Pokémon and Sailor Moon Unite!
“Moon Power Activation!” Sound familiar? It probably does. However, while Tales of Crestoria a third-person adventure game, may invoke nostalgic feelings about Sailor Moon, it is anything but. With anime vibes and colorful characters, one could argue that comparisons to the bubbly, lovable Sailor Scouts would be appropriate. But Tales of Crestoria doesn’t just have Sailor-Moon like qualities, it also has a few Pokémon similarities too.
Developer Bandai Nameco Entertainment, a name that should sound familiar to many, (Hello, Power Rangers!), has crafted a wonderful experience for the player. The world Bandai has created is full of fun and adventure.
Tutorial, Quests, Challenge Missions
Picture if you will yourself as the young hero being trained by a more experienced mentor. Through rigorous training, you sharpen your skills, physically and mentally. Your mentor even offers some Jedi-like wisdom in hopes of you becoming the hero, the person you were always destined to be. How many times have we seen that? A lot.
So, does Tales of Crestoria do anything to put a new spin on the same old mentor/pupil relationship? Well, not really. Players step into the shoes of Kanata Hjuger. Kanata, the son of a respected village leader, has a desire to protect the weak, but has trouble being taken seriously due to his naïve nature. Cress Albane serves as Kanata’s master. Think of him as the Yoda to Hjuger’s Luke Skywalker. Cress offers sage-like wisdom to his young pupil.
As events unfold players learn that Kanata has feelings for a girl named Misella. To protect Misella after tragedy befalls her, Kanata ends up committing a grave crime. Labeled “transgressors” by their own citizens, “enforcers” are dispatched to punish them. Talk about a sticky situation! With the help of a character named Vicious, known also as “The Great Transgressor,” Kanata and Misella end up in a fight for their lives. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? It’s a bit like Ash Ketchum’s journey in the original Pokémon games. Minus commiting a crime of course and the threat of death.
In fact, Kanata’s and Ash have a lot in common. Both want to be the best at what they do. Both go on a hero’s journey. Along the way they face perils and quests that come with being a hero.
And speaking of Quests, Crestoria really doesn’t offer much in terms of individual quests. Quests and Challenge Missions are basically tied together. Your Quests consist of completing the Challenge Missions, which means progressing through the main story. Tying the two together is great, because it makes things a little easier, but it would be nice if you were offered individual quests apart from completing the main story as you progress.
Voice Acting, Battles, and Enemies
What’s an anime game without voice-acting? Rather boring. Fortunately, Crestoria truly shines in this area. From the opening cut-scene to the ones that follow everything is top-notch. The actors are invested in their performances, which helps engage the players in the story. Bandai did a tremendous job in hiring incredible voice-over talent.
Like voice-acting, battles are an integral part of gameplay. As you travel you find yourself getting into battles. The mechanics aren’t difficult either. While you mainly play as Kanata, you do have allies and support characters you can take into battle with you, which is sort of like Pokémon. You get to choose the members of your party. But fair warning; there are times when only Kanata can engage in battle. It is, after all, his story. Each character also has their own special moves. For example, Kanata utilizes a special move known as Dragon Fang that can deal more damage than a normal attack. A simple press of a button and boom! Special move can wreck your opponent.
Allies and support characters have special moves too. Special moves give you an advantage in battle and deal significant more damage. However, once you use one, you must endure a cool-down period before you can use it again. The cool-down period can vary in terms of number of turns. One other thing! Leveling up also helps your chances in battle. You battle, you level up. The better your level, the greater your chances are later.
Enemies are perhaps one of the weaker aspects of this RPG experience. Yes, you battle enemies to get stronger, and while enemies are random, enemy types are repetitive. Some are stronger than others, some aren’t. One advantage for players is that some enemies they encounter are weaker against special attacks than they are against normal attacks.
Graphics and Overall Impressions
Overall, Tales of Crestoria is a fun RPG game with a solid story. Graphics also look great, particularly during the cutscenes and battles. They may not be 3D-level-style graphics, but they are still impressive. Bandai has a good job at providing an enjoyable adventure. While a few things may seem like other RPG games, the voice-acting and visuals are two areas that help set them apart.
Is It Hardcore?
Yes, to an extent
The story is something we’ve seen before, but the voice-acting, characters and visuals make this hardcore enough to give you hours of enjoyment.