Tales of Arise has had a monetization problem with it stepping into questionable territory regarding entire skill trees and Artes being locked behind DLC. While far from a game ruiner, this aspect caused me to become cautious of whatever paid post-launch support this title would receive. And, well, the latest instance of this, the Sword Art Online Collaboration Pack, has only reinforced my skepticism with further DLC.
Tales of Arise received new DLC establishing a cross-over with the immensely popular light novel and anime series Sword Art Online. Players can battle Kirito and Asuna in the Elde Menancia Training Grounds, receive weapons, learn a new Mystic Arte, and obtain new outfits. Kirito and Asuna even have voiced exchanges with Alphen and Shionne outside of the Training Grounds, which is honestly kind of cool, especially for fans of both series. Further, the boss battle against Kirito and Asuna has unique voiced dialogue and cinematic action scenes, alongside special Mystic Artes.
Now, none of that sounds substandard in any way when viewed without context. After all, what’s the harm with a brief battle and some exchanges? Well, the issue comes with the pricing. This Collaboration Pack is $15.99. Yes, you did indeed read that correctly. This battle, coupled with some cosmetics, a Mystic Arte, weapons, and incredibly brief scenes, is 16 dollars.
So, there really isn’t much for me to say regarding why this is a poor purchase; it should be abundantly clear why it is. Still, let’s reiterate here. For as mildly entertaining as these characters’ exchanges are and for as cool as the boss battle is, I’m certain no one thinks this is actually worth anything more than five bucks at most. The obscene pricing undoubtedly has to do with licenses first and foremost.
If you’ve been yearning to give Tales of Arise a replay or have yet to play it at all, the recently released new free difficulty patch should provide more than enough gameplay incentive than paying for this newly released pack. Of course, what someone does with their money is ultimately their choice. Still, I really must advise avoidance of this DLC at all costs. Its gameplay value is nowhere near the 16 bucks it demands to a degree where I believe that even Sword Art Online fans would be hard-pressed to find that monetary value embedded within this purchase. Just please be smart with your purchases; this is a blatant waste of money.
If you missed it, check out our positive review of Tales of Arise’s PlayStation 5 version. We also have an impressions piece available for those who don’t desire to read or watch a full review.
Tales of Arise advances the graphics with the new “Atmospheric shader,” which presents the world as if it were a hand-drawn painting. Further, the combat has evolved, allowing for a better sense of spectacle and direct player feedback based upon their actions. Finally, the graphics, combat system, characters, and story combine to present a vivid and realized world that the developer hopes will immerse players.
Tales of Arise is available now worldwide on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.
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