Tales of Crestoria (download from the App Store and Google Play Store) is a game that hammers you with information from the second you pick it up. It’s heavy on the explanations, because it has to be. It feels like there are hundreds of meta-game menus, systems, items and currencies that you need to get to grips with.
It explains itself pretty well, layering the information on thickly but in an easy to understand manner. You’ve got elemental resistances, various battle mechanics and more to figure out before you can really start enjoying the experience.
But all of this is also kind of unnecessary. You can set your battles to automatic, and in the earlier chunks of the game the enemies you’re fighting are weak enough that you’ll have dealt with them in just a couple of turns.
Tale As Long As Time
That leaves the story to drive things along. In true JRPG fashion it takes a while to get going, and the addition of characters from other Tales of… games makes it all a bit difficult to understand. They just sort of pop up and help, then slip into the background when there’s some narrative to dole out.
If you’ve not played a game like this before then the whole thing is going to feel overwhelming. And if you don’t have a grounding in Tales of… lore, the characters you’re summoning are just going to look like more anime teenagers in a world filled with anime teenagers.
Essentially this is an incredibly niche experience, and it does little to try and entice players who don’t fit into that niche. The battles are fun, but so easy to begin with that you don’t have a chance to get enmeshed in their tactical possibilities.
Tales of Crestoria, for most of us, is big and confusing and probably not worth the effort. Tales of… fans will definitely get more out of it, but even then they’re going to spend a lot of time confused, befuddled, and letting the game take care of itself.