Tales of the Rays markets itself with a bold claim, describing itself as a console-quality entry in the Tales series despite being a free-to-play mobile game.
Console Quality Free to Play?
Aesthetically, its reason for this claim is apparent right away. It uses 3D graphics, you can explore each quest area in search of treasure chests, and its combat system uses a combination of taps and swipes to mimic traditional Tales combat in a touchscreen-friendly format.
This works fairly well, although the combat controls aren’t entirely intuitive. It seems natural to touch your character to move and tap an enemy to attack, but Tales of the Rays expects you to use one side of the screen to move and tap on the other side to attack. Despite this, the use of basic attacks and artes does a good job of creating a simplified Tales combat system.
However, it also has gameplay mechanics that have become commonplace across mobile RPGs, such as chapters divided into short missions that cost energy to play, an upgrade system that has you fuse weapons to level them up, and a gacha system with accompanying microtransactions.
Tales of the Rays takes a much nicer approach to the gacha system than most free-to-play games do. All characters are available through the story and special events, so you don’t have to worry about using a luck-based system to try to get your favorite characters. Instead, the gacha system is only used for weapons and the powerful attacks known as Mirrages, and the story can be completed without using microtransactions.
The plot follows Ix and Mileena, two friends who learn that their world is in danger. The only way to save the world and prevent large-scale destruction is to gather Anima through a process known as Exoflection, which allows them to create copies of other worlds. In short, this gives the player a reason to recruit characters from past Tales games as party members.
In addition to the main story, there are also special events with their own mini-plots, as well as repeated quests to earn items from.
Mobile Game with console aesthetic
Tales of the Rays is not a console-quality Tales game on mobile devices so much as a mobile game with a console-quality aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s filled with charm and nostalgia, and while the story’s premise might feel like an excuse for a massive Tales crossover, the character interactions and ongoing plot should provide some entertainment themselves.
This post was written by Samantha Lienhard. Visit her blog to see her writing, and more game reviews.
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