Japanese roleplaying games, commonly referred to as JRPGs, have become increasingly popular across the world. Western audiences in particular, have come to find joy in playing these stylized roleplaying games. Games like Rune Factory, Final Fantasy, and the mobile title Tales of Link fall under the Japanese roleplaying game category. Interestingly, a game doesn't have to trace its origins back to Japan to be classified as a Japanese roleplaying game. So long as the game is difficult to distinguish from roleplaying games that were created in Japan, the game can technically be classified as a Japanese roleplaying game.
Such is the case for Tales of Link. This mobile title is a Japanese Roleplaying Game despite having been developed in San Francisco. The company responsible for the game (and the rest of the Tales series) originated in Japan, but small projects like Tales of Link is often outsourced to foreign branches of a company. This allowed Tales of Link to be developed in a way that would appeal to Western audiences while maintaining the oversight required to maintain a Japanese audience. In short, Tales of Link is a universally enjoyable Japanese roleplaying game.
What Is Tales Of Link?
Tales is a bite-sized version of the other games in the Tales series. Think of it as an appetizer or a dessert for other titles in the series—something to consume between the meatier, more complex games. While it does contain some of the storytelling methods and combat styles found in the rest of the Tales games, it is heavily simplified to appeal to a broader audience. In addition to being simplified, this game is a freemium title, which means that more work was likely put into monetization than into the game itself. Players who love the Tales games will likely find something to love in Tales of Link. Players who are not familiar with games in the Tales series will find something simple, fast-paced, and extraordinarily easy to pick up. Tales of Link's simplicity could even be compared to that of Epic Battle Fantasy—a popular JRPG whose main gimmick was mocking the genre itself.
The simplicity found in Tales of Link is a double-edged sword. It makes the game appealing to beginners and newcomers to the genre of Japanese roleplaying games, but it could be seen as an insult to some veterans of the genre—particularly veterans who love the Tales games and were expecting this game to feature the same elements found in other Tales titles. Tales of Link is like taking a step into the shallow end of a pool, getting your feet wet. If approached correctly, the game offers an outstanding experience to its player. If a player dives in head first, however, expecting the game to have all the depth of the other Tales titles, it can be a dull, empty game. It is important to have the right approach and the correct expectations when it comes to the contents of Tales of Link.
A History Of The Tales Series
In 1995, the first game in the Tales series was released. Tales of Phantasia was a hit Japanese roleplaying game created and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game made its debut on the Super Famicom, introducing numerous elements that would later become stables for the Tales series. In 1997, the Playstation received an exclusive Tales title entitled Tales of Destiny. A follow-up, Tales of Eternia, was also released for the Playstation in the year 2000. These three games set the foundation for what would later become one of the most popular series of games in the Japanese roleplaying game genre.
Two of the most popular games in the Tales series are Tales of Symphonia (released in 2003) and Tales of Zestiria (a 2015 title). These games received universal praise and acclaim. The latter is still popular today while Tales of Symphonia is still picked up in the used or old games bins in game stores. Despite years of development, a few hits, and a few misses, the Tales series has not undergone any significant evolutions. The Japanese roleplaying game elements remain the same, and that may be part of what explains the mass appeal of the series: a lack of change. A seasoned player of the Tales series can power up the newest title, plug in a controller, sit down, and know exactly what to do from the start. The game will almost always look, feel, and play the same as other titles. Any new or unique mechanics are kept to a noticeable minimum, so players always know exactly what they will get from a Tales game.
While the Tales series has not undergone any significant evolutions or innovations, it has expanded to other media. The series found its way onto CD dramas, mangas, and even animes. One of the most prominent Tales animes was the Tales of Symphonia anime. It was split into three different parts, released between 2007 and 2011. In 2013, the anime was released as its own collection. Tales continues to be widely popular across multiple platforms, be they video games, television programs, or free mobile games like Tales of Link.
When it comes to mobile titles, there are many in the Tales series. Tales of Link, while not the most popular, is one of the more enjoyable mobile games in the Tales series. Other mobile titles in the Tales series include Tales of Card Evolve, Tales of Kisna, and Tales of Asteria.
Why Players Love Playing Tales Of Link
Tales of Link offers simplistic gameplay while keeping the art style and bare bones of the other games in the Tales series. It is a simplistic, easily-learned Japanese roleplaying game that appeals to newcomers and veterans alike, assuming that the veterans are aware that the game they are playing will not be as in-depth as most Japanese roleplaying games. Players who enjoy the other Tales series may also find enjoyment in the familiar charm that is found in Tales of Link's story and style.
How To Play Tales Of Link
Tales of Link plays like almost any other Japanese roleplaying game, but plays exactly like other games in the Tales series... that is, exactly like them if they were stripped down to their bare bones. Tales of Links is a simplified version of the other games in the Tales series. Gameplay is extremely simple, switching between a match-3, Candy Crush-style system to a typical action-selection game.
While playing the game, you will collect several team members with unique abilities and characteristics. It will be your job to maintain these characters, keep up with their abilities and levels, and use them in the areas and battles where they will be most valuable. As you acquire new gear, levels, and characters, you'll become more powerful. Over time, you'll find yourself able to tackle some of the game's most powerful enemies.
Unfortunately, even without spending any real-world currency within the game, a player can become capable of obliterating any challenge within a week's time. After about seven days of devoting an hour or two to Tales of Link, even an inexperienced player should have the gear necessary to overcome even the game's most intense challenges. I discuss a surefire way to win this game more quickly in the next section: Strategies and Tips for Tales of Link.
Strategies And Tips For Tales Of Link
When it comes to Tales of Link, there is one universally recognized strategy: pour everything into Kratos. Give Kratos your best gear, your most attention, and every opportunity to protect and aid your team. Toward the end, Kratos will have the highest opportunity to perform techniques known as Artes. He'll also restore your team and create barriers, allowing every member of your team to last longer in battle. So long as you ensure that Kratos is as powerful as possible, you'll reap the rewards a thousandfold.
To get Kratos and your other party members to become as powerful as possible at an expedited rate, play the game every day for about a week. You should invest about two to three hours during each session. It doesn't take much time at all to become overpowered in Tales of Link, capable of taking on every enemy and battle that comes your way. After the first week, you'll be able to pick the game up once or twice a day, play a couple of easy rounds, and then forget about it until the next day.
Japanese roleplaying games—or JRPGs—are games within a particularly broad, somewhat undefined genre of roleplaying games. Because the genre is so undefined, it is difficult to know exactly what you're going to get when you pick up a Japanese roleplaying game. However, you do know what you're going to get when you pick up a game in the Tales series: a fun, interesting game with unique, consistent storytelling and memorable characters. While Tales of Link differs from the other games in the series through its simplicity, it still features many of the same elements that players love in the Tales series. Whether you're a fan of the Tales series or JRPGs in general, Tales of Link (and the other mobile Tales games) is bound to offer something you'll enjoy.