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Bandai Namco's Tales of Link has finally made the leap from Japan to America. The company recently released the mobile RPG onto the Google Play store after it originally appeared on Japanese mobile devices years before.
Anime News Network is reporting that gamers can get their hands on Tales of Link right now for their Android-powered smart devices... for free. You can grab a digital copy from over on the Google Play store right now.
While this is another entry in the Tales of series, it's not quite a canonical game with the traditional story. Instead, it follows a small group trying to save the world from a demon invasion bent on destroying the land. Players will work as a sort of commander over a group of heroes brought together from different Tales of games.
The characters Lippy and Sara will help guide players through the journey, teaching them about why the land is in danger and how they can attempt to stop it. The game features anime-influenced scenes and character interactions, not unlike the original Tales of Phantasia anime. And speaking of the original, one of the nine playable characters on your team will be Cress from the very first Tales of Phantasia on the SNES.
Each of the characters comes from various Tales of games released throughout the years, so gamers, for the first time ever, will be able to mix and match characters when bringing them into combat.
Now, in previous Tales of games the combat was usually active-time battle based. Players could run around, perform attacks and unleash powerful magic abilities on enemies. In Tales of Link the combat has been completely overhauled using a “touch-link battle system”. It relies on a touch-screen style battle setup where nine of combatants are aligned on the left side of the player's screen (some of them are clones of one another) and it's up to players to strategically take down opponents using chain link combos, not unlike a match-3 game of Bejeweled.
In order to string together combos, players will have to select all the characters with the same icons under their feet. So out of the nine characters, if three of them on a vertical row have a green icon underneath them, you can select them and those three will perform the combo. If you're used to match-3 style games like Candy Crush Saga, you'll be able to get a hang of the combat system in no time. The big difference, however, is that it's possible to match way more than just three characters together. If all nine combatants have the same icon under their feet, it's possible to perform a nine hit character combo.
It's not all about borrowing from other popular mobile games, though. Tales of Link also features traditional summon attacks, as well as the ability to charge up characters and unleash devastating special moves.
The match-3, turn-based battle system is kind of unique and it could easily help give the game some longevity amongst hardcore JRPG fans. There's also a smorgasbord of items available in the cash shop, mostly including accessories and clothing items that players can purchase for the in-game characters.
You can grab Tales of Link right now from off Google Play, and use it to hold you over while you wait for Tales of Berseria to launch for the PS3, PS4 and PC.