Game Review - by StormDaemon
The classic genre of RPG's has another title in its lineup with an all-new engaging story, characters to adventure with, and features to excite gamers. Using the usual top down view for almost the entire game, Tales of Destiny differs itself from other RPG's by using a real time, side view, battle system that can also incorporate strategy. Strategically placing your characters and optimizing their combat methods can either help you to dominate the monsters that stand in your way, or bring you to your knees before them. Either way, this game has a little bit of extra that makes it stand out among the crowd.
A thousand years before present day life, a giant comet with magical energies crashed into the world. The people discovered a great source of power called Lens and soon developed technologies that used Lens. After select people took to the clouds on floating cities, wars between the people in the air and the people on the ground began. The Aethereans (people in the air) had more power over the E'rthers (the ground people) until scientists developed Swordians, which are sentient swords with magical abilities, and turned the tide of the war. After the war, the Swordians went into hibernation and stayed that way until needed, and now is the time that they are needed. You are Stahn Aileron, and you have reawakened the swordian Dymlos, and you both must defeat the oncoming evil, or all shall perish.
Tales of Destiny features the usual slew of options that RPG games come with, plus a couple of new items that will get the attention of even the most experienced RPG gamer. Strategy and action are combined to make the fighting more intense, while the addition of intelligent swords makes the stories and abilities more interesting and fun to experience. Not only do you get a well-rounded story with good characters, but you also get inventive and exciting ways to fight all of the monsters that will try to destroy you. In the majority of RPG games, fighting is turn based with each character choosing an action. In Tales of Destiny, it's a completely different story. In this game, you fight with a side view that is in real time, and you also get to control the attacks almost like a fighting game in the tradition of Mortal Kombat. The combat stands apart from regular RPGs, especially when you can set how you want other characters or even your own to attack in a strategic way. Other than the strategy and the real time combat, there are not too many features in this game that haven't been incorporated into just about every other RPG out there, and even some features like the graphics and sounds, are slightly sub par when compared to many other games available.
Playing Tales of Destiny is close to experiencing a story, even though the only way to truly affect the outcome is by dying. A lot of scripting is used, and almost no cut scenes, which keeps you involved in what is going on and keeps you from becoming bored by having to constantly switch between the game and cut scenes. The game is mostly in a bird's eye view--even on the huge global map. The only time when you are not in that view is during combat, which uses a side view method. Having an overhead view during combat would have been a nice touch, but the side view reminds me of old side scrolling fighting arcade games. The enemies become increasingly difficult in combat, but your characters also become increasingly stronger, allowing for a good balance. Along the way, your characters can gain spells and special abilities from their swordians, allowing for lots of excitement during the combat scenes. Unfortunately, you can't do all of those things in an unlimited manner because points are required to use special abilities. It keeps a more of a balance existent. The game is challenging, interesting, and the story's creativity and depth make the overall gameplay above average.
Extremely reminiscient of anime and classic RPG games, the graphics were cartoonish, but they had a strong influence of anime. The opening and ending sequence were completely anime, but the game itself didn't have the sharp drawings of items and characters, and the drawings that were there were tiny and looked pretty much like a cartoon. No 3D graphics are used, and even if they were, they couldn't truly accomplish much more than looking pretty, and in the end, even with bad graphics, a fun game is still a good game. I'm assuming that was the point trying to be reached with Tales of Destiny, because even though they were very detailed and ornate, the graphics were not too advanced. They were cute, detailed, and generally pretty, but if your into the Quake 3 level of graphics and will accept nothing less, don't bother with this game.
The sounds in the game were not bad, but they certainly did not bring the game to new levels of play with the screams and grunts of both the players and the monsters. The music wasn't as bad, and if you've ever played an RPG before, then you'll recognize the familiar type of music. Traveling and exploring around the world has the slow and melodic music, while combat had the fast paced and energy packed music. The sound effects from various things within the game were generally repetitive with very little variance, which was very disappointing. Nothing was spectacular, but nothing was bad, except for the fact that the monster grunts did get old after a while. All of that averages out to an average set of sound effects are not anything to brag about, but still make the game playable and enjoyable.
Tales of Destiny is an overall good game that combines classic RPG elements with a new and creative story, and also adds some new things to gameplay such as the real time combat that is also mixed with several levels of strategy. The story is fun to watch unfold and experience, and playing through it is just as fun. The graphics and sound effects were nice, but not very great, with the graphics being more cute than cool, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. A fan of RPG games will definitely enjoy this game, and for anyone else, it's worth a good look.