Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) 1 year, 3 days ago

Poll: Should I play Graces F now or wait for Tales of Xillia? (42 votes)

Just play Graces F now. 21%
Wait for Xillia 43%
What? 36%

So Tales of Xillia is coming out in about 2 weeks here in Australia, but I have a serious hankering for a tales game having waited for Xillia for what feels like forever.

However, some people seem to prefer Graces to Xillia and as such, I'd like to hear the GB community consensus. I only recently realised I can get Graces on the cheap - and to be honest, if I do end up playing it, I don't think I could find the time for Xillia till maybe next year.

For reference, I haven't played many Tales games, but I LOVED Tales of Vesperia, and tend to prefer plot to gameplay - however, I like playing as a kight-esque character too, so Asbel seems pretty cool to me.

So, should I play Graces F now or wait the two weeks for Xillia?

#1 Posted by Yummylee (21279 posts) -

I'm actually in the middle of writing up a blog about my time spent playing Graces, and as someone who loves Symphonia and Vesperia, Graces F is a pretty weak entry. The combat is perhaps the most complex, even if besides boss battles the game doesn't give you many opportunities to really dig into it and make use of its intricacies.

However, the majority of the characters are either boring if not mind numbingly annoying. The main character Asbel is an incredibly dull and cliched character; just your usual by-the-numbers ''I want to protect those I love'' sorta do-gooder, and Pascal--the ''comic relief'' of the game--made me want to punch a baby in the face after having to put up with every one of her painfully unfunny attempts at humour. It doesn't help that the voice acting has taken a nasty dip from Vesperia as well.

The story is standard fair and wholly predictable for the most part. It's a shame the combat has to be so good, because then it'd be so much easier to write off entirely instead of having to put up with 80 hours of melodramatic JRPG-ass JRPGin'. If you're in it primarily for the plot and characters, though, I wouldn't recommend it. Most people tend to agree that it's the combat you go to Graces F for.

#2 Edited by SomeJerk (3147 posts) -

Graces F

+ Combat system

+ Replay-value, endgame and NG+ content

- Story, characters, character development, writing

Xillia

- Combat system doesn't compare to Graces F but holds its own

+ Story, characters, character development, writing, compared to Graces F

Asbel is one of the most flat out dumb mindless stupid characters I have had the bad luck to play in a game for as long as I can remember and it's not far evolved from the very first all-3D Tales game in a bad way. Xillia is.

However.. it should be super cheap and give you 50+ hours of 3/5 rated game. I say take the time you have to kill with gaming an expand it this way, it's not going to kill you to play it.

#3 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

@yummylee: Thanks!

Yeah, the buzz seems to be along the lines of Graces having a rather piss poor story but good combat. From watching let's plays, I hated the first couple of hours (child arc), but kinda warmed to it once Asbel comes back to his home town and shit gets real. However, I haven't looked past that because any more would spoil. Would you say it takes a turn for the predictable after the dust settles post-time-skip?

Sigh, the things I loved most about Vesperia were the characters, fun skits and the flow of the story. I mean it's pretty by the numbers too, but it works well as a whole and Yuri is darker than most JRPG MCs. The humour and personality in Graces falls pretty flat early on, though I was hoping for later characters to remedy that.

I hope Xillia is a return to form from a writing standpoint.

@somejerk: Thanks for the input!

Man... I know it wouldn't kill me to put a couple of hours into Graces, but the time/cash could be spent in other ways too. I want to just choose one or the other and leave it at that.

Your +/- listing definitely falls in line with what I heard, so it was definitely helpful. I'm leaning towards Xillia.

#4 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

I don't know man. Tales have the clear pros and cons mentioned here and Xillia is apparently pretty rushed like Dragon Age II, with a thin last act, a lot of reused assets and a lack of endgame content.

Sometimes you just gotta pick a shit and eat it, who knows, it'll probably taste pretty good in the end.

#5 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

@grissefar said:

I don't know man. Tales have the clear pros and cons mentioned here and Xillia is apparently pretty rushed like Dragon Age II, with a thin last act, a lot of reused assets and a lack of endgame content.

Sometimes you just gotta pick a shit and eat it, who knows, it'll probably taste pretty good in the end.

I noticed the re-used assets stuff from footage too. Man, stuff like that bums me out.

The Dragon Age 2 association is horrifying, haha - but I dont know, the JP reviews of Xillia seem pretty positive?

Maybe I'll poke around to see just how cheap I can pick up graces f for...

#6 Edited by Yummylee (21279 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: It kinda goes in waves, where it seems like things are improving, before it quickly heads right back down to stomach-churning, manipulative BS. There's a scene where Asbel will literally fall to his knees and start slamming the floor with his fist while rain suddenly starts pouring out of nowhere -- that was one of the few moments in Graces where i just had to turn the thing off and do something else.

I also think that it all seems to be a lot easier to manage when you've just come from the prologue stuff, because yeah, that stuff's pretty fucking tough to bear through. But once you get into the flow of things and more of your party is introduced--again, Pascal is where things really went south for me--it can become almost unbearable at times. There's even an amnesiac in here of all things, and the game will often play up the emotional, sickeningly sympathetic angle with her... That, and there's a fair amount of comedy for how monotone she is and how she takes everything at face-value. A lot of stuff like questioning ''why do people do bad things'' and all kinds of sappy, childish rubbish like that.

If there is one bright spot, it's Hubert. This isn't quite a spoiler, but I'll spoiler it just in case, since it's, I suppose, meant to take you by surprise when you first meet him. Basically he's a total dick, and sees things much more logically than everyone else, so he's also the easiest to relate to considering everyone else is an overly-idealistic moron. Plus he, along with Malik, are the only two party members who are voiced well. Laura Bailey's in it as well, but her character is also just as bad as the rest unfortunately.

#7 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@selfconfessedcynic: There's a scene where Asbel will literally fall to his knees and start slamming the floor with his fist while rain suddenly starts pouring out of nowhere -- that was one of the few moments in Graces where i just had to turn the thing off and do something else.

XD

I just watched a cutscene from later in the game to see how things turn out, and... well, it speaks for itself (I'll try and timestamp it to when I started laughing at the game)

But yes, Hubert seems pretty cool post-time-skip, I'd agree.

Cheria doesn't seem THAT bad... but then I've only seen the early post-time-skip scenes where she's being a bitch to Asbel, so I liked her : )

#8 Posted by siln (81 posts) -

I haven't finished Graces F, but so far I've been disappointed with it after Vesperia, which was a very pleasant surprise. All of the gameplay is still there, I'm just not as into the characters, or the world.

I do have Xilla on pre-order, though. They still have some good will to burn with me yet.

#9 Posted by oldenglishC (922 posts) -

The battle system in Graces F is so good. Sure the characters can be a little grating and there's plenty of melodrama, but it's a JRPG, you know what you're getting into. I vote play both. Buy Graces now when it's cheap and do the same thing with Xillia the next time you get an itch to play a Tales game. You'll save a couple bucks and you won't miss playing a game that you could potentially really like. Everybody wins!

#10 Edited by Random45 (1057 posts) -

I finished the first part of Graces F (Haven't gotten around to the second story), and while I did like the game, there is a BOATLOAD of filler. I know it's standard to have some filler in a game (especially a JRPG), but there are times when it feels like the plot is about to move forward finally, and then NOPE! You gotta go to this dungeon to do this one thing! And then after that, when you finally think you're at the end of the game, it fakes you out, and then you go to this insanely long dungeon, and THEN you're at the final boss who has this really cheap move that can 1-hit KO your entire party...

I had fun with it, but like others have said, I can't stand Asbel, and the whole "FRIENDSHIP FOREVER" plot really grinds on my nerves at times, not to mention the plot comes to a complete standstill occasionally to deliver information THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW. Another thing I didn't really like was that during cut scenes there are supposedly armies fighting, but all you ever see are like 10 people on the screen at most every time, it really detracts from the feeling of an actual battle going on.

Positives as others have mentioned are the combat (which is a lot of fun), and Hubert, because he's the best character.

Maybe I shot myself in the foot by playing this as my first Tales game, but I don't see how this series is as popular as it is.

#11 Posted by Yummylee (21279 posts) -

The battle system in Graces F is so good. Sure the characters can be a little grating and there's plenty of melodrama, but it's a JRPG, you know what you're getting into.

Graces F is extra terrible when it comes to that stuff, though. Vesperia certainly features its moments of shame, but as a whole it has a significantly more engaging story with a much more likeable cast of characters. I finished Vesperia because I wanted to see it to the end (and then played through it again), whereas in Graces F I'm merely continuing to play it because... I don't even know anymore. Just to get it out of the way, I suppose.

#12 Posted by oldenglishC (922 posts) -

@yummylee: Oh yeah, Vesperia's the much better written game, but I guess my stupid tolerance goes way up when the combat is as much fun as it is in Graces.

#13 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1031 posts) -

I didn't like the story or combat at all in Tales of Graces f. Even though I finished it, it was a borefest.

#14 Edited by Superkenon (1394 posts) -

I'm basically in agreement on the questionable quality of Graces' characters and (therefore) story, though I didn't find them completely un-endearing. All of them have their moments. Except Asbel. Hell with that guy.

Had a lot of fun playing it though. I set the difficulty to hard up front, which necessitated getting my shit together for a lot of the bosses. Couldn't get careless in normal encounters, either. I think I've gone and spoiled myself now. Don't think I'll ever play a Tales game on normal again. I GOTTA FEEL SOMETHING. HIT ME HARDER. MAKE ME BLEED, DAMN YOU.

Uh, anyway, I'd say just get Xillia, if for nothing else than to play it alongside everyone else. Graces F will always be there if you're still itching for more.

#15 Edited by mwng (921 posts) -

I feel kinda guilty for saying Pascal really carries that game for me. In fact, just about all the supporting cast are stronger characters than Asbel, which isn't saying much. I still enjoyed it though, even with all the unnecessary melodrama, and the plot slowing to a crawl at points. But I like the series as a whole... so I'd ignore me if I were you.

Also, if you turn you brain off, butt jokes work...

If you look at it from a purely fiscal standpoint. If you play Graces first, Xillia will be cheaper by the time you get around to buying it! Or if you have a 3DS, get Tales of the Abyss maybe? I dunno.

#16 Posted by Bocam (3674 posts) -

The only thing Xilla had going for it was the UFOTable animated cutscenes.

#17 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

Seems like most people are on the side of "just wait" - and I think I'll take that advice!

Now to find something to do with my time for the next 2 weeks.

#18 Edited by GnomeonFire (698 posts) -

I didn't like the story or combat at all in Tales of Graces f. Even though I finished it, it was a borefest.

Exactly how I felt, it doesn't compare to likes of Symphonia, Vesperia, or Abyss. Especially in the story telling and character development.

#19 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

Tales of Xillia may have not such a good combat system as Graces but it is by no means bad. It is slightly inferior but in all other aspects (story, characters, content replaybility, music) it is the much better game.

sooo good^^

As for the combat system it is really fun if you get to the more advanced stuff^^