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Tales of Graces f started!

I downloaded an iPhone application that chooses random things from custom lists. Since I couldn't decide what single-player game to start after I went through Alice and Uncharted GA, I made the app choose for me and it said Tales of Graces f. So be it!

I've already put about 12 hours into it in only three days. That's quite a lot, but the game is seriously good. The start is slow with a very long story about some of the characters when they were kids. It lasts about 4-5 good hours and you don't even get to enjoy the cool parts of the battle system until everyone grows up and the "real" game starts. Man, Tales of Graces has a fantastic battle system.

The perspective changed since Symphonia, Abyss and Vesperia. Camera is different and there's a sidestep system now to avoid enemy attacks. TP is gone which is great news, it's replaced by a self-regenerating numeric system. Every art now uses a set number of points and they regenerate so quickly that you can literally cast spells and use melee artes many times without worry. 

Melee characters changed a lot, in all past games all they required was to deal combos with normal hits and artes but now all of them work in a different way. Asbel, the main protagonist, has different attributes for his artes whether his sword is sheathed or not. He can heal himself after dealing damage with specific arts and each of his attacks has different traits to deal massive damage to different kind of enemies. 

Combat-wise, Graces looks similar to Vesperia/Abyss but is actually extremely different when you sit down and play it. I've tried some of the characters and they're all pretty cool. The game also left the old-school world-map behind and now you travel between cities and towns via well-elaborated roads and ferries (I suppose an airship will be available at some point). I'll keep this updated with my experience with the game. 

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