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Episode 288: It's a party in here and a beating is invited!

January 9th, 2015, 11:00 am

Average Rating: 5.00
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Author's Comments:

Reply zignoff, December 21st, 2014, 7:46 pm

He is gonna be squishy! Here is now the review on Tales of Heart R, one of the newest Tales games to reach the Stateside, though a remake of a DS game.

Well been a rough week of temp work here, so Ill see what I can do about slapping a review up, but really there isn't alot to speak off really here.

Tales of Heart R or known as Tales of Heart for DS is another in the tales series, one of the common themes being that each game focuses on one item, such as Friendship with Graces F, and generally sucking in Xilla... I Mean that everyone being morons an listening to a complete cretin in Xilla.... DOH!...

Moving on, for this game the major theme is that of Hearts and Love.

So let's start the review here.

Story 7/10: Not bad, the central idea of the Hearts is that there are these creatures that will infect a persons heart or Spira which the game refers to almost like the map of their soul and heart, and drain out their positive emotion and amplify their negative ones, and some can cause this to such an extreme that it infects whole towns, causing epidemics. To combat these creatures a armament known as a Soma was created, this allows one to enter the heart of the person and purify it freeing them and destroying the creatures.

You play for the the most part Kor/Shinn Meteor, a good hearted moron whose a bit of a country bumpkin who just earned his Grandfathers Soma, afterwards you meet a girl on the beach known as Kohaku, afterwards you are attacked by a person who infects Kohaku's Heart and Spira, Kor attempts to fix her Spira, but something goes wrong and her heart is split across the world leaving only her Kindness left. Kor then goes out to help repair Kohaku's Heart.

That's basically the start of the story, and while it adds on more to have a more major issue the follows, for most the game getting Kohaku's Heart back together is the major thing, afterwards once you do get it fixed the game is damn near over. So one of my major issues is the game is rather short, and the ending was one of those ones I hate where after you beat it, it's basically a YAY we WON!, THE END..... Wait that's it?

Along with that the game brings in alot of lore to work with, but never really does anything with it, as with the characters, things are introduced and quickly forgotten about. It overall just feels lacking.

Sound/ Music/ Voices 8/10: Japanese only Voices overs which I prefer, but the thing that bugs me is some of the original audio themes were removed like the intro song, which bugs the hell out of me. The voice acting is solid as most JP voice acting usually is, and the sounds of everything sound right, nothing out of place or such.

Graphics 8.5/10: The graphics are for the most part clean and detailed, though some areas do seem to be bland at times, or lack the detail one would like, making some dungeons rather hard to navigate at times due to some looking very much the same. But considering it's a complete overhaul of a DS sprite design they look for the most part great.

Gameplay 7/10: As for the core combat mechanics, they once again use the Xilla cross over CC and Technique points, but I will say that for what it's worth it seems ALOT less limited this time around, seems they fixed it quite a bit so as not to make combat feel stiff and clunky as before. I never noticed myself Running out of CC points to often and I was able to keep my TP up for the more important times of the fights.

This games combat system though focuses alot more on aerial juggling, a mechanic which can work well once it decides it wants to happen. You see to get an enemy juggled into the air you have to break their stance by repeatedly attacking with basic attacks and waiting for a symbol icon to appear, when that happens the last hit of your basic attack will break it sending them into the air where you can perform a "CHASE" system teleporting to them and then juggling them. However you can only use basic attacks to break their stance causing the chase system and only use basic attacks while doing it.

The problem with this is the enemy has a huge amount of counters and invincibility skills to counter all your actions preventing this alot of the time. The Rage counter being one of the biggest pains in the arse, you see if you attack an enemy enough they will become slightly and VERY hard to notice on some enemies a light tinted red, and in a split second hit you with a move that will know you out and do a good chunk of damage. Now you can counter this if you defend yourself with prefect timing, which is almost instantly as the rage counter is performed so quick...

Here is the major issue with that system, you CAN'T GUARD CANCEL, so most times you have to be just pecking away a hit at a time without doing moves and combo's to normally be HOPEFULLY ready for the counter, to counter it back, but most times the move is so fast, and the red tint on the character so light it's impossible to have the proper reflexs to defend, as most times you will be doing a big combo to try and break their stance. Without a proper way to cancel your own combo to defend, you are going to get hit most the time by this move. Making getting the stance breaks nigh impossible for most enemies.

Another bad issue is that the AI loves to focus on your only healing character, which means you will be chasing them most the fight as they constantly forget you even exist to prevent your only heals from casting spells. Moving out of your combo with their brick defense and causing you to waste points and combo time.

There just isn't any balance to the system and what could be a good idea becomes a bag full of annoyances later on.

Next the game does have atleast a cooking system back, but no crafting system, however in this game one of the unique features is the Soma leveling system, As you gain level you get points in which to level up your weapons unlocking new forms and new skills to use, and each part you level up raises certain stats such as physical and magic defense, this is a nice system which allows for some good customization and personalization for the player and reminds me of the old weapon leveling system from the Tales of Destiny 1.

Along with this the game has a world map, and eventually you can fly in it, however, the point of this seems lacking as there is really nothing to explore in the world, atleast from what I could find, the side quest system if there is one is lacking as I found like no side things to do, and by the end of the game before the very poorly explained point of no return, which I should add is a point of no return that's like 6-7 more hours of gameplay dungeons and such and considering the game was barely 30 hours long that a LONG point of no return. There is no real indication of any side quest, no way to track them if there are any, and no way to know if you missed them, which Im sure I did was the Tales games had a bad habit of missable side events which I always hated.

Overall Score 7/10 Rent, Buy, ignore? Well as a tales fan and a JRPG fan, Hearts R is a good game and I do recommend it for being a solid JRPG Tales game, So I can suggest a buy if you have the system and money.

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User's Comments:

Reply qazox, January 9th, 2015, 6:21 pm

I hope MC brought his brown pants....

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