Review by Silence34
"Prepare for War"
Introduction: This review is coming from someone who has never played the playstation version of this game. This game is one of many Tales games and keeps to a similar pattern where you start off as the main character and during the period of a long, detailed, and in depth game you find out a lot about the characters you play. The game starts off with the main character, Luke Fon Fabre, the duke of Kimlasca giving some background information about how he only has memories from the last 7 years. Overall the beginning of the game does a really good job at explaining the controls in and out of combat as well as explain, in detail, what is going on with Luke and his background.
Game play- Overall during the game outside of combat your controls are the basic moving around and using the A and B buttons to perform a series of actions. Later in the game you get some powers that require the use of the X button but it doesn't make a drastic change to the game play. The combat however is a much different story. You use the A button to slash but you can use the direction pad to change the method of slashing you use. Also you have artes you can use in combat that have a wide variety of uses. Many of the artes your character uses are different types of slashes but later on you get a wider variety such as combos and enhancement artes. You also have the option of adding four shortcuts which can be used to activate the artes of your teammates at the press of a button. All Tales games have shortcuts you can use but the method on the 3DS is by far my favorite because all you have to do is press a button on the bottom screen to have your character perform the arte which made it much easier to perform a combination of moves. Though my only issue with the fighting was while I would avoid enemy attacks by timing the moves the other people you fight with are computer controlled, with the exception of shortcuts you make, and therefore do not time enemy movements and wind up getting in trouble easily if you do not watch them carefully.
Story- The story made it very difficult for me to put the game down. The details that go into what you must do to play the game are incredible. In a lot of games some aspects tend to feel rushed or lacking in some way but this game really made a great balance of length of the actions done as well as the details to justify each action. Overall you are trying to stop a war from happening and save the people that are caught in the mist of it. There is also a secondary major issue going on but saying anything more about that will create spoilers. You begin the game as Luke and you gain allies during the game as you travel. As you are traveling you realize the situation the world is in and something must be done to stop it. You travel around the world trying to resolve all the issues you run into usually only to find the issue at hand is more detailed than expected and more actions must be taken in order to fully end the crisis. What was really impressive about the story is the fact that there are a lot of elements that honestly take you by surprise because in the beginning it honestly seems very predictable but as you play the game you slowly begin to find out details that the predictable elements of the game hid very well which made the story much more entertaining. Also each character in the story has a long and detailed past that gets revealed during the story which was a very interesting aspect that will make you want to know more about them whether you like them or not and honestly I doubt you'll like all of them they all have a unique personality to them.
Playtime: If you are a person who wants a short game to play and put down. Do not go anywhere near this game. This game will take a long time to beat because of all the details that are in the story. This will take you at least 40 hours to beat the main story if you listen to all the conversations involved in it. There are also several side quests that will take several more hours of game play. If you like a long game that will be entertaining for the entire time then this is a game you must have for your collection.
Graphics/sound: I loved the music that this game had some of the best music I've ever heard in a game. Usually I don't care about music in a game it's just background stuff for me that I don't pay much attention to, but the songs in this game had me entertained. All the characters had their own voices instead of the usually random dialogue sound found in a lot of handheld games. I played this game with my headphones on a lot because I wanted to make sure I heard every word clearly. The graphics were great as well the details on the game were like that of a console game. There are a few scenes during the game that are made to look like they are part of an anime version of the game which was very entertaining. As far as the 3D is concerned it very rarely added anything to the game but it was very well done for anyone who is a fan of playing with it. Makes watching some of the cut scenes better but that's the only reason I ever turn it on.
Replay Value: The game is so long that it is not a game to be replayed often so the replay value is not extremely high but it is a game that would be great to play again during a period of time where you know you won't get anything new and need a game to keep your interest for awhile. I do intend to replay this game at some point but not anytime in the near future. However if you are a gamer that finds out from a site like this one that there are a lot of extras that you missed during the story and you want to play again to try and unlock them you will probably find a lot more replay value in the game for that reason.
Overall this game had me very impressed. I was reluctant to put my 3DS down I loved it that much. This is a game that I will never sell or trade because it was that enjoyable and I tend to be very picky about what games I really like. The story was what really made me like the game because it was detailed, entertaining, and provided a multitude of events that kept you wanting to see what was next.
Rating: 10/10 in my opinion a must have for any gamer who loves the details in a game.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/02/12
Game Release: Tales of the Abyss (US, 02/14/12)
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