Tales of Graces f review
Graced With a Great Game

The good:

  • Strong Cast of Characters
  • Improved Skit System from the rest of the series
  • Well-Rounded Battle System
    • Title System and two battle styles for each character
  • Beautiful Art Style
    • Features anime videos and CG-style cutscenes
  • Incredibly expansive in terms of material
  • Great customization for characters and equipment

The bad:

None. This game really is perfect! It's very well-rounded in terms of battle system, content and gameplay. Any RPG or Action-Adventure fan will enjoy this game.


Tales of Graces F is the first installment in the Tales series to be released on the PS3 outside of Japan. As such, many people are a little unsure of what to do - buy the game or skip over it. I can honestly say that you won't regret buying the game, and here are some reasons why:

A new feature in this game is something called the Dynamic Skit System. While the skits in the Tales series have always been fun to listen to, they really haven't been that entertaining visually. However, with the inclusion of the new skit system, that all changes in Tales of Graces F.

The Dynamic Skit System allows characters to move around and make many different expressions while they're speaking to each other. The Skit System also introduces little cut-ins for the skits where chibi versions of the different characters do small, comedic things with humorous noises. This makes it so that the player doesn't have to sit through what seems to be "funny" conversations droning on and on.

Some of the Dynamic Skit Systems also allow you to battle a teammate in your party. There are three of these battles, and every one of them has two endings (for if you win or lose). That allows the Dynamic Skit System to live up to its name and be truly dynamic. Either way, you'll be treated to a fun little scene, so every skit is worth checking out at least for a bit.

The Battle System in the Tales series is always the same thing, just expanded on. This time, it's been changed and improved for the better. Tales of Graces F features a brand new battle style called the Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System (SS-LMBS). Breaking away from the traditional LMBS battle style, Tales of Graces F features free movement and two different fighting styles for each character.

The first fighting tree is called Assault, or the A-Arte Tree. These techniques are the basic ways of battle, similar to what is found in the old Tales game. These aren't flashy like the other Arte tree, but still do their job and are often found to be better than the other Arte style.

The second of the two is known as Burst, or the B-Arte Tree. This Arte tree is more reminiscent to the older Tales games and their old, flashy Artes. These have a much wider range, and are good for taking out a group of enemies at once when needed. These are what the fighters who enjoy racking up combos use, even if they don't offer as much power as the Assault Artes.

Next up is the Title System, a relatively new feature in the Tales series. Titles have always been featured in Tales games, but they never have been too important to the games. However, titles now influence just how well your character develops and what attacks they learn. Titles can make or break your character, so it's important to learn how to use them to the best of their ability.

Every title is earned in a very unique way - sometimes through use of different artes that your character has, subevents or even just shopping! However the title is obtained, each character has a large variety of titles to train and gain. Every title helps a character out in some positive way, so there's no bad side to gathering different titles.

Whenever a character gains a title, they can't just start reaping the rewards and skills that are offered through them. Titles are grown through Skill Points, or SP, which can be earned from beating monsters in battle, from completing Inn Requests, or simply by using a few certain items. When a title has enough skill points and has obtained all five skills, it can be Mastered, which improves the title's effect! For example, if a character was to have P. Atk +4% from the title, that would be doubled, providing P. Atk +8%. All titles offer a special bonus, from damage reduction to gaining quite a bit of strength, so remember to test and find the best for you.

Now, this game just looks beautiful. To get a fine example, watch this video of the beginning of the game. However, even that doesn't do it justice; you have to truly see it to understand.

Introduction of three of the main characters - Asbel, Hubert and Sophie

That video features both the CG Art and the Anime videos that are featured throughout the game. It gets much better as the game progresses and the environments expand, allowing for a much larger area of color and design. I've caught myself just sitting there before and staring at the screen...it really is that amazing, and playing it in HD makes it look that much better.

Tales of Graces F is a HUGE game. Playing through all three of the sections of the game, called arcs, can give you about 70 hours total without sidequests. This includes the Childhood Arc, Main Arc and the Future Arc. In every Arc, there are new things for the player to find and enjoy doing. Even without searching around, you can easily find so many things to do if you ever feel like straying from the main story. The best part about the sidequests is that they vary in size - they can be anywhere from a scene to an hour long. Either way, you won't be disappointed in the content. It's such a large game that it's incredibly difficult to 100%, and even when you do, you're going to want to go right back to it. Everything about this game is so large - the Inn Requests, the actual Sidequests, and so much more.

Next is the Dualizing system. As mentioned before, Titles provide customization for your characters, but what about their equipment? Swords deserve lovin' too. So, this game implements a feature called Dualizing. This can be done in shops or with Turtlez (the traveling merchants), and is actually really easy.

Dualizing provides upgrades for weapons and armor using things called Shards. When a Shard is added to a piece of equipment, it must then be tempered by battle use. After two pieces of equipment are tempered, they can be dualized together again creating things called Gems. These Gems can be equipped to characters to give them even more stat boosts, allowing for a well-rounded character in every area!

However, Dualizing doesn't just effect equipment - you can also cook or make new items through Dualizing. For example, combining two ingredients can make a new dish that can be cooked in the Eleth Mixer, a handy little device that just pops out new items using Eleth. New items can also be made by combining an old item with a material or two materials together. Either way, Dualizing is the finest way to make money in the game...however, it's also very expensive at times, so make sure to watch how you're using the money!

Overall, Tales of Graces F is a great game, and it definitely deserves the 5/5 I'm giving it. However, words truly can't describe how amazing it is, so you're going to have to play it to really understand how great it is! Chances are, you'll fall in love with it like quite a few of us have. It's definitely worth giving a shot!

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0 thumbs!
Whelan Apr 24, 12
Having size 1 on a review = (._.)p
1 thumbs!
Tenshi Apr 25, 12
Good review, man. Although I feel like there's more you could say about how the Eleth Mixer works with books, duping, and unlimited cooking, etc. That and maybe expand on the different types of Dualizing, like weapon fusion with stones. It's so epic.
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