So the latest Tales game released to pretty favorable reviews and record breaking (at least for Tales) sales. Did anyone else here pick it up? What do you think about it?
For my part, I'm still fairly early on but I'm kind of finding myself struggling to get into it.
The combat system takes some getting used to, and even now that I've gotten to a point where I've gotten a handle on it I still feel like it hasn't really "clicked". I feel like I'm either steamrolling encounters or getting steamrolled and I haven't quite figured out how to find the middle ground. Boss encounters are also new and interesting, but the difficulty spike is wild. Bosses are grander than ever, but they also seem to play by a different set of rules from the rest of the game that makes them feel difficult in a way that sometimes doesn't feel great.
The writing is probably where my biggest concerns are, though. The overall plot is interesting, but I found the introduction and set-up of the world and it's characters to be incredibly clunky. Alphen showed some promise but is pretty much your standard JRPG protag with amnesia, which is fine if a bit predictable. Shionne is where I started to lose it. There's just something about the way she's so blatantly offered up as "the waifu" from the moment she's introduced that really rubs me the wrong way. I'm usually down for, or at least willing to go along with, tropey nonsense to a certain degree but something about how Shionne is handled makes me feel like maybe I'm just getting too old for this shit. Maybe a part of it is because the plot is directly dealing with some pretty heavy stuff like slavery and late-stage capitalism that the ways it defaults to tropes and pandering stands out more, I dunno. There's also some weird little issues, like incidental dialogue not knowing what part of the plot you're at. For instance, the relationship between Alphen and Shionne early on can be pretty antagonistic, but then that gets muddied by victory quotes or random quips while exploring that make them sound like they're already BFFs.
I am enjoying it for the most part and intend to keep going with it, but I'm finding myself kind of disappointed in how many little things are bothering me and keeping me from getting fully hooked.