I'm a dedicated tales fan. Really, I am. In all fairness, I have put that aside for now for this miniview.
Now that thats out of the way, the 2005 addition to the Tales RPG series, Tales of the Abyss, is very much like Tales of Symphonia, from battle system to monsters. Through personal experience, I can safely say that I believe this game to have surpassed Tales of Symphonia, as awesome as it was. Aaaaannnnyway....
In Tales of the Abyss, you are cast in the role of Luke fon Fabre, an heir to the throne of Kimlasca, one of two peaceful nations that exist in this world. Spoiled and arrogant, Luke is soon sent half across the world when trying to guard his master. The attacker, who happens to be his masters sister too gets sent with him. An adventure begins that will not only shape the futures of the two nations, but change the entire future of history itself.
Graphics, for its time anyway, are nothing special. Slowdowns do occur at very rare instances, and for detail its about average for a game of its time. The real highlight to these are how believable the characters became, based on the small feature changes in their faces, and the slight movements of their bodies at the needed time. For its day, this was as close to lifelike as you might've gotten. Still, graphics work, but are nothing special.
Voice acting is great. All the voice actors seem well placed in the game, with the exception of Sync and Ion, all the characters sound fine. Music is as it always has been for a Tales game...good. They even threw in a few hard rocks songs for fight scenes. Who would of though for an RPG, right? No.
Gameplay mixes the best of the Tales genre has to offer, and some new, often useless ideas. For instance, the idea of combining Artes (special powers) with fonons (elemental forces) really makes some attacks really awesome. Sadly, if it doesn't tell you which element you attack is compatible with, how will you know? However, that is only a detail of the battle system. The FRLMS (Flex Range Linear Motion System, I think I got it right...) is the Tales series signature battle system. And like I've said before, its the best system for an RPG I've seen. I have no complaints. Its difficult to explain, but mix a bit of Kingdom Hearts, Phantasy Star Online, and a fighter game, and you've got it.
For the presentation, they really help you to get to know the characters. Although there are mandatory cut-scenes (Like every RPG, obviously) with full voice acting, there are many, many, MANY optional cutscenes that you initiate by pressing "Select" when it gives you the options. These range from giving hints and tips as to what you ought to do next, to talking about one girls obsession of "cute" things. The storyline really is epic, and the animated cutscenes often give you a feeling of just how important your actions are in reference to the future of this world.
And in the immortal words of the Spy...I never really was on your side. You'll know if you play it.
Perfectly fine for a Tales game. not so fine if your looking for something to blow you face off.
As always, a great tales storyline, except this one dwarfs Tales of the World by 100 fold. Menus are easily navigated, but the constant talk of fonons, and fonstones will more then likely confuse some.
its great to be able to see your enemies on the overworld, hence being able to run from them, but they chase you FAST, Not as fast as Symphonia has them though. And the FRLMS only gets better and better.
Voice acting is great. Pity that much of the good Tales music repeats itself for every battle. But then again, which RPG doesn't?
Replay Value: 4/5
Its an RPG. Enough said. It does have a few parts where you have to choose to go with one group or another, leading to a different experience. item gathering and the norm, but after you beat it....but don't expect to beat it in the first day. Or week. Or month. Its taken me at least 60 hours, and I haven't even beaten it yet.
A great addition to the Tales series of RPGs. Improvements on good leads to great. Where Symphonia left off on features TotAbyss picked up. Though if your expecting an RPG where everyone is always nice and happy...heh heh....
Last edited by bandit; December 15th, 2008 at 00:28.
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