Tales of Graces F is a port of a Japanese RPG that originally debuted on the Wii for the PlayStation 3, which includes extra hours of gameplay, High Definition graphics, and extra costumes and bonuses. For fans of the Tales series, this game delivers what you would expect in a Tales game, but for newcomers to the series, Tales of Graces F struggles to differentiate itself from other JRPGs in the market.
The game follows the story of Asbel, a boy from royalty who is on the verge of becoming the new king of his hometown, and his friends who meet a strange amnesiac girl on a hill near their hometown. You begin the game as a child and follow the story as an adult seven years later after a series of unfortunate events occur during Asbel’s child years. When you finally become an adult, the story starts to pick up, which became the prime motivator for me to continue playing, but takes a long time to get to the juicy parts of the game. You’ll have to endure about five to eight hours of tediousness before reaching the meat of the story.
But even with its slow start, Tales of Graces F gets better and rewards you for your patience. The story doesn’t become a predictable mess and won’t have you search for a bunch of different items to take down a final boss like in other games (I’m looking at you, Final Fantasy). Instead, the story deviates into science fiction, which caught me by surprise, and becomes enjoyable and well worth enduring hours of grinding and repetition.
- Battles can get intense later in the game.
When in battle, the game does enough to keep the player engaged. Instead of going through dozens of menus and issuing commands to party members like in other RPGs, you control the main characters on a 3D plane and hack and slash away at enemies using a lock on system that focuses on your opponent. You can move left and right, up and down, dodge and sidestep, and rush and evade attacks while performing artes, the game’s version of magic and special abilities, to create different kinds of combos and attacks. You perform different kinds of attacks depending on how you combine the control stick, the attack button, and your pacing between your attacks.