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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Tales of Graces f (PS3)
Price:£24.97+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 15 March 2017
Nice game, good graphics interesting story
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on 3 September 2012
I'm unable to put it into words how awesome it is, I'v got very far in the story, I'm currently just grinding up the levels but one particular cutscene has made me cry sad tears.
Its almost as addicting as any decent rpg in the sence that you cant put it down because if you do, you'll be thinking about it.
The book with pictures in it is sorta interesting but the game definatly wants all the attention.
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2012
It's been a rough few years for JRPGs. As the genre is left behind by the technical and storytelling advancements made in western RPGs, the once proud JRPG has gotten a bit stuck in it's ways, with only the occasional flash of innovation (eg Xenoblade Chronicles, Demons Souls) brightening up what is mostly a genre that has stayed fairly static for the past two generations of consoles. However, saying that... it does happen that we occasionally get a title that is unashamedly JRPG in nature and does everything juuuust right to remind us why we enjoyed such games in the first place. Tales of Graces f is one such game.

The plot here doesn't even try to bring anything new to the table as events kick off with you in control of a group of kids: Brothers Asbel and Hubert and their sickly female pal Cheria, as they stumble across amnesiac girl Sophie and begin to help her investigate her missing memories, a task which inadvertently draws in a young prince called Richard, who becomes friends with the group. So you lead the gang into various scrapes and adventures as you might expect... For the first few hours at least... because tragedy strikes and the kids are all seperated from each other, with Asbel consumed with guilt over his inability to save the life of a friend, leading to him leaving his hometown to join Knight school. So, events jump ahead seven years to put you in control of an adult Asbel, who is now a lot more responsible and skilled (And also the spitting image of the character Suzaku from anime series Code Geass), but has had no contact with his family or friends since leaving home. Imagine then how awkward it is for him when right as he finishes his training to become a knight, old friend Cheria turns up with some bad news for him that will see him forced to return home to confront his past, prevent a war, and also unravel the mystery behind the emergence of savage monsters across the land and how it connects to the tragic events of the start of the game. There's little here that's new ground for the genre, but at the same time it's never anything less than entertaining thanks to some well judged pacing, mostly unintrusive and not overlong cutscenes and (Most importantly) a cast of characters who possess genuine charm and likeability(Mostly). It does have some of the usual juvenile humour and sugary sentimentality you get all the time in Japanese RPGs of course, but at the same time I found the plot could be surprisingly dark and downbeat for a Tales game in places, and the character development is of an extremely high quality throughout, with the sense of relationship between all of the main controllable characters always being clearly defined so you always know what one character in the group thinks of another, thanks in large part to the well written 'skits', which for the first time I've seen are now fully voiced and are actually funny. This may not sound like such a big deal, but when I was playing this attention to detail on the characters' personalities helped tremendously with my emotional investment in the story, which is something I've never really felt all that strongly in Tales games past. The plot is by-the-numbers, sure, but it's still entertaining enough despite that and the game itself also appears to be a lot longer than past Tales games, taking me around a dozen or so hours more to get through than previous current gen Tales title, Tales of Vesperia... and that's before you even factor in the additional 15-odd hour add on epilogue story you can unlock by completing the game. A fun story with a hell of a lot of it? It certainly hit the JRPG sweet spot for me... even if the unbearable "niceness" of Asbel occasionally made me want to punch the TV at times. Word of advice? If you're going to play a drinking game while playing Tales of Graces f, don't make the rule 'Take a drink every time Asbel says 'protect'. You'll be dead from alcohol poisoning in no time if you do.

Gameplay is much like other Tales games have been in recent years, with a fixed camera, set pathway structure that gives the game's field exploration more than a passing resemblence to Final Fantasy X, especially in how it makes you actually travel between areas the 'proper' way (On foot, by boat/aircraft or handiest of all: by giant turtle) with no shortcuts for most of the game (A more traditional 'world map' is opened up to you much later in the game to make things a bit more instant). This can be slow going, yes, but it works well enough and no random battles is always a plus. The game offers a pretty enormous amount of stuff to do, with a multitude of side quests, hidden challenges and bonuses to uncover. Obviously most of these are of the fetch quest variety as you'd expect, but there are a LOT of them to do, with every town/city in the game offering it's own unique job board which is constantly updated with new quests and jobs throughout the game, all of which usually provide rewards that are actually useful. In addition there are a lot of unique sidequests with their own sub stories, including a very nice 'tournament arena' that sees you having to tackle survival rounds against waves of enemies with one character. Which brings me to the battles themselves, which are nothing short of spectacularly well put together. On the surface it may appear like the usual Tales "hack and slash" battle system, but several tweaks and updates have been made that add a whole new level of strategy to the proceedings, with the most notable change being the introduction of the "CC gauge", which essentially functions like an 'action points' system, where during combat everything is controlled completely in real time, no turn based nonsense or any of that, but every attack you use costs 'CC' (Which stands for Chain Combo if you care), with basic physical attacks costing 1 CC a hit, with tons of combos available and unlockable as the game goes, and special attacks (Artes), cost anything from 2 to 10 CC depending on the move. The CC gauge immediately begins recharging once you stop attacking, so as you can expect, this means you often need to plan attacks carefully, especially considering there are often elemental factors in play that force you to adapt your strategies, such as monsters with protective 'Nova' barriers that can only be destroyed with anti-Nova Artes, which are rarely learned attacks. There is also a rather neat feature that sees a two stage gauge on the left of the screen during battle fill up as a result of actions taken by you or your enemies, with one part of it filling with the player's meter and the other part with the enemy's meter. When your gauge fills your characters enter a kind of 'super mode' state, where they temporarily have infinite CC, can't be staggered by enemy attacks and gain access to 'Super Artes' techniques... all of which obviously gives a significant advantage in battle, however... the enemy gauges fills up? The enemies get the same advantages over you, and the best part? The gauges full levels carry over between fights, meaning choosing how full a super gauge you enter a tough battle with(For either you OR the enemy) can determine the outcome very early on. It's a great combat system and makes what could easily have felt like tedious grindfest dungeons quite engrossing to dominate. Additionally, I personally appreciated the quick pace of the battles and how fast they initiate and end. It becomes common place in later stages of the game to touch an enemy to fight them on the field and have the battle begin and end with you back to roaming the field all in the space of less than ten seconds. It's nice and quick, just how I like it.

On a graphical level, Tales of Graces f is a fairly sub-par release. For those unaware, this game started life as a Wii title, but there were apparently "issues" with the Wii version when it was released in Japan(Not least of which was apparently lower than expected sales), so the developers fixed any problems, added a bunch of content and upscaled the game for release on PS3 instead. As a result the visuals, while still well designed, well animated and smooth running, have the unmistakeable look of an upscaled title (ala Dead Space Extraction for example) and look rather dull and lifeless compared to the colourful sharpness of Tales of Vesperia. After a while you'll probably not be bothered by the last gen appearance of much of the game, but it took me a while to get past I can tell you. Soundwise things are thankfully a much brighter story. While there is no Japanese language option, the english voice acting is actually of a fairly high quality so this isn't as much of an issue as it could have been. The voices all fit each character perfectly, even if some of them play things a bit overdramatically. The soundtrack is equally quite nice to listen to... even if I could probably do without hearing that sickening pop song during the intro animated sequence again... ever!

All in all this is a superb JRPG that will do little to turn you onto the genre, but if you like these types of games then this is about as good as it gets. It's fun, it's fast paced, the characters are charming, the story is enjoyable (If a bit 'familiar'), the fast paced combat system is engrossing and the game has an epic amount of on-disc gameplay content, with a longer than usual main story, a 15-20 hour follow up story, and all the bonuses, hidden stuff and new game plus features you've come to expect from Tales games. Honestly, if you enjoy JRPGs at all, you really have no reason to NOT get this game... unless you're offended by low-res, upscaled to HD visuals or something anyway. Buy it.
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on 8 December 2013
I absolutely loved this game! I love Tales games, and this game is one of my top favorites. The scenes and skits are really funny, and the story is absorbing and cute in a way. I loved the characters and found their personalities interesting and memorable, especially in the Lineage and Legacies part which I found more humorous and is a nice touch to add post-game. There's also a secret dungeon like other games.

About game play, I liked the revamped battle system compared to previous games. I've played Vesperia on ps3 (JP), and I find Graces has a more fluid battle system and a better title & skill system. You can also cook in battle!! There's also more difficulty levels like Evil and Chaos for people who want the challenge (and trophies). The visuals were good too for an anime style game.

Trophy hunting was fun for this game except the inn requests, but I managed to get the platinum in about 120 hours and 2 playthroughs.

Cons: Some people may find the story a bit cheesy and romancey, but if you're like me and like that kinda stuff, then you'll enjoy the story. Also, the game needs 2 playthroughs for the platinum trophy, but I heard its possible in one, but extremely hard. I needed two, but I love this game so I enjoyed it again.

Overall, I highly recommend this game for any Tales fans out there!
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on 21 November 2015
I played this game from start to finish and while I enjoyed parts of it, the story, characters and themes were too clishe for my taste despite my extensive experience with Jrpgs. Graphically, it is average at best as I is a Gamecube port I thin. While the battle system would appeal to many people, I found the battle camera very zoomed out and I switched my character battle style to auto with easy enemies. The game also over recycles assests such as enemies from the series. Personally, I found tales of Vespiria on xbox 360 or even tales of the Abyss on ps2 much better.
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on 31 August 2012
I bought an import copy of this game as i simply could not wait for it to be released over here to play this gem.. And yes it may not be up there with the all time greats of the genre but this really is a brilliant game that i have put a silly amount of time into and enjoyed every second of it. (and you should too)
There are an umpteen number of things to do. Even when you think you have finally finished, you find something else to sink your teeth into, whether it be the bonus chapter 'lineage and legacies' the bonus dungeons, side quests, numerous optional bosses to defeat or if you just have a competitive streak: 'the trials of graces' where you complete battles for points to score ever higher on the leaderboard. The game doesn't force you into any of these things, so if your just after a story to get engrossed into and thats all then this caters for you also, speaking of which, there a number of difficulty options available so again caters for all gamers whether hardcore or you just want to dip in. (easy, normal, moderate, hard, evil and chaos. The harder difficulties you need to unlock by completing a certain amount of battles on the previous difficulties) Chaos difficulty really does have you on your toes so to speak;)

The game really comes into its own by chapter 2. The first chapter you play as children which i wasn't overly keen on i have to admit. The game is colourful, which i adore. The characters are likeable, Hubert imparticular. Even the stereotypical Zany female character that you see in pretty much every jrpg grew on me by the end. The storyline (no spoilers) can be a little cheesy at times, but then arnt most rpgs of this type? The game doesn't try and do anything new, but thats not a bad thing. Why change something that isn't broke afterall.
The fighting is in real time rather than turn based, although i would recommend picking up the book to unlock manual battles which can be found early on in the first town, which makes the fighting feel abit more natural rather than having the battles on semi/auto. It feels like you have abit more freedom. There is plenty of skills to learn, i infact did not learn all of them and they each differ from character to character. You have the usual suspects (swordsman, gunner, healer, mage etc) and so every base is covered depending on how you like to play and ultimately want to control.

As you can see there is alot of things to talk about and i will not bore you by going through everything. Hopefully you have got a small glimpse of what a truly great game this is to play and you can discover the rest for yourself.

One tip i will give tho is to feed all the cats that you see, it will come in handy.

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on 24 November 2012
As a long-time Tales fan, I was excited at the prospect of finally being able to play Graces, as I only recently acquired a PS3.
I was not disappointed.

To be honest, this would have been a 10 were it not for the battle system. Replacing the TP point system with the new "CC" one was, in my view, a mistake. The amount of actions you can take at one time are limited by the amount of CC you have, with each action eating a certain number. While this sounds simple, it is actually very nuanced and difficult to master - it took me until mid-game to get used to the system, and I still don't like it now. Having to take breaks out every few seconds to restore your CC just breaks up the flow of battles.
The fact that free-running was nerfed massively (it takes CC to do, and you go painfully slow if you don't have any) is also a big negative.

That said, the rest of the gameplay is, as always, brilliant. Plenty of sidequests, the updated title system is great, as it allows you to earn skills as early or late as you like. The puzzles in dungeons were a bit simple, but in a way that could be considered a plus point as you don't spend ages stuck in the same room trying to figure it out!
The added "F Arc/Lineage&Legacies" section is fun, though a bit grindy as the story itself is quite short while at the same time packing in a lot of extra things to do. Also, the skits in this section in particular were amazing - kudos to the writers, they did a really good job!

Graphics: 9/10
I love the cel-shaded/anime style of Tales games. Graces manages to mix it up a little, showing the contrast between areas by making prosperous Windor bright and colourful, and downtrodden Fendel bleak and drained of colour.
There was the odd problem with clipping, particularly if a character was wearing a costume (and Sophie's hair) but they were few and far between.

Sound: 9/10
The music was a little reminiscent of Vesperia here and there, but rather than detract, it made me feel more comfortable. I even found myself humming along a few times, particularly in towns.
The voice acting, as it always is with JRPGs, was so-so. Sophie started to grate after a little while, but everyone else managed to keep their voice in tone with their character.

Story: 9/10
Tales games have always been known for following tropes and cliches, and while it tries to mix it up a little, Graces is exactly the same. But that's not a bad thing - to an extent, the "save the world!" story itself is secondary to character interactions and relationships, which was actually quite refreshing.
Speaking of which, the characters themselves are pretty cookie-cutter; the mad scientist (well, engineer), the mysterious older man, the healer who mothers everyone etc. However within those tropes, the creators have found ways to wriggle around and look at them in a new light, particularly in the ways they interact with each other.

Overall, I would reccommend this game to anyone. As long as you can see past the slightly cliche story, you'll find a game that sparkles with life.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 11 January 2013
Tale's of Graces F is a port from the wii version that has been revamped and re-released on the Playstation 3 with HD graphics and an extra future ark which is what the F is on the end if anyone didn't know.

This is my third Tales game I have managed to finish in the past two years and I have invested just over 150 hrs of gameplay into a single run through including the future ark section.

From the off the game looks stunning in HD I wouldn't have even known this was a port from the Wii it looks that good, there is talk on the net that the graphics don't look that good but personally I think they have done a stunning job with the upscale. The game itself plays as most other tales games, there is a slight change in the battle mode but if you have played other Tales games you should pick this up pretty quickly. One of the biggest changes comes in the shape of Dualizing. This allows you to combine two items together to upgrade or create a new item. Almost every item and weapon you acquire can be Dualized; weapons and Armour will gain extra stats and power the more you level them up and then can sale for a higher price in stores. Don't be fooled if you pick up a new weapon that isn't as strong as your current one, you need to remember that the new weapon will be at level 0, it's what it can upgrade to you need to focus on as well as different stats and CP levels.

Before I go on I will touch upon side quests a little earlier then I wanted to because as you progress through the game shops in each town will ask you to give certain items for them, some of the items will be weapons and Certain Character items that can not be found again through your first play through, it's my strong advice that you keep character items as you go through the game so you can use them later on. The issue with this game is that you will be short of money to dualize for a long period at the start of the game and you will be tempted to sell off dualized items, weapons and armour early on only to find out you need them later on in the game unable to get them again. There is 1 other option to get lost items but you will not be able to gain access to the location until you complete the game and even then it will be a challenge to get them.

The story is brilliant, you will start off as a child 7 years before the main game is set which forms a solid base for the whole story of the game that lasts about 2-4 hours of gameplay, it's executed brilliantly allowing you to gain a strong bond with the characters. After you finish the game there will be a 8-10 hour extra future ark which finishes off the story nicely and allows your characters to grow especially one which I shall not mention.

Along side your normal level ups you will gain titles which allows your characters to gain new abilities, these are as valuable as standard RPG level ups via exp and you should chose to equip titles that you need the abilities for rather then at random. You gain titles as you progress through the story, side quests, future ark and using certain abilities in battle.

The downside of this game for me would be some of the dungeons which I found them repetitive and difficult to navigate. The AI of your team mates! this one really only annoyed me when it came to battles that matter, you can tell them what to do and how to fight which is perfect but what you can't seem to do is to stop them standing next to one another so they get taken out at the same time, also they don't seem to want to stop casting to avoid obvious enemy attacks. This is a major flaw and one that really annoyed me, especially when I tell two of them to defend and heal and they both get taken out so I have to use one of my life bottles which you can only hold 15!

Apart from that I really enjoyed my playthrough, the battle system was fun and easy to use and also advances in the future ark of the story. The story was gripping and the cut scenes were never to long! side-quest items where annoying at times and sometimes gathering items lead to going back through dungeons again and again, and all the characters are likeable or become likeable as you progress the through the story.
With JRPG's i love a good story, lots of side-quests and a battle system that does not get boring, this has it all that tops it off with a wonderful soundtrack. While it's not as good as Vesperia it's the best RPG I played last year

Hat's off to you Bandai! i'll now get back to finishing Abyss
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on 24 August 2015
If I could I would give this 3.5 stars, but as that isn't an option hence my score. I found the story overall to be decent and unspectacular at no point did I go wow it was more like huh, the soundtrack for most part I found plain except for a few tracks, fanfare music and the Pascal inspired diddys it didn't get me amped up, most of the cast was meh the exceptions being Hubert and Pascal who were entertaining, the part of the game I enjoyed the most was the bells and whistles added to the gameplay such as the eleth mixer which I found most useful creating health/status effect items which saved me from using the shops often, eleth gauge which added a fun dynamic to battles and being able to combine items and equipment for requests and to make battling easier, the gems ideas I could take or leave though. If there was one real negative I found in the game was the control system for example I would be beating up enemies and for some reason the menu would appear or the I would inexplicably switch to another character ( I have played others games since including another Tales of game and not have this problem) so an option to change the button configuration could have been helpful, I enjoyed the lineage and legacies story add-on with which added clarity to story the conclusion. my best advice to anyone who wants to check out this games is DON'T SELL ANYTHING chances are you will need a item for a request and you will make more than enough money via battles. This is my second Tales of game after symphonia and aside from the graphics (it's a newer game) symphonia is the better game so I recommend playing that first if you haven't already, overall tales of graces is solid to good game with one annoyance.
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on 1 November 2012
From Namco and Tales studio one can only expect the best.
This game is gorgeous.
From the plot, to the graphics and soundtrack, it's a really great game.
Thumbs up for Namco!
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