It was nice to revisit this tale, but it does not hold up to the original.
Let me just say at first I thought this Tales game was going to be a total letdown. It just did not feel right, and was unbelievably hard right from the get go. I got rather annoyed when killed by a monster in the first dungeon and then I had to go through the tutorial battles again. However, it picked up and once the gang for the first game started showing up, that was when this one was actually beginning to become as enjoyable as the first game. Then it kind of let me down near the end as some of the battles just became insanely hard at times. This one's story was rather interesting, somewhat different from the first game though in essence the same as it is just going from temple to temple recovering artifacts called centurion's cores. The lead guy, Emil, is shown at the beginning of the game losing his mother in an assault on the town of Palmacosta. The surprise here is that the person leading the assault is Lloyd, the hero and main character from the first game. Well a girl named Marta is in this town too, and she is seemingly saved by Emil, but then they get separated as Emil goes to live with his aunt and uncle and is rather disliked by the whole town. He has a seething hatred over Lloyd after what he did to his town, but no one in town can believe Lloyd the great could possibly be behind this heinous attack. Emil is kind of a whiny wimp at first, and truthfully I did not really care for his character at first. This may be more because of the American voice they chose for him though. He is soon reunited with Marta and the two begin their quest where they run into many of the heroes of world regeneration as Emil must learn who he is and Marta must face demons of her own. They are also accompanied by a creature called a centurion named Tenebrae. A creature that is a dark elemental and looks like a dog. You can recruit monsters into your party, but once you were able to have the gang from the old game in your party join up with you I usually used them as they proved to be much more capable partners than the monsters. The fighting is typical Tales, as you control one character in action combat, and as always you usually just use the main guy, in this case Emil. Like I said though it was real fun especially during the middle of the game when you were still trying to figure things out. Regal from the first game was very integral in this part as he was in your party for a good portion. Then near the end after I had been basically dispatching the enemies with ease I had a couple of fights that made my head pound they were so hard. Some guy named Hawk, Alice and some dude whose name started with a D and the leader of this resistance grouped proved very frustrating opponents. The ending of the game was rather good, though somewhat vague too. All in all though this one was enjoyable, just needed work here and there and it could have been a really special game, however it is nice to play a sequel to a role playing game that is an actual sequel and not just in name only.
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