Review by Physics_X

"Ahh... An RPG that I actually love."

Not many RPGs catch my eye nowadays. Most of the time I stop playing before the end. But not this gem. I racked in several hours a day playing this before I finally beat it. I'd call it the best in the series.

Story 9

There's some cliches(hair glowing for a super power, big chested females, dragons). But any RPG has them. A lot of the story is original though. You are Luke fon Fabre, a boy of noble birth who got amnesia after being kidnapped seven years ago. Afterwards, you got confined to your mansion so you would be safe. But a series of events sends you on a wacky adventure. Since Luke lived a sheltered life, you are introduced to the world as he is. Add some plot twists and more cliches and you've got a story! Honestly, that was my main drive for finishing this. I couldn't stop. =(

Graphics 9

Not the greatest thing. The character models aren't all that amazing. Some textures are blocky. But the environments... Oh boy! The places you visit are gorgeous! Snowy mountains, a volcano's innards, ancient ruins filled with lost technology, forests, a desert, generic RPG flying city, etc. Looking at still pictures, it may not seem that wonderful. Playing games is always better than looking at pictures. The character animations are good, and I like the little anime style character portraits. I honestly expected nothing more. Namco pulled a lot out of the PS2.

Sound 10

I love video game music. And this is no exception. I never really found any songs to be bad, and the music fits the mood of the locations. And the battle music... Well, its pretty darn l33t. The sound effects sound like.... sound effects. Not much to say there really. I think the dubbing went pretty good. The voice acting at least. The script seemed cheezy at times, but that doesn't belong in this section. To close this section, I'd like to say there is a sound test after you beat the game =) Kind of deters me from actually playing it now...

Gameplay 10

For those who haven't played any games in the Tales series, the battle system is sort of like a fighting game. The battles originally took place along a line, with left and right moving and up jumping. Attack by pressing a button, defend with another, and use techniques with another. You can also use different attacks and techniques by combining the button by pressing a direction with it. Of course it has evolved since the early days, on the SNES and then PS1. First of all, it is now in 3d. You still move on a line between you and the enemy, but you can change targets. Also, holding L2 lets you move freely in any direction. To get into the battles, you have to touch the enemies on the field screen. This means you can see the enemies and avoid them if you wish.

Also, there are AD skills, which give you abilities like the freerun I talked about earlier, overlimit where you build up a gauge and press R2 to enter a powered up state, and other various battle improving abilities. You can set four techs to be used with the tech button and an optional direction and four more techs for the directions on the right analog stick. The right analog stick can use anyone's techs, not just your own. Fon slot chambers can be added to your techs to power them up in certain ways. Capacity cores give certain stat boosts on level up. Basically, there's a lot of fun crap to mess with. Plus, you can do multiplayer with up to four people. There's also the uber techs called Mystic Artes. And unknown mode, with massive stat boosts to all enemies.

Replay value 9

I'll play it again of course. I skipped a lot of stuff to get it done in around 50 hours. But there's a ton of sidequests, optional bosses, harder difficulties, and just having fun. There are crazy people who do low level playthroughs. Combine that with unknown difficulty for hours of fun doing single digit damage to bosses with hundreds of thousands of hit points. You wont get bored.

Conclusion

I wuv it. People are having fun with it. I hope you can too. For a PS2 RPG, it's pretty darn good. It might not look as pretty or sound as awesome as you younguns' sports games for that thar XBox 360 on your HDTV with that surround sound system, but it is pretty damn good on a 480i with monaural sound. MONAURAL FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

Uber cliche buy or rent section:

Buy. Only $40. Or you could wait if you are cheap.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/19/06


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