"A three disc RPG known in the U.S. as Tales of Eternia. You bet I never heard of this game when it came out in 2001. Anyway, it was out in Japan in 200. That's a good year for an RPG to come out, don't you think? Team Wolf was probably thinking like, "Hey mother****ers, our RPG is comin' out in the friggin year 2000!" "
A three disc RPG known in the U.S. as Tales of Eternia. You bet I never heard of this game when it came out in 2001. Anyway, it was out in Japan in 200. That's a good year for an RPG to come out, don't you think? Team Wolf was probably thinking like, "Hey mother****ers, our RPG is comin' out in the friggin year 2000!"
The Tales game's succeed in their battle system the most, simply because it's so addictive to wipe out a line of foes in typically less than 20 seconds, making battles fast paced and exciting. The battle exists on a 2d plane with your party on one side, and the enemies on the other, but I hear some of the newer Tales games like Tales of the Abyss has changed it into some crazy protractor lineup system for psuedo-3d battling.
Tales of Eternia is the best Tales game I've played so far. It's authenticity shines through in beautiful PS1 graphic pixel art, and battles that are quick and rewarding. The more flawless your battle execution is, you will recieve a rating 0/100 for how well you did. Your mage party members' spells don't feel like they're interupting the battle, and are awesome to watch, typically you control Reid and just go nuts on the enemies with skills and combos, keeping the enemy stunned. Can input manual commands if you need to, and set whether or not you want your party member using certain spells. Getting 100's for hard enemies will get you nice EXP bonuses, or just getting 90's consistently. Usually get 70s or so if the battle posed you a length of harm. Similar to Star Ocean 2's battle skill system in which you learn skills and map them to buttons, the same can be done in Eternia. Also, your profeciency (or usage) of skills plays a part in upgrading the skills and learning new ones. Much of Eternia is akin to Star Ocean 2, in fact. Team Wolf's RPG style is really distinguishable... and I must say, I love it, being an avid Star Ocean fan.
The plot puts new cliche rpg plots to shame, where the world of Eternia is composed of three parts: the upper world Celestia, the Orbus Barrier in the center, and Inferia at the bottom. The two worlds are going to collide due to the sign of black matter in the sky, a girl from Celestia arrives in a crashed vessel to warn you about what's going to happen. Your party of childhood friends Reid, Farah, and Keele Zibel set out to figure out what the ****'s going on. Great, saving what is our own existence as we know it, just what I like in my RPG plots. *music symbol appears near head*
The voice acting is so-so, and the FMV cutscenes reek of rough ps1 showmanship, you know the kind. But they're still cool to watch. Music usually fits the mood, but in one of the dungeon's there is a super cheery song that is really out of place. Pretty sure Motoi Sakuraba did this soundtrack, too, staple composer for most of the Tri-Ace games and Tales of games.
The character developement I felt was fairly strong for the first disc, but kind of teetered off where I expected the characters to be more dynamic. But the characters do leave a lasting impression. A hunter, a fighter, a graduate student, a king, a captain, a craymel mage, types of folks who join for the adventure. The King (Max) uses a huge energy cannon and obliterates enemies with it, he's ******.
Oh yeah, the use of holy bottles is a fun time in this game, as well. Holy bottles surround you in a holy spirit and make it so you don't encounter enemies as often. One lasts for about a minute. When you're collecting treasures in dungeons, these are the best to use so you can do the extra running around. A frequently used item in my travels. There are also dark bottles which make you encounter MORE say if you want to level up faster. Regularly, it's not that bad either, because battles are so brisk when you kick ass.
There are a bunch of minigames: a card game which is pretty fun. An elemental ball game, a train ride letter delivering minigame, a dancing minigame (which is just ridiculous, you have to move a wobbly sprite to stay within a moving spotlight.) and a I think a couple others. There's also a sweet part where you control Meredy's pet around a cliff to let down ropes for you.
If you're still young in RPG playing experience, I highly recommend this title. RPG veterans will know the routine on this title, though, right away. A UK English version on the PSP can be picked up for about $30 bucks off ebay as Tales of Eternia.
I give the game a 8 out of 10.
I appreciate the game for what it does. This title will take about 35 hours to beat, maybe more if you search out all kinds of stuff. I think it has one special bonus dungeon... but I haven't checked it out. Tons of screenshots can be found at http://aquas.lardpirates.com/images/toe
Community review by Aquas (December 19, 2007)
Aquas is an STG fanatic, score-chaser and arcade lover. He hosts the Shooting Game Weekly on Youtube, a show that goes in depth on various shmups with passionate fans of the genre. Favorite video game: EarthBound.
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