Zesty is a very, very flawed game that doesn't live up to the potential it starts with. Sorey and Meebo's relationship is just about the only good thing about it. And Edna.
A lot of people would recommend Tales of Symphonia or Abyss- they're older games that haven't aged gracefully in some respects, but the storytelling and cast will give you an idea of the heights that Tales can achieve. Vesperia gets wanked a lot and it's a generally good, well-rounded game that's easy enough to get into if you're looking for "what is a modern Tales game like"?
If you go in to Zestiria, just remember that the things that bug you also bugged so many people that the long-time producer for the franchise was fired and it was considered an unmitigated disaster that sparked a soft reboot of the series (Arise, coming in 2021).