A popular “Tales” RPG series made by Namco Bandai Games has recently released a new game, Tales of the Abyss. You may remember some of the previous games such as: Tales of Destiny or Tales of Symphonia. The Tales of the Abyss takes on a new story, cast, and battle system, along with some old features from the “Tales” series.
The story starts out with a naive and spoiled brat named Luke fon Fabre. He is the only heir to a noble family in the land of Kimlasca. Seven years ago, Luke was abducted. Since his return to his home and family, Luke has had no memory of the lost years. So, his family keeps him sheltered in the palace walls until they think he is ready for the outside world. This makes Luke obnoxiously naive to the outside world, as you’ll later find out.
One day, Luke is training with his teacher, Van. A woman named Tear attacks Van and suddenly they are transported to the enemy land of the Malkuth Empire. Luke is thrust into a world he is not prepared for. He has no clue who is friend or foe. Luckily, he makes a few friends along the way as he learns he is “The Chosen One.” Apparently his path is prophesized by the Order of Lorelie in a prophecy called “The Score.” Luke is the chosen one to save the world from war, or to make things worse!
As you may know, the Tales series has a battle system featured in real time. There is no taking turns with the enemy! However, there has been a change with Tales of the Abyss. This game features the new Flexible Motion Battle System. You can now move about the battlefield as you please. Standard attacks are still available along with special attacks called artes. There is also the addition of the new Field of Fonons. These fields tie into some of the elements (earth, wind, fire, etc.). They allow you to perform special attacks. Lastly, you can have up to four characters in battle at once. You can switch between controlling each one or let the AI handle it.
Cooking has returned along with the need to learn who is better at cooking what. Properly cooked items leads to better healing of health and TP (skill points). There are also many mini games, casinos, and a battle arena to home in on your skills. Lastly, there are various side quests. Be careful how you handle these as the actions you perform will change the world around you.
The graphics of Tales of the Abyss are colorful to look at. The character models are nicely done with excellent detail, but the background environments are often plain. The characters themselves each have a vibrant back story to them and are all full of depth and life. The story is often revealed through conversation skits along with gorgeous anime quality cut scenes!
Tales of the Abyss is available only for the Playstation 2. It has an ESRB rating of T for teen. This is because the game features fantasy violence, suggestive themes, gambling, alcohol reference, and language. Get your hands on the strategy guide if want to see all that is to be found in the game!