The tales of series, and by extension Tales of Graces shows how a JRPG should be done in this day and age.
The biggest problems typically plaguing JRPGs are turn-based combat, and random encounters: Neither of which are present in Tales of Graces.
You see enemies while you are traveling through the game world: Both in the over-world and within specific areas. This gives you opportunity to avoid the grunts if you so desire, meaning no random encounters to inhibit your desire to explore an area.
Combat is done in real time, and not just by an ATB bar like in some of the Final Fantasy games. There is never a moment where you need to be inactive and you are free to play as any of your party members, offering many different play-styles. The most notable one in my opinion being the shotstaff mage Pascal, who's spells are all done at close range while her normal attacks are done at long range.
The leveling system for tales of graces are non-standard. Most of your leveling is done through titles, you acquire titles in a variety of different ways and as you rank them up your character's stats are upgraded. Each title has 5 levels to it and the upgrades are permanent, you don't lose them if you change titles. Titles do have active bonuses that you only get when the title is equipped but generally those are secondary to the passives. Since you choose whichever title you have at any given time this means you choose when your character s are getting certain stat upgrades and which of their abilities get upgraded,which I feel to give you much more of a feeling of freedom than "You are X character at level Y therefore you need Z EXP to get predetermined stat upgrades".
The characters are a major upside, although I feel the primary love interest is rather bland and the main character, Asbel Lhant, simply can not compete with Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia. The main villain however, is the best in the franchise.
posted by briantrek (QUEENS VILLAGE, NY) Nov 23, 2012
Member since Nov 2012
This game has an excellent leveling system and unique fighting system on par with FF. The music sucks, storyline is boring, and then the game get really bad when you hit frequent maze/puzzles, you spend more time running(looking for the right door) around generic looking stages than actually leveling up and fighting. It gets really repetitive and takes away from an otherwise excellent rpg.
posted by XYofLight (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) Nov 20, 2012
Member since Nov 2012
In the first two minutes the main character states he is 11 years old. He decides to disobey his father and ends up meeting a girl who is more tolerable than he is. And she is a total space cadet with stupid emotes.
I could not bear the thought of following this character through his self induced drama. He bored me immediately.
As far as game play, why not just give everyone ADHD meds and a weapon? Great idea. Whatever...I found something else to do.
20 minutes of experience in this game made me die a little inside.