Tales of Arise: How to Keep

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Tales of the Ascension not only gave us a modern take on the long-running franchise, but also gave us the best overall franchise experience. This is largely due to the fantasy combat that is introduced. It's smooth, fast, and insane, while retaining all the classic beats that Tales fans have loved for over two decades. As much as he pays homage to his past roots, he does as much to break out of that mold and do his own thing. One of those things of the past is the inclusion of a block button. It's pretty much gone in Tales of Arise, so let's see how to stop the damage in other ways.



How to guard in Tales of Arise

Well, you can't, at least not in the way you traditionally think of blocking. At no time will you see the classic horizontal sword stance to block damage from any of your characters. The reason is that Bandai Namco wanted to make this combat system more modern and took a page from the legendary book of Bloodborne in order to form its defense system. The result is the removal of the block button that has been a mainstay for over 25 years and the introduction of the dodge and roll button.

To dodge

Dodging is the most important factor in Tales of Arise's intricate combat system and becoming a master at it will ensure you take as little damage as possible. When pressed, your character will perform an evasive maneuver, and this maneuver can be used to dodge just about every attack in the game.



Pressing the dodge button while standing still and away from danger will do a real-time dodge, however, if you time it just before an enemy's attack hits, then you enter a slow-mo phase where you can unleash a powerful counterattack. Executing a perfect dodge is key to defeating the toughest enemies in the game. The big thing here is that physical attacks and Astral Arte attacks can all be dodged if timed correctly.

If you press the dodge button while moving, you will roll instead. Rolling is a fantastic way to evade enemies that use spread-style attacks and it's especially handy in some boss fights where you can't afford to risk a perfect dodge. Rolling is a much less rewarding move to pull off, but it keeps you safer and when it comes to avoiding damage, it's by far your best bet.

Law's Attack Boost

Although Law and Alphen both have the ability to break through an enemy's defenses with their Boost Attacks, only Law strikes fast enough to prevent any damage from occurring. If you time it correctly while Law's Boost Attack is filled, you can stop any damage that's about to come your way, at least from a physical attack perspective. The reason for this is that Law's fast attack will stun an enemy most of the time and therefore cancel any attack he had planned for you. This is, however, a last resort way to guard against attacks and is however not recommended unless you are surprised by a move you were not ready for.



Kisara

The only real way to traditionally protect yourself from attacks in the game is to play as Kisara. See, Kisara carries a large monster shield, and avoiding her would seem foolish given that she carries a large monster shield. Fortunately, Kisara actually uses this shield because when playing as her, the dodge button simply raises the shield to defend against oncoming damage. It also doesn't rule him out from counter-attacking, as the good timing of his block will allow him to get the same slowing effect as everyone else.


To make her even more valuable in battle, Kisara's Boost Attack will directly stop any charging enemy in her tracks and stun them, opening them up to high damage. While not the most fun to play, Kisara is essential to have in your party when you just can't figure out how to get away from an enemy's attack.

Typically, a singular enemy like a boss for example will target the player character, so switching to Kisara to soak up some damage in a tough fight can completely turn the tide in your favor as your party crumbles for that you play the defensive end for a bit.

Dodging is surprisingly one of the most fun parts of Tales of Arise, so cut that time down and you'll be dominating the Renan Lords in no time.


Tales of the Ascension is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC.

– This article was last updated on September 13, 2022

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