But, as anyone who's played a Tales game knows, the battles are what holds it together. Abyss packs the most intense and strategic ones so far - it's the rare RPG where fighting is purely addictive (though you can avoid the monsters if you get tired of it.) Things move fast, as you charge in, swords slashing. Slicing up enemies with a sword is obviously fun - it's the foundation of probably half of all games. Now add in a pile of special attacks, speedy enemies and a new system that - when you get it right - pumps up your attacks for big damage and screen-filling effects... you're in battle heaven.
One of the best things about RPGs is that they let you explore a world, and see beautiful vistas... the creativity of game artists at its peak. Tales of the Abyss is no exception, and though there are some flaws in the looks (background details tend toward the blurry and blocky) you'll still find this world worth the journey.
Here's the thing: the developers felt the need to put in a crappy stealth bit... but when you get caught a couple of times, they give you the opportunity to brute force your way through. That's the kind of game it is: conscious of its limitations, and player-friendly from start to finish.