Monday, 5 August 2013

Parties In RPGs - Tales Of Graces F

The "Tales Of" series is great, I love it. I myself haven't played most of the games in the series (only played Eternia, Abyss, Graces and the Radiant Mythology spin-offs), but I intend to get my hands on all the titles to come. "Tales Of Graces F" was the latest one I played, and if you've read my review, you would know that I enjoyed it. Well, at least enough for me to do a post about its cast of characters and how they fare in my book. Here's a rundown of the party in "Tales Of Graces F".

SPOILERS as usual.

Mina no mamoru miseru!

Name: Asbel Lhant
Traits: Great combo potential between A-artes and B-artes, Fast string of DPS
Rating: 7/10

After playing as Asbel for the huge majority of the game, I thought he was potentially the best character in the game. When I went to climb the tower where I had to switch characters solo during every few floors, I realized that I was so wrong. Asbel is easily the most BEGINNER-FRIENDLY character in the game. You have the leniency to make mistakes with him, his A-artes are ridiculously fast, easy to combo and are hard to punish. His B-artes can also be easily comboed, but they have some start-up time. Hell, his accel mode lets you combo even more than you usually can, with that damaging floating ball.

All of this makes for a lots of rooms to make mistakes and you'll still be fine. You can even combo his A-artes and B-artes together. Because you'll be attacking almost all the time, you'll be doing some crazy good DPS in good time, though this comes with a weakness. Asbel can attack relentlessly and only so, he's good for nothing else. His damage is good but he isn't the tankiest guy in the game, get caught by enemy combos and he drops fast. This also means that his CC gauge depletion is the fastest in the game, which isn't a good thing by any means. The AI controlled Asbel is reckless and stupid.


Name: Sophie
Traits: Great combo potential between A-artes and B-artes, Healing
Rating: 10/10

She is in my opinion, the best character in the game, second to Cheria. Sophie brings so much to the table that she simply outclasses everyone. When you think Sophie, think Asbel, with the same amount of DPS (perhaps even higher against heavy enemy crowds), higher defenses, mobility and the ability to heal/resurrect any of your team mates during battle. Sound juicy enough? No? How about she's one of the two characters in the game with the ability to resurrect? Most of her B-artes cannot be spammed so she isn't AS effective against enemies with high defenses. 

Sophie isn't as "easy" as Asbel, because she has some orders and priorities that you need to get used to. Her range is considerably short for a combo based fighter, combing multiple enemies together to make use of her AOE splash damage can be hard at times, and her B-artes might not be the best. Still, she probably lasts longer than Asbel, and because of her fast regular movement speed, outmaneuvering attacks is easy as all hell. Lets not forget her priceless ability to heal and revive your party members. Having her and Cheria in your party is a f**king godsend. Her accel mode gives you godly health regen while its active. Its more of a live saving accel mode than a offensive one, it has its uses.

There's no busty hot chick in Graces, so she'll suffice :)

Name: Cheria Barnes
Traits: High magic damage, Heals...heals and revives all f**king day
Rating: 9/10

When you think Cheria think the Psychic from "7th Dragon 2020". She does almost everything you need out of a spell caster, heals and damage included. How many times do you remember having to manually prompt the AI to cast nurse or resurrection? That's how many times Cheria has saved your ass. You can't live without a healer in RPGs, thus the conclusion that you can't live without Cheria. Not picking Cheria is like playing hard mode. Not picking Cheria OR Sophie is suicidal. 

Using Cheria is like using a typical spell caster in a "Tales Of" game. She isn't too fit in terms of A-artes (her damage here is low, her combo is pitiful, and she doesn't offer much), so she'll have her B-artes to carry her the rest of the way. She has powerful offensive spells like "Indignation" which spread across a huge AOE and deals tons of damage. Her healing is over the top, while Sophie heals single targets, Cheria's healing artes go across the map. Nurse is OP, and she has an AOE revive too (can't remember the name of the ability). When controlling Cheria, just run around, avoid focus fire, stand there and cast your spells, easy as pie. Lets not forget too that her accel mode f**king stops time, OP as hell (probably the best in the game).

Sup teach.

Name: Malik Caesars
Traits: High magic damage, High defensive stats
Rating: 6/10

I really like Malik, but he's easily the worst caster type in the game. He has some good damage, but that's pretty much it. He's the tankiest guy in the game, but it really doesn't help that much that all your defensive stats goes on a backline caster. If he was a melee fighter in the front trying to taunt and soak up all the damage, he would be better. A tanky caster just means you get to do more damage, but nothing much else when your entire more useful team dies out.

Magic damage means that he's mostly a B-artes caster. He has some mean B-artes up his sleeve, mostly AOE, but so do Pascal and Cheria. He doesn't let up in terms of B-artes damage, but his A-artes are really lacking. He actually has STRONG A-artes, but his combo range is awkward and his attacks are really slow to be of actual use against fast and powerful enemies. As mentioned, he has nothing much else, and he has a really....awkward accel mode. I mean the kicking is great for stacking combos, but enemies drop off of it easily and sometimes it doesn't really do much.


Name: Pascal
Traits: High Magical Damage, Summons, Powerful far ranged A-artes
Rating: 8/10

Pascal is the ranged version of....Asbel. Its an exaggeration, but I do feel that Pascal shines in her A-artes, despite being completely far ranged. Her mod staff allows her to attack from far away, her A-artes moves are easy to chain, do a lot of damage and cause a lot of disruption. She's the most unique mage-type character in the game, and while she may not be really strong early on, she'll really pick up the pace and become stronger than most others as the game progresses.

Pascal is the only character in the game to be able to utilize summons. They acts as regular burst artes for her, dealing good AOE magic damage. The rest of her B-artes are really utility based. While they do good damage, they are best used to cover for her as she blasts away with her other stronger abilities. Most of her B-artes are casted up close (she draws circles around herself), so she can be a little bit of a risk at times. Her accel mode is incredibly strong, giving a huge damage reduction to everyone in her accel mode radius is pretty game breaking.

Megane power!

Name: Hubert Oswell
Traits: Good A-artes combo potential, Ranged B-artes
Rating: 7/10

Hubert isn't a bad character, but is probably more unique than anything. Having dual gunblades probably means that he has good melee and ranged combat capabilities, which is the case. He's a mix of Asbel's A-artes and Pascal's A-artes as B-artes. He can also heal, though its just a pathetic healing wind, which is nothing compared to what Sophie or Cheria can pull out. He's a great solo fighter, but in a team you'd need to make full use of him.

Hubert is a CC-eating machine, just as much as Asbel is when up close. His A-artes are easily comboed together, meaning that you'll be spamming them to do damage. His damage isn't amazing, but at the same time, its decent enough to get the job done. His specialty comes in his ability to be able to fight from afar when he gets low. His B-artes have a good focus on ranged attacks, and switching between a good balance of melee and ranged attacks is the key to victory as Hubert. His accel mode is pretty good against multiple enemies.

We all need our bishonen prince characters

Name: Richard
Traits: Great combo potential between A-artes and B-artes, Has ranged B-artes
Rating: 8/10

He's basically a better Asbel. Richard kicks ASS. His A-artes combo strings are just as hectic as the likes of Asbel and Hubert, but his are way more stylish. He plays very much like Asbel, so if you're good as Asbel, you're going to be just as good with Richard once you get your hands on him. His combo strings are long as hell and do painfully high damage, as he is able to string B-artes into A-artes combos. What can I say, he plays very much like old school "Tales Of" swordsmen (he has skills like sword rain alpha and tempest).

There's really nothing much to say here. Richard can do a good deal of damage by just rushing the enemy down. Rapid combo strings will destroy enemies, and if the need arises, he can dish out good B-artes damage as well, both combo type ones AND magic spells. He is the very definition of a magic swordsman, and is a good pick for your team. And bitch please, his accel mode just means more spamming than anything.

I use every character in the game in my party, switching in and out from time to time.


Me: Asbel/Sophie/Richard


I like to put Sophie in even if I'm not using her. Because she's just too good.

Peace, more to come.