在屏幕上的一旁是你的英雄团队，他们的脚上都带有不同的色形。而你的目标便是在他们消失前让他们努力撞击屏幕另一边的对象。你可以通过这些色形去匹配或连接他们而做到这点。而你匹配这些英雄的顺序非常重要。每个英雄都有他们自己的属性和破坏力。如果英雄在链条中的位置越高，他们便拥有更大的破坏力。链条中的最后一个英雄将因为杀死敌人而获得分数，当然前提是敌人真的死了。同时英雄也拥有消极技能（特殊能力的故事游戏版本），他们可以通过杀死一定数量的敌人去升级这些能力。这里也存在一些状态效果，如睡眠和瘫痪，即将禁锢你的英雄在某一轮游戏中的能力，但这种效果并非永久的。除此之外你也可以使用链条中下方的英雄去提升分数。实际上你并不需要真正连接任何人，你可以在任何时候派遣英雄去杀死较弱的敌人或者设置All Link（游戏邦注：即让所有英雄都变成同样的颜色）。在这样的链条最后的英雄将获得基于Mystic Arte的特殊动画，这将带给玩家大大的满足感。
在战斗之外你还拥有像齿轮之类的东西，即你可以用于升级或提高级别上限。你也可以复制同样的英雄去打破他们的级别限制并让他们变得更加强大。这里还有各种货币。而我之前提到的Hero Stones便是玩家完成任务（即故事任务）最常获得的奖励。你同样也可以使用Gald去换取齿轮之类的东西，使用LP去升级英雄，使用Hero Points去召唤全新的齿轮和守护者，或者用于在战斗中请求朋友的援助。通常游戏会随机分配3个玩家给你，你可以在之后向他们发出朋友援助请求。这样的设定会让人想起另一款免费粉丝服务游戏，即Namco Bandai的《数码宝贝英雄》。
游戏中还有一个体力条，假设在一开始你专注于主要故事任务线中，你将不断延长这一体力条，所以在前面部分这并不会成为问题所在。在游戏早期，你将遇到一个特殊的新手英雄召唤包。当你完成每一个任务时，你将获得一个Hero Stone。如果你集齐了一百个Hero Stone，你便能够停止系统并在选择（即你可以“再次购买”）消失前购买两个新手包。这时候你可以无需花任何钱并做到这些。不管怎样这都是值得尝试的过程。就像我已经玩了好几周并且还未花过任何真钱。在第一个月游戏真的非常善良，只要每天登陆玩家便能够获得货币奖励。但玩家同时也希望能够选择升级的对象。所以不久后玩家将拥有许多英雄。如果你真正在乎策略，协同加强英雄，守护者，齿轮之类的东西，你便会想更机智地花钱。或者就像我这样，根本在乎这些所以我只是将自己喜欢的角色组合在一起。
‘Tales of Link’ Review – Tales of Fan Service
As we all know, love it or hate it, freemium is a concept that is never going away. That said, there is a very specific subset of freemium that I like to call freemium fan service games. When a popular franchise or intellectual property wants to cash in on their loyal fan-base, slapping together a freemium game set within that world seems to be the way to go. But you know what? I love it sometimes. I’m pretty susceptible to some good fan service myself, and sometimes; not often, but sometimes, it makes the whole game worthwhile. Games like Star Trek Timelines [Free], while largely disliked by our community, still appealed to me as a huge trekkie, and the fan service within that game was fantastic. Well, if you’re partial to the ‘Tales of’ franchise of JRPG’s, then Tales of Link [Free] is the freemium fan service game for you, and has nothing to do with The Legend of Zelda if that’s also where your mind immediately jumped.
Tales of Link is conceptually similar to FINAL FANTASY ALL THE BRAVEST [Free], but not complete trash. Despite being a simple take on a match three RPG, it has the soul of a Tales game buried somewhere inside, even boasting a proper traditional Tales anime opening with a story that actually has made me smile several times. The fan service comes from the crossover nature of the story. Heroes from pretty much all the major Tales games are here, sharing one world. It’s like most monster/hero collecting games, but with people, and sometimes those people are from Tales of Symphonia, and my head explodes. If it isn’t blatantly evident, I’m a big fan of the Tales franchise. Symphonia was my first, way back in 2003, and I’ve played most of the main franchise entries since.
You are the Great Savior. Yes, you, Dan, sitting in that chair reading this review. You were prophesized by the Goddess Leonne to save the world from the seeds of ruin, which are sprouting monsters called ruinators, the main things you’ll be fighting in this game. You’ll do this with your stonecanting powers, which allow you to bring forth great heroes from the past games using items called Hero Stones, one of the main currencies. You’ll do this alongside Sara, the real main human character besides yourself, other Sarah, sitting in that chair reading this review. Plus a cute lil’ fella named Lippy, a sprite sent from the heavens to find you. So your standard JRPG book of nonsense words story. But one that actually has some neat moments. It doesn’t take long to run across familiar and beloved Tales characters, who might even join your party of 9 heroes as guest heroes, and the writing of their characters is actually pretty spot on.
On one side of the screen you’ll have a group of heroes with various different colored shapes under their feet. Your goal is to make them hit the things on the other side of the screen until they stop existing. You can do this by matching or linking them via those colored shapes. The order that you match heroes in actually matters. Each has their own stats and their own damage. The higher a hero is in the chain, the bigger a damage multiplier they’ll get. So you’ll want to finish the chain off with your superstars. The final hero in the chain also gets credit for the kill, should the enemy actually die. Heroes actually have passive abilities and artes (Tales game version of a special ability) which will level up with the requisite number of kills. There are also status effects like sleep and paralysis that make your heroes useless for a round, but not completely. You can still use those heroes lower in a chain to get the multiplier up. You don’t actually have to link anyone, and can send heroes off one at a time, either to kill weak foes, or to set up an All Link, where every hero is the same color. The hero at the end of this mega chain will get a special animation to go with their Mystic Arte, and it’s very satisfying.
There is actually an insane amount of complexity here. Each hero also has a damage/attack type, such as thrust or slash, and they also have an element type. The element types come into play with the Guardians (Tales games version of a summon), of which you can have three, and which bolster various elements. The upcoming color/symbol combos are displayed in the top left corner like Tetris pieces. You also have an LC bar below your HP bar, which fills by 1 point for every link in a chain you make. You use this bar to activate your leader’s, one of their two sub’s, or your friend’s leader’s special ability. This usually consists of a heal, boosting the damage of a specific color for the next round or two, or changing certain symbols into other symbols to build larger chains.
Outside of battle, you have stuff like gear, which you can fuse to level up or evolve to increase the level caps. You can also fuse duplicates of the same heroes to break their level limit, making them even stronger. There are also various currencies. The Hero Stones that I mentioned are the most common reward for completing quests, which are the story missions. You also have Gald (Tales gold) for gear stuff, and LP for leveling your heroes, and Hero Points for summoning new gear and guardians, which is also used for bringing a friend into battle with you. You’ll usually be given 3 random players to bring with you, and you can send them a friend request after. It was very reminiscent of another freemium fan service game from Namco Bandai, Digimon Heroes [Free].
There is a stamina bar, but assuming you focus on the main story questline at first, you’ll constantly level up and extend it, so it really doesn’t become a problem until later. Early on in the game, you’ll have access to a special beginner hero summon pack. Every quest you complete, along with contracts and other side things, net you a Hero Stone. If you save up a hundred, you might be able to cheese the system and buy two beginner packs before the option disappears, as you can usually ‘buy again,’ and I saw that option but didn’t have the currency for it. You can do this without spending any real world money. It’s definitely worth it either way. I’ve been playing for weeks and I haven’t had to spend real money yet. The game is kind in the first month, with daily log in bonuses that shower you with currency. But you’ll want to be a bit selective with who you level up. You’ll have loads of heroes before long. If you care about strategy and synergizing heroes and guardians and gear and all of that, you’ll want to spend wisely. Personally, I just put my favorite characters in the party and don’t care.
Besides all of that, there are special events with specified rewards, missions which are your basic freemium timer quests, contracts which are like your daily check lists, leaderboard tournaments like you’d find in Tap Titans [Free], and more. There is a ton of content and it hasn’t gotten old yet. Too much to get into in this review. Just don’t expect to enjoy the game for long play sessions. It’s not really built that way. And fair warning, the game is always online. But collecting your favorite heroes from past games elicits a kind of fangirl giddiness in me that is rare to see. I don’t know if the app can just sense my love for Symphonia or if it expects that love from everyone, because Symphonia characters are easily the rarest. I managed to snag Lloyd and freaking Kratos , who is just as ridiculously powerful in game as you would expect from his character, with a passive arte that heals the party and a leader ability that changes three symbols into one, but that’s all I managed to get. All I can say is that this is definitely a worthwhile download, maybe even if you aren’t huge into Tales games, but most definitely if you are.
Hey Namco! Can we get some old school Tales ports to iOS now? I need an excuse to play those early games. But you know… not like the last time. Please and thanks.(source:toucharcade)