Tales of the Abyss (PS2) – Review

Tales of the Abyss - CoverTales of the Abyss, part of the “Tales” series from Bandai-Namco games, is definitely a return to form after the disappointing Tales of Legendia, and feels more like a gameplay sequel to the more popular Tales of Symphonia. The story is very engaging with pretty good RPG elements in combat and the like, but suffers the same problem that Disk 2 of Xenogears has, in that the last 1/3rd of the game lacks a lot of user interaction and combat, and feels poorly paced overall.

Continue reading

Tales of the Abyss (PS2) – Initial Impressions

I was rather disappointed with the last Tales title (‘Tales of Legendia, PS2) which, while keeping the general mechanics of the previous title (Tales of Symphonia, GC); it may have been that the battle system while still using the active but linear (like most 2D fighting games) system, it had no 3D depth, or the look of the game was a bit weird, or maybe just a very odd story, but it didn’t grab me as much as ToS did.

I’m glad to say that Tales of the Abyss feels much closer already to Symphonia that Legendia, as the graphic styles are closer to ToS, it uses close to the same battle system, and the story feels a bit better.  A few changes to the Tales mechanics are there, but not too much that I’ve seen yet (though only about 3hr into the game).  The largest annoyance which I’ve found is that the character sketches are back – brief little scenes which use 2d sprites instead of the 3d models and with text-only dialog to talk about aspects unrelated to the story but generally help with character development.  However, unlike the main text dialog (both voiced and text) which you can skip ahead, you have to wait for character animations to finish out to progress forward; you can cancel out of these with a button, but you don’t see the rest of the dialog.  I beleive, if I remember correctly, that ToS had the same problem with this mostly unskippable scenes.

But I’m still glad to see something more along the lines of ToS for Tales of the Abyss rather than ToL.