Tales Of The Abyss Review: Not Improving With Age - Tales of the Abyss - 3DS - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

Tales of the Abyss

Tales Of The Abyss Review: Not Improving With Age

Tales of the Abyss on the 3DS is a well-executed port of a PlayStation 2 game that is just as much a Japanese RPG today as it was when the original released in 2006. It’s full of soliloquies and inner thoughts about the meaning of war, and it has a slow-starting story that eventually becomes interesting. Characters grow and change as the plot moves forward, but it’s really difficult to stick around. I literally fell asleep on multiple occasions while playing. It’s not a game without redeemable qualities, but it was never exceptional, and the years have only made the negatives stronger.

The story follows the partially amnesiac Luke as he learns how his fate is tied to saving the world. Establishing the setting and the secondary characters of your party takes up the first ten hours of the game. During that time, Luke reveals himself as a person who is very easy to hate, openly dismissing what other people say or simply refusing to agree with anyone. He grows up through the course of the game, accepting his fate and showing more sympathy toward his allies as the game progresses.

Luke’s lost memories serve as an excuse to explain everything to the player, but his lack of interest in anything but sword fighting leads to a lot of conversation threads where he just gives up on learning and loudly insults whoever he is conversing with. His dispassion is contagious; he doesn’t care, so I didn’t care. As a result, it takes a long time before you get a grasp on how the world functions.

Apart from the story, combat is the other major part of Tales of the Abyss’ formula. When battles begin, you fight on a linear 2-dimensional plane, performing combos and activating special attacks. It feels sluggish and slow compared to more recent entries in the Tales series, which makes sense considering the original version released five years ago. Improvement and innovations found in subsequent Tales entries weren’t integrated into this port. The system still functions, but it feels dated and lacks excitement.

Being on the 3DS, the game is playable in 3D, but it was never supposed to be a stereoscopic 3D game and no liberties were taken with the new hardware. Occasionally a long hallway might look interesting in 3D, but mostly, pushing the slider up does little to add depth.

There isn’t a huge selection of RPGs on the 3DS, and Tales of the Abyss will definitely appeal to the handheld gamer that wants to take this particular genre on the go. It hits all the beats of your typical JRPG, for better or worse.

Email the author , or follow on , , , and .

User Reviews:

Write a Review
  • 9.00
    Tales of the Abyss is one of the best 6th Gen RPGs I've played and now it's available for 3DS. It's storytelling is great and it has a great love story and it's story in general is very heartfelt and creative and it's battle system is fun and typical of the Tales series and so is...
    read more
  • 10.00
    Tales of the Abyss is a RPG by Namco originally released on the PS2, nothing is changed from the original but the smaller screen slightly damages the visuals. the gameplay is the same as most Tales games ,but Abyss was the first one the have the free-run mechanic. the story, even though it isn't...
    read more
  • 6.00
    The Tales series has always been one of my favorite gaming series since Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube. Tales of the Abyss for the 3DS however does not hold that same charm. Abyss has many flaws that mostly revolve around the story. You play as a red headed teenager named Luke who is quite annoying...
    read more
  • 8.75
    Being as Tales of Symphonia is one of my favorite games of all time, I had high hopes for Tales of the Abyss, and, having never played its original version, I got it for the 3DS, hoping it would be good. I wasn't disappointed. The graphics in Tales of the Abyss are great, especially for a handheld...
    read more
  • 8.50
    Improvements 3d well executed Load time issues are fixed Looks better than the ps2 title Cons If you didnt like it before, you wont know
    read more
  • 8.50
    I just enjoyed this game for the first time so my review isn't biased like the gi review seeing how this handheld system only has one jrp and being a fan of the genre it's a must buy, I have to support it. The game introduces too many characters to early into the game, the graphics are good lots...
    read more