Conclusion: Concept: Tell a story about a magical, fictional world at war – and do it very slowly
Graphics: Abyss looked sharper on the PlayStation 2, but it hasn’t taken much of a hit during its miniaturization
Sound: It’s nothing memorable. Decent tunes accent solid voice acting
Playability: Combat and general movement feel stiff, but it does little to hinder the overall experience
Entertainment: You’ll have fun if you can commit to the story despite its slow pace
Excerpt: This game was really popular, due to the similarity of its battle system towards its Gamecube counterpart Tales of Symphonia. It's a game that's often debated to be the best with Tales of Symphonia as well. They were both incredibly great games in their own right, individually setting a style that would either appeal to the player, or subtract from their experience.
Excerpt: ' story begins against the backdrop of political turmoil between two nations, Markt and Kimlasca. The two nations are upholding a truce that is barely being held together, and the threat of war is ever looming. Enter Luke fone Fabre, a bratty, arrogant, spoiled, self-absorbed son of one of the generals of Kimlasca - and one of the most annoying heroes ever to grace a RPG.
Excerpt: Set in a series that has suffered from some rather bland plots and simple gameplay, Tales of the Abyss manages to bring the series into a level higher than it has reached before. The story of Tales of the Abyss starts off simply enough, with Luke, the sheltered son of a duke, going through another boring day. The pace picks up very quickly, however, as Luke gets kidnapped, warped into an enemy country, and caught up in a quest to stop a war.
Excerpt: Meet Luke fon Fabre. He’s the typical byproduct of the nobility social class, a teenager who is spoiled rotten and assumes that the world revolves around him. He lounges around the estate grounds all day, stuffing his face full of free meals, and getting combat training from his mentor, Van. Luke is lazy, whiny, and utterly self-righteous. However, this arrogant little bastard does have a few issues that need resolving.
Conclusion: Tales of the Abyss is a solid RPG and quite possibly one of the best installments in the Tales franchise. Namco outdid themselves with this title and any RPG fan looking for something to drop over 60 hours on will fall in love. The tale is rich, the world is beautiful and the combat system is for the most part constantly upbeat and exciting. Some issues like button mashing and slowdown hurt things a bit but overall this is a great experience from beginning to end.
Excerpt: With the holiday session coming fast upon us, there are a plethora of great games (and systems) coming out for gamers to choose from. Slipping in ahead of the rush, Namco Bandai has released another addition of its Tales franchise, this time being Tales of the Abyss. Is it a worthwhile play with so much else available at this point in time? The game starts off with our main character, Luke: a teenage swordsman who lost his memory 7 years ago.
Excerpt: risk, Namco, in making your lead character a complete douche. I understand that that idea is that he shows character growth -- more here than you see in most RPGs to be honest -- but did you have to make Luke fon Fabre such a dick right from the start? It took ten hours, before I finally started to get into the game, and the biggest stumbling block was the complete asshole nature of the lead in the game.
Conclusion: Even with the glut of similar role-playing games on the PlayStation 2, Tales of the Abyss is an entertaining experience throughout. The story isn't especially engaging, but the characters are, and the combat is simple but satisfying. The fact that the game is available at less-than-full retail price only sweetens the deal.
Pros: Interesting characters convey a lot of personality through extensive, funny, and sharply written dialogue, Fast-paced battle system is easy to learn but is still involved and rewarding, The lengthy story and numerous side quests can easily keep you playing for 50 hours or more.
Cons: The graphics have some noticeable rough spots, The non-boss battles tend to rely too heavily on frenzied button mashing.
Conclusion: The game is also enhanced by solid voice work that stays consistent throughout the title—and there is a staggering amount of spoken lines throughout the story. Characters are appropriately brought to life and feel a little more human. One major complaint is that the in-game skits don’t feature any voice work, which makes it seem slow. The soundtrack is decent, offering well-made sound compositions with good sound quality.