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4.4 out of 5 stars59
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 30 December 2011
10 hours in and loving this game.
There are six main characters, any of which can be controlled as the main character. There are lots of ways to enhance your character's skills with items and artes as they level up.
There are three settings for battle, auto, semi-auto and manual. Magic effects, physical hits, skills, and items can be accessed during the real-time battles. There is the option to run away if you prefer.
There are many side-quests, and skits, (the skits can be very funny) and the music and voices are surprisingly good as is the story line. The towns and shops are all different and interesting to explore.
I first played a "Tales" game on gamecube and was so pleased when this was released. As a fan of "Golden sun", " Chrono trigger", "Dragon quest" and "FF" this compares very well.
If you get stuck, the walkthroughs for PS2 are the same game except for the controls. Enjoy!
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on 29 January 2012
Tales of the abyss is a brilliant RPG its well written and in-depth story line leads to complete immersion of the player into the world of "Auldrant". The witty humour and drama paced through out the story keeps the game exciting and fresh with an innovative battle system along with complex character development will keep you playing this game for months! The voice acting and translation of this game from Japanese is truly amazing, the voice actors in this game are among the very best including Yuri Lowenthal and Johnny Yong Bosch.

This game is a must for any RPG fan who owns a 3DS.
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on 24 April 2012
I've played this game for 18 hours so far and feel like I've barely scratched the surface. Compared to most other games currently out on the 3ds this game offers a long lasting experience.

Story: very complex and intriguing plot involving war, raised lands, fantasy physics laws and good old magic. Very immersive and enjoyable.

Gameplay: Levelling up between areas occurs at a natural pace, which is refreshing, meaning no hard grinding so far. The battle system is enjoyable and offers a range of attacks that allows you to enjoy and plan the battle experience. I had my doubts about it before I tried it, but having experienced it, I found that it works well.

Graphics: Nice anime cutscenes every once in a while, generally good graphics (only to be expected considering it was originally a PS2 game). However, the 3D effect isn't very well integrated. I find myself playing with it off for the vast majority of the time. The 3D feels awkward, unlike other ports, such as OOT and Starfox, it just doesn't work. That said this is still a nice game to look at.

Final verdict: 8 out of 10. It's a truly immersive game, which offers a beautiful world full of intrigue and wonder. It falls down on 3D integration and the fact that it's a port, which is why it's 8 out of 10. But if you want a fun game that's going to keep you playing for a long time, or even if you just need something to keep your 3DS from getting dusty until the next big 3DS game comes out, get this game!
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on 10 February 2012
After what seems like a life time i am pleased to finally get my hands on this fab game! It may have only been out in this country since november but it has been snapped up very quickly so my advice for those that want this game; buy it when you see it or it might be a very long time before you can get it again!
as for the game itself, i believe its up there with the likes of dragon quest and final fantasy. An epic story full of twists and turns and people who are not quite who you think they are. I have yet to finish the game but i am anjoying every moment, from the multitude of different monsters you can encounter to the sometimes hilarous goings on between the team members. I am loving ever moment and the details involved throughout this game is something of a marvel!
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on 21 April 2012
I first noticed the Tales of series when a friend had me watch the Tales of the Abyss anime two years ago, and since then I've waited and waited for this game to finally get a European release. I've played a few JRPGs before - Final Fantasy, and the Kingdom Hearts series, and I have to say that I think Tales of the Abyss tops all of them in terms of story and gameplay. The battle system is more immersive than the turn-based combat in FFX, and the gambit system in FFXII, and being able to play as any member of your party means you have a wider range of strategies and aren't limited to one character class.

The story is incredible, and I came to bond with all of the characters in one way or another. Even the villains have a solid and sympathetic reason for their actions, and the protagonists have flaws and grow and develop over the course of the game.

There is easily 60 hours of game play just following the main story line, and likely at least another 60 hours for the sidequests and titles and the perks for starting a new game mean it is a game I will play over and over again.

Tales of the Abyss is easily the best £30 I've ever spent, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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on 7 December 2011
Tales of the Abyss is a typical JRPG from Namco, but make no mistake typical doesn't mean mediocre.

Japanese rpgs (the serious ones) have been a staple for some years and easily in league and sometimes better than the American counterparts, simply due to the amount of depth, story and various other ideas in these games.

Tales of the Abyss is a PS2 port for the 3ds and as far as I can tell is unchanged from the original - except for faster loading times (due to the cart)entire game from the dvd disc to cart (although padding removed in-mind/compression) shrinks nicely for play anytime, anywhere compared to putting in and starting up a disk on the traditional console.

The game's story might seem simple from the outset; boy wakes up, boy learns his fate, travels with party to right the evils of the world etc. But how it accomplishes that along the way is brilliant; clocked in 40hrs, for all events so far. Of course being a JRPG there is a lot text and dialogue (and skits, unique to this series of games) which balances thoughts and situations of the PC's and NPC's.

The weapon based attack and magic system works really well, and not until half way through do you see the results of levelling up fairly high, with bigger attack and magic damage from what they call fonic artes (magic system), again depth here with fonic rings; which allow different battle tactics and effects/animations etc while fighting within the fast paced flowing fights - this isn't typical turn based JRPGs, which again sets this game apart from the rest.

Other things to note:

Recipes - for survival and healing
Frequent Save Points - in the right places (towns, dungeons)
Map - although you get a complete map of the world after about two thirds the way through, other areas gradually are revealed/unlocked as new locations come in discussions/events
Character growth and levelling - not the usual stuff, some things are specific to each character and scenarios (events/sub-events)
Fighting System - various attacks, super attacks and ultimate attacks - from base moves, combined with strength of fonic slots/chambers/rings
Huge world - which opens up some places further into the story that you couldn't access earlier in the game - requires higher/extended playthrough or cleared file playthrough
Fairly difficult and large bosses
and tons more...

The 3ds's power is put to good use, showing what it is capable of with a port from a previous generation console, but being a port noticeable slowdowns on the map occur and slightly during battles (but not as bad as map) - but this reported from the PS2 originally, so not the 3ds's fault.

All of this make a compelling and brilliant game from the PS2 days right to today, especially for those who never got a chance to play the game in the first instance (like me). I would say the game's original Amazon price was worth it, but obviously due to selling well(?), price has risen a bit too high.

Give this game a go you won't be disappointed.
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on 22 October 2012
When I was buying this game I already knew what to expect. I played Tales of The Abyss on Playstation 2 - It was a great RPG game.
On 3DS you can enable 3D graphics that is a nice gimmick to see while your hero is in town. Although overall graphic design is not as beautiful as some new games on PC, it is still a decent piece of work. From RPG elements you can expect random encounters, many weapons to get or a cooking ability to learn. The main strong point of this game is story, it is very interesting and will keep you playing this game to the very end. Characters in this game are also very memorable.
If you like RPG games this one will not disappoint you.
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on 2 December 2011
Tales of the Abyss 3DS is a port of one of the finest Japanese RPGs from the PS2 era, developed by Namco Tales Studio and published by Namco Bandai. This is also the first time Europe has gotten the game since the original was only released in Japan and America.

Tales is a series which has garnered a niche following overseas but also has one of the highest production values for a niche game which makes it a difficult game to make a profit from but even while Namco has seemingly given up on the series at several points during the series' history, they always come back with some new games which they will released in the west.

Tales of the Abyss 3DS is a standard JRPG in that you'll be playing this for 40+ hours with the main story, side quests and all the other extras that people have come to expect from this series however if you are American or imported the game from America then don't expect any real changes as it's just a straight port with a few differences which I'll get to later.

The story is you're usual save the world story line and while some can argue for or against the story, it is the character development which drives the storyline and Tales of titles are particularly famous for their character driven stories.

In Tales of the Abyss you start off as Luke Fon Fabre, son of the Duke and Duchess of Baticul but through chance, you end up in a forest with Tear and have to find your way back to Baticul. Tales of the Abyss is very character driven and features some of the best character development, particularly with the main character that I've seen in a game.

Graphically, the game hasn't changed much from it's PS2 debut but it has been updated enough to look good on the 3DS. It is an anime styled game but even if you don't like anime but you enjoy Japanese RPGs then you should be able to look past the anime style graphics otherwise you would be missing out on a great game.

The game features Karma by Bump of Chicken as the opening theme and it is the same as the American one which means no lyrics and instead there is an extra guitar in place of where the lyrics would be in the song. The game features a well done OST with plenty of music which is enjoyable to listen to throughout the game. The games soundtrack was composed mostly by Motoi Sakuraba and Shinji Tamura but a few songs were composed by Motoo Fujiwara.

The game features a variety of different gameplay elements, in battle you have your artes which are your battle skills and you have your normal attacks. You also have something called Field of Fonons which is created when someone uses an elemental attack and it creates a circle on the ground which changes certain attacks that you use when you are in the circle to an attack of that element. The battle system is also real time based and not turn based so if you're expecting something similar to Final Fantasy then think again.

You also have skills which are not the same as artes, these skills once learned can be used in battle. This was also the first time free run (which many who played it will remember from Tales of Vesperia) was in the series and it is a skill itself. Once you learn it, you can use it in battle and free run around the field rather than be stuck in a left or right direction which you are until you learn it.

The differences between the PS2 and 3DS versions aren't much, for example the skits are still unvoiced as it would have cost a bit to get all the voice actors back and voice all the skits since they aren't voiced in the original.

In battle you now have the bottom screen at your disposal and can put artes from either yourself or others to use in battle at the touch of the screen which can be useful especially when you start learning about Field of Fonons. The bottom screen can also be used now to open the menu and it displays other menu information on the bottom screen.

The 3D effect is subtle but also well done, especially when you see the text boxes and on the title screen itself. There is no real slowdown from what I could gather and the loading times which was the biggest complaint of the PS2 versions are much better so if you wanted to replay Tales of the Abyss but don't want to deal with the loading times, if you have a 3DS then this is the answer to your problems.

In short, if you are a Japanese RPG fan and live in Europe then this is a must own title. If you live in America and haven't played it or don't wish to deal with the loading times on the PS2 version then I would again recommend this title to you.

9/10
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on 8 May 2013
This is my second Tales game and while it is a bit of a letdown from the first that isn't an insult when the first was Tales of Symphonia, which judging by reviews is probably the best in the series. The big difference between these two games is that that one had better characters and a somewhat more theatrical plot. I actually think I prefer the plot in this game, but in terms of iconicness you can't get much better than 'kids raised in a small isolated village have to make their way in the world and prevent the enemy from destroying it'. The characters though were unquestionably better in Symphonia.

The main flaw in this game is Luke. Luke is a tool. A complete spoiled brat of a jerk with no real redeeming characteristics until a rather too late change-of-heart. While the game does leave him plenty of time to prove himself not a jerk after his grand revelation it doesn't make up for all that happened before then. There's also the problem that I don't feel he earned the right to have that character change given the way they set it up. It seems like the lesson I'd have learned is don't be a nitwit, but he decides that he has to become a nice person. Which is good, but it seems more a story-driven change than a real one. He does at least have an interesting backstory and the role he fills is interesting if not ideal for him as a character. The other characters are much less annoying, though there aren't that many memorable ones. Guy is fun as his trustworthy companion with a massive phobia of women. Tear is a fairly typical combo of warrior and reserved Japanese female. She's also the main love interest. Natalia is a spoiled princess who cares. Anise is a girl with a major chip on her shoulder and who is always trying to get wealth men to marry her. She's also like twelve, so this is exactly as creepy as it sounds. None of these characters is that great, though I really like Guy (voiced by Vash the Stampede himself), and they don't leave much of an impression. Then there's the exception. Jade is an awesomely sarcastic soldier/ex-scientist who makes every scene go better. He is the stand-out character of the game and makes even Luke bearable.

Actually, the characters are the main problem with this game as everything else is near perfect. The plot is great, with special praise due to the extremely unique and unexpected incorporation of a second world. The graphics are quite good for the PS2 and just fine for the 3DS. The 3D is a bit of a problem since the characters are lacking the soft edge that you get in most games and this makes the transition to different depths look sudden and causes eye strain. It has to be said that this is a rather lazy port, but I'm ok with it. It works fine and there are no control glitches and I'm fine with having a game copied this directly if it will lead to other games getting the same treatment *cough*Skies of Arcadia*cough*. Not every game needs a graphical update. I rather miss the cell shading of Symphonia, but I can't fault the game for that.

The gameplay is based off that of Symphonia with a few improvements here and there. Combat particularly is improved since I often found the fights in Symphonia (while fun) to be overly challenging. While there are some difficult fights there are none that I was incapable of winning. Like other games in the Tales series they have character moments that you access by hitting the start button. These are just skits but they provide most of the entertaining character moments and help draw you into the game. Jade features quite prominently in these which is always a good thing. And in the end the story is so epic that even if it was just a rails shooter I'd still be enjoying it.

Yes, I enjoyed this game a great deal despite the characters.
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on 4 May 2013
Tales of the Abyss takes place on Auldrant, a planet composed of elementary particles called Fonons. For much of Auldrant's history, only six fonons were known to exist, representing the elements of Shadow, Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and Light; but eventually a seventh fonon, controlling Sound, is discovered. Its discovery brings great chaos: using this newest Seventh Fonon allows one to read the future. One such Seventh Fonist, Yulia Jue, an important religious figure in the game, puts in place a future for the world for thousands of years to come, with the promise of unlimited prosperity at its end. This prophecy of the future's set path becomes known as the "Score" and is documented on "Fonstones" scattered throughout the world. The nations of Kimlasca-Lanvaldear and Malkuth have fought over the fragments of these tablets for generations, each uncovering them and hoping to discover the future before the other. Meanwhile, a holy order emerges dedicated to the reading of the Score and the keeping of the peace. This "Order of Lorelei" is headed by a Fon Master and maintains both religious/political and military branches. Finally, the Score and its promise of prosperity lead to a dangerous complacency within the general population of Auldrant; the slaughter of an entire people living on the island of Hod and the destruction of that landmass are countenanced because it was predicted in the Score.
Luke Fon Fabre, the young son of Duke Fabre of the Kimlasca Kingdom is the Light of the Sacred Flame, the scion of Lorelei's power, destined to bring prosperity to Kimlasca. Since being kidnapped seven years ago by the Malkuth Empire, he has been kept confined to the Fabre family mansion. The shock of the kidnapping has erased all of Luke's memories prior to the event. One fateful day, a mysterious woman breaks into the mansion and sets off a chain of events that drag Luke into the center of a massive conflict between those who would do anything to see the Score carried out, and those who would see it broken forever.

I really didn't know what to expect when I first bought this game. I've played JRPG's in the past but sometimes the storylines have been poor.
I'm not going to lie, the reason I bought it was based on the cover (I KNOW you shouldn't do that but hey, most of us are culprits!)
Also, I've never played anything in the 'Tales of' series before so the entire experience was new to me.

Very briefly: The game is fantastic. It's got quite a few amazing cut scenes, extremely good voice actors, (one of which being Yuri Lowenthal [Voice of Sasuke Uchiha - Naruto, Ben Tennyson - Ben 10 and Suzaku Kururugi - Code Geass to name a few of his more prominent roles] voicing Luke Fon Fabre, the main Protagonist) and a fantastic storyline. The story is quick paced and there are plot twists and turns EVERYWHERE so it will keep you on your toes right until the very end. All of the characters are extremely likeable, even the bad guys! I found myself getting very attached to the characters and the world.
The story is linear, being you do have to follow it to complete the game but I'd say about 99% of the time you have the choice to roam freely, leveling up and battles at random in the field you you have a sense of freedom!

Upon completing the game I had ranked just over 60 hours, so this game will keep you occupied for AGES!
And with all the content and the entire story to follow it doesn't get boring, I can promise you that.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a new RPG to play!! It's quite possibly one of the best games that I have ever played in my entire life and I'm looking to purchase and play the rest of the series if possible!

Result: Indefinite 10/10
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