Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tales of Graces ƒ - Initial Thoughts

Alright, so I've been playing the game since March 17th. Not that I have gotten like close to beating it or anything. Like probably half way and maybe a little more. I've only been playing it on the weekends. So, it's still better late than never to share my thoughts and initial impressions about the game.

First off, the battle system kicks major butt. Seriously, the fans in the US have been waiting for a dang battle system like this. Japan already got it with some of the other Tales games that never came over here. Like Destiny Remake. But anyways, basically TP is completely done away with in this game. Instead you have a Capacity Chain guage in battle. Weapons and other enhancements you can add on determine the minimum and maximum CC a character has. You can keep attacking until it runs out. Skills and regular attacks use a certain amount of it. Obviously the more CC you have the more combos and attacks you can pull off in succession. When it runs out, you simple just stand still and wait for it to refill. You can guard during this time or just dodge the enemy entirely. It doesn't take long to refill and you can add enhancements to weapons and armor to make it refill faster. Mystic Artes exist in the game of course. And there's different levels of them. Meaning characters have more than just one. These are unlocked through storyline events and Titles.

Speaking of Titles, that's another aspect to mention. Titles do much more for you in this game than just collecting them for completion. Titles carry different skills and effects and stat increases on them. At the end of a battle you get Skill Points. SP is used with the Title you have equipped on a character to unlock the items on it. Obviously better skills and effects take more SP to unlock. Battles can net you extra SP, HP recovery, and gald if certain conditions are met at the end of a battle. Such as finishing the battle in a certain amount of time, doing a 10-hit combo, etc. So, all around the battle aspects of the game are top notch. Excellent work there.

The music is also very good as always. I mean, it's the same kind of music you come to expect with the Tales series since they keep mostly the same composers. Actually, some of it reminds me of Skies of Arcadia music. Heck some aspects in general of the game remind me of Skies of Arcadia. And that is never a bad thing if you know me at all xD The opening song to the intro kicks so much butt too. I love it~

The characters are pretty lovable from what I've seen. I can pretty much guess which ones get the most complaint and hate from people. Cheria is most definitely the one I could guess gets a lot of dislike. After the childhood arc she's pretty gloomy when you meet her at first in the adult arc. But there's good reason for it. I mean, you see what happens at the end of the childhood arc. Seriously, not all girl video game characters are meant to be perky and happy all the time. It just doesn't work that way. Not in real life either. That's what makes things more interesting anyways and more realistic.

Anyways, Asbel is a pretty cool main. The story pretty much follows him in trying to correct mistakes he made as a kid. Things that cannot be undone. Which is why there is so much tension between him, Cheria, and Hubert, his younger brother, when they meet back up in the adult arc. Hubert also for good reason since he was sent away to another nation and adopted into another family in the childhood arc. There's also Sophie, the mysterious girl as in most Tales games. No one knows who or where she came from.

The other characters include Richard, prince of Windor, who Asbel met as a kid and now seems to be possessed by something evil in the adult arc. Captain Malik was a knight instructor and Asbel's teacher when he joined the knights. He's kind of like the older character who sets everyone else straight. And last but nowhere near least is Pascal who is pretty crazy and goofy xD She's the comedy relief for the group.

The story and characters are very much enjoyable so far. There's so much to do in this game too. Collecting stuff, discoveries, and sidequests. And the skits are actually voiced! It was very much worth the wait. The Tales series has made it to the next gen consoles with much improvement and taking advantage of what there is to offer. Though Bamco shouldn't have taken as long as they did. Who knows when we'll see another game. But anyways, looking forward to seeing how it all turns out and what happens. Expect another post about that at some point.