The most anticipated tales series after vesperia finally got a localization. It is actually a port from Wii game, Tales of Graces, that yet be localized despite the game released back in 2009. With some tweak and new additional story, thus Tales of Graces F born.
The game focused on Asbel Lhant, an heir of a small town called Lhant. But he refuse to accept the role, because he wants to pursue his dream to become a knight. He has a strong feeling of justice and desire to protect the others, especially his friends. But, often he didn’t realise that what he did actually troubled the others instead ( even the players, sometime i wanted to punch him right in the face ).
Story is pretty generic, rather cheesy i think, but not as cheesy as Star Ocean 4. An cliche anime like, a protagonist against the world, struggling with his own ideal, and developing his self esteem to become a better man. With around 45 hours story long, i can hardly remember the plot progression, sure i still can tell what the main plot is but thats that, nothing more. The characters are so stereotype generic anime like, for example Cheria, Asbel’s childhood friend, she has a cheerful personality and caring for others, but when she deals with Asbel she tend to make a fuss about everything, a Tsundere type. Pascal is the weird one, a machine freak. Though she is 22 years old, she still act immature. And of course we have Asbel himself that i’ve already described above.
The battle system is what saved this game, one thing i must say, freakin awesome. It uses Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System, which is a variation of the infamous LMBS ( Linear Motion Battle System ) in the first two tales games. It’s a real time combat and player controlling one of four party members. Every characters have two fighting style, Alpha and Beta. Asbel attacks with seathed sword, that’s his Alpha style, and when he draws his sword, it changes to Beta style. For hubert, he wields double gunsword, when he uses a Beta style his weapon change into gun, and it reverts back into sword when he uses an Alpha style. Each characters have a different Alpha and Beta style attacks, and have a different advantages too.
In battle, Graces uses Chain Capacity ( CC ) for almost everything you do. Attack, defend, running, walking, dodging, side step. While it limits your movement, it forces you to think carefully and planning on what you must do in a quick paced battle system without wasting much CC. Though it’s easy to regain the CC, but it still makes you to plan carefully on what will you do next.
Customizations are really good in this game, surpasses any previous Tales of series. The titles are not just for a display, every titles have abilities that you can unlock every time you level up the titles. And there are tons of it, neat. Oh and dualize, to put it simply, you can combine two weapons to make a new one, great.
The graphics are not much to praise in Graces F. It is colorful, bright, vibrant and beautiful, but it looks outdated and dull. Well, considering it’s a port game that came out in 2009, what’d i expect.
Musical and sound point are just average, the voice acting sometimes kinda strange, it sounds far-fetched. While i love the opening theme, the in game theme itself are not too memorable, just an typical light hearted heave liting music.
Well, i can go on babbling about how awesome and remarkable this game is in spite of some drawbacks. But i can assure you that this game is a must for any Tales of series fans and JRPG enthusiast.
Graphic: Beautiful but looks dull and outdated. 7/10
Sound: Too average and not memorable except the opening theme. 7/10
Gameplay: This is what make the game shines, simply awesome. 9/10
Presentation: Good narrative conveys and nothing more. 7.5/10
Overall 7/10 (Good)