Tales of Zestiria (the X) – Game vs. Anime Impressions

The Tales of… series is a longstanding franchise since the Super Famicom (Tales of Phantasia first released in 1995 in Japan). Throughout the lifetime of this franchise, many of its game titles have been adapted to other forms of media: audio dramas, TV anime, books or manga. Tales of Zestiria is no exception. And now that the final episode of the anime has released I can finally form a solid opinion on my stances between the two. I can firmly say that the anime provided a better experience than the game.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

ss-155The game has a linear approach to developing the story as the focus is heavily concentrated on the Shepherd Sorey, the eventual savior of the world. The player would take control, be familiar with the gameplay functions of the Shepard, and level up to defeat bosses and dungeons to save the world. There was a problem to this structure. When the feature to armatize (the synergistic fusion of humans and seraphs; in gameplay that means only one person plays instead of a possible two) a second person came, while there was a significant increase in damage output, there was hardly any plot-related substance or reasoning that makes the addition of a new fusion attractive or meaningful. More bodies just simply meant one more person could play. The story often revisits the idea that people have different affinities to seraphs, but the game shows a binary view of it: the ability to armatize or not determines the affinity. This binary perspective extends to the whole game: can the party save you or not? If not, “oh, well, can’t do much more than that,” and move on to the next plot point.

movieIn the anime, the addition of more party members is more significant that just firepower. Having more squires in the party meant Shepherd Sorey can do more challenging tasks like purify a malice-embodied dragon (something which was not possible in the game because you would beat it to death). Having squires Alisha and Rose accompany Sorey meant having access to resources and information. Alisha and Rose showed a larger spectrum of the seraph affinity by watching them attempt to contact seraphs, struggle to sustain armatization, or acting as recoil support to Sorey. Most of all, having more than one strong character in the story meant having small sections of the series that were focused on Alisha or Rose without Sorey as the focus. This last point is the most important because it helped visualize the state of the world; like Alisha and Sorey were separated nation’s border or when Seraph Mikleo had to investigate Rose while Sorey was under arrest. Because of this multi-focused approach, the idea of Sorey’s quest was made less abstract and the world wasn’t coincidentally happening revolve around Sorey.

Tales-Of-Zestiria-The-X-Gate-With-Animal-Anime-Wallpaper-HDBecause the world was built better in the anime (among other improvements), the sense of adventure can be invoked much better than in the game. The game focused on Sorey – a Superman-like figure that can bless others to be as equally capable. Conversely, the anime was able to discern the abilities of each character in many scenes throughout the episodes. Tales of Zestiria tries to explain that each person is not equally capable (possibly in some strange line of thinking), even if they have the same mission. If you might need some video evidence, you can check out our Let’s Play on YouTube and check out the anime online.

-Prof.PKMN

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2 thoughts on “Tales of Zestiria (the X) – Game vs. Anime Impressions

  1. I would disagree to the point of Game’s Sorey as a superman, I think is the other way around. The point of superman is to be a godly figure for those who need help, he is jesus and jesus is part of god, superman is te representation of the sun, the supreme god and therefore he can do anything that we can’t. That’s the Sorey from anime, the sorey that can purify a dragon even when it is stated that’s impossible even for a shepard, the Sorey that can make an Avatar like armatization that goes beyond normal armatization, while the Sorey from the game have one hard mission: To accept reality and find the best outcome possible within his cappacity. The sorey from the game have to accept he CAN’T help Edna’s brother, he need to relay in teamwork and external help to win like the Gun Siegfrid, his party and him have to make sacrifises por this BUT they are still loyal to their respectives ideologies. Sorey don’t believe in killing, hi is the light that brings life, but he have to accept that killing is sometimes necesary so he let Rose do it because Rose DO BELIEVE in killing as way of solving problems.

    Tales of Zestiria for me, at least in the game, gives a beautiful but very hard messege to accept: We CAN´T do everything, we have limits, but can find a way around. Zestiria goes againts this new age of positive thinking of “you can do anything” but shows that we should not feel sad for this because there are other ways to achieve the same goal. We can’t fly like the birds, but we created the plane. We can fly but not like the birds, the same with sorey: he can save people, but he have to accept that he can not do it in the exact way he wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the points you made here. Indeed, the game does have the bittersweet feeling that the anime does not like to invoke. The anime can feel like a crusade for happiness. But I often wonder if Tales of Beseria was made to thematically play into the world of Zestiria, especially considering that they are part of the same timeline. I haven’t played the game yet, so I can’t confirm my theory. But I wonder if Beseria is actually supposed to reflect a solution through desperation, whereas Zestiria would reflect the solution given optimal conditions. It certainly feels that way in the anime.

    -ProfPKMN

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