Tales of Arise is by far a contender for game of the year; our super positive review should make that opinion of ours rather clear. However, the DLC of the game does carry some downsides.
Previous Tales titles are no strangers to having DLC. Past games have had numerous amounts, ranging from consumable items and cosmetics to even level boosts. However, those DLC items have always been optional and can be disregarded. If someone is willing to pay money to level their character faster, that’s on them, and these are not online experiences, so who really cares, right? The consumable item packages aid in speeding up processes, and the cosmetics are for those who love eye candy.
However, one notable facet of the DLC goes beyond what prior Tales titles have done, which has to do with Titles. Titles are a staple feature in Tales, with them usually coupling as achievements of performing certain feats and acting as cosmetic alterations.
In Tales of Arise, Titles represent those features as well as having their own dedicated skill trees. In a menu dubbed the Skill Panel, each character has a set of mini skill trees that house passive skill benefits and full-on Artes. Since some of the DLC grants Titles that show up in the Skill Panel, I think my issue has become clear.
These are buffs, and Artes paywalled behind DLC, and while these benefits don’t dramatically alter the experience, they could create a different experience for some players.
I think my feelings on this matter have to do with how these skill trees are inherent add-ons to the gameplay rather than side dishes. Level boosts accomplish what grinding would do, just with money being spent instead of time. Likewise, cosmetics don’t change the actual gameplay experience in any way, and consumable items are either shortcuts or acts of convenience at best.
Adding fundamental gameplay additions crosses a line I can’t say I’m comfortable with, though. I could certainly be worrying over nothing here, but I’m hoping that these steps don’t progress to further lengths in future entries.
To be clear, I was given the Digital Ultimate Edition for review containing all of these bonus titles, so I am not saying this out of envy. I am just honest.
Regardless, I wouldn’t say this problem ruins the game. You do not need these benefits to progress at all, obviously. Tales of Arise is a truly stellar experience. This may be a result of modern gaming administration getting bolder and bolder with monetization.
If you missed it, check out our review of Tales of Arise.
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