Review by Halosoulfire
"If you like playing a story this is the game to play."
Being a fan of games such as the Final Fantasy and the Persona brands, my expectations of a RPG is rather high. This is the first of the 'Tales' series that I have played, I must say that I'm impressed by both the story line and game play on the 3DS platform.
The functionality of the game is for the most part alright. Moving the characters and vehicles around is pretty easy and there is a guild on the bottom telling you what buttons do what. Better yet during attacks you can do different maneuvers using both the joystick and directional buttons with your attack buttons. There is a defensive button which is always a plus because then you don't have to decide if you want to attack or defend during the battle. Battle is in real time so you do not pause to decide what you want to do, and you can decide what role each of the characters are going to do in a battle.
The problems that I have had for the Battle Mode is that you can only maneuver forward or backward; and not move freely during the battle. It is difficult when you need to get to a specific spot to do a special move. Also as you move throughout the world moving the camera around is a bit slow and there is (from what I can tell) no way to recenter the camera right behind the character and was at least to me, very frustrating.
Story Line: (9/10)
The story line is very well done as It flows very well and everyone acts the way they do for very good reasons. There are places where people don't simply like each other and it plays out throughout the game, not just at the beginning. All of the characters at one point or another are in the spotlight during the story line and the relationships that develop over the period of the game are genuine.
The story is complex and its hard to tell who the villains are at certain points in time.
As a side note there are optional 'skits' throughout the game that do not have voice overs. While I have heard complaints about these skits but in my opinion they give the characters and the story line that extra boost to show both how people are changing in the game and how that reflects on the relationships.
Sounds and Video: (7/10)
The voices are alright, there is nothing really special about them but at the same time not all that bad. The acting and emotions are well voiced.
My only gripe with the video is that the animation cut scenes are not as well done as what is shown in the introduction of the game. The animation is still alright, it just does not seem to be as well worked as the introduction. On top of that I wasn't really much of a fan of the 3D experience as I was on other games. But overall for the platform the art work was well done.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/12/12
Game Release: Tales of the Abyss (US, 02/14/12)
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