Review by GTfan08

"Don't let the bad ratings fool you, this is a great game!"

Tales of the Abyss Review
Ah, Tales of the Abyss. I have not played too many games in the Tales series, but I hear that this is one of the best. And I can see why. This game is unique in almost every way, from its gameplay, to its story, to its characters, to the world map. I will go over each major aspect of the game in due time, but first I need to say this: if you like RPG' this game. Now, on with the review!

The Tales series is known for its unique battle system. You walk around in an over world, and enemies will randomly spawn near you. Also, the enemies will vary depending on your location. When you run into an enemy, you start the battle scene. Instead of turn based strategy, you will be in real time combat. Hitting the A button will make your character perform strike attacks. Hitting the B button will perform Artes. Depending on the way you point the control stick while pressing A or B will change the kind of Arte or strike you do. The strike attacks mainly consist of swinging your sword in different directions, but you can set any Arte to any direction on the control stick. This system works absolutely perfectly. But let's say you don't want a sword. Well, there are a total of six playable characters, and you can control any of them. One character casts powerful spells. One character shoots arrows and heals. One character casts spells and heals. Each one requires a very different style of combat. Most of us will still find ourselves using the default character though. And though there may be six characters in your party, you can only have four characters fighting in the same battle.

There are also many dungeons in this game. They all encourage exploration, as it is necessary to complete some puzzles and obtain all items. You may find yourself coming back to a few dungeons to obtain items you could not get at first. There are no random encounters in dungeons (random meaning that the enemies will randomly spawn). There are certain spots where enemies will always be. If you defeat them, they will not respawn unless you leave the room you are in and come back. It is still a good idea to fight all of the enemies in the dungeon once. Outside of experience, there is a point in the game where you unlock Wing Bottles. There is always one enemy that always drops a wing bottle in dungeons where they can be used. If you have one, you can use it on certain save points and warp to the front of the dungeon. This can save a lot of time, especially since you will find yourself fighting most enemies anyway.

But there is more to battles than just that. Outside of battle, you will find capacity cores and other items to influence your stats and the power of your moves. As certain stats grow, you will unlock AD skills, which enhance gameplay with more commands to control your character. Also, you do not simply unlock Artes by leveling up. If you have not used your Basic Artes enough, you will not be able to use some of your Arcane Artes as soon. Also, at a certain point in the game, you will unlock Overlimits and Mystic Artes, which allow you to do devastating super moves. But watch out; some bosses have Mystic Artes too!

Next, the story. This story is one of my favorite video game stories, second only to Tales of Symphonia. You play as Luke fon Fabre, son of Duke Fabre and next in line for the throne. Seven years before the beginning of the game, he was kidnapped and he has no memory of his childhood. Since then, he has spent every minute of his life in his father's manor, and has no knowledge of the world around him. And as some of you may expect, he gets thrusted into the outside world. I will not say anymore. Anything else would be spoiling the game for you.

But let me tell you: this game is long. I mean very long. My first play through took forty hours, and there is still more content. When you beat the game, there is no save point. Instead, you unlock the grade shop. When you beat enemies, you receive points called grade, and the amount of grade you get depends on how well you did per battle. With this grade, you can buy perks for your next play through such as 2x experience or more gald (Yes, gald. Not gold, gald.). Also, by beating the game you unlock more difficulties and a major side quest. Yes, there are a ton of optional side quests that will lengthen your game, should you choose to do them. This game is so packed with content; it will keep you playing it months after you buy it. You will also unlock more difficulties. It's like Diablo 3 with less lag!

Also, there are a lot of little things to like in this game. Almost all dialogue between characters is voice acted, and very well I might add. There is a very good soundtrack and some tunes you will just love. However, these things are overshadowed by the great gameplay and story.

Will I review its use of 3D and the touch screen? No. Remember, this game was a PS2 game first. You will forget the touch screen is there half the time, although, it is not useless. I will say that the 3D does add a clear sense of depth if you enjoy using the 3D.

Please consider this game, especially if you enjoy RPG's. Everything about it was very enjoyable when I played it through, and I didn't hesitate to play it again, and neither will you.

The Verdict:
Gameplay: 10/10
Story: 10/10
Use of Touchscreen/3d:N/A

Final Score: 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/17/12

Game Release: Tales of the Abyss (US, 02/14/12)

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