Originally Posted by Tom Imp
I haven't played this or any of the Tales games, so can anyone explain what the combat is like. Is it like FFX where it's true turn-based and time stops when each character's turn comes and you choose commands, is it constant action like FFXII where it keeps moving but pauses when entering a command, or is it like FFXIII where it's just constant non-stop action?
It's not really like any FF.
Tales series fighting tends to have a few staples, a few old, a few new. It's to an extent similar to a fighting game, but the difference is there is less depth in the melee offense, which is replaced by RPG staples.
- Linear Motion Battle System - you're confined to an imaginary 2 dimensions - a straight line between yourself and the enemy.
- Multi-Line - instroduced in Symphonia, you can now switch targets to get into a different 2D line of motion on a 3D battlefield.
- Free run - introduced in Abyss, it basically lets you move around the 3D battlefield freely when holding a button, instead of a straight line between yourself and the enemy. You could never attack until you switched back to linear motion mode, but it's been aggressively neutered in this game to balance things out a bit. Sidestepping is much more effective.
- Shortcut buttons - (I haven't messed with shortcuts in ToG:F - it may not have them but it may) - let's you map a different character's skill or "magic" to your controller for more finesse.
- Guard button - reduces damage normally by around %80+ and opens up offensive opportunities
- Backstep - while guarding, you can move to dodge. In this game there is also side step and forward dash during guarding, which opens up opportunities.
- Attack button - just regular attacks. In this game these have been replaced by Artes-style which makes the combat flow a bit less monotonously
- Special Attack button - either magic casting or super moves. In this game these have been replaced by Burst Style.
- Overlimit - different tales games have different triggers, but it basically opens up different aspects of the game. In this game it is called Eleth Burst and lets you chain together countless attacks.
- Hi-ougis - super ultra powerful attacks that have specific requirements (overlimit normally being one of them) to pull off, but are otherwise awesome displays of awesomeness. Not so awesome when a boss characters busts it out on you.. though.
- Aerial attacks - juggling/combos
- Moon Selector - Mid-battle, switch the controlled character
Now all of the above seems pretty basic, but where tales gets really fun is the fact that it's not 1 on 1, it is, like most RPGs, 4 on x so you can really strategize the CPU's actions to benefit you. You can make them deal with other enemies, or have them cast spells on your target to open up really long-hit combo attacks. Getting long combos is really the name of the game. Tales games are fun.