My Weekend with Tales of Hearts R16 Nov 2014
I picked up Tales of Hearts R this week. Originally released in Japan in 2008 on the Nintendo DS, six years later a re-imagining of the original made its way to the PlayStation Vita in the West. As the weekend comes to a close, I unabashedly admit that I poured twelve hours into this game! I'm a fan of the Tales series so I'm a little biased and I have yet to finish the game, but this game is great so far. Here are some thoughts:
- A lot of reviews about this game give the localization a lot of flak. My command of Japanese is pretty poor, but I haven’t run into anything that’s offensively translated yet. They did “translate” the protagonist’s name from Shing to Kor, which I think is pretty weird, given they left other Japanese names like Kohaku and Hisui as is.
- The story is somewhat cheesy, but I like it. The theme in this game, as the title hints at rather strongly, is about love and “meetings between hearts.” So far, there is enough mystery in the plot and characters that I want to keep playing to see what comes out of the woodwork.
- The battle system is what you’d expect of a Tales game: lots of action and a lot of fun. The AI for the characters you don’t control is pretty smart too; I can count on one hand the times I questioned what my allies were doing!
- The growth system is cool. Characters gain EXP from slaying fiends and as they level up, they gain points to improve their stats. Points can be allocated over six categories that improve different groups of stats. Spend enough points in a category and it will level up, granting new skills. Leveling up categories uniformly is encouraged as bonuses are awarded when adjacent categories reach certain levels. All in all, the system makes me want to level up more and more so I can improve my characters.
Anyhow, time to squeeze in a few more hours with Tales of Hearts R before I go to bed! :)