Marathoning Tales of…

As my backlog continues to dwindle, I am trying to replay the games I own instead of buying new ones. There have been a myriad of games where I simply blitzed through the main game and booted a new game 10 minutes later. As of now, my last unbeaten game is Tales of Vesperia, the game I bought a 360 for. To celebrate the end of my backlog with a game I have highly anticipated, I decided to replay the Tales of… Games I own.

Replaying through the Tales of… series was an easy decision. By using the grade you have earned throughout the game, you can carry an assortment of perks into a new game plus, such as double experience, keep artes, etc.. I figured, with these perks, going through these games again would be quicker and I could delve into the content I had previously missed.

I intend to go through Tales of Legendia, Symphonia, Abyss, Dawn of the New World, then Vesperia. Apart of Eternia, that is every game I own in the series.

Only a few days ago I had replayed through Legendia on hard. Many people seem to hate it because of the battle system, silly graphics, and cliched story. When I initially played the game in 2008, I thought the game was decent enough and it somehow held my attention for 55 hours. I remember a strong, likeable, cast that felt like a tight-knit group. I remember setting my controller down and wondered why other RPGs did not dedicate screen time towards characterization as much as ToL. In other words, I had fond memories.

However, I quickly grew tired of the game on my recent replay. Unlike Abyss, there is nothing new that opens up in NG+. Furthermore, apart of the character quests and main tale, there are no real sidequests apart of the arena.

Replaying it made me wonder why I felt the way I did. My feelings of the game has completely changed and I cannot see myself ever playing it for a third time. Even with new costumes, carrying over my skills, my money, and whatever, I just found the game boring. There were a few moments, story-wise, where I was amused, but the battle system was rather boring. I remember abusing two of Senel’s moves, the only two that are multihit. So I abused those, watched the AI get comboed by the enemy, and mashed more buttons until I heard victory music.

What amused me the most about this replay were other peoples’ reactions. I played the game on stream and maybe 2 people came in without bashing it in some way. On the other hand, it was unanimous that the music was amazing.

What I learned from this replay is that, like with movies and film, the first time is the best. The sense of unfamiliary will evoke stronger reactions from the playing than simply observing how the plot unravels. People may identify these feelings as “nostalgia” and while I agree to an extent, a solid product must have some indescribable charm to warrant such a title. In other words, I was blinded by the feelings I felt by the end of Tales of Legendia after my first play through. The end was charming and somehow that feeling overwhelmed the feelings I felt throughout playing the game. It was not until my replay where I was able to uncover the veil and see what the game for what it truly is.

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