So here we are in 2013 and again I seem to be miles behind on my game reviews. So over the next week a few reviews may seem a little rushed but hopefully I get my general feelings of the games I have played across.
Tale’s of Graces F is a port from the wii version that has been revamped and re-released on the Playstation 3 with HD graphics and an extra future ark which is what the F is on the end if anyone didn’t know.
This is my third Tales game I have managed to finish in the past two years and I have invested just over 150 hrs of gameplay into a single run through including the future ark section.
From the off the game looks stunning in HD I wouldn’t have even known this was a port from the Wii it looks that good, there is talk on the net that the graphics don’t look that good but personally I think they have done a stunning job with the upscale. The game itself plays as most other tales games, there is a slight change in the battle mode but if you have played other Tales games you should pick this up pretty quickly. One of the biggest changes comes in the shape of Dualizing. This allows you to combine two items together to upgrade or create a new item. Almost every item and weapon you acquire can be Dualized; weapons and Armour will gain extra stats and power the more you level them up and then can sale for a higher price in stores. Don’t be fooled if you pick up a new weapon that isn’t as strong as your current one, you need to remember that the new weapon will be at level 0, it’s what it can upgrade to you need to focus on as well as different stats and CP levels.
Before I go on I will touch upon side quests a little earlier then I wanted to because as you progress through the game shops in each town will ask you to give certain items for them, some of the items will be weapons and Certain Character items that can not be found again through your first play through, it’s my strong advice that you keep character items as you go through the game so you can use them later on. The issue with this game is that you will be short of money to dualize for a long period at the start of the game and you will be tempted to sell off dualized items, weapons and armour early on only to find out you need them later on in the game unable to get them again. There is 1 other option to get lost items but you will not be able to gain access to the location until you complete the game and even then it will be a challenge to get them.
The story is brilliant, you will start off as a child 7 years before the main game is set which forms a solid base for the whole story of the game that lasts about 2-4 hours of gameplay, it’s executed brilliantly allowing you to gain a strong bond with the characters. After you finish the game there will be a 8-10 hour extra future ark which finishes off the story nicely and allows your characters to grow especially one which I shall not mention.
Along side your normal level ups you will gain titles which allows your characters to gain new abilities, these are as valuable as standard RPG level ups via exp and you should chose to equip titles that you need the abilities for rather then at random. You gain titles as you progress through the story, side quests, future ark and using certain abilities in battle.
The downside of this game for me would be some of the dungeons which I found them repetitive and difficult to navigate. The AI of your team mates! this one really only annoyed me when it came to battles that matter, you can tell them what to do and how to fight which is perfect but what you can’t seem to do is to stop them standing next to one another so they get taken out at the same time, also they don’t seem to want to stop casting to avoid obvious enemy attacks. This is a major flaw and one that really annoyed me, especially when I tell two of them to defend and heal and they both get taken out so I have to use one of my life bottles which you can only hold 15!
Apart from that I really enjoyed my playthrough, the battle system was fun and easy to use and also advances in the future ark of the story. The story was gripping and the cut scenes were never to long! side-quest items where annoying at times and sometimes gathering items lead to going back through dungeons again and again, and all the characters are likeable or become likeable as you progress the through the story.
With JRPG’s i love a good story, lots of side-quests and a battle system that does not get boring, this has it all that tops it off with a wonderful soundtrack. While it’s not as good as Vesperia it’s the best RPG I played last year
Hat’s off to you Bandai! i’ll now get back to finishing Abyss