Namco Bandai Summer Showcase 2012: Tales of Graces F Preview

talesofgraces

This is a summer showcase of RPG’s Namco Bandai have privileged adoring JRPG fans with yet another Tales of game.

Tales of Graces F is the twelfth core product of the Tales series returning with its beautiful eye catching cover art by Mutsumi Inomata.  Already released on the PS3 in Japan on December 2nd 2010, the European release August 31st 2012 almost two years late, Tales boss Hideo Baba is aggrieved by this and wants to avoid it happening again in the future.

He stated in an Interview with Eurogamer: “When Graces f began development we didn’t have a plan to localise it,” Baba explained. “We have to receive requests from our US or EU branches first before we can decide to bring something to the Western markets.”

“Our Japanese team need to keep working creating new titles. While we were finishing Tales of Graces f we were already starting [next series entry] Tales of Xillia. So we’re always really busy.  And there is, as you know, the usual RPG problem that there is loads of text to localise.”

The game takes place in a world known as Ephinea and follows Asbel Lhant.  Asbel randomly playing on a cliff comes across an amnesiac girl and witnesses her death; nope this isn’t the end of the game. You are spun forward seven years, Asbel is reunited with the girl who looks exactly like she did before her death. Its central theme is Mamoru Tsuyosa wo Shiru RPG which means “RPG to Know the Strength to Protect”.

One of my favourite parts of the game is the endless amounts of titles for all of the characters. As an RPG buff, you would know a title effects your character but in this Tales game you get a whole array of bonuses and even new attacks as they are equipped.

Also like many RPGs it’s going to take ten hours before it starts getting good and you know what you’re doing, unfortunately I only had twenty minutes on the console to try it. It moves slowly from point A to B. Not surprised it took Baba two more years to translate into English there was a lot of dialogue in the beginning, quite meaning speeches of friendship rather than plotline.

The combat echoes traditional Tales titles with its lock-on mechanic restrictive 3D movement. It’s all about identifying an enemy’s weaknesses and exploiting them to your advantage. Even if it takes you a while to figure it out, you can change your special attacks mid-battle which is handy.

There is something here for you to enjoy even if you’re not a hardcore RPG enthusiast  if you’re willing to put the time and effort in, but you will have to accept the cheesy and melodramatic, as this is compulsory and eventually truly touching if not amusing.

Photographs taken by Josiahsal – josiahsal.wordpress.com

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