Created on: January 20, 2013
The iconic “Tales” RPG franchise makes its highly anticipated return to the world of handheld video gaming with the 2012 release of “Tales of the Abyss.” A remake of the 2005 PS2 title of the same name, “Tales of the Abyss” follows conventional “Tales-esque” storylines when a nobility is kidnapped from his home town only to re-appear years later with no recollection whatsoever of his royal blood. That same young, naïve man with blue blood in his veins sets out not only on a quest to find out why and to remember his life, but also to discover his purpose, which is quickly revealed to be as a man responsible for making or breaking the foundations of the world.
A traditional “JRPG” in just about every area of its presentation, “Tales of the Abyss” perfectly fits in with the 3DS style. Many RPG’s that have been either remade, ported over or even created solely for the DS and 3DS consoles have thrived thanks to the Nintendo handheld devices obvious destiny as giving new life to the classic franchises and classic style games of old. This “Tales” showcase for the 3DS is no exception to that rule. The “cutesy” and “anime” style graphics return and prosper with flying colors and while the 3D is indeed a brilliant addition, players may prefer to switch the 3D off and instead enjoy the masterful Tales style drawings and animations in their true form.
The battle system is as good as it has ever been. Real-time action based battles with a necessary emphasis on strategizing and making plans beforehand is a great addition to the game, and it makes perfect sense as the main character, royal blooded Luke Fon Fabre, is naïve and generally oblivious to the toils of battle. Head in without a plan and he will falter and fall, whereas if you plan ahead, work hard and level him up, your mind-set as you play it, your opinions on Luke and of course, his mind-set, confidence and “manliness” evolve with the game’s story effortlessly; the game is perfectly designed in this manner.
The control scheme is well made enough to feel as though it was made specifically for the 3DS console without ever being a port of a PS2 game from nearly a decade ago. This is brilliant considering many ports or remakes still feel as though they were made for different control sets. Exploration, interaction, cut-scenes, secret hunting and battles all feel like they benefit from the 3DS control scheme which works wonders in this retelling of a classic Tales instalment.
Overall, “Tales of the Abyss” is a brilliant retelling of a classic game that has undeniably stood the test of time. The magic of JRPG’s is that the cutesy, anime style graphics always ages really slowly and still looks amazing even years after the technology has improved. Tales of the Abyss 3DS also features a full cast of voice-over actors, some great cut-scenes and lots of optional, storytelling dialogue in side-quests and such which really aid the ability to immerse and lose yourself in this brilliant little Tales universe, only this time, on a handheld device. For those that missed the chance to play this on the PS2, or those that simply want some flawless Tales storytelling on the go, then “Tales of the Abyss 3DS” is definitely worth the purchase.
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