lorekai: Tales of Hearts R First Impressions.

Another first impressions post this week, this time it’s of Tales of Hearts R, the recently released Vita remake of the original DS’s Tales of Hearts. Please be aware there will be some spoilers for the first hour of the game.

Story:

Ancient Prophecy thing, check.

Girl with mysterious power, check, being chased by a mysterious bad, check.

Naive main character who has never been out of his home town, check.

Tragic death of main character’s elder mentor/family member, check, said person has a mysterious connect to mysterious bad, check.

Collection quest that will force party to travel around the world, check.

Someone obviously wasn’t trying very hard when coming up with the beginning for this game, as it’s more than a little cliché, and while I have full faith that it will find a way to subvert the expected, as most Tales of games do, it was a little disappointing to have such a predictable beginning to a game I’ve been looking forward to for a little while now.

Gameplay:

Random Encounters! How very unexpected! I don’t have a problem with them, I just did not expect them at all, especially in a recent Tales of game, aside from that I don’t really have much to say about the gameplay so far, combat seems like the standard variation on a similar theme, which is good, it’s fun and it works, and the abilities system seems both promising, and lacking in convolution, which is nice.

Graphics:

I’ll admit graphically this game was a very pleasant surprise, I did not expect the remake of a DS game to be so pretty. The environments are pretty, it runs smoothly, and it makes good use of colours so the characters stand out, even if the character designs themselves don’t seem that impressive. The only thing that bothers me so far, is that while some of the animated cutscenes fit the Vita screen, some of them are square, and the is a discrepancy in quality between them. My suspicion is that this is due to it being a remake, and those in charge of the remake not bothering to do anything about the cutscenes they used from the DS version.

Sound:

Soundtrack doesn’t seem particularly standout so far, there is nothing to complain about, but there is nothing of note either. Oddly enough, sound-wise,  we get the Japanese voices, but not the opening song, which is probably due to this being a low budget release, which is a little bit disappointing, especially as there seem to be some minor timing issues between the text boxes and the characters speaking, and also because I tend to like the proper opening songs.

That’s all, thank for reading. My time this week will be devoted to exam revision and going “Ahhh!”, and then after that it’s Pokémon, so don’t when I’ll be able to review this properly, hopefully soon though.

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