Tales of Arise is out this week, and you already know it's shaping up to be one of the most well-recieved Japanese games so far in the new console generation. If you're going to be picking it up when it launches on September 10, do yourself a favor and prepare yourself a little. Tales of Arise doesn't need a ton of extra help for players to get through it, but there were a few things I tripped over here and there that made for a much better experience, and would've made things a ittle better a little earlier. So here are what I feel like are some small, but crucial and spoiler-free tips to keep in mind before you head into Tales of Arise for the first time.
Don't sell your weapons!
It can be tempting to sell your weapons, especially if you're getting low on cash. But that's a bad idea. Without spoiling anything, eventually you'll need some of those weapons to craft stronger versions a few hours down the line. You'll eventually get past that point too and back to more bespoke weapons, but it's easy to miss out on a big chunk of stat bumps if you sell too much.
Save Rinwell and Karisa’s Boosts.
Normally it’s a good idea to go for broke with using Boosts, but two of your characters are better waiting on the bench until you need them. Rinwell and Kisara’s Boost attacks also come with an added counter property for specific scenarios. If an enemy is charging and is glowing with a specific red aura, Kisara’s Boost will stop them in their tracks. For Rinwell, her Boost will counter enemy spells while they’re in progress. If you see a purple circle filling up on the field, popping Rinwell’s Boost will stuff it.
Another property to note here is that for both of these counter techniques, the effect applies to the whole field. So you don’t need to aim it at all, and if more than one enemy is performing those actions they’ll all be stopped.
Other character’s boosts have unique properties as well, such as how Law can break shields and Shionne can ground flying foes. But those are much more about offense than defense. Meanwhile, if you just drop Rinwell on the field for a simple damage bump, you’re just going to be vulnerable to skills while she recharges. Of course, if you’re fighting enemies that don’t charge or use Artes, do whatever you want!
How to find owls
One of the big pixel hunts in Tales of Aris is finding those owls. If you’re ever standing around and start hearing a bizarre vocal noise, it’s probably an owl nearby. Collecting these guys will unlock new cosmetic items over at the Owl Forest. Some of these critters can be tough to pinpoint, but there are a few tools at your disposal.
First of all, you don’t need to scour every inch of every screen. Rinwell’s owl pal Hootle will jump out and hoot whenever you first enter a map containing an owl. That’s okay for a starting point, but more importantly Hootle will only show back up again when you’re near the hidden owl. Basically that means you can cruise around without paying too much attention until you get the ping.
Additionally, sometimes it can be tough to figure out how to “examine” an owl. But unlike things like chests, you only have to point the camera at the owl and not get all the way up on them. You can have some distance, which helps when they’re sitting in particularly finicky geometry.
Look at the cool menu!
This is a small thing, but also is a testament to how much this game cares, so to speak. Whenever the story progresses at certain points, the background art in Arise’s menu changes. For example, when you get to a new Realm featuring new characters, those characters will be shown on the menu. The art even escalates with the plot in some ways we can’t say.
Related: Tales of Arise Review | Punching Up
Kite monsters to avoid them
Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with combat for a bit, especially in some of the bigger dungeons. If you just want to get to the next fast travel point or even escape, sometimes you have to be tricky. A lot of monsters will chase you (even when they’re weak), and will drag you into the fight even if it looks like you aren’t touching them.
So to give some of the chonkier monsters a wide berth, it can be necessary to dip into a bag of tricks from the ol’ tried and true MMO. Tactics. Usually you can roll up to an enemy or group and get them to chase you, then find just enough room to double back and get by. If you’re lucky, there may be even parts of the environment you can jump over.
If you want a relatively easy and painless way to make some extra money, there’s a certain farm animal this world can’t get enough of. Once you unlock the ranch and use it for a while you’ll be able to raise Rappigs, which I guess are pigs with bunny ears? Anyway, their meat is worth significantly more money than the other animals before them, so you can make a small profit by filling your stables up with them.
The time and yield can vary based on the feed you use, but even with the more expensive feed you can bring in an extra grand or so just from passively murdering rabbit pigs.
Map menu is tricky but good
Sometimes the map menu doesn’t look as useful as it actually is. There’s something about the UI that feels a bit too fumbly or have to digest. Anyway, there are a couple things you can do with the map besides see where you’re going. For one, you can sort through different parts of the area you’re in with the bumper buttons. But if you press triangle (top), you can also sift through a list of every map you’ve been to.
This part of the menu shows you if there are new side quests, current objectives and a few other icons that help you keep track of what you need to do and where. If a main objective doesn’t give you enough immediate information (this happens a couple times), you can scroll through the maps and find what you need no problem.
Run with R2
For whatever reason there are two default run buttons in Tales of Arise, and the one it draws attention to is L3. Personally I hate running with the stick buttons, but it’s helpful to know you can also run with R2. It’s much more comfortable, and easier to do things like manipulate the camera and jump.