After 97 hours of playing...

I finally got to finish Tales of Legendia; an RPG game for the PS2 that released last February. Man, I never thought this game will take me that long to finish…but I’m glad it’s over. Although players reported that it only took them an average of 30~40 hours to finish it, but I ended having triple the amount of the reported game playtime. Well, I guess that’s because I’m a hardcore RPG gamer…I almost always have to finish an RPG game 100%. That is, All my characters have reached level 100, unlocked every secret, completed every side-quest and mini-games, and got all the weapons. Fortunately, for me, the game provides an item called “Collector’s Book” which is an item that displays all the items I have collected so far in the game. It took me a great amount of time to collect everything; although, the reward of doing that sucked. Maybe it’s a sickness that I have…I cannot force myself to complete an RPG game without finishing every single aspect the game offers.

Well, let me introduce the game for you a bit. What makes this game quite different than the rest of RPG games is the battle system. You see, most RPG games have the “turn-based” engine in which you wait for your turn in a battle and then assign orders to your characters. However, what makes Tales Series special is that they have a fighting game style but with RPG elements (i.e. Leveling up). For example, as soon the battle commences, you have the absolute control of your character (only one character while the rest are controlled by the computer’s A.I). That is, you can attack whatever you want and whenever you like. Although, the rest of the characters are controlled by the computer’s A.I, you can assign certain strategies for the rest of the party member to undertake such as “conserve TP (Technique Points)” or “Long-Range Magic” and such. Another favored aspect of most Tales games is the ability to use combos…it is such a thrill to see the combos rolling (it’s quite possible to rack up to 100 combos).

Tales of Legendia however didn’t live to its processor for me. I enjoyed Tales of Symphonia (NGC) more than I did with Legendia. Nevertheless, the game was quite entertaining. The game starts off easy (which is unusual since most Tales games start off hard); I had a rough time toward the end but I never got beaten. The amounts of side-quests are few and the rewards aren’t that satisfying. The Arena (which is a popular side-quest in most Tales series) is a joke in this game. The game does have its pros though and they are a lot. The graphics are nice but not mind-blowing and the music is quite remarkable. Anime-fans will appreciate the games’ artwork. However, one of the most stupid decisions that the Localization Team of the game made was to cut the voice acting in the 2nd half of the game that called “Character Quest” (It starts after you complete the first part of the game).

The story is cliché’ in some parts…the most original part of the game is that all the events in the game occur over a giant ship called “The Legacy”. Other than that, there aren't any elements of surprise ala Final Fantasy games, especially if you are a hardcore RPG player like me; although the characters development part of the story is quite good and enjoyable.

In the end, I recommend Tales of Legendia if you are a fan of most Tales games and a fan of RPG games. I finally got to cross off this game out of my gaming list and start with a new one. Bring on Kingdom Hearts II.

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