Namco’s Tales series has never had the acclaim of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, but fans are just as devoted. So, when the company announced Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, it seemed like a promising concept: put all the series’ best characters in one game, and let players mix and match their team.
Players start their quest by creating a character and choosing a class. Many times, this character is alone in battles, so choosing a mage or healer is not really a viable option. However, as the game progresses, players unlock magic-using classes that aren’t so handicapped, and switching to those at a higher level can please those who like spellcasting.
The game progresses using a standard quest structure, a departure from the series’ usual linear storyline. Though some advance the plot, many require simple, monotonous errand-running. Luckily, the battles themselves feature the full battle system from Tales of the Abyss. The gameplay hasn’t been dumbed down for a handheld, and this adds to the game’s authentic experience. Also included is the complex cooking system and the replay value-adding quest for Grade points.
Namco included many aspects of previous Tales games, which are sure to please fans of the series. Adding in the classic characters is a brilliant idea, and making a party of favorites is the real charm of Radiant Mythology. All the details are there; the characters learn the same moves, are voiced by the same voice actors and are shown using the original illustrations. However, they are completely detached from their storylines, which is disappointing. The plot is ultimately the game’s weak point, if only because the previous games had such good ones.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is a worthy add for fans of the series, but it lacks that engrossing storyline that made the previous games so popular. It’s a solid title, as long as it’s not the first Tales game played.