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Anybody here a Tales fan? I picked up a few games in the series including Symphonia and Graces f (PS3), Abyss (3DS), and Vesperia (PS4), and was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on these particular entries and perhaps recommendations for other ones.
I've only played Symphonia, Zestiria, and Berseria.
I know Symphonia is basically to the Tales fandom what 3 & Knuckles is to the Sonic fandom. I personally found the game kind of difficult to get into (especially the combat system which is basically a much clunkier version of Smash Bros.) but it I enjoyed it once I got the hang of it.
Zestiria is probably the most controversial entry in the series but I enjoyed it well enough. Of the three, I found it to have the most intuitive combat system control wise. It's not all that well balanced though, so it can get pretty grindy towards the end, especially if you aren't abusing the Armatization mechanic. It also has my favorite character: Edna.
Berseria is a prequel to Zestiria and probably my favorite of the bunch. My biggest complaint with it is that you have to unlock certain features that should have been available from the start (most notably the option to assign spells/special attacks to block + face button instead of having to override one of your one of your basic attack combos).
Ive played a couple Tales games.
You might want to play Symphonia, Abyss, and Vesperia in that order since. the gameplay is largely the same with gimmicks/improvements with the latter 2. The stories in Symphonia and Vesperia are fine (with the latter having a lackluster endgame). Ive not played Vesperia with the new stuff in it, but its still packed with a lot of content. Abyss' story is alright, but the cast is divisive amongst fans.
Graces f I honestly hate from the ones ive played, but the only saving grace (heh) is the battle system. story is meh, cast is ok, dungeons are very bland.
I dont recommend Zestiria as i really hate the story and i didnt like the gameplay, but I dont know if Berseria is any better. I didnt play the old Tales game before Symphonia and Xillia 1 and 2.
Thanks for the replies and suggestions so far! I've heard bad/mixed things about certain entries like Zestiria and Xillia, but there's no game I'm opposed to playing and I'd be willing to give any title I happen across a fair shot. Based on what I've read online the Tales series reminds me a lot of Sonic, where there's no clear consensus on which games are good or bad and one fan's favorite can be another fan's trash.
I definitely aim to play Symphonia first before the others; my only exposure to the series was the SFC version of Phantasia which I never got around to finishing. I went and bought the Team Symphonia games due to people's nostalgia for them and them being some of the earliest Tales games to release outside of Japan.