All you fans of the Tales series of games finally have something to be excited about.
The past couple years have witnessed a staggering paradigm shift from home console gaming to smartphone-based hand-held gaming, which unfortunately have left hardcore gamers from yesteryear feeling a bit forgotten. Occasionally a new entry from a classic game series comes along, but they are all too often either just a crappy port of a old game or an extremely simplified spinoff that does little to sate the appetites of diehard gamers.
Well, rejoice, dear gamers, for Tales of the World: Tactics Union (iOS version here) is here with console-level game play and rich graphics sure to please console gamers unsatisfied by recent smartphone game offerings. Take a look at the video below for an idea of the level of quality present in Tactics Union:
- -Characters and world faithful to original series
- -Characters with movements and voice acting of surprisingly high quality for an app game
- -Original features, such as a character favorability system
The video certainly would pique the interest of a seasoned gamer, no? At 800 yen, it is a bit expensive for an app, but if you take the following points into consideration, I think you'll find Tactics Union worthy of the price.
Well-Paced and Engrossing Original Story
The story generally progresses through dialogue between characters standing in front of background art. Unfortunately, there's no voice acting here, but when you consider how much time it would take to download a fully voice-acted game, it's likely better off this way.
Some of you may think the game is shallower than its console counterparts, but I think the game makes up for this through its quick pacing and responsiveness.
Intuitive, Stress-Free Battling
The real fun of this game lies in its battles. You control movement and targeting by tapping on the screen, and then tapping again to confirm the action. If you're having trouble navigating the map, be sure to zoom in to increase your accuracy.
The graphics really are superb for a smartphone, and the responsiveness is top-notch. A game of this level would not be out of place on a console.
Tactics Union also offers a full range of statuses and attributes to upgrade, just like on console Tales games.
The most important aspect in winning battles is getting the right positioning. This is a basic rule for most SRPGs, but with a lot of games you can just bulldoze through battles without much finesse or worry. Tactics Union, however, places a higher importance on positioning, even more so than on your character's attributes.
Supporting attacks from friendly characters are also very important. In order to get this support, you have to raise your character's favorability attribute, which requires matching as often as possible the characters you want to work together.
If you understand these two points, you can proceed pretty quickly and smoothly through the game. Even when you hit a game over, the game is fun enough that you'll want to pick it right back up from where you left off.
DLC Available for Purchase
I've done little but sing the praises of Tales of the World: Tactics Union here, but one problem I have with it is the price of characters available as DLC. 250 yen is a bit too expensive...
The initial price of the game is already a rather steep 800 yen, so paying even more for characters is a bit hard to swallow. There are also special items available for slightly more reasonable 99 yen apiece.
Regardless of whether or not you'll drop the cash for DLC, I believe the base game is definitely worth 800 yen. It's really quite fun, and I don't think not having the DLC detracts from the game at all.
Bandai-Namco has done a good thing here, so I hope some other developers soon follow suit and start releasing more quality original titles on smartphones.
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Device used: ELUGA power (P-07D)
Publisher: NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.
Last updated: 2/21/2013
Price: 800 yen
Translation by Jason Morgan