I finished Tales of Arise! Steam tells me this is about 52 hours of play, which if I compare with the game’s How Long to Beat page puts me a couple of hours below the average for ‘Main + Extras’ which feels about right to me. I spent a fair bit of time going around and clearing up sidequests and killing as many of the… *cough* …Gigant Zeugels as I could. Yes; that is what the optional boss enemies are called by the in-game lingo. No, I won’t repeat that phrase again. :P

Silly naming aside; they’re definitely worth the effort. Each one you slay permanently increases your ‘CP’ capacity by 10; and CP is the resource consumed for any healing-type spells, including resurrection casts. It is intended as a sort of exploration limiter between camping stops. There are items you can consume to refresh a portion of your CP to extend your run out but they’re relatively expensive and infrequently found (relative to how often you might like to use them).

Levelling your party increases your CP as well; plus the added bonus of the power increase associated with levelling leading to more easily defeating the enemies of the area you’re in and requiring less healing to beat them in the first place.

In some of the end sections of the game, the gaps between rest points can become quite long — entering underprepared can spell a world of pain and the need to beat a hasty retreat.

Whatever else you might say about the game, the art and visual design team have done a stunning job.

Overall, I can say I’ve quite enjoyed my time with Tales of Arise. If you’ve spent any time around me — you’ll know that I don’t often complete single-player games. So when it does happen, the fact in and of itself is worthy of note.

While I’m not going to spoil anything — I will say that the end portion of the game and the design of its combat encounters finally wore out the game’s welcome for me. I had enjoyed the combat and the play right throughout. My ‘over it’ attitude had nothing to do with the game’s length on the whole and entirely down to the gauntlet of battles, using that old trope of ‘enemies that used to be bosses are now standard trash’.

So while there is still quite an extensive suite of optional end-game content to go through, that parting note has called into question whether or not I’ll actually engage with any of it.

I’m not going to say I definitely won’t — but I probably won’t.

… Alright, maybe I won’t.

I finished the game last night, so given a day or two away I may feel differently.

Again, I don’t want to spoil anything — but I ran into a couple of the end game zones by accident. There is a particular event in the game that opens a bunch of them up. Suffice to say, I noped out of them again fairly quickly — but it was enough of a stopover to pique my interest.

Plus, I believe this game’s ‘Ultimate’ weapons are hidden behind quest chains involving these areas.

I guess it’s going to come down to what piques my interest next! And when!

Maybe New World? I bought it after all. Seems like something I should put to use. Although all the talk of queues leads me to believe this is something that can sit and rest for a bit before I attempt to dip my nose in. I liked what I played of the beta well enough but other than the fact it is a new AAA western developed MMO releasing in this day and age, it didn’t exactly blow my socks off.

Maybe I should try out Tipa’s New World instead.

Or maybe I could jump back and actually do one of the courses I picked up. The desire to do so had been dampened a little by workload at the moment, although amusingly enough — it was also work which brought the desire back.

I’ve been playing around with Visio again lately, to create some tools for my chapter — one of which being a modular roadmap template. Visio has some built-in timeline and Gantt chart tools but frankly; they’re pretty terrible. Better by far, I quickly discovered, to construct your own frame.

Where the joy of it really came in though was then taking the templated componentry and turning them into reusable stencil sets. So I created a stencil allowing the creation of a roadmap from scratch, with drag and drop swimlanes, initiative blocks that snap into said swimlanes, milestone markers borrowed from the timeline tools and a bunch else.

The simple act of creation of something reusable like this got the juices flowing anew. :)