Review by ryudo500

Reviewed: 02/12/07

The Tales series just keeps getting better and better!

TALES OF THE ABYSS REVIEW

Although im not a big tales fan..nor am I an Action RPG fan...I did give this game a shot due to How I though ToL was decent and how I wanted to see how this game stacked up to the others, I picked it up and was enthralled by what this game had to offer...

STORY

The story in this game is there and has a good package of it. You control Luke a Spoiled Ignorant boy and one day something fateful happens that would change his life forever....

While this game does have some "'cliche's" If you would..it doesn't just throw em out there, I think the writers did a decent job at keeping it to a minimum and not to throw it out there and around..I thought It was well done.

The begging is..well how should I put this..it does start out fairly slow with in the begging they are throwing around big game-name words that will ultimately get you lost and you will be saying to yourself, What are they talking about? However you will catch on as the game continues to flow, another reason its slow is at first glance the characters don't have much going for them at first and you may need to take a couple of hours to become attached to them. Characters are Important to ToTA so Tales games have good characters...this Game DOES NOT DISSAPOINT IN THAT CATAGORY. While it may start slow it will gradually pick up as does the story and characters.

Tales of the Abyss' story is very interesting to say the least and I felt the story kept getting better and better as it advanced deeper and deeper and you uncovered stuff.Plus this game doesn't throw you in in any repetitive/unneeded dungeons. However in the 2nd Half you may be backtracking and going to towns/cities and sometimes dungeons a 2nd time or 3rd, 4th...It did not really bother me due to the story kept progressing at a good pace. The Pace in this story is well done and if you can grasp that you will be going around the world quite frequently and to different areas. ALSO there are mini-scenes which at certain areas you can access them and most of them are there to move the story around and give the player some comical relief..although near the end of the game the mini-scenes will become more flavored in the story and will have a greater role then it did in the begging of the game.

Overall I though the story was very good and well done. It was interesting to say the least and the characters and story just kept getting better and better. There are plot twists in this game..though some of them that are small just felt like they got thrown around at times, but the "major" ones felt in place. Also in the begging it may start of slow and you will feel puzzled due to what they are talking about in the early hours of the story. But Again its a great story and the Plot-twists and characters were well done and the story kept getting more interesting.
9/10

GRAPHICS

I felt the Graphics in this game where good and great to look at the Games Artist Kosuke Fujishima really did a wonderful job here. During a part of the game at times you can see the characters emotions by looking at their face which was great to see their expressions. The towns and Mountains/dungeons and all out were nicely intact and looked good and some towns were detailed ( although not as detailed as your characters). Inside battle you can see what Weapon you have equipped your character which was a nice little bonus and the enemies where nicely drawn aswell. The Graphics in this game are overall good although the world map has alot of slow-downs and the load times in this game are somewhat unbearable..anyone who has played Suikoden V shouldn't mind em. Inside battle the backgrounds are for the most part well done..although maybe a couple of spots felt like the background was just a bit bland.

Overall it had a great feel to it and watching the characters Expressions was very fun indeed to watch, Even though this game has a few bugs/glitches but the graphics were done well and was detailed enough
8/10

GAMEPLAY

COMBAT

Tales series is known for having a good combat engine and this game does not disappointed. For those of you who played ToS you will be familiar to the combat is layed out and for the most part will be right at home. With the exception of the new "free-run" system where early in the game once you get it you can hold down L2 and run around ( alla So3 system) While it is fun but it is mostly there for defensive mode, For when a character casts a Area effect or is about to attack you..all you need to do is hit L2 and get out of the straight path so you can get away unharmed. I thought free-run was usefull for mostly on boss battles and nowhere else..but its a good usefull button.

Tales veterans will also know that combat includes combos although this time you have artes and by equipping different type of artes your character can do a varied amount of artes and moves for chaining up a good number of hits. You can equip different amount of artes and also through another menu you can power them up using Chambers and make them stronger. I also though the difficulty of the game was just right..although veterans to the series may have a limited amount of challenge.

SIDEQUESTS

In this (long) game that can take up more then 55+ hours of gametime if you do alot of side quests and boy there are ALOT of them in this game. There is a good amount of sidequests in this game and yes COOKING is back although it may get rarely used by you. Some sidequests can take only a matter of mins while others mat take longer and can be extended over the story and you will need to do them as you advance into the game further. If you do all of the Sidequests in this game..this game can easily go up to 60+ hours and thats without doing the coliseum/arena battles. Most of the sidequests can give you better weapons/armor or just a varied amount of different things and may give more background to the story.

OVERALL the Gamepkay in this game is nice and smooth during artes in battle and different amounts of moves is fun and the game keeps it fresh plus the battles go by in a rather short time and can give your charcaters strategies if you want, also the sidequests are fun to do aswell. overall the gameplay doesn't get boring quickly and is fun that has a Fair Difficulty although veterans of the series will might find it easy.
9/10

CONTROL/CAMERA

Control in this game is fair although at some rare times in battle the buttons to do a combo may have a lag time or a bit unresponsive. But there there and do a good job of it. The menu is also set up nicely while the camera in the battles are good and you always can pretty much see the character you control ALWAYS. The Camera outside of battle is good too and during cutscenes it really works well do to you need to see the characters expressions or shrugs and whatnot. Although the world map is SLOW to turn the camera around and same goes if your turning with a vehicle. But the Camera and Control are solid overall.
8/10

SOUND/MUSIC

Well the Voiceacting in this game is well done to the fullest and for the most part the voices fit the characters properly although there might be a couple that you don't like, however overall it is there and are well done.

However the MUSIC in this game for ME didn't really do much unless it was the "big" scenes and maybe a couple of world/dungeon music. I would really say its average although there were a couple of pieces in there that where above average and that I liked. Most of the battle music( despite boss battles music) Where just okay and not excellent. Overall its good but not that good and I would've given it a 7 but with VA that is great I will bump it up a score.
8/10

Buy or Rent?
Buy Especially if your a tales fan. OVERALL I really enjoyed this game and it kept me interested throughought the game and I had fun doing the battles and enjoyed watching the story unfold. Yes the story may start slow and so will the characters but the further you go it really gets better and more interesting. Although it does have flaws it was a great experience and I just say the Tale series keeps getting better and better! I thoroughly enjoyed this great game.


OVERALL 9/10





Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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