Tales of Graces f is an enhanced PlayStation 3 port of the Wii action-JRPG Tales of Graces. The "f" stands for "future". It was developed and published by Namco Bandai. It was released in Japan on December 2, 2010. A localized version by 8-4, Ltd. was released in North America on March 13, 2012 and August 31, 2012 in Europe.
The European release came in a special edition which included DLC costumes, a Making-Of DVD and a Soundtrack CD.
Changes from the original include:
- Enhanced high-definition graphics.
- More voice acting.
- New story scenes in the main story.
- A new epilogue entitled Lineage & Legacies, with new dungeons and at least 10 hours of new gameplay.
- Richard is a playable character.
- Accel Mode, a new combat feature introduced in Lineage & Legacies.
- New Mystic Artes special attacks.
- New costumes.
Like previous Tales games, Tales of Graces f uses the Linear Motion Battle System, this game's variant being the Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System. Battle utilizes multiple lines for characters to move around, with the main focus being side-stepping and back-stepping. Each party member is able to use two sets of skills, A-Artes and B-Artes, mapped to the X and O buttons respectively. Switching between the two skill-sets at the right moments is key to stringing up combos. The functions of the A and B-Artes depends on the character controlled, with everyone playing differently.
Like previous Tales games developed by Team Destiny, the game uses the CC action point system instead of TP (which is like a traditional magic meter). Attacks and skills spend CC, which can regenerate over time and can be quickly regenerated by doing smart actions such as dodging attacks and maintaining combos.
A tradition of the Tales franchise, titles can be equipped onto a party member and are obtained by progressing through the main story, doing side-quests and doing certain actions in battle. Though previous games had them only for minor stat boosts, titles are more integral in Graces because they are where skills are learned from. Titles can reach up to five levels of progression, with a new skill or stat boost obtained with each new level. Through this, players can customize what skills they would like party members to learn before other skills by equipping the desired title.
Another tradition of the Tales franchise, skits are optional conversations between the party that are placed throughout the world, in order to build character development, unlock titles, or just for fun. Graces is the first game in the series to utilize full-body portraits for skits, as opposed to just headshots. Skits are usually found near save points and landmarks.
Tales of Graces takes place in a world where everything is powered by invisible elemental particles called eleth, which can be found and stored in crystals called cryas. All eleth comes from massive shards of cryas called valkines cryas, of which there are three in the world, one for each of the three major nations.
The protagonist of the story. The first-born son of a lord who is expected to rule the town of Lhant after his father. After tragedy strikes during his childhood, he runs away from home to his kingdom's capital to train to be a knight. Seven years later, he is abruptly called back to his hometown after the death of his father. Asbel is a brave young man who wants to help and protect people, but feels he lacks the power to do so throughout his life. His wields a sword in battle, with a samurai-esque flair. He does not have any spells at his disposal, being a pure physical fighter.
Voice actors: Kate Higgins (child), Bryce Papenbrook (teenager)
Asbel's younger brother who, after the tragic events of their childhood, was adopted by a foreign family. Though meek and clinging as a child, his time with the Oswell family hones him into a cold and serious military man. As young men, the brothers have a tumultuous relationship, with Asbel often trying to reconnect with Hubert and failing, though under the surface they both truly care for each other. In battle, Hubert wields a double-bladed weapon which can break off into two pistols. He can also use minor healing magic.
Voice actors: Unknown (child), Steve Staley (teenager)
The deuteragonist. A mysterious girl who the Lhant brothers discover in a meadow outside of town. She has no memories and emotions at first, but gradually learns to live and express herself from spending time with Asbel and his friends. She is tragically killed protecting them all after reaching an epiphany of emotion. Her death heavily affects the young Asbel and sends him down his path of becoming a knight. Seven years later, Asbel and Cheria find a girl who looks exactly like Sophie, not a single day older, in the same meadow where she was originally found, also lacking her memories. In battle, Sophie wields gauntlets and can use healing magic.
Voice actor: Cassandra Lee
Childhood friend to the Lhant brothers, her grandfather Frederic is butler to the Lhant estate. She has been in love with Asbel since they were kids, and was a very sickly child, but recovers from this by the time she is an adult. When first reuniting with Asbel seven years later, she is very cold to him for abandoning his hometown, but she eventually warms up again. As an adult, she is a member of a relief organization dedicated to giving aid all across the world. In battle, she wields knives, and is the game's main healer.
Voice actor: Laura Bailey (child and teenager)
Richard is the prince of Windor, who visits the town of Lhant during his childhood. At first he is antisocial and untrusting of people, but spending time with young Asbel and his friends causes him to open up and have fun. Seven years after Sophie tragically dies protecting the group, he is on the run from Windor's knights, his uncle having murdered his father, the king, to seize the throne. He meets up with Asbel and "Sophie" again for the first time in years, and the two young men rebond immediately, Asbel agreeing to help Richard take back his father's throne. Though the ordeal is a happy reunion for them all, at the same time, Richard's behavior slowly becomes more and more unstable and erratic...
In battle, Richard wields a rapier and has access to many dark element spells.
Voice actors: Wendee Lee (child), David Vincent (teenager)
Asbel's instructor during his seven years at the Knight Academy. In his forties, he is the eldest of the party, and often serves as a mentor to the others. After being discharged from knighthood for fighting on the side of Archduke Cedric against Richard's revolutionaries, he joins Asbel and his friends on their adventures permanently. Malik has some past connection to the country of Fendel that he wishes to conceal. In battle, he wields a bladerang, which is a sword crossed with a boomerang. Despite this, he is more of an offensive spellcaster than anything else.
Voice actor: Jamieson Price
A hyperactive young woman who Asbel, Sophie, and Richard meet napping on the road on their way to raising an army against Archduke Cedric. Pascal has a child-like and carefree personality and goofs off the most out of everyone in the party. Despite this, she is actually a genius, especially when it comes to technology. The party often relies on her to interpret and operate ancient technology that they find on their journey, and to explain certain other aspects which they lack knowledge in. In battle, she wields a shotstaff, which is a magic staff crossed with a shotgun. She uses a variety of elemental offensive spells, which are said to be the most powerful in the game.
Voice actor: Kate Higgins
Lineage & Legacies
A new campaign unlocked after the completion of the main game, which takes place 6 months later. It is accessed through the title screen, separate from the main game. To begin it, players must select a save file from the main game that has been marked with a star, indicating that the player has cleared the story.
In terms of gameplay, Accel mode, a new feature in battles, is unlocked through the story, and Richard is now a full-time party member.