"Tales of Graces f" strongest suit is the tale it tells- that of a group of friends caught up in a greater struggle that threatens their world. The characters are for the most part well done and well voiced. The fact that they are likeable helps pull the player through the game, and they have a nice arc going from childhood to young adult. Much of the character development is revealed through skits (you get a prompt when one is available). While the skits an at times slow the game's pace a bit, they're often humorous and provide some pertinent details on where you need to go and what you need to do. Sadly, the game's map is not as helpful; in fact, I found it downright useless. The fixed camera can also be problematic, and doesn't always present the best views. Combat is fairly fun, with one button press delivering physical attacks and another delivering the more powerful artes. Different abilities are enabled through the use of different titles, and it's fun to see which best suit your style of play. Your companions' AI is thankfully good, and they rarely let you down. You can set it all to full auto if you wish and just sit back and manage. It's not as fun, but the option is there. Overall, the game looks nice, though dungeons have repetitive environments throughout (something made worse since the map is no help), and the anime cutscenes are done well. The musical score is pleasant enough but nothing outstanding. The game is fairly linear, which isn't so bad considering the useless map, but it still offers opportunities for some exploration. The story is split into eight chapters, and will take you between 30-40 hours to complete. Undertaking side quests and some minigames can add hours to that total, though the card game seems a bit rigged in the NPCs favor. All in all, this is a solid JRPG, and worth checking out for fans of the genre.
posted by jeffreyedison (MANCHESTER, CT) Feb 23, 2013
Member since Nov 2012
This is probably the most fun ive had with a japanese role playing game in a long time. Admittedly, the story isnt the best but the figthing system and gamplay are amazing! Just get by the awful prologue, where you play as a juvenile version of your main character and the game picks up. I recommend to all fans of JRPGS!