conflict, and again in her DLC Episode as MC. Alisha wields a long spear in battle.
Lailah (ライラ Raira)
Seiyuu: Miyu Matsuki (Japanese), Carrie Keranen (English)
A polite-speaking Seraph aligned with the element of Fire, fighting with book pages and Fire-based seraphic artes. She acts as a tutor to Sorey, and forms a pact with him when he wishes to become a Shepherd. Lailah also forms pacts with Mikleo, Edna, Dezel and Zaveid, being the senior member of the partnership, known as a "Prime Lord", with the latter four known as "Sub Lords". Though she is knowledgeable, she is prone to delusional outbursts to let them distracted from something she can't say.
Edna (エドナ Edona)
Seiyuu: Misato Fukuen (Japanese), Kira Buckland (English)
A side-ponytail Seraph aligned with the element of Earth. While she has a pretty and petite exterior, she has a cool personality and distrusts humans. However, when it comes to her brother, Eizen, she is prone to outbursts of emotion. Edna uses her parasol in combat (also used to poke others) and utilizes Earth-based seraphic artes.
Dezel (デゼル Dezeru)
Seiyuu: Daisuke Ono (Japanese), Chris Niosi (English)
A Seraph aligned with the element of Wind. Working in secret among the human population, he seeks vengeance against the Hellion after they killed a close friend. He is also considered an outlaw by the humans and the Seraphim. Dezel uses whip-like pendulums and Wind-based seraphic artes in battle. He's been killed off by Symonne's hellion form when fused with Rose, who he and Sorey saved with Zaveid's last bullet shot before his last breath.
Rose (ロゼ Roze)
Seiyuu: Mikako Komatsu (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)
A young human woman who joins Sorey's quest, originally seen as a member of the "Sparrowfeathers" (セキレイの羽 Sekirei no hane) merchant's guild. Although possessing similar spiritual powers to Sorey, an incident in her youth removed her ability to see the Seraphim until she starts traveling with Sorey. During gameplay, she fights using twin daggers and is capable of Artimization.
Zaveid (ザビーダ Zabīda)
Seiyuu: Kenjiro Tsuda (Japanese), Ian Sinclair (English)
A Seraph also aligned with the element of Wind replacing Dezel after his death. Though he also fights the Hellion, he is generally a prankster and shares some form of connection with Dezel, he is also dangerous due to his uncertain allegiance and his willingness to fight Sorey. Zaveid fights with twin pistols and Wind-based seraphic artes.
Unlike previous Tales game, you'll be stuck as Sorey (or Alisha in DLC Episode) for playable field character, but instead we have the accompanying character after the Seraphims returns to Sorey's body (or Rose's in DLC Chapter), and you'll see it often after the event. But fortunately, all of the support field character is playable unlike Claire Banett in Tales of Rebirth. While exploring, you might see some field dialogue on the left? Almost all of them are voiced, with exceptions of town civilian's voice.
And the battle begins!While fighting, the battlefield are combined with the dungeon field so there's no Fight Whoosh or anything and just Sorey/Alisha jumps back. Unless there's a Squire, you'll stuck fighting with just one or two. But when does, only Seraphim can be exchanged while Sorey and Alisha/Rose will stay in their position. Instead of TP, there's Spirit Chain (SC) bar beneath HP which fuels the ability to link characters and perform special attacks. In high level will grants conditional boons to characters, like giving higher damage to enemy and faster recovery of SC. Plus, don't forget Armitization that only applies to Sorey and Rose. Fusing with one of the Seraphim will give you HP fusion, boosted status and special weapon unique to the user. If said characters are KO'ed, the Seraphim can revive him/her by this unique ability, albeit in half HP. Just to note, there's a separate Battle Results screen and went back to the field, except when in boss battles.
Some are serious, some are funny, like this skit which is all voiced in English.And as for the popular feature in Tales, Skits, is actually voiced in both Japanese and English, unlike the one in Symphonia and The Abyss which only Japanese one does. But Zestiria won't let you activate the skit too easily, because it's only accessible through save point, after finding a Discovery Point, post-seeing Earthen Historia's past memories and even activated automatically upon reaching the certain point, although most of them are activated by pressing L3 (actually by pressing both L1 and L2 at the same time). As of the skit type, it's in full body type rather than windows type (which is the Tales skit type I've grown up into) that I dislike at first, but after watching some of this series and Grace's skits, I should say that the second type isn't bad at all.
Borrowing Xillia series's feature is the Quick Travel. Not only you can access it in dungeon or town, you can also do that in any Save Point and only if you have Lord of the Land in the certain city as the story progress. More can be seen or played by yourself, but to tell, expect no vocals in the OP as only the Japanese one does, lucky for Xillia series which still retain Japanese vocals even in English version. And the OP theme song? It's White Wing from Superfly.
In conclusion, it was rather interesting game that gives realistic features, and great musics from Motoi Sakuraba and Go Shiina. And the battle flow is great but can be dangerous if you don't provide them healing items. If you're familiar with Final Fantasy X, there will be some similarities in case of names (I bet you already knew it before), and the story that would be a spoiler if I spill it. This game also have two endings where you either battle the 'last boss' before (Bad Ending) or after a certain point (story continues and after very long, True Ending). I skipped the Bad Ending one because I kind of couldn't stand it. But anyways, with this done, see you in my next post!