In my journey to play more Tales of games I decided to order Tales of Graces f as it was coming out. I mean why not continue with a game which is actually easy to get a hold of (unlike almost every other Tales game). I went into this game not knowing anything about it and came out of it feeling rather…disappointed to be frank. From playing a few more Tales games between Vesperia and now it’s easy to see that these games follow the same kind of pattern and theme. The reason why they don’t seem alike is because each game has different characters, settings and a theme for each story. This is true of Graces but as I played the game I felt as if something was missing.
The story is begins with Asbel and Hubert finding a strange girl with amnesia and decide to take responsibility for her taking her back home and even giving her the name Sophie. Back home they meet Richard in which they befriend and make a friendship pact with. While at the capital they try and sneak into the castle where in which they are attacked and Sophie sacrifices herself to protect her new found friends. A time skip later Asbel hears news that his father has died and goes back to his home time to find Sophie just as he remembers from when he was younger. A chain of events then occurs where Asbel is driven out of his home town and on an adventure crossing over world.
Just like the other Tales of games Graces has a theme, this one being “RPG to know the strength to protect”.
Firstly I didn’t particularly like any of the main characters. They were interesting and amusing in their own ways but none of them really stuck out to me unlike with the characters from Vesperia. Yes I’m going to constantly compare these games! They’re the only Tales games I’ve finished!! So you’ll have to pardon me on that. But yes I adored the characters in Vesperia and yet these charatcers seem lacking in comparison. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really like half of the cast from Graces a lot of the time and found them rather plain. I mean Asbel was okay and he’s a nice guy but I never really seemed to get attached to him (I didn’t like Pascal, Malik or Cheria ^^;). My favorite character by far was Richard mainly because of the whole evil thing he had going on and the long hair and fabulous outfits. It was a kick in the face that he was hardly in the game, he’s in the party for a little bit but then because of plot related reasons he buggers off and appears as the villain. Which is fine, I mean it’s not a bad thing. But it’s frustrating when your favorite character isn’t around as much as you would like them to be and you have to deal with a cast of people you find okay/cute and half of them you can’t stand!!
I had no real problem with the story, it was solid and fun to go through. However there were some parts where we had to backtrack and that got rather tedious also how come a group of 6 people can only carry one battery at a time?! I hate running back and forth for batteries!! It makes no sense!! The world itself was rather small, in Vesperia were you could walk around the map freely, traveling here isn’t done on a map but you have to walk down paths and everything is to scale with the characters, which I’m not happy with because the world was pretty small and I felt rather contained. The towns and cities were nice to look at and had a Tales feel about them, they were well designed and you couldn’t get lost in them there are also interesting hidden bits to look for like in any RPG.
The game play was pretty fun, battling itself was easy and overall enjoyable making grinding a lot more tolerable. The amount of titles was rather dooming since there were so many of them and I had no real idea which order I should get them up in, yeah I’m not much of a gamer type so I did whatever I felt like.
In conclusion I did enjoy this game but it didn’t strike me to be anything special (like Vesperia…what can I say I love Vesperia) alas it was enjoyable at the same time, having interesting characters and moments. Though I can’t help but look forward to the next Tales game in the series Tales of Xillia (you have no idea how excited I am am for Xillia!). And I shall leave you with the opening:
Thank you for reading o/