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Tales of the Abyss

by James Dawson - February 13, 2012, 8:17 am PST
Total comments: 6

The Tales series introduces itself to the 3DS with one of its greatest offerings.

Originally released on the PlayStation 2 roughly six years ago, the popular JRPG Tales of the Abyss returns to relevance with its upcoming 3DS port.

In Tales of the Abyss, you play as the sheltered son of a noble family, Luke fon Fabre. After being kidnapped at a young age and losing all his memories, he is confined to his family’s mansion. However, the appearance of a mysterious assassin, Tear Grants, in his family’s mansion rips him from his sheltered existence and catapults him into a journey full of conspiracy, warring nations, and secrets concerning his own past.

Like the other games in the series, Tales of the Abyss employs a variance of the Linear Motion Battle System—the Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System (FR-LMBS), specifically. The mechanics of this system allow the player to directly control one of his party members on the field in a real-time battle. This movement option, called “Free Run,” can be triggered to gain better attacking position or avoid enemy spells and attacks.

Even when not in Free Run, players can move characters forward and backward along a linear line to a selected enemy (hence the title), a mechanic closely reminiscent of a fighting game. Players also have more traditional battle controls, such as choosing attack patterns, spells, and special attacks for the AI controlled allies.

The 3DS release is more or less a direct port of the North American PS2 version of the game, meaning that the main additions to it are routine graphical tweaks, and have little to do with the core in-game content of the original. Aside from greater portability, the inclusion of stereoscopic 3D, the use of the touch screen for menus and programmed battle shortcuts, and the loss of multiplayer, the game is virtually identical to its original North American release.

Regardless of the conservative nature of the port, the original Tales of the Abyss was a wonderful game, and with the added portability, this version could well be a worthwhile addition to any 3DS owner’s library.


KDR_11kFebruary 13, 2012

Combat doesn't feel quite as good as Symphonia's, it seems you can't chain as many attacks together. At least I got a 4 chain basic combo for Luke now that he's level 35 or so. Also couldn't you jump by pressing up in Symphonia?

Were the textures as low res on the PS2? They're very blocky on the 3DS and my gut says they've been downsampled. On the other hand I hear the game had terrible load times on the PS2 so that may be a good trade.

ROiDSFebruary 13, 2012

Quote from: KDR_11k

Were the textures as low res on the PS2? They're very blocky on the 3DS and my gut says they've been downsampled. On the other hand I hear the game had terrible load times on the PS2 so that may be a good trade.

Yes, the PS2 version has almost the same low resolution as the 3DS version of the game.

frostybro24February 13, 2012

can't wait to start this game tomorrow. can't get enough of the series!

SundoulosFebruary 20, 2012

I loved this game on the PS2, but I honestly couldn't imagine playing through it again.  I think it's a worthwhile purchase if you happen to like Tales of Symphonia and have never played another game in the series.

My favorite thing about this game is how it takes some of the typical narrative tropes of the JRPGs hero's quest and turns them on their heads...even if it's just a little.

Some of the characters can be a little annoying, though that's kind of par for the course with Tales games.

MorcantFebruary 20, 2012

Have always wanted to try this series and this might be the perfect opportunity. So many games, so little time.

KDR_11kFebruary 20, 2012

Well, I played Phantasia in addition to Symphonia but didn't think too much of that. The battle system was too limited and I got to a point where I have to fight in a war which consists of screens upon screens with samey mazey passages and TONS of encounters which just wasn't fun at all.

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Tales of the Abyss Box Art

Genre RPG
Developer Namco Bandai

Worldwide Releases

na: Tales of the Abyss
Release Feb 14, 2012
PublisherNamco Bandai
jpn: Tales of the Abyss
Release Jun 30, 2011
PublisherNamco Bandai
RatingAll Ages
eu: Tales of the Abyss
Release Nov 25, 2011
PublisherNamco Bandai

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