|Dev: NAMCO Bandai|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: March 13,2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes|
Visually, Tales of Graces suits the PS3 well. Though it only goes to 720p, the graphics were clearly given a much greater overhaul than the typical Wii upscale. Looking very closely at the graphics can reveal occasional rough edges, but most players should be quite satisfied with how the game looks. The frame rate is smooth and there are never slowdowns in battle despite the number of particle effects being tossed around.
Musically, Graces is a bit of a mixed bag. There are stirring orchestral pieces, but there are also areas in which the same tiny, uninspired progression of notes is set on endless repeat. The voice acting is better and far more subtle than it seems at first. The characters start off sounding highly stereotypical, but as they mature, the voice actors do an excellent job of reflecting that maturity into their performances. For example, Sophie starts off with a completely flat affect, but gains more and more expressiveness in her voice as she becomes more human. Similarly, the sneering superiority in Hubert's voice slowly melts away as he begins to understand his companions' value. Pascal is the only character whose voice casting is likely to be controversial, but it must have been very difficult to figure out how to voice her dialog and personality properly.
As is typical for the series, Tales of Graces f features an addictive combat system, tons of complex side systems to explore, and a quest of epic length for the player to undertake. While it doesn't have the strongest cast or story in the series, Graces makes up for that with an extra heaping of fun infused into the entire experience. With the best series battle system to date, a beautiful world to explore, a truly impressive number of things to do, a playable epilogue to the story, and the usual Tales New Game + system on top of all that, Tales of Graces f is an adventure that provides incredible play value. Fans of the Tales series in specific and of JRPGs in general should consider this one a must-buy.
Date: March 20, 2012