Tales of Hearts R

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Tales of Hearts R Game Poster Image
Lighthearted, positive-friendship RPG is combat-heavy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No matter what life throws your way, the best course of action is the one that helps the most people.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroes use their abilities only for the good of mankind, acting as selflessly as possible. They constantly demonstrate teamwork, altruism, and facing challenges head-on.

Ease of Play

A mix of puzzle solving, exploration, and real-time combat. Time is needed to fully understand all game mechanics and how to improve playable characters to take on increasingly strong enemies.

Violence

Players frequently battle enemies in closed arenas. Players attack with a variety of weapons, and there are special "magical" attacks. Combat is highlighted with frequent bursts of bright color, plus on-screen text to signify attack strength.

Sex

Some female characters wear revealing outfits that expose cleavage. 

Language

Occasional swearing, including words "bastard" and "ass." A character is described as having a "stunning rack" with "lots of jiggling."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tales of Hearts R is a fantasy role-playing game. The central character, Kor Meteor, is a young adventurer who learns about a magical secret in his ancestry. As we've all learned, with great power comes great responsibility, so players guide Kor and his group of allies through a series of puzzles and battles to fulfill their destinies. Battles involve both hand-to-hand combat and a flurry of magical, colorful attacks. The brightly colored combat helps distance the violence from reality. Some female characters wear tight-fitting outfits that reveal cleavage, and there are a few offhand comments about characters' breasts. Dialogue is entirely in Japanese, with English subtitles; occasional swearing appears in the subtitles, including the words "bastard" and "ass."

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What's it about?

TALES OF HEARTS R tells the story of Kor Meteor, an energetic kid with an unquenchable appetite for adventure who eventually discovers he has a very magical and powerful secret. Upon recruiting a band of faithful allies, Kor sets off to rid the world of evil and restore peace. Although this high-concept story line is pretty heavy at face value, the game often remains lighthearted, with frequent banter between characters and side quests that take the focus away from repetitive battles.

Is it any good?

Tales of Hearts R uses a tried-and-true turn-based battle system developed from previous games. This helps provide a perfect mix of hand-to-hand attacks and more magical and colorful special attacks. But it's not simple, and players will have to develop and adjust their battle strategy to handle opponents' varying tactics. This can be a bit daunting for some players, but it's ultimately rewarding if you put in the time to learn it.

Although the story does a good job of keeping players interested, it also packs a unique twist late in the game that produces unexpected secrets about the main characters. Not only does thisl turn the story on its head, but it also gives characters a new perspective on the game and the people they've been playing with for multiple hours. It's a notable feature that many RPGs don't seem capable of providing, but Tales of Hearts R goes the extra mile by including several "side quests" for players who want a break in the main plot's action. All in all, it's exactly what a fan of fantasy role-playing games should expect.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Tales of Hearts R. Are Kor and his friends violent? What makes the combat detached from reality, and what message do you think this game sends? How is it different from a fighting game where violence is the only content?

  • Can you remember a time when you were able to work with a friend or group of friends to help solve a problem?

  • Why do you think the publisher included the original Japanese audio and not an English-language track?

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