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JRPG Fans Shouldn’t Miss The ‘Tales Of’ Franchise Sale

If you’re an RPG fan then you understand the fascination and delight that we gamers get from stepping into the shoes of a hero or heroine. Battling foes, exploring new lands and meeting all sorts of people. Now imagine all of that but turn up the dial by 100 and you’ll get a JRPG. JRPGs are renowned for extremely intricate and in-depth world-building and storylines. And one of the franchises responsible for that is the Tales of series.

The Tales of series has several titles to the franchise including several spin-offs and sequels. The game generally encompasses a motley crew of lovable characters, fast-paced and often beautiful combat systems, deep storylines, gorgeous graphics and so much more. What sets the Tales of series apart from other JRPGs is their storylines. The authors don’t pull any punches when it comes to killing off characters and more often than not the game has a huge plot twist that you wouldn’t have seen coming. For people who have played any of the series, you’ll know that the bright colour is mixed often with dark stories and emotions. It’s truly an epic RPG adventure.

From the 5th to the 9th of December five of their phenomenally unmissable JRPG titles are on sale on Steam. With discounts ranging from 50%-90% off. Here’s everything you need to know about each game. You won’t want to miss them.

 

Tales of Symphonia – 75% Off

Tales of Symphonia was originally released back in 2003 for the GameCube and has since been remastered earlier this year. There was a terrible PC port somewhere in 2016, but we won’t talk about that. Do note that the graphics and combat style of this game is a little dated, but it’s a must-try for fans of classic JRPG.

In Tales of Symphonia, we follow Lloyd Irving as he accompanies the Chosen One on a globetrotting adventure. The Chosen One, Colette, instructed by divine prophecy, must “regenerate” the world in order to end war, famine, and hatred. Despite trying to do the right thing, Lloyd and his companions are confronted with moral quandaries that often leave a trail of destruction behind them. What makes the story so effective is how it rarely shies away from the consequences of our heroes’ actions. Conflicts are rarely resolved neatly, and the story is better for it.

The Tales of series is also known for its cast of characters. And in Symphonia, you can see the great dynamic between all of the party members. Which can sometimes lead to some funny, heartwarming, and devastating moments over the course of the journey.

 

Tales of Zestiria – 90% Off

Tales of Zestiria was released back in 2015 and out of this whole list probably the most middling of the Tales of games. But is still well worth checking out, especially for 90% off the price. Zestiria’s story is probably one of the most different out of the whole franchise. Our protagonist Sorey and his adoptive brother, Mikleo, are part of the seraphim, a race of angelic monk-like beings who oversee Glenwood.

Sorey is an orphaned human raised by seraphim, who has never experienced life beyond the safety and isolation of his idyllic village. But a chain of events motivates him to return to the lands inhabited by humans, many areas of which have since been corrupted by an evil presence known as the Malevolence. With Mikleo by his side, Sorey discovers that his sheltered upbringing and strong moral code make him an ideal candidate for the role of world-cleansing saviour known reverently as the Shepherd.

It’s a gorgeous medieval fantasy which incorporates a unique Battle System with fusions between Sorey and Seraphim. The Seraphim element of Tales of Zestiria not only makes the story captivating but its battle mechanics supremely interesting as well.

 

Tales of Berseria – 90% Off

Tales of Berseria is a prequel to the aforementioned Tales of Zestiria. But you won’t need to play the previous game to play this one. In Berseria we follow one of my favourite protagonists for character designs – Velvet Crowe. She’s also the franchise’s first sole female protagonist. As a game that precedes Zestiria, much of Zestiria‘s lore is established in Berseria, including the first Shepherd (a position Sorey later takes on in Zestiria), malakhim (who becomes the seraphim), and malevolence.

One of the main reasons to play Tales of Berseria is to get to know Velvet more. Her emotionally tumultuous story is one of a woman so bent on vengeance that every road she follows leads to perdition. It’s a different kind of story from the other Tales of games. Instead of the cheery, can-do spirit you’ll come to expect from the series, Berseria fully explores the darkest parts of the human heart. There’s no real sunny side to the anti-heroine Velvet Crowe, who drives the plot with her unquenchable thirst for bloody vengeance on the man who took everything from her. Nor is there much hope of redemption for the memorable company she keeps.

She and her crew of pirates reflect just how emotionally broken their world has become in the face of multiple calamities. Only the fragile Malak (spirit) Laphi and the earnest Exorcist Elenor keep this ragtag group anchored in hope and distinct from the actual villains. Even then, the ties that bind them threaten to come undone as their search for the truth behind the theo-political machinations of a tight group of elites collides with their need for personal vengeance.

 

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition – 80% Off

Tales of Vesperia has often been credited as the perfect starting point for people wanting to get into the Tales franchise. Beyond its approachability, its characters have depth and stand out, and following their journey has kept fans coming back.

Vesperia follows the story of a group of warriors, thieves, nobles and pirates living in a world on the verge of unrest. The people of Terca Lumireis have become dependent on an ancient technology known as blastia to power their everyday lives (including protecting their homes from monsters that lurk in the wilds). But there’s a conspiracy at play in the Empire and beyond that could bring doom to the land. In the boots of former Imperial soldier Yuri Lowell – voice by the insanely talented Troy Baker in the English dub – you’ll form some unlikely alliances and create a new guild to help solve the mystery behind the missing blastia in classic JRPG fashion.

You might be spotting a pattern here but the Tales of franchise attempts to keep gameplay fresh. So in Vesperia, things play a little bit differently. While you still explore the world and run into monsters if you choose, the actual battle system plays more like a basic version of Tekken. Something that’s a slight variation of your traditional JRPG.

 

Tales of Arise – 50% Off

Tales of Arise is the latest addition to the Tales of the franchise and arguably one of the best of the series. The game having released more recently back in 2021 also gets to benefit from updated graphics and modern gameplay styles.

Arise follows the story of Alphen, a slave with a mysterious past who cannot feel pain. He is charming and helpful, going out of his way to assist anyone in need and acting as a protector of his fellow slaves. But there is a deuteragonist to the game that makes this tale unique. Shionne is a beautiful woman and a member of the slaver race. She cannot be physically touched without cursed magic thorns erupting from her body. Alphen is the only one that can touch her and watching their relationship grow from contentious but necessary to becoming friends is a beautiful and touching story.

Without spoiling anything, the story touches on the horrors of war and slavery, the long-lasting effects of colonization on indigenous peoples, the realization of one’s own privilege and how it relates to others and the less fortunate, one’s purpose in a damaged world and what they can do to help, and more. But that’s not to say everything is dour – there are plenty of moments that made me laugh out loud or smile because of how charming the well-rounded and flawed characters can be, and they’re made even better by a stellar voice cast.