Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tales Of The Abyss


Seven years after it's PS2 debut, Tales Of The Abyss jumps into the 3DS. But does it pass the test of time?

Yes it does. Brilliantly. The guys at Namco gave this port some better textures and zero loading times. For the ones who didn't played the PS2 version, the loading screen was 25% of the total game time if not more. The graphics are in fact 7 years old, no use hiding it, but they represent some of the best jobs the industry gave us back then, and now in glorious 3D. Well, the 3D effect is not that great, and the ghosts appear more often than one would desire, the reason might be that the game wasn't originally built from the ground with this in mind, but it still adds a great sense of distance to the scenarios. The sound track is amazing and the storyline is one of the best ever written for a RPG. The characters really have charisma, and the player will bound with all of them in a very short period of time. You'll have to do some reading to understand the whole plot, but if you're not in the mood you can always skip the dialogs and with that ruin all the fun, in my humble opinion. But fear not impatient player, because almost all of the text is spoken to you through a great English voice acting cast.

Trust your friends, fight for your beliefs and save the world. Again.

The game world is huge. You will spend a lot of time exploring, and maybe grinding a little if you wish, but you can complete the game without spending hours killing that same monster again and again just to gain that extra experience. But I bet you will anyway. The grid based combat system is great, even for today's standards, once you enter the combat screen you'll have a real time battle in your hands, while trying to do that 50 hit combo in the process. The monsters wander around in the map, so you can choose to face them or just run away and live to fight another day. The worst part of this port is the fact it was meant to be played on a large screen. At times you will want to see more detail of your surroundings but the little 3DS screen wont deliver it properly, unless you use a magnifying glass.
Overall, it's a great JRPG, with an epic story and tons of things to do without getting boring along the way. Expect well above 50 hours of game play, lots of in game cut-scenes, lots of short anime movies, lots of dialogs and lots of exploring. I was amazed the first time I played it on my PS2 and I fell in love with it once again on my 3DS.