Editor's Choice - Tales of Graces f

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Release Date: 30/08/2012

Editor's Choice


Tales of Graces f Special Edition on PlayStation 3 at GAME

Tales of Graces f is the latest instalment of the uber-popular Tales of Graces series. At first glance, the more cynical of you are almost certainly thinking "Oh joy! Another Japanese role-playing game featuring 'cutesy' anime characters and a saccharine-soaked storyline that packs all the emotional resonance of, say, an episode of Balamory"

But hold on, folks, Tales of Graces f is different thanks to its tight, varied gameplay and an unexpected darkness to its tale. This won't come as a surprise to some though - the Tales Of series is much loved by connoisseurs of the JRPG genre, and said fans have endured a long two-year wait for this instalment. Its producer Hideo Baba has blamed the delay on localisation issues. Apparently, we don't like subtitles and demand the full Anglo-Saxon audio treatment, a process which takes time. Lots of time.

JRPG Tales of Graces f makes it to the UK on PlayStation 3 at GAME

So with a cast now spouting the Queen's English, you'll feel right at home with the JRPG's story of youthful friendship and chronic cases of amnesia spread out over a 40 hour+ campaign that sees you playing as Asbel Lhant, a wannabe knight turned reluctant royalty. Set over the course of a decade, this means the first few hours are spent playing as a child before becoming an angst-ridden (but surprisingly unspotty) 17-year-old.

The gameplay is split into two sections - exploration and combat. The latter features, cue drum roll, the 'Style Shift - Linear Motion Battle System'. While sounding very fancy pants, it actually boils down to real-time combat that packs a hefty punch with its two main options; A Artes that lets you slap together combo-bating melee attacks while B Artes unleashes the full force of the characters' special moves.

An enriching story and gameplay in Tales of Graces f at GAME

Away from the battle field and fans will enjoy the streamlined item-combining system for buffing up armour and weaponry. And they'll swoon at the thought of the Special Edition that features the kind of OCD extras essential to any JRPG completist; the soundtrack, behind-the-scenes footage, art book and special in-game content including a custom PS3 theme. Oh yes.

Big and beefy then, Tales of Graces f is yet further proof that Japanese role-playing titles continue to offer fantastically enriching gaming - when done right. It's just a darn shame we always have to wait so long for such great examples to make it over here...

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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.

Genre

RPG

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