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Tales of Graces f | review | game | Lollipop

Tales of Graces f

(Namco Bandai for PS3)
By Mike Delano

You've got to give some to get some in Tales of Graces f. That attitude may be anathema to modern gamers weaned on instant gratification, but if you can make it through the slow first handful of hours in this 12th installment of the Tales RPG franchise, you'll have made a solid investment in the cast of characters and their relationships that really pays off as the story progresses. Truthfully, it shouldn't be that hard to see the opening hours through: The environments are colorful and fun to explore (you'll hardly notice that this is an upgraded port of a years-old Wii game) and the writers clearly had a fun time fleshing out the world ("The classy cat's lavish eyes seem to be trying to speak to you..."). Then, when the story shifts into gear and your combat options expand, the game really comes into its own. Seeing how characters and political affiliations have changed during the course of the plot leads to some interesting and unexpected twists. The battle system is fantastic throughout, letting you roam freely around the battlefield while dodging attacks, lining up multiple enemies for wide-arc slashes, and chaining dozens of hits together in punishing combos. This is a beefy quest as well (the "f" in the title is for a future timeline that's been added on here to the original game), so there's plenty to love here for RPG fans looking for a satisfying, if traditional, adventure.


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