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Tales Of Graces

Tales Of Graces

Tales Of Graces

Tales of Graces is a Japanese role-playing game released for the Wii on December 10, 2009 in Japan. The game is a core product of the Tales series and was developed by Namco Tales Studio. The game was ported to the PlayStation 3 under the title Tales of Graces f and was released on December 2, 2010 in Japan. The PlayStation 3 version was localized for North America on March 13, 2012 and Europe on August 31, 2012.

The game takes place in a world known as Ephinea and follows Asbel Lhant. During his childhood, Asbel befriends an amnesiac girl and witnesses her death. Seven years later, he is reunited with the girl who retains her amnesia. The plot's central theme is Mamoru Tsuyosa o Shiru RPG .

Tales of Graces and Tales of Graces f have received positive reception in Japan. Famitsu rated both games 36 and 37 out of 40 respectively. In Japan, the Wii version sold over 100,000 and the PS3 version sold 200,000 copies during their first week of release. The game was adapted into four manga collections, a novel series, and eight drama CDs. The English localization of Tales of Graces f received praise for the gameplay with mixed reviews for its presentation.

Tales Of Graces Plot

The game takes place in a fictional world called Ephinea. Ephinea is divided into three countries: Windor, Stratha, and Fendel. Asbel Lhant, Hubert Lhant, and Cheria Barnes are children from Lhant, a village of Windor. One day, the three befriend an amnesiac girl from outside their village who they name Sophie. That same day, Lhant is visited by Richard, the prince of Windor, who befriends the four of them. Richard returns to Barona, Windor's capital city, and invites them to sneak into his castle via a secret passage. There, the four are mortally wounded by an unknown monster but are saved when Sophie sacrifices herself. Asbel regains consciousness in Lhant and is told about Sophie's death and Hubert's political adoption into the Oswell family to secure Asbel's future as the Lord of Lhant. Daunted over Sophie's death and the political events at home, Asbel runs away from home and enrolls in the Barona knight academy.

Seven years later, Asbel learns from Cheria that his father died defending Lhant from an invasion by Fendel. The two return to Lhant and are saved from Fendel's army by Sophie and later Hubert with the Stratha military. Hubert reveals Stratha has been ordered by Windor to secure Lhant and assumes the position of Lord after banishing Asbel from the village. Hearing rumors of Richard's death, the party investigate and find him in the castle's secret passage. Richard explains his father was killed by his uncle, Cedric, who then assumed the throne. The three travel to meet a trusted Duke and are joined by Pascal, a prodigy from an engineering tribe known as the Amarcians. With the Duke's army, the party overthrows Cedric and Richard regains the throne. Richard orders an invasion of Lhant to rid it of Stratha's control forcing the party to betray him. Acknowledging Hubert's efforts as Lord of Lhant, Asbel and the party, joined by Malik Caesar, travel to Stratha to negotiate with the government to formally instate Hubert as Lord. The government agrees on the pretense that Pascal fixes Stratha's valkines, a large crystal which supplies a life sustaining energy known as eleth; Pascal succeeds but Richard appears and absorbs the valkines' eleth, and flees. The party learn Windor's valkines has also been absorbed and plan to intercept Richard at the final valkines in Fendel. Hubert joins the party as they travel to Fendel but fail to stop Richard. Deducing the Lastalia, the planet's core, is Richard's target, the party find Richard there; Richard mortally injures Sophie before sealing the entrance to the Lastalia.

The party is unable to heal Sophie with magic or medicine so Pascal suggests the party travel to Fodra, a nearby planet, where Sophie originates from to find a cure. After finding a space shuttle left by Pascal's ancestors, the party travel to Fodra where they meet Emeraude, the last remaining human on the desolated planet. Using advanced machinery, Sophie is healed and regains her memories revealing she is a biological humanoid engineered to defeat Lambda, the monster that attacked them in their childhood and is currently possessing Richard. Emeraude helps the party bypass the barrier on the Lastalia where they confront and defeat Richard. Emeraude betrays the party and attempts to absorb Lambda's power but dies in the process. Lambda begins to fuse with the Lastalia causing the party to see his memories and learn about his suffering caused by humanity. The party defeats the materialized Lambda; Since Lambda can not be killed by normal means, Sophie intends to sacrifice herself to kill him. Instead, Asbel absorbs and convinces Lambda to let him show humanity's worth. Lambda agrees before falling into a deep sleep.

In the after-story Lineage and Legacies, the monster population have become an epidemic forcing Asbel and his friends to reunite and investigate the cause. Hypothesizing that the eleth from Fodra is influencing the monsters, the party travel there and discover Fodra's core has reactivated. They learn the core is sentient and wants revenge on the humans for Fodra's environmental decay. The party defeats Fodra's soldiers, the Little Queens, and have the reawakened Lambda absorb Fodra's consciousness. In doing so, Lambda returns to his deep sleep in order to dissuade Fodra's hatred. The party separates and returns to their daily life concluding with Asbel proposing to Cheria. In the distant future, Sophie shares the party's adventure to Asbel's and Cheria's great great grandson.

Tales Of Graces Gameplay

Tales of Graces consists primarily of two major areas: the field map and a battle screen. The field map is a realistically scaled 3D environment traversed by foot. On the field maps, various skits between the characters can be viewed. They involve animated character portraits, subtitles, and full voice acting. Skits concern anything from character development to side details. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.

A battle gameplay in Tales of Graces f.

During battle sequences, the game uses the Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System. Four characters are chosen to battle and characters not controlled by a player are controlled by artificial intelligence with instructions set by the players beforehand. The "Chain Capacity" (CC) denotes the number of skills and actions a character can perform. Usage brings the CC down and is recharged over time. During battle, the player and enemy has an "Eleth Gauge". When the Eleth Gauge is filled, the user or the enemy receive unlimited CC and become resistant to stunning. Each character has two skill systems: "Assault Artes" which are pre-determined combos and "Burst Artes" which can be mapped to specific inputs. Skill and attribute development are dependent on "Titles" and their levels. Titles are earned through story progression and completion of miscellaneous criteria during battle. Each Title has five levels which are advanced by completing battles.

Reception
Tales of Graces sold 113,000 copies on launch date reached 216,000 a year later. The game was re-released under the Nintendo Selects label on March 24, 2011. Famitsu praised the depth of the gameplay but criticized the loading time. The game was listed on Famitsu's "Greatest Games of All-Time" in 2010. Tales of Graces f sold over 200,000 copies in Japan during its first week and reached over 300,000 a year later. Tales of Graces f was later re-released under PlayStation 3 The Best label in August 2, 2012. Famitsu repeated their praise of the gameplay and lauded the graphical upgrades. A survey by ASCII Media Works's Dengeki Online in 2011 revealed Tales of Graces is ranked seventh on games readers would want to be adapted into an anime.

For the English localization of Tales of Graces f, critics praised the gameplay while the presentation received mixed reviews. IGN described the battle system as "a beautiful ebb and flow to each confrontation" while GameSpot considered it to be the most technical and robust system of the Tales series. Electronic Gaming Monthly and Joystiq praised the depth with the latter calling it "an actual challenge instead of mindless button-pressing". Meanwhile, Game Informer considered the combat to be simple but fun. Critics have also commented on the game's alchemy system, with IGN calling it "an approachable pursuit" and Joystiq describing it as "unwieldy" due to the amount of collectibles. IGN, Game Informer, GamesRadar, and Game Trailers all criticized the backtracking needed in the game. GameInformer, GameSpot, and Game Trailers commented on the small world, with Game Trailers panning the linear pathways and "invisible walls" which prevent exploration along with the "cut and paste" dungeons.

The plot, graphics, and audio have received mixed reviews. The plot and characters have been called cliché by Game Informer, GameSpot, and GamesRadar. Game Informer called the childhood prologue monotonous but commented on the improving story after the time skip. GameSpot agreed, calling the prologue the "weakest part of the story on its own" but "crucial point of reference" which adds depth and eventually breaks away from the cliché. GamesRadar shared the same opinion as GameSpot and praised Richard's transformation into a villain. As for the graphics, IGN considered them outdated while Joystiq described it as washed-out with jerky movements. For the audio, IGN, Game Informer, and GamesRadar, considered the music underwhelming and the voice acting acceptable. IGN describes the voice acting "works" but some parts suffer from weak script. Game Informer compared the voices to a well-produced anime and GamesRadar considered them fitting for the characters. Meanwhile, Game Trailers criticized the presentation completely, citing the plot as predictable, the characters unengaging, the lightings flat, animations stiff, lipsyncing off, forgettable music, and the voice acting as dry.


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