Considering that Tales of Graces f for the PS3 just came out, I think It’d be good to do a retrospective on one of the earlier titles in the series that inspired many of the features that are in the game series today.
Tales of Eternia was released in 2000 in Japan and 2001 in North America as Tales of Destiny II for the Playstation 1, however a real Destiny 2 was actually released on PS2 in Japan so for convenience I’m referring to the game as Eternia as that’s what the European PSP version of the game was called.
Moving on to the game however…(click ‘Continue Reading)
Tales of Eternia, along with the entire Tales Series, are RPGs at heart, however, unlike many RPG series such as Final Fantasy, the series’ combat plays more like an action game and a beat-em up than traditional turn based combat. You have the ability to guard, run attack and kill multiple enemies at once, you’re given the entire freedom to play the game however you’d like.
The game series is known for the ability to play multiplayer with four people at the time, turning the game into an extremely well crafted multiplayer game.
If people aren’t playing, you can customize the AI to play the game in specific manners such as changing which moves they use, changing their distance between you and changing their entire mindset to playing the game (playing the game more defensively or faster for example) allowing people who are playing the game solo to have as much control in parties as they would with four people.
Tales of Eternia is also known for the characters’ ability to cook items in the game, allowing them to buy or collect ingredients that can be used with secret Recipes given to you in hidden parts of the game presented by the “Mysterious Wonder Chef” for a majority of the game series, but can also be presented by cook books, for example. Cooking allows you to increase HP, TP (Technical Points, AKA Mana) and status increases such as having a higher defense.
Eternia’s main importance is that it’s the first game that has battles running entirely in motion, before, Eternia magic would stop the game entirely but in this game you’re free to continue destroying enemies while your casters continue to support you.
Tales of Eternia is a game that holds a lot of love for me, it was one of the first Tales games I played and the first that I was able to beat. It’s a game that feels like a combination of the good points of the 16-bit and the 32-bit eras. A majority of the game is 2D, other than the world map and the mini games, and I feel like the game pulled this off very well with pretty nice effects even to this day on the PSP during battles.
Story wise, the game starts out like a basic RPG but it fleshes out to become a game with two separate worlds that are different but similar at the same time, with a great cast of characters although rather small in number (There are only six main characters, four can be used in battle) it’s made up for the unique combat for each party member and their unique personalities. Every character gets the spot light, the game feels like it’s in the perfect length for an RPG with the game’s length being as long or as short as you want it to be.
There are many optional side quests and dungeons in the game that reward with you with exclusive items, weapons and armor along with abilities, however a large majority of these dungeons can be completely skipped for you to just finish the final dungeon. It allows the players to decide on the length of the game instead of pushing filler content at you, in the hope that you will enjoy it.
Tales of Eternia is also filled with secrets, Lens’ can be found across the game rewarding them to a hidden character will allow you to receive exclusive rewards including many exclusive skills that can only be found through these means, this gives multiple people who go back to the game with multiple playthroughs a reason to play again, including the exclusive New Game+ dungeon.
Overall, I feel like Tales of Eternia is an amazing RPG that is worth playing for anyone who is interested in the series. I would however, recommend to pick-up the latest Tales of Graces f instead to support Namco Bandai and the Tales Studio that allow these games to be created, fan support has allowed the North American branch to change their minds, however the only way that we’ll get more of this series is that if we support it to it’s fullest!