Monday, 27 February 2012

Completed: Tales of the Abyss

this is the 3ds Version that was just released not the Ps2 version but i may comment on the slight differences.

To date i haven't played very many Tales of Games, i have played Phantasia, Symphonia 1&2, i tried to play destiny but it wouldn't play on my console and now i can add The abyss to the list.

So i'll start by saying Next to Falcom games the Tales of Series is one of my favorites. Tales of phantasia was the first rpg that i beat, i mean lv 99 all summons all magic all items.... 100% so the games are near and dear to my heart. However they aren't perfect.

So lets look at the good and the bad of Tales of the Abyss (in my opinion of course)

Right off the bat this intro is amazing, i could tell right away it was the instrumental version of a song which made me kind of sad... especially when i heard the original version with words.... which makes a really good song even better... but it's in Japanese so i understand why they changed it. but yeah really good song, it's called Karma by BUMP OF CHICKEN. The lyrics fit the story perfectly and the music adds so much to the mood. but we just get the instrumental in North America.... i'm just happy to have a tales game in general.

We begin with Luke, a spoiled brat with long who seems to just be existing... he hasn't left his mansion in 7 years since he was kidnapped and doesn't remember his past. but he's not completely alone. Guy his servant/friend is always by his side ready to cause trouble within the mansion as well as he is trained by one of the Oracle Knights, who goes by Van, in fact he's the leader of the Oracle knights.

However one day during training the mansion is broken into and a mysterious girl attacks with odd magic Luke has never seen before but as the girl goes to attack Van Luke rushes in to fight her off. When there weapons hit there is a bright light and next thing Luke and the girl know they have been whisked away to unknown lands.

And thus our story begins. Unfortunately this is where all the in world gargain gets thrown at you in full force. Normally i hate when characters throw around words and expect you to just understand what that is supposed to mean *gives a sideways glace at FFXIII* but this game takes the approach of Luke knows nothing of the outside world so when other characters are explaining things we get the "oh right the main characters a moron who's been extremely sheltered, this is what all that means" this works pretty well for the most part. but yeah... lots of in world words thrown at you really fast.... to name a few: seventh fonons, Yuliya's Score, Fon Master, Field of Fonons, Fonons, Lorelie, cheagle. now having played the game through all that makes sense but at the start i just kind of stared at the screen.

after a while we find out the murderous girl, Tear, is actually pretty nice and didn't mean to take luke from home and will help him get back...  we meet someone called Fon master Ion, essentially he's the most powerful position of this world religion, his Guardian Anise and their Escort Jade. prety soon after that Guy shows up again and they all work together (kinda) to get luek back home.

But this is an RPG.... things are never that easy.
without giving away much more the main world mechanic is that there is this thing called the Score, a prophecy given mostly once a year but you can go in a get it done more if you want... anyways personal ones are vague... but the one known as yuliya's Score actually is quite clear and so far 100% accurate.
Unfortunately when things are already set in stone for you... you tend to rely on it and not try to do anything on your own.... and that's is really the crux of the story.... how to deal with yuliya's score.... both those who follow it blindly and those who try drastic measures to get away from it. It also deals with the sleeping God Lorelei and the fact that Luke seems to be able to talk to him (kinda)

and that's all i'll say without giving away spoilers.

so.... i really like the combat system... a more linear action based game BUT you can move around in the fight area... the characters are all really well developed... every bad guy has a story and a reason why they stand for what they stand for.... all the protagonist have an arc... (thought there is a section where luke starts warming up but then he goes back to being an jerk almost out of nowhere.... i'm guessing it's the task getting to his head but yeah... that was odd) and as shallow as is seems.... it has costumes in it... i love when games allow you to change costumes.... it's just fun.

the things i didn't like seem to be constant through all Tales of games.
"go here, it's south west of where we are now.... now go here.... past the desert east of us...." there is a lot of navigating.... which on foot is okay.... but once you get the airship....
"go to this town" the game states smugly
"but i've never been there and i don't know which direction it's in.... hm... maybe the people know? nope.... oh a skit? maybe? well it reminded me where i need to go.... oh oh oh i know *check synopsis*" and of course if it's not there... off to game faq just to find out where i'm supposed to go.... also don't tell me "it's on the content of Rugnica!" and expect me to remember which content that was.... but yeah especially in the third part there is a lot of "go here, then here, back to where you came from, go tell the church, now the kings, back to the church... for funsies..." which is fine at that point cause you have a jump opinion but still... it gets a little annoying traveling from cutscene to cutscene.

also, the 3ds version has random slowdown on some areas of the map... i found specifically near bridges.... no idea why but compared to the ps2 version the load times are much better.... i never played the ps2 versions but i did see a lot of comparison videos out there.

so other then that... i adored the game, it made me laugh, it made me cry (a few times) it deals with some pretty deep plots and it's hard to tell if what your doing is always the right thing... and that's what games should do.... make you wonder if in fact you are really the good guy... or just a group of racialist... okay it never goes that deep into the plot but it was close.

if you don't own or haven't played the ps2 version and you have a 3ds then get this game.... the entire thing is in 3d and it adds a little dimension but it's not a necessary thing to the game.... so yeah,,, really solid game and i hope more Tales of games are ported to 3ds.... it's nice to have it on the go. I put about 45 hours into my first play through so i felt it was worth the money.... plus that awesome intro song..... so good...

alright time to call it a night, i have a little fanart of luke in the works and i'll probably post it tomorrow.

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