Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are gone. Lay your weary head to rest, don’t you cry no more…

Someday I’ll turn these articles into awesome highlight videos with that song playing in the background, similar to Supernatural season finales. But as my editing skills more than suck, I’ll just write it all down.

I started a new Let’s Play a few weeks ago, the latest in the Tales series, Tales of Zestiria, yet another game they end in “ia” for no reason (see Symphonia, Xillia, Berseria).

It all starts on Elysia, way up in the clouds. Fall down into some underground ruins, find a damsel in distress and heavy-duty armour, and take her home to the village of the Seraph, a ton of people she can’t even see. It gets funny and sad all at the same time, but after helping her get rations, she goes off on her merry way back to Ladylake, her hometown. But she’s not alone, and we fight a Fox Demon guy hot on her trail.

To protect her, we leave Elysia, witness an epic cinematic opening and then enter the great city of Ladylake, which is totally not Hyrule or Camelot, not at all. From there, the Shepherd awakened, pulling the Holy Sword from its pedestal and even fusing with the Seraphs with him. After that, we’re on the road to save the world, one land at a time!

I’m barely getting started. This is a massive game I’m sure. I’m barely out of the first city and I think there’s still a ton of stuff left to do!

I have never made so much fun of a game before. But Tales of Zestiria isn’t even subtle about the Arthurian references. There’s being too on the nose, and then there’s this game. Also, it just looks and feels like a Legend of Zelda game, even if it plays differently. I’m having a lot of fun with it, though I’ve had a few issues recording.

Last week I skipped a ton of game content, about an hour or so, because of problems with XSplit and then the game crashed. It was a nightmare, but I wasn’t about to give up so I recorded new episodes anyway.

Much like yesterday’s Road so Far, here are some of the good and bad until now!

Good:

  • Beautiful, just gorgeous environments, from the calm cloudy village in Elysia to the ruins near Ladylake and the city itself. There are tiny details all around and they bring it all to life.
  • Interesting equipment and economy mechanics. You can stack item properties or strengthen them by fusing with similar ones. Fusing, selling or buying increases your proficiency with the merchant and that lets him stock more powerful gear. It’s kinda like you’re helping their business grow.
  • The Lord of the Land mechanic ties into the plot and it’s an interesting idea. Incentivises exploration and combat and makes your life easier.
  • The characters run really, really fast.
  • Switching Seraphs on the fly in battle and the fusions.

Bad:

  • Characters fall into too predictable anime tropes. From the bumbling and extremely trusting protagonist, the cool character friend, the one that pretends to be an airhead but isn’t, the earnest princess and of course the evil politicians. Every new character is automatically predictable because of it.
  • The combat system, while fun, gets more and more complicated. As it is right now, I don’t really use any of the things I’ve been told I should do, because there’s just too much to remember.
  • Setting the game to Japanese doesn’t restore the frankly AMAZING opening song by Superfly.

As the Let’s Play continues, I’ll probably change my mind about a few things or list some more!

You can catch new episodes or old ones on The Mental Attic’s YouTube channel, new episodes come out at 4:30pm GMT, Monday to Friday.

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