Review by Arc_Ricolne
A rare game that will keep you entertained long after you finish it.
Tales of the Abyss is one of the rare games that is both entertaining in story, game play, and in its humor. However, it is unfortunately VERY under appreciated, not receiving the great praise that it deserves. I write this review letting the reader know right now that it has quickly become one of my favorite games, and that this review is very biased.
Story: The game takes place on the planet Auldrant. 2000 years have passed since Yulia has delivered her prophecies that have become known as the Score. The score is what every person on Auldrant follows in order to make his or her decisions. Luke Fon Fabre is a young man whom has been locked inside his manor since he was kidnapped and lost his memory seven years prior to the events of the game. He longs to be free of his captivity, allowed to roam about like a normal person. Soon after the game begins, he gets his wish when a young woman breaks into the manor. Soon Luke is thrust into a world he knows nothing about and must adjust. Along the way there are many plot twists, and just as many humorous lines as well. The story is definitely on par with the one of other well-known Tales game here in the U.S: Tales of Symphonia.
Graphics: No game is perfect, and this is the one real flaw of the game. The in-game graphics are less than stellar, although a nice improvement from that of Tales of Legendia, or even the cel-shaded Tales of Symphonia. It's too bad that most games for the PS2 (even some from the first generation) easily outshine this game in this aspect. However, the animated cut-scenes are very well drawn, and help this part of game. Plus, they are much longer than that of the Tales games, keeping it easy on the eyes for a while longer. In fact, the opening scene is fantastic. I often show the scene to my friends that come over and they all agree.
Sound: Wow, very good. This is one of the two games that I have ever bought the soundtrack to. (The other being FF-VII) It is absolutely spectacular. When you complete the game you are given the sound test as a reward. And with songs like Meaning of Birth and Time to Raise the Cross it is worth it. The voice acting is very nice too. Unlike most games with voice acting, the voices do not get annoying that often. (With the exception of Anise, but she's supposed to be annoying) Even minor characters have good voice acting. The exclusion of voice acting during skits is disappointing, but not a total loss.
Game play: The true test of game is obviously its game play, and this is definitely the place where Tales of the Abyss shines. The Tales games are known for their battle system, using elements of fighting games mixed with RPGs, and this game does not disappoint the Tales name. Building off of the Multi-line system of Tales of Symphonia, this game takes it one step further with the free-run system. Some people may consider this cheap, but you can only free-run by holding the L2 button, so it is optional. And, like in Tales of Symphonia, you can play this game with three of your friends at the same time, adding on to the fun. But, there are a few glitches due to localization issues. However, most of these are minor, and are very easily avoided. In fact, I personally never ran into a one of them.
The game has great replay value, with two new difficulties unlocking after you complete the game once. Also, there are some new areas that cannot be unlocked until your second play-through. Without going to these new areas, characters cannot obtain some of their other costumes and abilities. And with the grade shop, you can transfer over some of your data from the first game onto your new one. In fact, there are a couple of new scenes that unlock if you transfer over your titles and change your costumes. But of course, the fun battles and good story is enough to keep many people playing over again.
Tales of the Abyss is a fantastic game and addition to any RPG fan's or video game fan's library of games. With fantastic game play rivaling some of the best games ever made, it is easy to see why this game is very enjoyable. The soundtrack itself is very enjoyable, one of the best I have ever heard. Plus, the replay value of this game will keep you playing for months to come. This game has become one of my favorites, and I hope that it does the same to you. Thank you for taking the time of read my review of Tales of the Abyss.
Final Score: 9.6/10 ~10/10
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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