Tales of Solaris : Perfect if your Hankering for MMO Disguised as an Old School Turn Based J-RPG.
(PC – Browser)
Tales of Solaris comes as part of a packaged gaming account on an R2 client, that contents lots of RPG, and tactical games that are browser based which include League of Angels and Lunaria Story. The R2 client is pretty cool – as it has levels and a RPG progress system outside of the game, so good for those trophy hunting types. I, however, couldn’t get Tales of Solaris to load through this system and accessed it through 123games instead. Tales of Solaris is a Flash based game, and as such it didn’t respond well to Chrome, but worked perfectly on Windows Internet Explorer. Being Flash based means there is no big downloads.
It is an old-school turn-based JRPG that has MMO elements. Think Children of Mana, every Final Fantasy prior to VII, Dragon Quest and Persona series (yeah, I know I’m drooling over Persona 5 myself.) It appeals to a retro-gamer such as myself, however, there is a huge amount of pay systems in place, and you’ll find yourself closing windows telling you how there is a lucky deal if you top up now on a regular base.
- Turn based J-RPG elements but not as tactical as old school turn-based RPGs.
- Game suffers from heavy paid features that it advertises a lot, VIP’s get teleport – lucky deal pop-ups.
- Random encounters, and turn based element means slow game-play
- Early access to a pet to help you in battle
- Lots of mini-games for you to partake in for extra rewards – like a board game, and match three tile game.
- Boss battles are truly unepic – I almost didn’t notice that they were a boss.
- Bit of a boring story and found myself skimming amazon as I played….
There are a nice range of classes to choose from:-
This is about the only character creation option that you have in the game though.
There is a skill tree for you to power up and unlock battle abilities:-
The game gives you an option to buy more ability levels for cash too – though at the difficulty I encounter there is no real need too. I set it to auto-battle after the first few and never lost one – not even to bosses.
The story seems muddled. I think the basic plot is that demons have destroyed the world and your one of God’s chosen children that will return order to it. But the game contradicts itself often, and even calling itself The Tales of Laputa in places. This is due to an earlier re-branding of the game where it was changed to The Tales of Solaris and newer features were introduced. It feels like the old game and the current game are kind of at odds on time – but that may just be my imagination.
The character is controlled through the mouse, so there is no need for keyboard customization or joy-pads. Point and click at the location you want your character to travel to, or click the location in that’s underlined in your quest prompt and the character will make a bee line for the location. All battles are turn-based. Here is a snap-shot of a battle:-
This means that the battles are slower than the other MMORPG games and lack all elements of action. The slow action is not helped by a total lack of tactical choices and options. One of the best things about turn-based is finding the right party, to tackle the right situation but as you only control your character and a pet it totally lacks this. It soon descends into a just choose your most powerful attacks click. I soon found myself putting the battles on auto and up to character level 36 (where I stopped playing) I never had to control a battle.
The above is an example of a boss battle.
In true JRPG style all battles happen as random encounters as you explore the map. It is a nostalgic way for battles to happen, and reminder why developers moved away from this style of battle. The random battles are frequent and can be really annoying when you are on a simple collecting task. The one time a random encounter right before I fought someone as a main quest, and I thought I had successful finish the job. I went on a journey to report back to the quest giver and 1000 random encounters later I realized that it wasn’t the boss I had fought but a random encounter just before I got to the boss and I had to start the journey all over again. I know, that’s what shopping on amazon while I auto-battle gets me huh?
There are plenty of mini-games to play in and it regularly informs you that there are events on going. The mini-games are very different in nature, and almost don’t fit with the game over-all. There is a board game you can play to earn extra gold, skills or battle experience.
A roulette wheel that allows you to face uber-powerful bosses, and a match three tile game for point reward system.
Game play is also hampered by frequent messages that pop up advertising and pushing the games paid element. Early on in the game it gives you a free VIP membership as a trail. When it expires, you are constantly reminded that you get free transport ability if you sign up to the VIP membership. And how good transport is as it allows you to avoid the random encounters.
There were a few high-level players I ran across in the city. The turn based random encounters worked against the MMORPG model in away though. You could still people running about in the field but as you were taken from the field to battle the monsters you couldn’t forge bonds with total strangers that were getting attacked by a group of monsters, or tackle an over random spawn together.
It felt more like a solo game. Very much like a solo game. I am unsure how you were supposed to form parties actually.
The game has great graphic for a browser game – comparable to PS1 era RPGS. The drawing of characters, their actions in battle and maps are very well done. The boss creatures feel like they’re lacking somehow both in scale of drawing and animation. There is nothing to make them stand apart from the average monster. And I think that’s true of the graphics overall, there is nothing that makes them spectacular or stand out. Good, not bad – just meh.
An average, and slightly boring turn based RPG. The game seems conflicted in both story and the model it has chosen to be. The turn based system works better when you have multiple players to control, not just one. It works better when you have a party and specific skills and strategies against one group of monsters as well as boss that require planning. MMORPG’s work best when you can see your fellow gamers struggling and help them with a random heal or by kill a few of the creatures they are being mobbed by not by have a separate fight for you alone.
I’d recommend getting an indie retro style RPG like Darkest Dungeon – that does something new and interesting with the genre. Or purchasing an old-school classic like Final Fantasy or Chrono-trigger that are available via steam or on you mobile. Or purchasing Tides of Numenera (Planescape : Torment was the best game ever) or Persona 5 – although not classic turn based systems they should be close enough. Ultimately the action is a lot more engaging and the story more enthralling.