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Tales of the Abyss (Pre-E3 2006)

Developer: Namco Bandai | Publisher: Namco Bandai
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Role Playing Game

Release Date: 10/10/06

tales8.jpgNamco has been developing video games for many years now and one of their most popular series is the “Tales” series. Unlike most video game series, the Tales series deals various games that have no connection to each other, other than the creatures and specific abilities, similar to what the Final Fantasy series has offered for nearly twenty years. Tales of the Abyss is no different; it will offer a brand new unique storyline along with the same creatures (plus new ones) that you’ve seen in previous games.

Released in December last year in Japan Namco Bandai finally gave the thumbs up to bring it North America. Abyss game will feature what previous titles had before, a fully active battle system but for the first time, the battle environment will be limited three dimensional. Now you can experience the fast paced battle system in a near free roam environment. Not only that, but the game will include various factors in each battle by collecting certain items to help you boost your advantage.

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The story begins from a perspective of a young man named Luke fon Fabre; he was kidnapped seven years ago and was raised beside the Duke. Luke has no memories from before he was kidnapped and he doesn’t know what really happened to his birth parents or his past, instead he is spoiled male who roams freely around his ‘fathers’ mansion without any permission outside. Luke finds a young woman named Tear, who mysterious she is, transports them to an unknown location and now the red headed young man is now lost within the world but observes what and how the world reacts around you with other characters.

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For many years now, fans of the series have always wanted a multiplayer experience, and finally Namco Bandai is going to bring it us with Tales of the Abyss. The next installment will include a four-player co-op mode on which each player can choose any one of the characters listed and fight along side one another, unfortunately its not be specified weather or not the game will include a person verses person mode, but I seriously doubt the game will include anything like that. But if you don’t want to play with your nasty friends, there is always the standard artificial intelligence and this time you can order each character by pressing a simple button on the d-pad and right analog stick acting as a hotkey button. This helps in a strategic battle system and making sure your characters don’t die by going all out on the enemy… unless you want your alley to do that.

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Skills and abilities are always a big factor in most role playing games. In Tales of the Abyss you will be given one or two skills at the beginning and based on your actions you can unlock up to eighty additional skills and abilities for each character by leveling them up. Also in-battle there will be more than twenty different statuses affecting your strength, defense and special attacks giving the game a more customizable experience and a lot of freedom towards your characters. Other than the battle system, there is, what I find to be one of the most enjoyable part of all the Tales games, the Wonder Chef! It seems to be a trademark among Tales games to have the wonder chef in the game and its no different, he/she will teach you baking and cooking techniques and the recipe will be saved in your inventory so you can develop a cooking habit. This will help you by mastering a specific food or drink so you can create something that can heal or cure your character. It’s always fun to see what you can make.

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Tales of the Abyss is scheduled for later this year and is already shaping up to be a major hit among the Role Playing fans. With a new unique storyline and a much improved battle system, Tales of the Abyss looks to be an even bigger title then previous games in the series. Look for more information at E3 and later on in the year.

By Adam Beck - 04/28/06
ESRB Details: Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Language, Simulated Gambling, Suggestive Themes
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Screenshots for Tales of the Abyss (Pre-E3 2006)

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