Friday, July 20, 2012

Limited space

Missed a day because of, well, work, and the reason why I don't like playing more than one game at a time has come to a head. There are things that I wanted to talk about regarding Inversion but I have forgotten them all because much more interesting things happened in Tales of Graces f last night. It is a below average shooter going up against an, up to this point, above average JRPG so it is no surprise that my limited mental faculties push out the former to make room for the latter. I have played the vast majority of games that have the player shooting something or someone else; Inversion is just another game on the pile.

Tales of Graces f, though? What started out as light hearted romp through a young boys fantasy has turned into a series of gut punches from the all the mistakes he has made in the past coming back to haunt him. Spoilers coming up, in case anyone cares.

Asbel is the eldest son of two sons and heir to the lordship of his little town. Through a series of poor decisions and general recklessness he gets a girl with amnesia killed and the prince of the kingdom severely injured. When he finally recovers his father says in passing that they have shipped his brother off to another kingdom and that he wouldn't be coming back. Asbel throws a hissy fit and runs away to join the knights.

Time passes.

Seven years later Asbel is on the cusp of becoming a full fledged knight. He gets a letter from home stating that his father has been killed defending his town from invaders and that he needs to come back home. Asbel returns, assumes the lordship, makes a few tactical blunders and ends up with the invading force rampaging through a defenseless town. At that moment his younger brother shows up with an army, defends the town, establishes a garrison, challenges and defeats him a dual, then kicks him out of his home.

Asbel does not take this well.

It is exactly the kind of intrigue I was looking for, mixed with just the right kind of emotional weight that is usually absent from the first act of long RPGs. Of course Asbel is going to redeem himself, defeat his brother, then reconcile with him, then go on to bigger adventures. The fun part will be getting there while not being overwhelmed by the constantly changing combat system. I can appreciate a linear game as long as the path it forces me down has a story worth telling. So far Tales of Graces f is up to the task.

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