A nice mix of old school and unique

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Cris Tales offers a nice mix of old-school JRPG mechanics and time manipulation powers that feel both familiar and unique.

Developed by Colombian studios Dreams Uncorporated and Syck and published by Modus Games (Super Animal Royale, Override 2: Super Mecha League), Tales of Cries combines the traditional turn-based gameplay of classic JRPGS like Final fantasy and Character with time manipulation powers to create a familiar experience with some modern twists. It was originally slated for release last November, but the developers have postponed it until July 20 to allow for more finishing.

Tales of Cries Pits players as Crisbell, an orphan from Narim Town whose peaceful life is turned upside down when she encounters a talking frog named Matias and accidentally opens the Crystals of Time, unlocking her secret abilities to control the flow of the time . Understandably, this puts her and a group of allies on a quest to save her hometown and possibly the world from the Evil Time Empress. The plot is pretty classic for old school RPGs, but there is enough charm in the characters and dialogue to keep things from getting boring.

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Eventually, Crisbell’s journey will take her beyond the confines of Narim, represented by a traditional RPG world. There, players can save their game and travel to other cities. Crisbell’s power to see into the future or the past leads to narrative choices and branching paths, and is visualized by a cone hovering above her, with one side of the screen representing the past and the other showing the possible future. By pressing the X button and the corresponding direction, Crisbell can blast Matias into the past or the future to help the locals and solve puzzles.

Cris Tales screenshot dialog

Combat plays out like a traditional 2D JRPG, with players selecting enemies to attack, supporting party members, or using items by selecting options with the analog stick. By pressing the A button at the right time, characters can either perform a second strike or block an enemy’s attack to reduce damage taken. It requires precise timing to succeed, adding an element of the usual menu-based combat challenge.

Enemies can come from either side of the screen, giving the fights a dynamic feel. Crisbell’s powers also come into play here, allowing him to send his enemies into the future or the past to age them, as each type has three different stages of evolution. This, combined with status foods like being burnt by fire or soaking in water, can lead to smart strategies. Players end up unlocking Syncro attacks, in which two characters can join forces to unleash a powerful movement after building up enough energy.

After each battle, the characters involved gain experience, which they can use to level up, become stronger, and unlock new spells and skills in a more classic JRPG way. Players can also increase their character’s stats by equipping gear they find on the battlefield or purchase from one of the many stores around the world.

Tales of CriesThe artwork features a vibrant art style, stunning Colombian architecture, and fluid animation, allowing everything to slip off the screen. The screen separation gimmick leads to a striking visual throughout the adventure, and players are treated to a comedic gag of Matias aging as a tadpole or plump old frog whenever he jumps into the past or the past. future. Dialogue is fully voiced, even in minor conversations with NPCs, and the music and voiceover for the game is done well. The orchestral score carries a classic adventure feel, which adds to the retro charm of the game.

Tales of Cries embraces the old JRPG model, making it a well-worn experience for seasoned fans of the genre. All the charm, fantasy and innocence of Final fantasy and THE Legend of Zelda oozes into the game’s setting and characters, but Crisbell’s temporal powers provide a fun new twist to classic turn-based combat. Tales of Cries isn’t that difficult either, making it a good choice for beginners looking to get into turn-based RPGs.

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Tales of Cries releases on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia on July 20. Screen Rant has received a Steam download code for the purpose of this preview.

Our assessment:

4 out of 5 (Excellent)

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