Excerpt: As opposed to the Final Fantasy series which is constantly reinventing itself, many of the entries in the long running Tales of series have little to distinguish them from one another. Most take place in separate universes, though the mechanics remain much the same from game to game. Tales of Graces f is the latest game to reach European shores and is also somewhat of a surprising evolution for the long enduring series.
Excerpt: Namco Bandai has a well known role playing game franchise in the form of the Tales games. The most recent release for the Playstation 3 is Tales of Graces f. Different gamers have different tastes. I find myself enjoying many of the quirks in Tales of Graces f. I also enjoy the depth of the characters, and how the storyline unravels.
Excerpt: Tales of Graces was originally released on the Nintendo Wii in 2009, in the land of the rising sun. The RPG remained a Japanese exclusive for a couple years until Namco Bandai hinted of a localization release early last year on their official Facebook page. Buried within a puzzle image was a message stating that Tales of Graces f was coming to North America and after a timely wait, the game was finally released this month in the West.
Excerpt: It's fitting that the foundation of Tales of Graces f's story is the impact of time on the strength and loyalty of friendship. It almost directly mirrors the Tales series' life cycle -- Graces is like an old JRPG friend that's back to reclaim its place in your life. Your friend hasn't really changed all that much, but you also remember the fun you had together, and slowly, you realize how much you want them back in your life.
Pros: The battle system, The JRPG charm, The burgeoning bonds
Cons: All the backtracking, That it plays it too safe, The underwhelming music
Summary: While the franchise is no stranger to cliché, Tales of Graces f is more predictable than ever, and the characters can be pigeonholed into familiar JRPG archetypes. That said, the characters are still likeable and full of the same kind of entertaining banter that the franchise is known for, and the story is good enough that you’ll at least want to see it through to the end.
Excerpt: Friendship is a fairly common theme across games in the Japanese role-playing genre. You might call it cliche to center a game's story around the bonds that form between an ensemble cast of misfits on a grand adventure, and you would not be wrong. Yet here arrives Tales of Graces f, a game that harps on those very themes while managing to avoid the pitfalls so many stories have fallen prey to in the past.
Pros: Deepest combat of the series, Story breaks free of cliche, Titles offer high customization
Cons: Unbalanced difficulty, Weak prologue lasts too long
Excerpt: The Tales series has been around for many years now, spanning quite a few different gaming systems. Now, the latest saga in the story, Tales of Graces f is available on the PS3. The first thing you'll see in any game is the intro video. Normally, I just skip them quickly but for some reason, I wanted to watch this one. The opening music isn't quite what I expected. I'm not used to hearing a song whose chorus is, "I believe your love, I believe in your love...
Conclusion: Final Verdict: Side quests and extras add even more time onto the already fifty-hour long campaign. All the wonderful parts of the game overcome the few flaws, making it a must buy for true RPG fans.