Initial Thoughts on Tales of Graces f

By • March 16, 2012

I wanted to provide a quick update for those of you interested in hearing my thoughts on Tales of Graces f and its localization.

I don’t want to judge the whole game before I’ve experienced the whole game, but I’m far enough in that I can provide some initial feedback. First of all, there is no player’s guide for ToGf, so I still don’t know what has become of Luca, Xing, and Hisui. I’m very curious, so if anyone has obtained Magic Carta No. 57, 63, or 65, please snap some pictures and send them my way. UPDATE: Kajitani-Eizan tells me that the Hearts characters are Shing, Amber, and Jadeite. Maybe the localization team members are Absolute Zero readers? Oh, one interesting side note is that they are sticking with Claus for ToP’s eccentric summoner.

So, should you buy Tales of Graces f? If you have a PS3 and you’re a Tales fan, the answer is most certainly yes. If you don’t have a PS3 but you enjoy Japanese games, the answer is still yes. The PS3 has a great library of games, so while I wouldn’t suggest you buy one JUST for Graces, I would think you can find enough other titles to make it worth the purchase. If none of the above describe you, uh, hi. Welcome to my blog. …What are you doing here?

So you’ve bought the game. Let’s talk more specifically about Graces. Tales of Graces is not my favorite title in the Tales series. It’s probably smack dab in the middle. The battle system is great and it makes the game fun to play. The story leaves a lot to be desired. The main main characters – Asbel, Hubert, Cheria, and Sophie – are quite one-dimensional to me (yes, even for Tales characters). I was hoping that the localization might help to improve some of their characterization, but thus far, it has not. Thankfully, Pascal and Malik are there to bring a little depth (and awesome) to the party. Overall, I’d say the characters in Graces break even. The story is a big cliche cheesefest (and not the good kind like Tales of Hearts). There’s really no fixing it, but it doesn’t get in the way and it’s no worse than the scenarios presented by other games in the series.

Finally, my initial reaction to the localization is mixed. The technical stuff like town names, character names, item names, and general terminology is pretty well done. I’m not sure about Artes as they require a little closer scrutiny. Thus far, they’ve picked natural terminology that gives some depth to the Graces world. My opinion of the dialogue is less positive. In general, the game feels a little rough around the edges for an 8-4 project. I’ve come to expect high quality from them based on their past work, but Graces feels like it might have been a little rushed. It’s just not up to their usual standard. It’s still good, it’s just not as good. One particular issue I have is with the voice acting, something that I can hardly blame a translator for. I can read the text itself and see exactly how the translator meant the line to be spoken based on my experience with the Japanese game. Unfortunately, it seems like nobody sat down with the voice actors to explain some of these subtleties. At best, this results in a few awkward lines here and there, but at worst, it sometimes feels like two characters are having completely different conversations. I think the fault here probably lies with the director. Someone needed to have a clear vision of what each scene should sound like, and that doesn’t appear to have happened.

That’s what I think so far in a nutshell. Knowing what I do now, I would not hesitate to purchase this game again. I hope that all Tales fans will join me in supporting the localization of the Tales series by buying Graces. It’s probably not going to be the best experience you’ve ever had with a Tales game, but it’s a fun game and I don’t think you’ll feel it was a waste of your time or money. If I have more thoughts on the localization as I play, I’ll be sure to share them.

About the Author

I'm the translator for Absolute Zero. I also take care of the project updates.

23 Responses to “Initial Thoughts on Tales of Graces f”

  1. I thought we established you were secretly on their localization team.

  2. Shh! That’s a secret!

  3. My copy of Graces won’t arrive till Monday since I didn’t pre-order through gamestop, So I don’t have anything to say about it yet..

    But since you mentioned it, throughhim, I’m really interested to know what you’re top 3 Tales games are in the series?
    I have only completed the localized ones, so my list looks like so:
    Abyss/Vesperia pretty much tie..

    Apparently I love the cheesy games, and am pretty sure Graces will be my new favorite.

    If I knew japanese I’m guessing the list would look a little like this:
    Destiny DC

    So, ya. yourself?

  4. If I were picking my top three, it would be (in no particular order):
    Tales of Phantasia X
    Tales of Destiny DC
    Tales of Hearts

    Tales of Vesperia PS3 is a close fourth. The caveat is that I haven’t played Tales of Xillia at all and I haven’t played Eternia, Destiny 2, or Rebirth to completion, but I have played enough to get a sense of them.

  5. Offhand, do you remember what Asbel tried to name Sophie (and later she tried to name Richard) in Japanese? They used “Tiger Festival” which… isn’t a name, so I’m wondering if a deeper joke was lost in translation.

  6. I prefer tales of destiny remake that any new tales of something that is the same to see in english

  7. I completely agree with your review thus far, on all accounts except that I dislike Malik so far. He seems like one of the blander characters. I also am having trouble dealing with how loosely the plot is thrown together in some parts… idk definitely not my favorite tales but still a great battle system… after the child arc that is…

    & no symphonia on your favorite tales games!? that game blew me away…

  8. Symphonia? What is up with symphonia? Everyone holds it in such high regards and honestly I couldn’t get into it. I found it to be very bland in my opinion. Yet everyone keeps saying Symphonia this, Symphonia that… I fail to see whats so great about it. Maybe its the fact that a lot of people played it as a first Tales games so it stuck. But its not in my favorite list. Nways Graces is actually pretty decent, I do see what you mean about the dialogue but other than that the Battle System implemented on it is actually the best so far in my opinion. One thing I do hope is that a lot of people support this localization even if the game is not up to par for a lot of people. Tho so far the game is keeping me enticed…

    Hopefully I can play it again… I say this because my Fiancee took away my tv to play Tales of Vesperia on the xbox, I got her into Tales games and now she just wont stop playing… I want my TV back >.>

  9. I agree that people need to support this game even if it were complete garbage(which its really not, definitely a decent game). As for symphonia, the voice acting was superb in my opinion, the characters were unique and well developed, and the battle system was fast paced, even more so than abyss or vesperia (though the only truly usable character for me was lloyd-couldnt get into anyone else). Theres definitely the fact that it was my first tales game too, but its what got me into the games I love now.

  10. Also, I hated symphonia until I got a friend to play the first 5 or so hours into it then we wear both hooked. It was definitely about to get traded in lol…

  11. Symphonia was the first Tales game for almost all of the current fanbase in the West, so it will be their favorite most of the time, just like the people that were introduced into Final Fantasy with FF7. I finally played Symphonia just recently and it is a very solid game, I can understand why so many people like it the best.

  12. Well Symphonia’s notable for having a wham plot once you unlock the seals, its changes to the usual RPG gameplay, its introduction as being part of the RPG genre in the Gamecube (with some support), and multiplayer.
    I don’t really see a reason not to play a near-classic game that started the knowledge of the franchise, but opinions, opinions.

    Also, I still think Graces is average… =/

  13. I have no problems with Symphonia; it really is a very solid game, incredibly fun, one of the best of the Tales series. But GOD some of its fans are so obnoxious about it; apparently it’s impossible to like any other Tales (or, heck, any RPG) because it’s “soooo inferior” to Symphonia. It’s one of those cases in that I love a game, but I seriously wish its fans would lighten up.

    Still need to wait to get my hands on Graces… it sucks to rely on importing. Grr.

  14. my ears bleed, damn
    there’re a lot of translation which didn’t correct and feels very formal
    regardless, it’s a good game
    but not as good as xillia

  15. Thanks for the update man. I heard that Xillia might get a localization.

  16. What is this wonderful news?! 😀

    F*** YES! Ive longed for Xillia!

  17. I’ve heard many good things about Xillia. I’ve been holding out for a director’s cut, but I will definitely take a localization.

  18. Saloma: If GameFAQs is a valid source, it was Tiger Festival in Japanese as well. And not being a real name… is kind of the entire point of the scene.

  19. Luca’s Magic Carta is 57.
    … They went with Ruca, unfortunately.

  20. Luca is indeed Ruca, and they strangely changed Iria to Illia. Everyone else is the same, though.

  21. On a minor note, I half-expected them to take this opportunity to change some of Destiny’s weird renames (Garr/Bruiser/Karyl), but they didn’t. Well, at least they’re consistent…? Illia is interesting, while Ruca makes me sad.

    I’m so terrible at finding Cartas XD

  22. I much prefer Illia over Iria. both Luca and Ruca are odd, I guess they choose Ruca cause Luca is too similar to Luke? I cracked it!

  23. So Ruca is his official name now