If you're reading this article, we have a hunch you might be planning to pick up Final Fantasy XII. Let's face it: with such an epic coming out at the end of October, is it worth worrying about another RPG? We think so. Consider filling the three weeks from when Tales of the Abyss comes out and Final Fantasy XII's Halloween release with a saga of a completely different stripe.
Tales' claims to fame aren't quite Final Fantasy's. The battles are action-packed. The characters are in-your-face anime - colorful and brash. And though the story is just as broad in scale as anything Square Enix has ever done, it feels... well... different. That's a good thing. Tales of the Abyss succeeds on its own terms.
That's not to say you've never seen this stuff before. You'll be traveling from one town to the next, dungeons in between, hacking up monsters and solving political problems in equal measure. The world has a hard-to-believe mix of technology and magic. Buildings are full of empty, pointless rooms. The characters talk too much - period. The soundtrack was phoned in from the Casio keyboard factory by RPG Robot.
But ignore those flaws - along with the frequent and annoying load times - and you'll find that this is an adventure well worth taking. It starts slowly, with the young Luke fon Fabre, a spoiled young noble locked in a manor with nothing but swordplay to occupy his time. Arrogant and rude, he doesn't think before he talks - and he'll probably annoy you (though any guy who's made it through his teens will wince... this stuff cuts close to the bone.)