Review by Nosferatu_Z0dd
"Filled with cliches."
I'm not particularly fond of the "Tales of..." series, so I'm not entirely sure why I bought this game. Played Tales of Destiny, and I couldn't find it in me to finish it, same with Tales of Symphonia. I think I just really wanted to play a new RPG at the time...
Luke Fabre is a seventeen year old boy who is being forced to live inside his manor without being able to leave. Seven years ago he was kidnapped, and he can't remember it, nor can he remember anything prior to it. So, he partially has amnesia. His father is being paranoid and not allowing him to leave the manor again because something like that might happen again. Luke is getting quite bored of his life, and it just so happens that a strange woman named Tear appears at the manor and teleports her and Luke far away from the manor. From there Luke discovers more about himself and the world around him. The plot from there is entirely predicable and boring. Nothing exciting happens AT ALL. The pacing is unbalanced, every cutscene consists of the characters standing in one spot and talking in a monotone voice(occasionally accompanied by an absolutely horrendous fighting animation), and it simply lasts entirely too long. Seriously, once you've seen one twist, you've seen them all.
On to the characters. Your party consists of a band of generic and worthless people you probably will never care about. Let's see here...
We have Luke, the usual "I'm an ignorant teen, but by the end of the game, I'm a good person!" lead character. Tear's the "tough woman", who isn't sure if she loves Luke or not. Jade's pretty cool, he's actually funny and smart, not making this cast a total band of idiots. As for the others...they're just so bland I'm not even going to mention them.
These graphics are severely lacking. Most character models are extremely simple, with no detail and just a few basic colors, although some of the villains are fairly unique. Sadly, a majority of the animations are jumpy and choppy outside of battle. Environments can range from painfully bland(such as the world map) to pretty good(some of the forests and Baticul come to mind). Basically...if you really need amazing visuals in your game, this is definitely not for you.
I didn't really care for the music, either. There are only a handful of songs that I actually liked. A majority of the songs that are played in the towns are generic and not very catchy at all. The battle themes(yes, there's more than one) are all pretty boring too. No, the first battle theme is just plain bad. It's just really corny and doesn't fit at all. And of course, the boss music isn't very epic, either...
The voice acting isn't really anything to write home about, either. Luke, Tear, and Natalia show about as much emotion as a rock, and Anise is annoying beyond belief. Yay...
Usually I find free roaming battles to be pretty thrilling, but not so much with this game. The battles are kept simple, and pretty repetitive. Every character has their own set of special attacks, called Artes. But ya see, past a certain point, the attacks stop being completely fresh, and the old ones just combine into one. For example, Luke's Fang Blade and Havoc Strike combine into Fang Blade Havoc. Apparently the creators got pretty lazy. This really takes away from the enjoyment of the battles later on.
There are also AD Skills, which are basic skills in battle that either boosts things such as chances to getting a critical hit, or give you the ability do things such as throw items and charge yourself. Capacity Cores are special items that you equip to your characters to increase certain stats. There's also the option to increase the attack for certain artes, but it's limited. Like I said, you've most likely seen this content before. The game also just gets really boring and repetitive half way through.
This game gets so much praise on this site, and I really don't see why. A terrible plot, pitiful characters, ugly graphics, forgettable music, and generic/repetitive gameplay isn't my idea of a good game. Want a good RPG? Play Rogue Galaxy. Please, avoid this.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 03/12/07, Updated 10/19/07
Game Release: Tales of the Abyss (US, 10/10/06)
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