Game Review - Tales of Graces f

Available on PS3 & Wii (if you're in Japan)

The Game
First off let me apologize for the lack of blogposts lately. I just got settled into my apartment and I haven't had the chance to sit down and collect my thoughts. Now I have so let's jump into this review. If you know me by now you know that I am a big fan of JRPGs, especially the Tales series of games. This game originally came out on the Wii in Japan in 2009 and got the PS3 HD treatment in 2010. It came out in the states in 2012 only on the PS3 (thanks Nintendo of America). If you have played any game in the Tales of series then this game will feel both familiar and new at the same time. Familiar in the fact that story wise the games usually follow the same format. A group of friends go on a coming of age story to save the world from maniacal douchebag. The way the series differentiates itself is in the artstyle and the combat. Each game looks different and its world is set up differently but still keeps the Tales mainstays. For example, titles are back in this game but unlike other games in the series your title actually allows you to learn moves and certain skills which add a layer of strategy to the game. Each title has five slots with different skills, attributes, or moves assigned to them and you have to gain a certain amount of SP in order to unlock that particular skill. Also the game's combat is different for this game in that every character has two distinct styles which allow for interesting movesets and combo varieties. The combat to me is where this game shines. I always love the action RPG genre as it is more fast paced, especially the way the Tales series handles the action. The higher your level gets and the better you set up your character you will find yourself plowing through enemies in under ten seconds.  I know what you're thinking, but that sounds to easy. Trust me there are a lot of enemies in this game that are challenging and some of the puzzles are challenging and engaging as well. I did have a few problems with the game, most of them stem from the story. The story is pretty predictable. I mean if you watch any anime you should be able to tell what's going to happen pretty early on in the game. Also the main character does tend to act like a punk from time to time. While it can be said he does have some issues to work out his constant doubting can get on your nerves. Also I love the anime cutscenes in the game, however, there are some cutscenes that use the in game assets and they look pretty bad. I usually ignore it but sometimes it can look pretty bad.

For Parents
This game is rated T for Teen. It does have some language in it and is heavy on the violence at times. I will say this though you don't really see any blood and the anime cutscenes for the most part are more DragonBallZ ish in nature than anything else. Another plus is that this game like most games in the Tales series is multiplayer up to four people can play.

The Verdict
This game is a solid BARGIN BIN game. If you are a casual RPG fan the combat and strategy required is fun. The story is where in my opinion the game is lacking but it does have its moments. You can also tell that this game was ported from the Wii even though it is in HD, it kinda makes it worse in some parts of the game and awesome in others.

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