Tales of the Abyss

I got ToA (PS2) on a whim a month or so ago. I’m now about 60 hours in and almost finished.

Wow. Just wow.

I thought it’d be just another Tales game - fairly entertaining battle system, a bunch of hidden stuff, anime-stereotype characters, and a lacklustre story. I was totally blown away. The storytelling is literally some of the deepest and most interesting I’ve ever seen - there are over 400 “skits” which really flesh out the characters. There’s a lot of character growth as well - and believable, not arbitrary. The plot itself is intriguing and touches on all sorts of deep issues. The voice acting is excellent, some of the best I’ve heard yet. The gameplay is really fun and challenging, just hard enough to be interesting but not frustrating. And there’s a metric ton of extras and sidequests.

It’s not perfect - the animation is sometimes stiff and so is the script, there’s no pause button, and most of the extras can be missed - but it’s literally one of the best games I’ve played on the PS2, if not the best. Pick it up if you have a chance.

Jade is the most awesome character ever.

“Ah well, worst that can happen is we all die.”

Agreed. Jade is the closest thing to “the shiznit” you’ll ever see in an RPG. He’s got so many great lines.

Oh man, I love TOTA too. And you can add me to the list of Jadephiles as well.

What I like most about TOTA, besides the superb writing and battle system, is it’s replayable. It has a feature similar to the +game feature from Chrono Trigger, and that alone is worth the price of admission.

That, and Jade Curtiss.

Wow, I feel like playing this now. I’ve had this game for months now and haven’t touched it yet. I finished Legendia first and decided to play something else rather than to jump into another Tales game.

Yeah, and it’s a quite robust New Game+, as well; you can “earn” the stuff you carry over via a grading system (which can of course be abused given enough patience, but what can’t?) as well as new dungeons and sidequests that only open up in the second playthrough. I’m actually crippling much of my gameplay this time round so I can do the whole thing on the second round.

Jade is cool because he’s inscrutable. (It’s almost like the word was invented for him.) He’s mean while somehow not being nasty. Or vice versa, I’m not sure. But it’s impossible for anyone to be angry at him. :sunglasses:

I played through it a few months back, and I gotta agree with Cid. ToA (and Jade!) is all kinds of awesome.

What I especially like is Luke’s development. Rarely do we see an RPG where the main lead changes so much throughout the game. Normally we’ll see little bits and fans will be like ‘OMG SUCH A DEEP CHARACTER’, but Luke is genuinely a different person at the end of the game than he is at the start, and it’s a believable change since you’re seeing it throughout the whole game.

The music in ToA is also really good. While I think I (barely) like Symphonia’s OST better, there’s a lot of really good tracks in ToA (especially ‘meaning of birth’ and ‘finish the promise’) Karma is an excellent song, even if we just get the instrumental at the start of the NA version.

Jade is probably one of the best RPG heroes ever. Though I find Guy to be pretty hilarious too. Can’t stand Anise, though, or Miyu for that matter.

(Incidentally, I RP Largo at Videoland Mush)

Ah, I forgot to mention that! Luke is one of the few main heroes of an RPG I like. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like in almost every Japanese RPG I have ever played, the main protagonist is the one character I end up hating the most! Luckily, Luke is not like that. His tale is a wholly believable coming of age tale that I found personally inspiring.

The music . . . um . . . I liked TOTA’s soundtrack more that Tales of Legendia’s, but, most of the music was forgettable. Oh well, at least it wasn’t an annoying soundtrack. Still a great game.

It really sucks that Luke’s second level Mystic Arte is so awkward to use. The Key of Lorelei is a pretty bad weapon compared to several of the endgame swords :confused: At least Indignation is still awesome.

By the way Cid, don’t speak about how hard the game is until you try some of the higher difficulty levels. Remember the cannon fodder boars at the very beginning? 10 minute fight for a less than Level 10 character, minimum. TEN MINUTES.

Also, Dragon Buster still kicks ass.

Cid, have you ever played Tales of Symphonia? Team Symphonia (one of the groups that makes tales games) made both TOA and TOS, and I personally find both of them better than the average tales games.

Nope, never played ToS… don’t have a GC.
And yes, I know the harder difficulties exist for masochists. I don’t see any point in playing them, to be frank. Never have.

Actually, they released a special edition of ToS for PS2, so pick it up if you can. It’s not quite as awesome as ToA, but it’s still pretty good.

Isn’t that in Japan only?

Never made it to the states, alas. It’s a shame, there’s oodles of extra stuff in it.

I’ve never played it. I may check it out. But that’s an extremely lofty claim, bordering on ludicrous. I’m positive it pales compared to Symphonia, and even that one, as fun as it was, wouldnt even crack my top 10 RPGs, much less 10 games, ever.

How can you be so positive about a game you’ve never played? O_o I’m giving my own opinion here, and trust me, I never thought the game would be that good either. But in my experience, it is easily on the top 3 of PS2 RPGs (along with KH2 and Xenosaga 3). That’s not something you can argue about until you’ve actually played it through. 8p

I really enjoyed TotA. The story, character development, battle system were really great. As complex the story was though, I felt the game dragged on for while and never seemed to want to end.

The only reason I know to use the higher difficulty level was if you managed to live 250 battles, you get an alternative costume for Luke and the title of Berzerker. I suppose that would be good thing because I don’t like his original costume.

I still doubt it can top Metal Gear Solid 3, God of War and Prince of Persia-Sands of Time

You’ve never even played it and yet you’ve already decided that. Even accepting that these are vastly different games and that a comparison between them would be difficult, you’ve also already decided that it’s inferior to Symphonia.

I actually didn’t enjoy MGS3 all that much, and I’ve never played the other two. Again, my statement is that it is one of the most enjoyable PS2 games I have played. That statement is not arguable on any count since it’s entirely dependent on my own experience.