Tales of Graces f is the latest installment in the Namco Bandai Games Tales series. It is an updated remake of the Wii game Tales of Graces, which hit Japan in 2009. The game follows the typical JRPG story of a young man named Asbel Lhant and his friends on a journey to save their homeland from an evil power, who may or may not be an old friend who at some point in the game turned on his own friends in search of more power. Asbel and company embark on a quest that ends up being bigger than any of them could have ever imagined. Through it all the main theme of the game is friendship and the relationships they build and maintain along the way, but is that enough to build a game around and will you be willing to stick through it all?
Tales of Graces f is pretty standard fare as far as Japanese RPG’s go. There is an overall story, but it’s a little scattered and mostly makes you ask questions for at least the first half of the game before even thinking of answering any of them. The voice acting is not good and that’s probably being kind. Maybe it’s the translation or maybe it’s the quality of voice actors, but the way lines are delivered in tense or even tender moments is devoid of any emotion whatsoever and is distracting if only because it takes the player out of the intended mood. Though it’s voiced rather dully there are some humorous moments scattered here and there, so it has that in its favor. By contrast, however, the music is really good. The soundtrack is nice and varied, and you can tell they felt that by having quality music the game would have weight in the right places.
Where you can tell that this was at one point a Wii game is in the visuals. It looks rather bland. The areas you explore throughout the game are plain and don’t offer much in the way of details to ooh and aah over. What is nice about the game are the anime cutscenes which make you feel like they could probably put them all together and make a nice little DVD out of them, or even make a series if they wanted. They are great to look at, but too few and far between.
The best thing about the game surprisingly is the combat system. For those of you who like to complete games there is a metric ton of stuff related to combat in the game. Aside from the usual leveling system there is a title system that grants you access to more moves, combos, attribute boosts and more. And there are over 100 of those for each character with five sub-levels to gain for each and a mastery level. Get ready to spend a lot of time in combat because you’ll need to gain a lot of SP to master all those titles. You will unlock many of those titles due to combat, so even all those low level battles end up counting for something. Certain titles become unlocked after killing a set amount of a specific monster, others come after an event, and yet others come from using certain skills either in or out of battle.
Couple all that with a Dualizing system that is used to cook food, create new items, craft weapons, accessories, and armor and you’ve got a lot of stuff to do. Some may say too much, others might say not enough, but either way if you want a lot of game Tales of Graces f will oblige. In fact, this may be the biggest setback. There are hundreds of items along with hundreds of titles and that may be overwhelming for some and could very well turn people off to not finishing the game, but it’s a double edged sword for those who relish the variety of options. Hopefully, you know which kind of player you are and this review helps you make up your mind about this game.
Oh, and there’s also multiplayer where your friends (up to three) can jump in at any time by just picking up a controller (it probably helps to turn it on and all that stuff) and helping out. Think more Secret of Mana than a true co-op game, where you can participate in battles. Beyond combat they have no control over the game. Still, it may appeal to you and could really help you run through the game a little faster if you’ve got friends willing to watch you play the game and jump in when the game calls for it. Tales doesn’t really appear to be the kind of game where you can gather a bunch of buddies and play, but it is an idea that doesn’t get used nearly enough in this age of co-op and multiplayer gaming.
Tales of Graces f is a very good game and if you’re into the RPG genre or more specifically the JRPG genre you will find yourself one extremely deep game. Combat matters, especially if you want to complete the game. Replay value is extra high if you want to get all the trophies. Plus, it’s just a good solid game. Namco Bandai Games always puts out quality Tales games and this one is no exception, so whether you’re a fan or new to the series this is a solid entry, plus you don’t even need to have any knowledge of the previous games because it’s not a sequel just a new entry. One of the better entries into the genre in the past few years. You will definitely get your money’s worth with Tales of Graces f.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.