Tales of the Rays is the Epic Tales in the Size of your Pocket!

Namco will forever be associated in our hearts by Pac-Man a yellow boot wearing hero who eats pills in a labyrinth all day long. But, Namco actually has more than just one famous name under it’s belt and more specifically it has one of the greatest Role Playing Game (RPG) series under its belt! Starting from Tales of Phantasia in 1995 down to Tales of Berseria in 2016, Namco has taken the series from humble beginnings to current success. But, recently a new title is making it’s debut around the the Western Hemisphere, and it promises to provide all players love from the Tales series right into your phone! Enter Tales of the Rays a spin-off from the main series, but a none-the-less great title within its own rights! Featuring characters from all of the previous Tales games, Tales from the Rays is the bite sized portable RPG you didn’t want, but definitely need!

The  Tales series has always been known their epic tales of betrayal, love, friendship, hope, and balance. From the time traveling mystery of Tales of Phantasia to the balancing  Symphonia and the even the dark myths surrounding Tales of Berseria, Namco has carved it’s own mark on the mural of wonderful RPG’s. But, what exactly separates Tales of the Rays from the rest of the series, or for that matter any other RPG available for the iOS or Android? For starters, the pedigree of the series is carried over from previous titles, the combat system named Linear Motion Battle System and a solid storyline make the meat and potatoes of Tales of the Rays.

Right off the bat, there is no denying that the Linear Motion Battle System has withstood the test of time. Those familiar with the LMBS will vouch for how smooth and fluid the motions of combat are in the Tales series and how enjoyable it is when your skills and abilities win the day as you jump/dodge/combo your way into victory even when the odds are against you (depending on the player’s own skill level). You (the player) attack by using a combination of screen swipes in specific directions (which are surprisingly accurate!), by accumulating a certain number of attacks and combos you’ll eventually build a meter to use the Mirrage Artes (special attacks with unique animations). By ensuring to keep the pressure on the enemies and skillfully maneuvering around your opponents you can win every combat encounter! Of course, what is an RPG without quest lines, and for that Tales of The Rays has you covered!

Entering quests in Tales of the Rays requires a certain number of AP (Action Points?). Players will accumulate a certain number of these over time and each quest requires a different amount of AP. As you complete quests you’ll earn different types of currencies which can be used for the popular in Japan “Gacha” style mechanic where you can get weapos and magic mirrors. New characters will also unlock as players beat quest ensuring that anyone can gain access to their favorite characters without having to spend some of their hard earned money! However, repeating quest isn’t the only way to shine as Tales of the Rays has a very name worthy storyline.

 

These are Gacha

In the world of  Tir-Na-Nog two youngsters are about to have their world turned upside-down. As Ix tells and his friend Mileena go about enjoying their quiet rural lives, a meteor shower takes their village by storm. Surviving by sheer luck, and being rescued by a group of sailors they discover the truth behind the meteor shower and set out to protect their world from a potentially world ending catastrophe. But, they’re not alone… by gathering heroes from other worlds based on the Tales series Ix and Mileena will ensure the survival of their world… or die trying. This is of course the mostly spoiler free story and only covers the surface how truly exceptional this portable title is despite the expectations of mobile games being lesser versions of other titles. But, since Tales of the Rays was built from the ground up specifically for the mobile market it truly hit the ground running and especially for the low price of free.

You read that last part correctly. The best part about Tales of the Rays is that it can be absolutely free! You might, be wondering how it is possible that a game like this could be free, but the secret is in how money affects the game. By players actively spending money they can get summons which bring about better equipment and Mirrage ArtesPlayers can legitimately play the game for free the entirety of their playthrough and unless they decide to fork over cash in order to gain some superior items they won’t truly have any serious repercussions. It’s not a bad deal at all, and shows the faith that Namco has on the series to actually bring in money. This mentality makes Tales of the Rays quite unlike Nintendo’s own Super Mario Run which is free-to-start, but not free to play and gained it a bit of infamy throughout it’s release despite being a solid title on it’s own right.

Whether you’re a long time fan of the Tales series or a complete newbie to the games, Tales of the Rays deserves some serious attention. I can’t stress this fact enough: it is a free-to-pay fully fledged RPG with the backing of the developers of the Tales series. Not only is the fighting system fantastic, it actually handles as it was meant to in the original series and provides long hours of enjoyment while at home or even when riding the train. It does however, have the caveat of always requiring online and being a bit of a data hog as such I don’t recommend playing too much outside of Wi-Fi hotspots. But, if you’re willing to give it a shot, you will not be disappointed.

Currently available on IOS and Android, Tales of the Rays gets my seal of approval and is one the best games on the iPhone to date.

Tales of Phantasia was originally released on the Super Nintendo in 1995. Currently it can also be played on the IOS.

Tales of Symphonia released originally on the GameCube during 2003

Tales of Berseria was released last year on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Windows.