This will be my staff review blog while I play through Tales of the Abyss on the 3DS. For those in America confused about why I'm playing it now, it was released on the 25th November here, instead of the February 2012 date you guys have.
Some other background info, due to the original PS2 version not being released in Europe (and also I didn't have a PS2), I have not played that version. I have, however, seen the anime so I do have basic knowledge of the plot. By all means feel free to ask any questions I will do my best to answer, but any questions on changes will obviously need to be specific. Remember to use the spoiler tags - ["spoiler"]["/spoiler"] without the " marks - if talking about plot details.
I'll try and be very limited on what plot details I reveal, after the first entry I'll probably start spoiler-tagging place names too.
edit - I'll try and get a new entry up every 3 or 4 days
Blog Entries -
1. 27/11 - Below this list.
2. 01/12 - Link.
3. 06/12 - Link.
4. 15/12 - Link.
Final. 19/12 - Link.
Entry 1 - 27/11 - Gameplay time: 5 hours
Just reached Kaitzur and returned to Kimlasca. Initial thought are that it's definitely a solid Tales game, but I haven't been quite as asorbed into the beginning of the story as I was with Symphonia and Vesperia, just hasn't quite sold me fully into the premise yet. Characters are all likeable enough, Luke is clearly a bit jerk/selfish, but it's at least very understandable why and he's not yet done anything to get on my nerves, while still showing he's good at heart.
The touchscreen is a bit underused. It displays the world map when on the, uh, world map, and only appears to be used to show possible button presses in towns and when browsing the menus. It gets some use in battles, but only to use the four extra assignable artes, or to decide whether and what to cook after the battle.
On a technical front, the resolution is clearly been a bit reduced from the PS2 version so as to fit on the 3DS screen, but it still looks pretty nice and keeps the same graphical feel the other recent Tales games have. The 3D works fairly well (similar to how Ocarina of Time felt to me anyway), but I am playing mostly with it turned off as I have a slight issue with the 3D thing as a whole. I will be turning it on ocassionally just to check how if it keeps it up. Also note there appears to only be four save slots, obviously should be enough to one player, but may be annoying for those like me who like to end up with roughly 50 save files :p
Oh, and the theme song appears to be the instrumental version of Karma, rather than Bump of Chicken's full version.
Feel free to ask any questions, or discuss/disagree away ^^