The PS3 version of Graces may have received a fresh coat of paint, but its Wii origins are still very obvious. While the bump in resolution makes the cel-shaded visuals pop a bit more, the textures, polygon count and special effects are decidedly inferior to efforts like Tales of Vesperia. To describe Graces F as a "Wii HD" game would be quite apt. Still, fans of Tales of art will appreciate the HD visuals. Character art, in particular, looks terrific in the PS3 version, with a level of detail that really grabs your attention.
It may not feel like an entirely new game, but Graces offers a fast, fun battle system that's immediately gratifying. As with many other entries in the series, you'll be able to see enemies on the map and navigate into (or around) them. Once you touch an enemy, the real-time battle screen appears, where you and up to three teammates can fight. Players of previous Tales of games will find themselves comfortable here: mixing "A-style" physical commands with customizable "B-style" special commands. The "A-style" attacks allow you to easily button mash enemies, while the "B-style" attacks add a layer of strategy: allowing you to set enemies on fire, do a range attack, cast magic, and so on.
It's hard to judge an RPG after only ten minutes of play, but I definitely enjoyed my experience with Tales of Graces F. Considering Namco Bandai America's reluctance to localize the franchise, those ten minutes might have represented my only opportunity to play the game.
- Key specs
- Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
- Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Store, Browser
- Drive capacity 250 GB
- Controller type Wired, Wireless
- Motion controls Accelerometer, Gyroscopic
- Video outputs HDMI (v1.3), RCA / composite
- Released 2012-09-25