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Maou
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"Tales of the Abyss" , posted Fri 4 Aug 12:56post reply

Hey kids, quick question about Tales of the Abyss. Given the terrifying number of Tales games that have come out in recent years, I've completely forgotten which one it was that everyone, especially Polly, was recommending for its strikingly good characters and system. I'm pretty sure it was Abyss, but I wanted to make sure, especially since only Phantasia has ever grabbed me and I was thinking about picking up Abyss.





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Pollyanna
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"Re(1):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Fri 4 Aug 14:23post reply

Yes, Abyss is the one. I like the battle system in Rebirth a bit better, and the soundtrack stinks, but otherwise, Abyss is the almost certainly the best game in the series. More than that, in my opinion, it's one of the few truly excellent RPGs on PS2.

The downside is that I'd love to play it again, but a few points of the game are very VERY heavy in cinemas and running back and forth and would be frustrating to have to get through when I'm only interested in the gameplay.

On another random note about the game, it's neat how you can change the difficulty level whenever you like (which I believe you could do on a Rebirth as well, if not a few other Tales games). Putting it on hard for bosses made for some of the most exciting fights I've had in a while.





Maou
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"Re(2):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Fri 4 Aug 14:58post reply

Thanks, Polly. I was almost sure Abyss was the one I remember hearing your very excellent comments about a few times before. And wow! Adjustable difficulty mid-game? That sounds amazing in itself. I remember the pure excitement of Phantasia's last boss(es) and Odin, and it would be fun to try to handle that kind of challenge again. Since at least Phantasia has the most fun engine outside of Grandia, I can't wait! I might grab it at Akiba next week, even though it still costs too much used.





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"Re(3):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Fri 4 Aug 16:48post reply

I agree that Abyss is arguably the best game in the series. Especially all the wonderful characters and skits. I love it more than Phantasia, which was my previous favorite-of-series.

Though, I may find it the best out of the tales series, I've not actually finished playing Abyss yet. More than half a year since I started playing the game. There must be something wrong with the game that doesn't blend well with me, but I can't really think of any problems with the game.





Maou
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"Re(4):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Fri 4 Aug 17:20post reply

Intriguing! After all the less-exciting-than-Phantasia sequels that I never played despite having bought Destiny and Eternia for cheap, it's good to hear there's a game that might grab me like the first. I wonder if there's any shared staff, or if all the right people from the increasingly huge Tales team happened to converge on Abyss...





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Pollyanna
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"Re(5):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Fri 4 Aug 19:30post reply

I think it's important not to look for ToP in ToA. I mean...well, I'm not crazy about ToP by today's standards. I think it was fantastic when it came out, and (next to ToA) is the most well-put together game in the series, but ToA is really nothing like it. I think if you're looking for the second coming of ToP, ToA will be a letdown.

I guess ToS was the "second coming?" That game DROVE ME CRAZY. I mean, I played all the way through it, and if nothing else it had some amazing skits (and...well...2 characters I liked), but there were several boss fights where I did nothing but TRY to get hit (attempting to do Regal's awesome hiougi) and somehow managed to win the fight. I can perhaps...PERHAPS tolerate winning incidentally, but I can't tolerate winning while attempting to get hit.

Anyway, ToA DOES have its flaws. Often the characters talk TOO much. They walk you through everything step by step and they say a lot of things that don't need to be said. (I can't even count how many speeches they had towards the end) They keep you out of fun mazes and fights and make you a bit antsy at times. It worked in this game (and it didn't in ToR) because the characters and story are really well put together...better than any other Tales game. I would still call that a shortcoming, though, because they didn't consider the player enough in the design.

I won't forget the game and the characters, though... because they made me feel things I've never felt before. There's a huge moral dilemma that pops up partway through the game that made me rethink my own feelings. It also has, what I would consider the best main character ever.

Now I'm just ranting. It's 5:30 in the morning and I'm getting excited about ToA again.

OH OH! ZEPY!
How did you like Mother 3!?!? I just finished it, like...a month ago and I loved it DEARLY. I loved the characters and the soundtrack..and...well...excluding the time when you went underwater, I had an extremely good time all the way through. It's like I want to nitpick the game, but I had SO much fun and it left me SO satisfied that I can't seem to complain about anything.


IF ANYONE IS READING THIS, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND MOTHER 3!!!





Zepy
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"Tales of the Mother 3" , posted Fri 4 Aug 23:17post reply

quote:
Mother 3!?!?


MOTHER 3 IS HORRIBLE. It killed video games for me.

Because it was so perfect I was convinced I shouldn't play any other games, since nothing would be able to top the Mother 3 experience.

I loved all the characters and NPCs, I loved how the game flowed, I loved the battles, ESPECIALLY all the awesome boss battles, and I loved soundtrack. I can't think of a game experience that was more perfect.





Tashoku Kisune
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"Re(2):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Sat 5 Aug 02:51post reply

quote:
Yes, Abyss is the one. I like the battle system in Rebirth a bit better, and the soundtrack stinks, but otherwise, Abyss is the almost certainly the best game in the series. More than that, in my opinion, it's one of the few truly excellent RPGs on PS2.

The downside is that I'd love to play it again, but a few points of the game are very VERY heavy in cinemas and running back and forth and would be frustrating to have to get through when I'm only interested in the gameplay.

On another random note about the game, it's neat how you can change the difficulty level whenever you like (which I believe you could do on a Rebirth as well, if not a few other Tales games). Putting it on hard for bosses made for some of the most exciting fights I've had in a while.



Ooooh, I love the Tales of games. Well, some of them. I loved Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Destiny a whole lot. Tales of Destiny II (Lame renamed title---should've just kept it Eternia) disappointed me.

Good to know Abyss is for PS2. :D 'Cause I got that console. Now I'm gonna have to go find it. XD Yay! Wish me happy hunting!





Pollyanna
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"Re(1):Tales of the Mother 3" , posted Sat 5 Aug 05:17post reply

quote:

MOTHER 3 IS HORRIBLE. It killed video games for me.



Hahaah...for a split second, my heart sank when I read that.

I really can't believe how good the game LOOKED. When I first saw pics, I was dissappointed, because I thought it looked too much like the last game. I WAS A FOOL! None of the areas felt "tiled" at all...I really felt like I was "inside" the world. I was afraid that after playing so many fancy 3D games it would be less immersive, but it was exactly the opposite.

I think probably the best part was...



Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
How they brought Porky in as a plot twist, then took him out of focus for the very end. As I was finishing up the game, I thought "this is fun, but isn't it a little lame to end the game as nothing but a tribute to Mother 2?"

But then there was the battle with Claus that just blew my mind and brought the game together so well. I don't remember the exact wording, but when it said something like "Lucas remembered Claus' smell" I just burst into tears. Similarly in the "cast credits" when Claus runs to stand with his family. It was such a little, insignificant thing, but it was so powerful to me. And I was thinking, "since when do I like Claus so much?"

Being able to figure out who was saying what in the darkness was kind of neat, too.


End of Spoiler



I can't pick a favorite song, but I think the Magypsy theme is very clever (sounding swanky and beautiful at the same time) and the crazy bass song in attic (?) above Club Titibu.

Maou

I forgot to say that I'm glad you're getting the Japanese version of the game. Well, I mean, you can't get the US version yet...and maybe it'll turn out great, but going off of Namco of America's track record, I'm not so sure.

It's not that all English dubs are bad nor is it that all Japanese dubs are good, but if the dub is even a little mediocre, it can totally take you out of the experience. I can't relate to characters that have distracting voices. I can't feel for them if they aren't well acted. I felt a little distant from Natalia because she didn't sound like she was really young, she sounded like an older woman TRYING to sound young...whereas she should have been like a younger woman who had an older woman's sophistication.

Anyway, maybe what I'm trying to say is: "I'm glad you'll be having the SAME experience as me." (assuming you try some of the boss fights on hard) That way, I don't have to feel like my recommendation might not be warranted.

Kisune

If you really liked Destiny, I recommend the "real" Destiny 2. The plot is awful...really really awful, but it's totally full of fanservice (of the non-sexy variety) for the first game. The battle system (and sprites!) are super fun and I had a really great time with the game.

What was it that you didn't like about Eternia?

Ah, and keep in mind that ToA won't be out in America for a while before you start hunting. ^^'''





Tashoku Kisune
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"Re(2):Tales of the Mother 3" , posted Sun 6 Aug 19:06post reply

quote:

Kisune

If you really liked Destiny, I recommend the "real" Destiny 2. The plot is awful...really really awful, but it's totally full of fanservice (of the non-sexy variety) for the first game. The battle system (and sprites!) are super fun and I had a really great time with the game.

What was it that you didn't like about Eternia?

Ah, and keep in mind that ToA won't be out in America for a while before you start hunting. ^^'''



Oh no, I didn't think. :D I'm just excited to hear about it. I'm extremely patient. In fact, I waited on the edge of my seat for Advent Children since I heard it was a brief thought in someone's head in Japan and I never once lost interest or hope. :D And this isn't as hard as that was. LOL.

I didn't like Eternia for a number of reasons. I was less pleased with their battle system. But most importantly was their voice acting (at least the American version). And I just couldn't connect to any of the characters. Nothing about them made me WANT to love them. I'm a big character person being someone who sits around and thinks up characters all day long as her hobby. LOL. So it was mostly that stuff.





Pollyanna
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"Re(3):Tales of the Mother 3" , posted Mon 7 Aug 09:08post reply

quote:

I didn't like Eternia for a number of reasons. I was less pleased with their battle system. But most importantly was their voice acting (at least the American version). And I just couldn't connect to any of the characters. Nothing about them made me WANT to love them. I'm a big character person being someone who sits around and thinks up characters all day long as her hobby. LOL. So it was mostly that stuff.



I think a lot of people became really attached to the characters in ToD and were disappointed in the ToE cast. I wasn't really crazy about any of the characters, myself...and yeah, the dub was tolerable at best. That was my "not playing anymore US Tales games!" game.

But I think it improved so dramatically on the system and visuals that it began the "Tales games of today". The backgrounds were lovely (instead of ugly tiles) and the characters were no longer squatty.

Most of all, I can't see how you couldn't like the battle system more! The ToD battle system was poorly balanced (so many cheap tricks!), slower and primitive. ToE didn't change anything drastically, but worked everything out much better. If someone likes the ToP battle system better, I can understand, since it did a good job of letting you manage your entire team...it was a different experience than the other Tales games. But I can't see what's superior about the ToD battle system in reference to the other games in the series.





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"Re(2):Tales of the Arc the Lad" , posted Mon 7 Aug 17:15post reply

Sounds like a plan, I think I'll go for the Polly experience in Abyss and beef up those boss fights. Mega CD Lunar 2 (Borgan, Zophar) and FFVIII's final boss are probably still the hardest legitimate strategic boss fights (as opposed to FFIX's stupid cheating status effect last boss) I've ever dealt with, so I'm always looking for a new fight that rocks my socks. Or something.

And perish the thought of having to play Abyss in English. Namco USA's slipshod approach to everything made me give up on English games about 8 years ago, and that was just when I was annoyed about Tekken 3 ending changes, let alone the complete lack of literacy in Japanese or English with US companies (outside of Working Designs) at the time. I can't imagine how English-speaking Tales fans can deal with the constant butchery of their happy franchise.


And while we're random: Mother 3. I've never played 2 though it sounds magical and unique, if probably too old for me to play. Am I allowed to play 3 anyway?

Double bonus: seeing as how it cost me less than 11 dollars, I grabbed Arc the Lad 1 and 2 because they're supposed to be magnificent. Any takers?





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Pollyanna
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"Re(3):Tales of the Arc the Lad" , posted Mon 7 Aug 18:21post reply

quote:

And while we're random: Mother 3. I've never played 2 though it sounds magical and unique, if probably too old for me to play. Am I allowed to play 3 anyway?



Errmmm...that's tough. There's a point in Mother 3 that's very much tied to Mother 2. It's an pretty big deal, so if you haven't played 2, then you're really missing out (they even play a few songs that I'm sure made more than a few Mother fans wet their pants). The rest of the game is perfectly enjoyable (probably 90%), but I can't help but think that you'll feel left out if you haven't played 2. At the very least, I'd recommend reading a plot summary or something. Then, while you won't feel the same as someone who played it, you'll at least understand.

At the same time, if it wasn't for ToA, Mother 3 would have been the only truly excellent RPG I had played in years...so I still have to recommend it. I would even recommend trying Mother 2/Earthbound just to see if it hooks you.

Hmmm...making a statement like that, I wonder if I'm forgetting some excellent RPG.

I have never played an Arc the Lad game. That's one of a few series that completely passed me by. Never played Langrisser or Growlanser either. I wanted to go back and play the Tengai Makyou games, too...but the game market just won't stop throwing NEW mediocre RPGs at me.

I got halfway through Tengai Makyou 4 before my Saturn memory card thing died on me. Such a terrible cast of characters with a terribly boring battle system...but...ah...it was so funny. Arizona was amazing.





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"Re(4):Tales of the Arc the Lad" , posted Tue 8 Aug 03:43post reply

Personally I thought the ToD battle system was the worst of the series. It was fun, but it was also the worst. The boss battles pretty much became rubbish as you spammed all your skills.

I like Phantasia PSX's battle system the best. Most likely due to the nostalgia bonus.

As for the Mother 3/Mother 2 thing, I played Mother 3 without playing Mother 2, and I'm already bringing my love for Mother 3 into the hyperbole, so it works! I had somebody to explain the Mother 2 reference when I got to a certain point though.

Never played Arc the lad either.





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"Re(3):Tales of the Arc the Lad" , posted Tue 8 Aug 06:23post reply

quote:

Double bonus: seeing as how it cost me less than 11 dollars, I grabbed Arc the Lad 1 and 2 because they're supposed to be magnificent. Any takers?



Arc the Lad 1 was already mediocre when it came out and must have not aged well (except the BGM). Arc the Lad 2 fixed a lot of issues and was a nice SFC Tactical trapped in a PS game. Playing both in a row is the best way to experience the series (and they are intended to be enjoyed that way) as then the 8 to 10 hours that you'll need to complete ATL will not feel like the scam it was but like a useful tutorial and plot introduction to ATL2.

Both games come from a time when T-RPGs had not yet fallen into the caricature they are today.





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Maou
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"Re(4):Tales of the Arc the Lad" , posted Tue 8 Aug 13:07post reply

quote:

Both games come from a time when T-RPGs had not yet fallen into the caricature they are today.

Thanks, Chaz, and yep, I did know that 1 and 2 were supposed to be the same epic game but that they were split in the rush, so since I have both it shouldn't be a problem. Despite having played dozens of RPG's, I've never really dealt with strategy RPG's beyond watching friends play Front Mission Alternative and Shining Force, even though I always meant to play Final Fantasy Tactics, so I don't think the weariness of the genre should hit me too hard.

On the other hand, what made me grab Arc was that the 2D graphics always seemed pretty in the magazines, and at least Amazon Japan (for what it's worth) had big praise for how unique and developed the characters were, to an extent I haven't heard outside of the Lunar series, especially given when they both came out. Since I mainly play RPG's for good stories, I'd be curious to hear how well they pulled it off...





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"Re(4):Tales of the Mother 3" , posted Fri 11 Aug 11:13post reply

quote:

I didn't like Eternia for a number of reasons. I was less pleased with their battle system. But most importantly was their voice acting (at least the American version). And I just couldn't connect to any of the characters. Nothing about them made me WANT to love them. I'm a big character person being someone who sits around and thinks up characters all day long as her hobby. LOL. So it was mostly that stuff.


I think a lot of people became really attached to the characters in ToD and were disappointed in the ToE cast. I wasn't really crazy about any of the characters, myself...and yeah, the dub was tolerable at best. That was my "not playing anymore US Tales games!" game.

But I think it improved so dramatically on the system and visuals that it began the "Tales games of today". The backgrounds were lovely (instead of ugly tiles) and the characters were no longer squatty.

Most of all, I can't see how you couldn't like the battle system more! The ToD battle system was poorly balanced (so many cheap tricks!), slower and primitive. ToE didn't change anything drastically, but worked everything out much better. If someone likes the ToP battle system better, I can understand, since it did a good job of letting you manage your entire team...it was a different experience than the other Tales games. But I can't see what's superior about the ToD battle system in reference to the other games in the series.



Awww, I rather liked their squatiness. And I liked their backgrounds, too. LOL. I just think I have severely different tastes than most people. Which wouldn't at all surprise me to learn that by study it's TRUE. lol. :D Oh well.





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"Re(5):Tales of the Mother 3" , posted Fri 11 Aug 19:55post reply

All the hype and praise that Mother 3 was having made me try Earthbound. I'm playing it everyday now, so that's a huge compliment coming from me, because I don't play many RPGs.

I'm at the point of the game where...


Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
You take a break by having a drink with a Mr Saturn, and some encouraging words are presented to you before you continue the journey. This means I've covered half of the game or they just wanted to cheer you up or something?

End of Spoiler



What I love from the game so far: The graphics and the music have a very personal touch. The dialogs and all the text everywhere! It's just so fun just to talk to people and to read every sign, etc. The game has many quirky details and that's a plus! It's a very unique RPG.

What I hate from the game so far: The limited inventory. With all the equipable stuff and key items, you have always the pockets full of stuff! I can't make room for food so I have to rely always on Ness' healing abilities. At least the relaxing butterflies are quite common. Also, when you have someones pockets full and you want to exchange items you just can't! When you have your pockets full and an enemy drops some food, why can't I eat some of my own pocket and get this afterwards, instead of having to discard something for making room?

Also, Jeff's ability to randomly repair broken crap (or not) when you have some sleep is lame.
The ruler and the other thing that acordingly to the description you can use many times in battle are completly useless, right? Also what other key items I don't have to use anymore, for example, the Frankling badge or the bike?

I don't understand why the Mother 1+2 GBA game wasn't released in english. It's almost funny because the Mother 1 version of the GBA release is based on the unreleased NES version! Is there any chance of Mother 3 being released in the US?






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"Re(1):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Sat 12 Aug 01:05post reply

speaking of the series... Tales of Tempest is due out in japan october 26 for DS

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/time24/652293/715976/





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"Re(2):Tales of the Abyss" , posted Sat 12 Aug 19:25post reply

Tales of the Tempest looks...way...not good. I was pretty interested at first, but it seems like a lot more exciting, better looking DS games have either come out, or been announced since I heard about it.

As for Mother...yeah, the item thing is still a nuisance in 3. I'd say that was the only thing that I didn't -like- about the game. It's not that I mind having a limited number of items or items for each character, but when it comes to buying new equipment, it's a serious pain in the ass. I especially felt that way, because the music changes when you open the menu, and I really enjoyed the soundtrack in almost every place I went.

In other news...Persona 3 is addictiiiiiveeee! And just when I get a bunch of work to do, too...